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  PT-190 "Jack O' Diamonds"
Elco 80'

20' 8" x 5'
56 Tons
1 x 40mm gun
2 x 21" torpedoes
2 x 2 .50 cal MG
1 x 37mm gun
1 x 20mm cannon
USN c1943
USN c1943
Ship History
Built by Electric Boat Co., Elco Works, Bayonne, NJ. Laid down November 21, 1942. Launched February 3, 1943. Completed February 19, 1943. Delivered to the U. S. Navy (USN) as PT-190.

Wartime History
On February 19, 1943 assigned to Motor Torpedo Boat Squadron Twelve (MTBRon 12) under the command of Lt. Comdr. John Harllee and transported to the South-West Pacific Area (SWPA). Nicknamed "Jack O' Diamonds".

Assigned to Lt(jg) Edward I. Farley with Executive Officer (EO) Torbert H. Macdonald.

In New Guinea, PT-190 operated from Kopa PT Boat Base (Milne Bay) but saw no combat action. Then operated from Morobe PT Boat Base and Dreger Harbor PT Boat Base.

On December 27, 1943 PT-190 under the command of Lt(jg) Edward I. Farley with PT-191 "Bambi" departed Dreger Harbor PT Boat Base on a daylight reconnaissance of the coast of West New Britain. Returning from the patrol, 25 miles northwest of Arawe, the pair was attacked by a formation of 15 D3A2 Val dive bombers (6 x 552 Kōkūtai with 9 x 582 Kōkūtai) escorted by 38 A6M Zeros on a mission against Cape Gloucester but due to bad weather diverted to Arawe.

Spotting the pair of PT Boats, the Japanese aircraft attacked. Immediately, the PT Boats called for fighter cover, but had difficulty transmitting the message. To evade the attacks, the pair split up and began evasive zig-zagging and attempted to reach cloud cover 12 miles away. During the engagement which lasted 45 minutes PT-190 was not damaged. Around 9:00am, a flight of sixteen P-47D Thunderbolts from the 341st Fighter Squadron arrived and intercepted the Japanese aircraft but two were shot down: P-47D 42-8099 pilot 1st Lt Wilburn S. Henderson bailed out but Missing In Action (MIA) and P-47D 42-22702 pilot 1st Lt. James E. Lynch, Jr. ditched and was rescued by PT-190. Also,

During the attacks, the PT Boat's gunners returned fire and claimed four planes shot down that crashed into the sea nearby and Lt. Farley reported "Toward the end of the attack, the enemy became more and more inaccurate and less willing to close us. It is possible that we may have knocked down the squadron leader as the planes milled about in considerable confusion, as if lacking leadership." Afterwards, PT-190 returned to Dreger Harbor and Lynch was rushed for medical care.

PT-190 earned the Presidential Unit Citation for action in the New Guinea area during October 1943 to March 1944.

Next, operated from Hollandia and Mois Woendi PT Boat Base (Camp Taylor). On June 12, 1944 USS Kalk (DD-611) was damaged by Japanese aircraft that scored a direct hit causing heavy damage with many casualties aboard. Every PT boat including PT-190 rendered aid to the destroyer. That night, PT-190 under the command of Lt(jg) William N. Bannard with PT-146 participated in the first barge patrol in the area, claiming three barges sunk off the north coast of Biak and took a prisoner.

Next, to the southern Philippines operating from San Pedro Bay PT Boat Base and Ormoc Bay PT Boat Base at Ormoc Bay. During late October 1944 participated in the Battle of Leyte Gulf.

On October 25, 1944 during the Battle of Surigao Strait, PT-190 under the command of Ens Edward S. Haugen with PT-151 and PT-146 were stationed south of Limasawa Island at 11:30pm and observed flashes of gunfire, star shells and searchlights. Their radios were jammed by the Japanese and it took three hours before PT-190 reported the force as they made an attack from 1,800 yards and came under searchlight beams. PT-190 and PT-146 opened fired with her 40mm gun and claimed hits on a destroyer's superstructure and caused the searchlight to go out. Another group of ships six miles to the southwest opened fire on them without effect. Later, while patrolling off Panson Island, PT-190 patrolled to the west with PT-137 searched for damaged PT-194 but encountered a Japanese force and was fired upon by Japanese destroyers and chased away, bracketing the boat with 8-10 salvos.

On November 14, 1944 PT-190 participated in a patrol with PT-325, PT-326, PT-327 and PT-330 at the entrance of San Pedro Bay on Leyte without incident.

On May 13-14, 1945, PT-190 with PT-192 towed two 60' fishing boats loaded with 200 Filipino guerrillas from Bantayan Island and Langob Island and towing them to Guintacan Island in the Visayan Sea off Leyte.

On October 26, 1945 placed out of service. On December 19, 1945 PT-190 was officially stricken from the Navy Register. During May 1946, transferred to the State Department, Foreign Liquidation Commission and sold. Ultimate fate unknown.

At Close Quarters PT Boats in the United States Navy
pages 218-219, 249, 383, 388-389, 398, 402, 462, 562 (index)
NavSource PT-190

"The PT Boat war of John F. Kennedy & Torbert H. Macdonald" by Chris Lotspeich pages 7, 12, 14
FindAGrave - Torbert Hart MacDonald (photo)
Thanks to Chris Lotspeich and Edward Rogers for additional information

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Last Updated
October 23, 2020


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