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  PT-196 "Green Dragon, Elco Puss, Purple Shaft, Shamrock"
Elco 80'

56 Tons
80' x 20' 8" x 5'
Two torpedoes
Twin .50 cal MG
37mm gun (bow)
20mm cannon
40mm Bofors (stern)

Ship History
Built by Electric Boat Company (Elco) in Bayonne, New Jersey. Laid down December 9, 1942. Launched February 19, 1943. Completed May 3, 1943 as PT-196. When completed, the rear portion of the hull had a series of light gray stripes from the midsection to stern to breakup the silhouette. The bow had a shark mouth, eye and nose painted on both sides of the bow. Nicknamed "Elco puss" (also noted as "Elcopuss".

Wartime History
Shipped across the Pacific to the South West Pacific Area (SWPA). Assigned to Motor Torpedo Boat Squadron Twelve (MTBS 12). Assigned to Lt(jg) Alfred G. Vanderbilt, Jr. and later Ensign James R. Beck. This boat was nicknamed "Elcopuss" later "Green Dragon" then "Purple Shaft" and finally "Shamrock".

On February 3, 1944 with PT-323 at Dreger Harbor rendezvous with USS Gato SS-212 and after noon departs bound for for Vitiaz Strait escorting the surfaced submarine until 7:00 when it departs.

During the night of March 12, 1944 to March 13, 1944 PT-196 under the command of Lt(jg) Alfred G. Vanderbilt, Jr. and PT-193 "The Witch / Bitchin' Witch" under the command of Lt. Cyrus R. Taylor departed on a patrol. During the night, they were attacked by a Japanese float plane that dropped a bomb that landed 150 yards astern of PT-193. Gunners aboard the PT-Boats fired at the aircraft and claimed it as shot down. Afterwards, both Taylor and Vanderbilt earned the Silver Star for this action.

This PT Boat operated from Kana Kopa, Morobe PT Boat Base, Dreger Harbor PT Boat Base, Hollandia, Mios Woendi PT Boat Base (Camp Taylor).

Next, operated from the Philippines first from San Pedro Bay and later Ormoc Bay.

On October 26, 1945 stripped of usable parts and scuttled off Samar.

Navy Source PT-196
FindAGrave - Alfred Gwynne Vanderbilt, II (photo, grave photos)

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Last Updated
August 4, 2020


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