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  PT-34 "Eager Beaver / Deuce / P. I. Rose" (PTC-14)
PT-20 Class MTB
77' Elco MTB

40 Tons
77' x 19' 11" x 4' 6"
2 x Twin 50 cal MG
4 x Torpedo Tubes

Ship History
Built by Electric Boat Company (Elco) in Bayonne, NJ. Laid down March 29, 1941 as Motor Boat Submarine Chaser, PTC-14. Reclassified PT-34 prior to completion. Launched June 14, 1941. Commissioned July 12, 1941.

Motor Torpedo Boat Squadron 2 (MTBS-2) under the command of Lt. Commander Earl S. Caldwell, USN. On August 12, 1941 assigned to Motor Torpedo Boat Squadron 3 (MTBS-3), under the command of Lt(jg) Robert B. Kelly. On September 28, 1941 one of six PT Boats arrived in the Philippines, based at Cavite Naval Base along Manila Bay.

Wartime History
On December 17, 1941 passenger ship SS Corregidor a loaded with 1,200 passengers struck a mine off Corregidor and sank with a large loss of life. PT-34 with PT-32 and PT-35 rescued 280 survivors, who were transported to Corregidor and the French ship, SS Si-Kiang.

While Kelly was in the hospital on Corregidor with an infected finger, and this boat was placed under the temporary command of Lt. Buckley and Ens Barron W. Chandler

During the night of January 18, 1942 along with PT-31, proceeded to the mouth of Subic Bay and to the entrance of Binanga Bay. Spotted by lights and fired on by a field gun, then proceeded into Subic Bay alone and spotted a two masted freighter. Firing two torpedoes, but one stuck in the tube and failed to launch. The other launched but exploded prematurely a minute later. PT-34 departed under fire from shore guns. The torpedo was sticking halfway out of the tube and chief torpedo man John Martino, climbed onto it and stuffed toilet paper into the impeller blades to prevent the warhead from arming. Four hours later, the torpedo feel harmlessly into the sea and the boat returned safely. For his actions, Buckley earned the Navy Cross.

On January 22, 1942 during the Battle of the Points on Bataan, PT 34 claimed two enemy barges sunk off southwestern Bataan.

On March 12, 1942, waiting in Sisiman Cove with PT-35. Departs from Corregidor evacuating senior staff from the island including: Admiral Francis W. Rockwell, General Richard Marshall (Deputy Chief of Staff, USAFFE), Col. Charles P. Stivers (G-1, USFFEE), Capt. Joseph McMicking (Philippine Army, Asst. G-2, USFFE) rendezvousing with other PT Boats in Manila Bay, then proceeded to Tayauayan Island. Along the way, PT-34 experienced engine problems and arrived two hours late at 9:30am. Departing at 6:00pm, they saw a Japanese cruiser in the distance but were not spotted. PT-34 arrived off Silino Island at 2:00am on March 13 and reached Cagayan on northern Mindanao the morning, making a 560 mile trip though enemy patrolled seas.

PT-34 made emergency engine repairs at Cagayan, then to Cebu for more repairs at the private Opan Shipbuilding & Slipway Corp. Owner "Dad" Cleland refused payment for the repairs completed on April 8.

During the night of April 8, 1942, off eastern Cebu, PT-34 and PT-41 spotted and attacked Kuma at 500 yards, and was caught in the light cruiser's searchlight and fired on by its guns. Kelly saw his torpedoes miss the target. PT-41 circled Kuma attempting to draw away their fire and disable its searchlight. PT-34 fired her last two torpedoes and believed they hit Kuma. According to Japanese Navy records Kuma was hit in the bow by one of PT-34's torpedoes but it failed to detonate.

Zig-zagging to escape her gunners fired at Kuma's searchlight. Gunner Willard J. Reynolds was wounded by shrapnel when he opened fire and their radio damaged. Departing, PT-34 passed an enemy destroyer before arriving at Cebu City then onward to Dumaguete on Negros.

Sinking History
On April 9, 1942 PT-34 attempted to return Cebu City for emergency medical treatment for wounded Reynolds. Without detailed charts, the boat ran aground on coral, damaging the center propeller but was rocked free by daylight while Reynolds was taken ashore in their dingy with Ens Richardson. After treatment, both returned to PT-34.

Spotted by four F1M2 Petes from Sanuki Maru. The ship was bombed at 8:00am and a total of eight bombs dropped, all were near misses. The floatplanes dove from 500' strafing the ship and knocked out the starboard 50 caliber turret, killed Reynolds and wounded QM1C Albert P. Ross, who claimed to damage one attacking plane. Also wounded were Martino and Hunter. The engine room flooded and Kelly ordered PT-34 beached onto Cauit Island (Kauit) near Cebu City and began to salvage material ashore. At 12:30, the seaplanes returned and bombed and strafed again, setting PT-34 on fire and caused the ship to explode on the beach. For this action, Kelly earned the Navy Cross.

At Close Quarters PT Boats in the United States Navy pages 1, 3, 7, 9-10, 16-19, 21-25, 451, 453, 486, 488, 494-494
Navy Source PT-34 (photos)

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Last Updated
October 23, 2019


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