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Elco 80'

56 Tons
80' x 20' 8" x 3' 6"
4 x torpedo tubes
1 x 20mm cannon
2 Twin .50 cal MG

Click For Enlargement
Click For Enlargement

via Jo Frkovich

Captain  Lt(jg) James R. Burk, USNR, O-215385 (KIA) NJ
Crew  Ensign Alfred W. Haywood, USNR, O-226621 (MIA / KIA strafing) NY
Crew  S1C William Neal Walters, USNR, 3380290 (MIA / KIA by bomb in water) IL
Cook  Robert West Mills USNR, (KIA, internal wounds)
Torpedo  TM2C Raymond Russell Reilly USNR, 7252721 (MIA / KIA) MI
Gunner  GM3C Allen Frederick Walzhauer USNR, 7262023 (MIA / KIA) IL
Crew  S1C Leslie Wilson Wicks, USNR, 8013318 (MIA / KIA) MA
Crew  Q3C Stanley Wishiewski, USNR (MIA / KIA)
Crew  Lt. James R. Thompson, USNR, C.O. PT Boat Squadron 25 (WIA)
Crew  GM2C Norman Alfred Nadeau USNR (WIA)
Crew  MM2C James Phillip Alkire USNR (WIA)
Crew  PM2C James Harold Cheek USNR from USS Hilo AGP-2 (WIA)
Crew  Y2C Verle James Wisdom USNR (WIA)
Crew  R2C Paul Eugene Whitmore USNR (WIA)
Crew  Ensign Gustav Walter Wilde USNR (WIA)
Crew  CPM John Frkovich USNR from USS Hilo AGP-2
Crew  MM2C Frank Joseph Burns, USNR
Crew  MM1C Ollie “J” Talley, USNR
Passenger  Lt. Col. Petitt, US Army Observer (KIA)
Passenger  Lt. Eric M. Howitt, RAN Volunteer Reserve (WIA)
Sunk  April 29, 1944 by friendly fire

Ship History
Built by Electric Boat Co. (Elco) in Bayonne, NJ.

Wartime History
On April 29, 1944 PT-346 was dispatched to the aid of PT-347 grounded on a coral reef three miles near Cape Lambert from the line of demarcation and strafed by friendly F4Us.

Arriving at the site to assist, PT-346 and PT-346 were attacked by friendly aircraft. This boat was set on fire, nine killed and eight wounded. One of the casualties was U.S. Army observer Lt. Col. Petitt, who was clung to a life raft after being hit in the lung. Many witnessed his head blown. The ship's mascot an airdale dog named "Chopper" took shrapnel in the face during the incident, but survived.

Wicks, Haywood and Waters were officially declared dead April 29, 1944. Burk was declared dead October 29, 1944 Reilly and Walzhauer was officially declared dead January 17, 1946. All are memorialized on the tablets of the missing at Manila American Cemetery.

Jo Frkovich (relative of John Frkovich)

At Close Quarters PT Boats in the United States Navy pages 233-234, 474, 488
WWII Nominal Roll - Howitt, Eric Mervyn
Tragedy at Sea The Untold Story of PT-347, PT350 & PT 346 by Dan Williams
Enemy in the Mirror by Jo Frkovich with Daniel Williams & Thomas Williams
Thanks to Dan Williams for additional information

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Last Updated
August 10, 2019


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