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77' Elco

40 Tons
77' x 19' 11" x 4' 6"
2 x Twin .50 cal MG
4 x 18" torpedoes
USN August 1941
Ship History
Built Electric Boat Company (Elco) in Bayonne, NJ. Laid down April 30, 1941 as 77' Elco PT Boat. Launched July 8, 1941 as PT-41. Completed July 23, 1941 in the U.S. Navy (USN) and assigned to Motor Torpedo Boat Squadron 1 (MTBRon1).

On August 12, 1941 assigned to Motor Torpedo Boat Squadron 3 (MTBRon 3) and assigned to Ens. George E. Cox, Jr. On August 16, 1941 one of six PT Boats including PT-31, PT-32, PT-33, PT-34, PT-35 and PT-41 loaded aboard USS Guadalupe (AO-32) as deck cargo and transported to the Philippines during September 1941.

On December 25, 1941 PT-41 and PT-31 made three attempts to pull PT-33 grounded on a coral reef.

On January 18, 1942 at night PT-41 under the command of Ens. George E. Cox, Jr. reconnoiters the south shore of Manila Bay near Ternate to search for Japanese heavy artillery emplacements but finding none instead strafed several groups of Japanese spotted on the beach.

On January 24, 1942 at night PT-41 under the command of Ens. George E. Cox, Jr. with Lt. John D. Bulkeley and DeLong aboard patrolled Subic Bay and to the west of the entrance near Sampaloc Point spotted an enemy vessel and made a torpedo run firing firing a torpedo from 800 yards and hit amidship causing an explosion and fired a second torpedo while under fire from the vessel and shore batteries with shells bracketing the PT Boat ahead, astern and off both sides and by zig zagging managed to evade the fire, clear obstructions and escaped.

On March 11, 1942 under the command of Lt. Bulkeley at 7:30pm arrives at north dock on Corregidor Island embarks General Douglas MacArthur, Mrs Jean MacArthur Arthur MacArthur, Ah Cheu nurse for Arthur, Major General Richard K. Sutherland Chief of Staff, USN Captain Harold G. Ray, Lieutenant Colonel Sidney L. Huff, and Major C. H. Morehouse, Medical Officer. Meanwhile, a launch takes other senior officers to Sisiman Bay near Mariveles where they are embarked aboard PT-35, PT-34 and PT-32. By 9:15pm, the four PT Boats navigate the minefield in Manila Bay then proceed southward. During the night the four PT Boats become separated and PT-32 experiences engine trouble and PT-35 proceeds alone.

On March 12, 1942 in the afternoon arrives Tagauayan (Tagawayan) and refuels using drums of fuel drums strapped to the deck. PT-32 had one engine running and had to jettison their deck fuel drums and was unable to continue and the crew and passengers were transfered aboard PT-41 and PT-34 that departed at 6:00pm spotting a Japanese cruiser to the northeast but did not spot the pair. Afterwards, follows the coast of Negros to Silino Island then to Mindanao.

On March 13, 1942 at 1:00am the weather turned poor with heavy seas and rain squalls and by morning arrives Cagayan on Mindanao. PT-41 completed a daring 560 mile voyage through enemy patrolled seas with PT-35 arriving separately. After MacArthur and the passengers disembarked, the three PT Boats were hidden near Cagayan. Afterwards, every member of the PT Boat Squadron that participated in the evacuation mission earned the Silver Star. After MacArthur and the passengers disembarked, the three PT Boats were hidden near Cagayan with the intention of patrolling off northern Mindanao.

On March 18, 1942 at 7:00pm under the command of Lt. Bulkeley with Ens. Cox departs Cagayan with PT-35 bound for Zamboanguita on southern Negros to rescue President Quezon but when they arrived and tied up and waited for over an hour until the President's aid arrived requesting they proceed to Dumaguete. Meanwhile, PT-35 patrolling off shore sustained bow damage from a submerged object and motored to Zamboanguita where the crew were transfered aboard PT-41 that towed the damaged boat to allow it to be beached. Afterwards, PT-41 motors to Dumaguete but still does not find the President and Lt. Bulkeley was driven to Bais where he meets President Quezon who had been warned not to attempt the trip but was convinced try and returns with him to Dumaguete.

On March 19, 1942 in the early morning hours, embarks President Quezon, his wife, two daughters, Vice President and their entourage and luggage was embarked aboard PT-41 that was now overloaded with her crew plus the crew of PT-35 and departs on March 19, 1942 at 3:20am and experienced rough seas. Around 4:00am the rough seas caused two rear torpedoes to jolt out of their tubes and begin running until manually released. By 6:00am arrives at Oroquieta on Mindanao.

Afterwards, PT-41 was the only operational PT Boat left and under the command of Lt. Bulkeley returned to Zamboanguita to patch the bow of PT-35 then tow her to Cebu City for repairs and was reloaded with new torpedoes. Meanwhile, PT-34 was repaired to make 12 knots to Cebu City for more repairs.

On April 8, 1942 at night under the command of Bulkeley with Cox plus PT-34 engage Light Cruiser Kuma off eastern Cebu. Leading the attack PT-41 fires two torpedoes aimed at the port side but they ran erratically. Circiling to the right, PT-41 was caught in the crusier's searchlight momentarily then fires her last two torpedoes aimed at the bow and amidships but observed no explosions. Meanwhile, PT-34 made a torpedo attack from 500 yards while PT-41 circles in an attempting to draw away their fire and disable its searchlight with gunfire and after the attack withdraws to the south.

Afterwards, PT-41 returns to Mindanao as the last PT Boat still operational with Motor Torpedo Boat Squadron 3 (MTBRon3) but was without torpedoes. Although Lt. Bulkeley wanted to return to Cebu City for torpedoes, the Japanese were already occupying the area and no torpedoes were available on Mindanao.

On April 13, 1942 at Iligan transfered to the U.S. Army that intends to move the PT Boat by road inland then place the PT Boat in Lake Lanao. The three engines were removed and the hull was trucked along a narrow road southwards towards Lake Lanao. On April 15, 1942 the hull was destroyed on the road near Lake Lanao to prevent capture by the Japanese. The fate of the engines moved to Lake Lanao is unknown.

At Close Quarters PT Boats in the United States Navy (1962) pages 3, 8 (December 25, 1941), 13-14 (January 18-24, 1942), 16-19 (March 11-13, 1942) 19-20 (March 18-19, 1942), 21-24 (April 8, 1942), 25-26 (transfer to Army), 59 (MTBRon3), 424 (Corregidor), 450 (MTBRon1), 453 (MTBRon3), 486 (PT-41 loss), 488 (destroyed to prevent capture), 495 (Navy Cross Cox), 496 (Navy Cross Kelly), 561 (index)
Navy Source - PT-41 (photos)

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Last Updated
April 28, 2021


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