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  PT-459 "Mahogany Menace" (Beachcomber IV)
USN
Motor Torpedo Boat
78' Higgins

56 Tons
78' x 20' 8" x 5' 3"
40mm gun
37mm gun
20mm cannon
2 x 21" torpedoes
2 x Twin .50 cal MG

Click For Enlargement
Justin Taylan 2012
Ship History
Built by Higgins Industries, New Orleans. Laid down August 19, 1943 as a 78' Higgins Higgins Motor Torpedo Boat. Launched October 12, 1943. Completed March 23, 1944 and delivered to the U. S. Navy (USN) as PT-459. This PT Boat was transported to England.

Wartime History
Assigned to Motor Torpedo Boat Squadron 30 (MTBS 30). Nicknamed "Mahogany Menace".

After the Allied D-Day landings, this PT Boat patrolled the English Channel and the "Mason Line" extending 6 1/2 miles to seaward from the beach near St. Marcouf against infiltration by German E-boats aganst Allied convoys and the beach unloading area.

On June 27, 1944 PT-459 under the command of Lt(jg) Stewart J. Moulin as one of six PT Boats that patrolled with USS Shubrick (DD-639) off Cherbourg, France to reconnoitered enemy defenses and deliberately draw fire to identify positions. During this patrol, PT-459 was fired on by a shore battery at Cap de la Hague with shells landing 30 yards away.

During the night of February 27, 1945 to February 28, 1945 PT-459 under the command of under Lt. (jg.) J. M. Boone with PT-457 departed on a night patrol and the pair claimed two small landing craft sunk off Cap de la Hague, France.

In June 1945, PT-459 was transported back to the United States for reconditioning at the Brooklyn Navy Yard in Brooklyn, NY in preparation for reassignment to the Pacific but World War II ended and was never sent overseas. Placed out of service November 15, 1945. Struck from the Naval Register on November 28, 1945.

Postwar
On June 18, 1948 transferred to the War Shipping Administration and offered for sale as war surplus.

Afterwards modified as a pleasure craft for sightseeing and use as a fishing trawler with a cabin attached to the hull. The boat was cut down to 65' and modified. Nicknamed "Beachcomber IV" with the hull painted blue with a white stripe and red lower hull..

Purchased by Robert Iannucci / Fleet Obsolete. Between 2007-2009 stored at Scarano Shipyard in Albany, NY. On April 22, 2009 loaded onto a barge and towed by tugboat Cornell down the Hudson River to Fleet Obsolete at Kingston, NY. The hull has with "PT459" in black on the starboard side. Today, stored out of water at Fleet Obsolete next to the Cornell Building with a cover over the upper hull.

References
At Close Quarters PT Boats in the United States Navy (1962) pages 352 (Mason Line), 358 (June 27, 1944), 365 (Feb 27-28, 1945), 475 (MTBS 30), 564 (index)
At Close Quarters - Part VII The English Channel -- D-Day and After pages 352, 358, 365
NavSource - PT459
PT728.com - PT-459 via Wayback Machine January 17, 2012

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Last Updated
July 16, 2020

 

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