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  PT-67 (BPT-19, PTC-35)
USN
PT Boat
77' Elco

40 Tons
77' x 19' 11" x 4' 6"
2 x Twin .50 cal MG
4 x 21" Torpedoes


USN 1942


Don Silcock 2009
Ship History
Built by the Electric Boat Company (Elco) in Bayonne, NJ. Laid down August 23, 1941 as 77' Elco Motor Torpedo Boat designated PTC-35 and later reclassified BPT-19 for the Royal Navy. Launched November 8, 1941.

Wartime History
During December 1941, the transfer to the United Kingdom was canceled and reclassified as PT-67. Completed January 17, 1942 and placed into service with the U.S. Navy (USN).

On January 19, 1942 assigned to Motor Torpedo Boat Squadron 4 (MTBS 4) under the command of Lt. Rollin E. Westholm, USN and operates from the Motor Torpedo Boat Squadrons Training Center, Melville, RI.

On October 1, 1942 assigned to Motor Torpedo Boat Squadron 8 (MTBS 8) under the command of Lt. Comdr. Barry K. Atkins, USN.

During the Battle of the Bismark Sea, PT-67 under the command of Ens. James W. Emmons, USNR was patrolling with PT-128 and saw Oikawa Maru on fire. Afterwards, both searched further to the west but encountered a rain storm and heavy seas. Afterwards, began operating from Tufi PT Boat Base.

Sinking History
On March 17, 1943 at 6:45pm PT-67 and PT 119 were moored alongside the dock at Tufi PT Boat Base full fueled ahead of a planned operation that night. An accidental flame cause gasoline on the surface of the water between the two PT Boats to ignite and quickly spread onto each vessel. Attempts to extinguish the flames were unsuccessful and it was impossible to cast the burning boats free. Abandoned, both PT Boats burned uncontrollably and their fuel tanks and ammunition exploded causing both to sink into Tufi Harbor.

Meanwhile, nearby Australian vessel AS16 was abandoned and drifted into the fire and was also destroyed and sunk. The flames spread to the wooden dock and gasoline barrels ashore causing a large fire and detonated six Mark IV depth charges that further spread flames and ignited another 700-800 fuel drums stored nearby. The flames burned overnight due to fuel that seeped into the ground. The blaze continued until the afternoon of March 18, 1943. In total, 4,000 fuel drums were destroyed, the dock and a shed with tools, spare parts, pumps, diving gear and ammunition.

Shipwreck
The shipwrecks of both PT Boats are sunk into Tufi Harbor at a depth of 34 meters. In the early 1970s, the shipwrecks of both PT Boats were salvaged for non-ferrous metal. There are at least two live torpedoes among the wreckage.

References
NARA Task Group 70.1 War Diary March 1943, page 8
(Page 8) "March 17, 1943 CTG 70.1 in [USS] Hilo at Kana Kope. At 18:45, PT's 67 and 119 were alongside dock at Advance Base, having completed fueling, preparatory to night's operation. Flames, presumably the result of a match thrown by a native ignited gasoline on the surface, were seen to break out between the boats, and quickly spread to them."
At Close Quarters PT Boats in the United States Navy (1962) pages 59 (Training Center, Melville, RI), 181 (Bismark Sea), 183, 455, 459, 485-486, 488
Navy Source PT-67 (photo)
Indo Pacific Images - The Tufi PT Boats by Don Silcock via Wayback Machine Sept 13, 2009
Indo Pacific Images - The Tufi Diaries, PT Boats May 10, 2009 by via Wayback Machine Sept 13, 2009
Indo Pacific Images - The Tufi WWII PT Boat Wrecks by Don Silcock
Thanks to Don Silcock for additional information

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Last Updated
March 17, 2022

 

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