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  PT-68
USN
PT Boat
77' Elco

60 Tons
77' x 19' 11" x 4' 6"
4 x torpedo tubes
2 x Twin 50 cal MG
8 x Depth Charges

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USN c1942

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USN c1943
Ship History
Built by Electric Boat Company (Elco) Bayonne, NJ. Laid down August 27, 1941 as 77' Elco designated PTC-36, then reclassified BPT-20 prior to completion as part of lend-lease for England. Launched November 13, 1941 and the transfer to England was canceled and instead retained by the U.S. Navy (USN). During December 1941 designated PT-68.

Wartime History
On January 13, 1942 assigned to Motor Torpedo Boat Squadron 4 (MTBS-4) and fitted out at the Motor Torpedo Boat Squadrons Training Center at Melville, RI. On October 1, 1942 transfered to Motor Torpedo Boat Squadron 8 (MTBS-8). Sent overseas to the South West Pacific Area (SWPA) painted with Measure 13 camouflage scheme with Navy blue numbers on the pilothouse. Later, field applied green camouflage pattern on the hull.

On March 3, 1943 during the night in the Battle of the Bismark Sea, PT-68 under the command of Lt(jg) Robert L. Childs, USNR operated with PT-149, PT-66 and PT-121 approached the fire of the Oigawa Maru at slow speed before the ship sank. PT-149 believed it observe a search light on the ship and fired one torpedo at the ship before it lost sight of the target and the ship sank.

Next, operated from Morobe PT Boat Base. On July 6, 1943 PT-68 departing Morobe PT Boat Base with PT-142, PT-143, PT-120 to first pick up troops from nearby Mort Bay then departed to land them at Nassau Bay. During the journey, PT-68 lost visual contact with the other boats due to rough seas and rain, and found no enemy targets.

Mission History
On September 30, 1943 at night departed under the command of Lt(jg) Robert F. Lynch with PT-191 on a patrol of the Huon Gulf. The pair sank two barges near Vincke Point, and spotted a third unloading troops on the beach and opened fire. Turing to depart, PT-68 ran aground 40 yards off Vincke Point on the Huon Peninsula. The crew were ordered to abandon ship and transfered onto PT-191, which used two anchor lines in an attempt to pull PT-68 loose. During the attempted rescue, a Japanese shore gun and machine gun opened fire and the lines were cut.

Sinking History
On October 1, 1943 at 2:20am destroyed by gunfire from PT-191 to prevent capture and left burning and sinking.

References
At Close Quarters PT Boats in the United States Navy (1962) pages 59, 181, 188-189, 202, 455, 459, 485-486, 488
Navy Source - PT-68 (photos)

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Last Updated
August 4, 2020

 

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