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Motor Torpedo Boat Photo Archive

PT-304



Call sign:
Nan - King - Easy - Easy

78' Higgins Motor Torpedo Boat:

  • Laid down 27 March 1943 by Higgins Industries, New Orleans, LA
  • Launched 27 May 1943
  • Completed 22 November 1943
  • Placed in service 23 November 1943 and assigned to Motor Torpedo Squadron TWENTY TWO (PTRon 22) under the command of LCDR Richard J. Dressling, USN
  • PTRon 22 was assigned to the Mediterranean Theater of Operations and based at Bastia, Corsica, until moving to St. Tropez, France
  • Off loaded 25 April 1944 at Oran, Algeria from Merrimack (AO 37)
  • PT-304 had modern Mark XIII torpedoes, faster, lighter, harder hitting, and infinitely more reliable than the old Mark VIII's. By early May, most of the boats of PTRon 22, had been to Bizerte to have their heavy torpedo tubes
    replaced by light racks for the new torpedoes and to have a 40mm. gun mounted on the stern. The Mark XIII's were not, of course, infallible. On the night of May 18/19 1944, Lt. Eugene S. A. Clifford, USNR, in PT-204, led
    PT's 213 and 304 in an attack on two flak lighters near Vada Rocks, Corsica. The boats were under heavy fire from the flak lighters and shore batteries when they fired their torpedoes at a range of 1,500 yards. A Mark XIII
    from the 304 ran wild and hit the 204 in the stern. Happily, it had not run far enough to arm itself, so instead of blowing the boat out of the water, it merely lodged with its warhead in the lazarette and the afterbody hanging in the
    water. Lewis H. Riggsby, TM2c, USNR, went down into the rapidly flooding compartment and stuffed a towel into the vanes of the impeller to avoid any possibility of the torpedo arming itself. The flak lighters pursued the
    boats briefly, scoring one 20mm. hit on the 204 but, despite the reduced speed of the 204, the boats retired safely behind smoke, with no personnel casualties
  • At the end of hostilities in Europe, the Squadron was shipped back to the United States for reconditioning and assignment to the Pacific. However, Japan surrendered while the boats were still in New York
  • The "USS Cherry", ex-"Seawolf" was placed out of service 15 November 1945
  • Struck from the Naval Register 28 November 1945
  • Transferred to the War Shipping Administration 19 July 1948
  • Sold in 1953 to Vincent McGuire of East Millstone, NJ and named Sea Hawk
  • Sold in 1956 to William H. Luhrssen Co., Inc. of Brooklyn, NY
  • Out of documentation in 1963
  • Fate unknown.

    Specifications:

  • Displacement 56 t.
  • Length 78'
  • Beam 20' 8"
  • Draft 5' 3"
  • Speed 41 kts.
  • Complement 17
  • Armament: One 40mm mount, four Mk 13 torpedoes, two twin and two single .50 cal. machine guns, one 60mm mortar and two 20mm mounts
  • Propulsion: Three 1,500shp Packard W-14 M2500 gasoline engines, three shafts.
    Click on thumbnail
    for full size image
    Size Image Description Source
    PT-304 123k c. October 1943
    New Orleans, LA
    From the collection of Motor Machinist Mate Sam Spiro Pavlos
    Debbie Pavlos
    PT-304 288k c. October 1943
    New Orleans, LA
    Crew photo
    From the collection of Motor Machinist Mate Sam Spiro Pavlos
    PT-304 132k
    PT-304 164k 7 October 1943
    New Orleans, LA
    Crew photo
    From the collection of Motor Machinist Mate Sam Spiro Pavlos
    PT-304 294k 10 November 1943
    New Orleans, LA
    PTRon 22 commissioning
    From the collection of Motor Machinist Mate Sam Spiro Pavlos
    PT-304 363k 10 November 1943
    New Orleans, LA
    PTRon 22 officers with Andrew Higgins (center in civilian clothing)
    From the collection of Motor Machinist Mate Sam Spiro Pavlos
    Dolphin 1.2m The 1944 journal of crew member John Cook
    From the collection of Motor Machinist Mate Sam Spiro Pavlos
    PT-307 89k Radioman Joe Starita, on left, from PT-307, with John Cook
    From the collection of Motor Machinist Mate Sam Spiro Pavlos, PT-304
    PT-204 364k 19 May 1944
    PT-304deck log entry on erratic torpedo run
    Jerry Gilmartin, MMC(SW), USN, Ret.
    PT-304 182k c. January 1945
    Sam Pavlos next to the boats logo
    From the collection of Motor Machinist Mate Sam Spiro Pavlos
    Debbie Pavlos
    PT-304 145k c. January 1945
    From the collection of Motor Machinist Mate Sam Spiro Pavlos
    PT-304 71k 29 February 1945
    Gulf Juan, France
    Sam Pavlos at the helm
    From the collection of Motor Machinist Mate Sam Spiro Pavlos
    PT-304 103k c. August 1945
    From the collection of Motor Machinist Mate Sam Spiro Pavlos
    PT-304 94k c. August 1945
    Sam Pavlos with back to camera
    From the collection of Motor Machinist Mate Sam Spiro Pavlos
    PT-304 106k 15 August 1945
    Invasion of Southern France
    From the collection of Motor Machinist Mate Sam Spiro Pavlos

    Commanding Officers
    01LT Eugene S. A. Clifford, USNRMay 1944
    02LT Lawrence F. Knoor, USNRJanuary 1945
    Courtesy Joe Radigan

    There is no DANFS history available for PT-304
    Back To The Main Photo Index Back to the Patrol Craft/Gunboat/Submarine Chaser Index Back to the Motor Torpedo Boat (PT) Photo Index

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    This page created and maintained by Joseph M. Radigan
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