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NavSource Online:
Motor Torpedo Boat Photo Archive

PT-809


98' Aluminum Motor Torpedo Boat:

  • Laid down 27 June 1949 by the Electric Boat Co., Groton, CT
  • Launched 7 August 1950
  • Completed 9 February 1951
  • Assigned to the Potomac River Naval Command 1 November 1959 as a civil defense boat and escort for the Presidential Yacht Barbara Ann, later Honey Fitz
  • After the Presidential yachts were deposed, the Guardian was released from Presidential service and transferred to Fleet Composite Squardon SIX (VC-6), 16 December 1974. She was modified at Cambridge, MD for use in
    retrieving target drones in various ranges along the Virginia/Maryland/North Carolina coast. The Soviets were quite adept at recovering the drones and all of their electronic technology. It was felt that something fast like a PT
    boat might aid in the recovery of the drones. The Guardian was based at Little Creek Naval Amphibious Base and renamed DR-1 aka Retriever. Later she was assigned to the special boat unit in support of the Navy SEALs.
    She was the longest serving PT-boat.
  • Placed out of service in 1988
  • Scrapped in 1990.

    Specifications:

  • Displacement 47 t.
  • Length 98'
  • Beam 26' 6"
  • Draft 5' 6"
  • Speed 40+ kts.
  • Armament: Two 40mm mounts, two 20mm mounts, one 81mm mortar and one smoke generator
  • Propulsion: Four 2,500hp Packard diesel engines, four shafts (Converted in 1959 to eight 250hp General Motors diesel engines).
    Click on thumbnail
    for full size image
    Size Image Description Source
    PT-809 581k Running at high speed in Cheaspeake Bay with PT-811 off her port quarter
    Photo from the July 1952 edition of Bureau of Ships Journal
    Jim Swank
    PT-809 48k 16 July 1969
    Yachts Honey Fitz and Sequoia with escort vessel Guardian cruise Potomac river.
    .
    PT-809 169k Washington Navy Yard, District of Columbia. View looking northwards from over the Anacostia River, March 1970. The Presidential Yacht Sequoia and her Secret Service protective craft, Guardian (formerly PT-809), are alongside the finger pier in the center. The bathyscaphe Trieste is on display in the parking lot immediately above and between those two vessels.
    U.S. Navy photo KN-19277 by PHC Tommy Cobb
    Naval History and Heritage Command

    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships:

    Guardian

    PT-809 (q. v.) was under the Potomac River Naval Command in November 1959 as a Civil Defense boat and as escort to the Presidential Yacht Barbara Ann, later Honey Fitz. The name Guardian was assigned to her at the request of Captain [Evan P.] Aurand, Naval Aide to President Eisenhower, but her official designation remains PT-809.


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