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Motor Torpedo Boat Photo Archive


Destroyed 1 February 1943

77' Elco Motor Torpedo Boat:

  • Originally planned as PT-37 but reclassified as a Motor Boat Submarine Chaser, PTC-17
  • Reclassified back to PT-37 in March 1941
  • Laid down 12 April 1941 by the Electric Boat Co., Elco Works, Bayonne, NJ
  • Launched 25 June 1941
  • Completed 18 July 1941 and placed in service with Motor Torpedo Boat Squadron ONE (MTBRon 1)under the command of LT William C. Specht, USN
  • MTBRon 1 was the first squadron commissioned, and originally was made up of experimental boats
  • Transferred 13 August 1941 to Motor Torpedo Boat Squadron TWO (MTBRon 2) under the command of LCDR Earl S. Caldwell, USN
  • MTBRon 2 tested the first 70' Elco boats in Florida and Caribbean waters in the winter of 1940/41. In December 1941, with 11 new 77' Elco boats, the squadron was assigned to the Panama Sea Frontier.
    Then late in 1942, with six 77' Elco boats and six 80' Elco boats, it was shipped to the South Pacific, where it was active in the Solomons campaign, engaging in many strenuous night actions with the Tokyo Express in the defense of Guadalcanal
  • Transferred 27 July 1942 to Motor Torpedo Boat Squadron THREE (2), (MTBRon 3(2)) under the command of LCDR Alan R. Montgomery, USN
  • MTBRon 3(2) was the first squadron to arrive in the Solomons, and fought many strenuous engagements with the Tokyo Express at Guadalcanal
  • Destroyed 1 February 1943 by the Japanese destroyer Kawakaze off Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands.


  • Displacement 40 t.
  • Length 77'
  • Beam 19' 11"
  • Draft 4' 6"
  • Speed 41 kts.
  • Complement 15
  • Armament: Two twin .50 cal. Browning M2 machine guns in Dewandre turrets and four 21" torpedoes
  • Propulsion: Three 3,600shp Packard V12 M2500 gasoline engines, three shafts.
    Click on thumbnail
    for full size image
    Size Image Description Source
    PT-37 170k USS Jamestown (PG 55), later Motor Torpedo Boat Tender, AGP-3, tending PT boats at the New York Navy Yard on 11 October 1941 (PT-37 is in the lower right). Jamestown is unarmed and has few visible military fittings
    National Archives photo 19-N-25720
    Naval History and Heritage Command
    PT-37 192k Map of the location of PT-37 and other World War II shipwrecks in Ironbottom Sound in the Solomon Islands Ron Reeve

    Boat Captains
    01LTJG Leonard A. Nikoloric, USNR - Awarded the Silver StarOctober 1942
    Courtesy Joe Radigan

    There is no DANFS history available for PT-37
    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 by Joseph M. Radigan and maintained by Tom Bateman
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