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Motor Torpedo Boat Photo Archive


77' Elco Motor Torpedo Boat:

  • Originally planned as PT-40 but reclassified as a Motor Boat Submarine Chaser, PTC-20
  • Reclassified back to PT-40 in March 1941
  • Laid down 25 April 1941 by the Electric Boat Co., Elco Works, Bayonne, NJ
  • Launched 7 July 1941
  • Completed 22 July 1941, placed in service and assigned to Motor Torpedo Boat Squadron TWO (MTBRon 2) under the command of Lt. Comdr. 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 to Motor Torpedo Boat Squadron THREE(2), 11 November 1943 under the command of Lt. Richard E. Johnson, USN
  • MTBRon 3(2) was the first squadron to arrive in the Solomons, and fought many strenuous engagements with the Tokyo Express at Guadalcanal
  • Reclassified as a Small Boat, C73995, 15 April 1944
  • Laid up at Melville, RI after being placed out of service
  • Advertised for sale by the Maritime Commission in the 21 October 1946 edition of the Miami News
  • As of 2 August 2015 PT-40 is on blocks at Kingston, NY still waiting to be restored
  • Fate unknown.


  • 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 1,800shp Packard V12 M2500 gasoline engines, three shafts.
    Click on thumbnail
    for full size image
    Size Image Description Source
    PT-40, 45, 46, 48 & 61 182k 1 August 1942
    Taboga, Panama
    PT-46 (No. 1); PT-40 (No. 9); PT-61; PT-48 (No. 3) and PT-45 (No. 2) during commissioning ceremonies at the newly established MTB Base. To mislead possible Japanese spies in Panama, and presumably German agents in New York, the hull numbers displayed on the cabins were changed. The eleven boats of MTBRon 2 were numbered 0 - 10
    PT-40 141k c. July 1944
    Melville, RI
    PT 40, a battle-scarred veteran of Guadalcanal, returns to the MTB Squadrons Training Center to be used in training repair personnel
    U.S. Navy photo NR&L (MOD)-32490
    Joe Radigan
    PT-40 131k Students of the Repair Training Unit at Melville put new planking on PT 40
    U.S. Navy photo NR&L (MOD)-32492 from "At Close Quarters PT Boats in the United States Navy" by Captain Robert J. Bulkley, Jr., USNR (Retired)
    Robert Hurst

    There is no DANFS history available for PT-40
    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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