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NavSource Online:
Motor Torpedo Boat Photo Archive


77' Elco Motor Torpedo Boat:

  • Planned as PTC-29
  • Reclassified PT-61 in June 1941
  • Laid down 2 August 1941 by the Electric Boat Co., Elco Works, Bayonne, NJ
  • Reclassified BPT-13 prior to completion
  • Launched 15 October 1941
  • Reclassified PT-61 in December 1941
  • Placed in service 19 February 1942 and assigned to Motor Torpedo Boat Squadron FOUR (MTBRon 4) under the command of LCDR Alan R. Montgomery, USN
  • MTBRon 4 was the training squadron, based at the MTB Squadrons Training Center, Melville, R.I. It was the largest squadron, having a peak of 28 boats in service at one time
  • Transferred 7 May 1942 to Motor Torpedo Boat Squadron TWO (MTBRon 2) under the command of LCDR Earl S. Caldwell, USN
  • MTBRon 2 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 under the command of LCDR Alan R. Montgomery, USN
  • The second Squadron 3 was the first squadron to arrive in the Solomons, and fought many strenuous engagements with the Tokyo Express at Guadalcanal
  • Converted to a field-modified "gunboat" in 1943 in the Solomon Islands
  • Reclassified as a Small Boat, C-68371, 16 February 1944 and used as a small boat in the Solomons area transporting personnel, mail, etc.
  • 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 (Gunboat conversion stripped all armament except the two twin .50 cal. machine guns, then adding
    two 40mm mounts and four more twin .50 cal. machine guns)
  • Propulsion: Three 3,600shp Packard V12 M2500 gasoline engines, three shafts.
    Click on thumbnail
    for full size image
    Size Image Description Source
    PT-49, 51, 53 & 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 MTB Squadron TWO were numbered 0 - 10
    PT-61 427k c. April 1943
    Outboard Profile and Deck Plan
    Historic Naval Ships Association website
    PT-61 342k 8 October 1943
    The field-modified "gunboat" PT-61 (at right) with two shielded 40mm guns and the complete absence of torpedo tubes. The position of the two twin .50s proclaims it to be a 77-foot Elco. PT-168 is off her starboard quarter
    Photo courtesy of Lieutenant Commander Edwin W. Polk, USN, Ret. from U.S. Small Combatants: An Illustrated Design History by Norman Friedman
    Robert Hurst

    There is no DANFS history available for PT-61
    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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