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NavSource Online:
Motor Torpedo Boat Photo Archive


Call sign:
Nan - Able - Baker - William

78' Higgins Motor Torpedo Boat:

  • Laid down 2 December 1941 by Higgins Industries, New Orleans, LA
  • Launched 4 May 1942
  • Completed 20 July 1942
  • Placed in service 27 April 1943 and assigned to Motor Torpedo Boat Squadron FOUR (MTBRon 4) under the command of Lt. Comdr. William C. Specht, 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 20 January 1943 to Motor Torpedo Boat Squadron SIXTEEN (MTBRon 16) under the command of Lt. Comdr. Russell H. Smith, USN
  • MTBRon 16 participated in the Aleutian campaign from August 1943 to May 1944
  • Transferred 13 March 1943 to Motor Torpedo Boat Squadron SEVENTEEN (MTBRon 17) under the command of Lt. Comdr. Russell B. Allen, USN
  • MTBRon 17 was assigned to the Hawaiian Sea Frontier
  • Transferred 16 April 1943 back to MTBRon 4
  • Transferred 18 March 1944 to Motor Torpedo Boat Squadron TWO(2) - (MTBRon 2[2]) under the command of Comdr. John D. Bulkeley, USN
  • MTBRon 2(2), the smallest in number of boats ever commissioned, was organized for special duty with the Office of Strategic Services in the English Channel area. From May to October 1944, the
    squadron engaged in 20 special missions, landing personnel and supplies in enemy-occupied territory
  • Struck from the Navy Register 11 October 1945
  • Stripped and destroyed 24 October 1945 by U.S. Forces at Samar, Philippines.


  • Displacement 56 t.
  • Length 78'
  • Beam 20' 8"
  • Draft 5' 3"
  • Speed 40 kts.
  • Complement 17
  • Armament: Four 21" torpedoes, one 40mm mount and two twin .50 cal. machine guns
  • Propulsion: Three 1,500shp Packard W-14 M2500 gasoline engines, three shafts.
    Click on thumbnail
    for full size image
    Size Image Description Source
    PT-71 22k
    PT-71 115k PT Boat cover of the 8 February 1943 edition of War Stories Comic Book, last issue World War Two Propaganda Comic Book Tommy Trampp
    Photo added 3 July 2020
    PT-356 196k c. 3 September 1943
    PT-356 and PT-359 seen outfitting at Brooklyn Navy Yard inboard of PT-71 and astern of USS Roe (DD 418) and USS Jeffers (DD 621)
    National Archives photo
    John Chiquoine

    Boat Captains
    01LT William M. Snelling, USNR - Awarded the Bronze StarJune 1944
    Courtesy Joe Radigan

    There is no DANFS history available for PT-71
    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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