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NavSource Online:
Motor Torpedo Boat Photo Archive


Call sign:
Nan - Able - Charlie - Mike

78' Higgins Motor Torpedo Boat:

  • Laid down 2 March 1942 by Higgins Industries, New Orleans, LA
  • Launched 6 July 1942
  • Completed 23 July 1942
  • Placed in service 24 July 1942 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
  • The "Little Joe", ex-"Pug Mahon" was struck from the Navy Register 11 October 1945
  • Destroyed 24 October 1945 by U.S. Forces.


  • 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-72 53k This photograph depicts the classic image of a PT boat at speed, its bow rising and a broad wake as it cuts through the water
    U.S. Navy photo
    Robert Hurst
    PT-72 116k Canned Florida Grapefruit Juice advertisement Tommy Trampp
    PT-72 343k Photo courtesy of "Fighting Fleets 1943" by Critchell Rimington, Associate Member United States Naval Institute
    PT-72 97k c. 1943
    Higgins Industries advertisement
    PT-72 225k U.S. Navy photo from the 1943/1944 edition of Jane's Fighting Ships Robert Hurst

    There is no DANFS history available for PT-72
    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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