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NavSource Online:
Motor Torpedo Boat Photo Archive


Call sign:
Nan - Yoke - Charlie - Victor

80' Elco Motor Torpedo Boat:

  • Laid down 15 July 1942 by the Electric Boat Co., Elco Works, Bayonne, NJ
  • Launched 28 September 1942
  • Completed 15 October 1942, placed in service and assigned to Motor Torpedo Boat Squadron EIGHT (MTBRon 8) under the command of Lt. Comdr. Barry K. Atkins, USN.
  • MTBRon 8, assigned to the Southwest Pacific, had action in New Guinea waters at Tufi, Morobe, Kiriwina, and Aitape; at Rein Bay and Talasea on New Britain, and in Philippine waters at Mindoro,
    Zamboanga, and Tawi Tawi. The squadron based for a time at Kana Kopa, Dreger Harbor, and Mios Woendi, New Guinea, and at San Pedro Bay in the Philippines, but had no action at these bases
  • Transferred in January 1943 to Motor Torpedo Boat Squadron TWO (MTBRon 2) under the command of Lt. Allen H. Harris, USNR
  • MTBRon 2 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 back to MTBRon 8, 1 June 1943
  • The "Southern Cross" was placed out of service, stripped and destroyed by U.S. Forces 28 October 1945 at Samar, Philippines.


  • Displacement 56 t.
  • Length 80'
  • Beam 20' 8"
  • Draft 5'
  • Speed 41 kts.
  • Complement 17
  • Armament: One 40mm mount, one 37mm mount, four 21" Torpedoes 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-120 127k PT-129, PT-149, PT-120 and PT-144 moored alongside an unidentified tender with five unidentified PT boats astern of them
    From the collection of LTJG William Skade, commanding PT-143
    Jerry Gilmartin, MMC(SW), USN, Ret.
    PT-144 310k Moored alongside an unidentified tender with a Japanese landing barge off her bow
    From the collection of LTJG William Skade, commanding PT-143
    Niagara 234k Niagara (AGP 1) burns after being attacked by Japanese aircraft east of Cape Surville, San Cristobal Islands [Solomon Islands], on 23 May 1943. PT-146 is alongside the stern (port) while PT-147 moves up to the starboard side, aft. The tender sank later that day. Other boats (PT-144, PT-145, PT-148, or PT-110) maneuver to pick up other men from the doomed ship
    National Archives photo 80-G-68537
    Mike Green
    PT-144 168k From the collection of LTJG William Skade, commanding PT-143 Jerry Gilmartin, MMC(SW), USN, Ret.
    PT-144 163k
    PT-144 672k c. 1945
    Being stripped at Samar

    Boat Captains
    01LTJG J. K. Cunningham, USNRJuly 1944
    02ENS B. E. Burtch, USNRApril 1945
    Courtesy Joe Radigan

    There is no DANFS history available for PT-144
    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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