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Motor Torpedo Boat Photo Archive


Call sign:
Nan - Yoke - Queen - Baker

80' Elco Motor Torpedo Boat:

  • Laid down 25 November 1942 by the Electric Boat Co., Elco Works, Bayonne, NJ
  • Launched 5 February 1943
  • Completed 24 February 1943, placed in service assigned to Motor Torpedo Boat Squadron TWELVE (MTBRon 12) under the command of Lt. Comdr. John Harllee
  • MTBRon 12, assigned to the Southwest Pacific, had action in New Guinea waters at Morobe, Dreger Harbor, Hollandia, and Mios Woendi, and in the Philippines at San Pedro Bay and Ormoc. It also
    based for a time at Kana Kopa, New Guinea, but had no action from this base. MTBRon 12 was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation for action in the New Guinea area from October 1943 to
    March 1944
  • Struck from the Naval Register 19 December 1945
  • "Bambi" was transferred to the State Department, Foreign Liquidation Commission in May 1946 and sold
  • Fate unknown.


  • Displacement 56 t.
  • Length 80'
  • Beam 20' 8"
  • Draft 5'
  • Speed 41 kts.
  • Complement 17
  • Armament: One 40mm M1 mount on the fantail, two Mk 13 torpedoes, one twin .50 cal. machine gun on the starboard beam, one 37mm M4 mount and one 20mm Mk 4 mount on port beam
  • Propulsion: Three 1,500shp Packard W-14 M2500 gasoline engines, three shafts.
    Click on thumbnail
    for full size image
    Size Image Description Source
    PT-191 362k Refueling between Palau and Leyte Gulf
    This boat is armed with a 37 mm M4 gun, a 20 mm Mk 4 on the port beam, a twin .50" cal on the starboard beam, two Mk 13 torpedoes, and a 40 mm M 1 gun on the fantail
    National Archives photo
    Original photo: Joe Radigan
    Replacement photo: Russ Padden

    Photo added 27 March 2019
    PT-191 213k Ormoc Bay, Leyte, Philippines
    Joseph N. Myers standing next to PT-191 "score card"
    From the collection of Joseph N. Myers
    Bob Myers
    PT-191 278k This picture of PT-191 was taken when returning from patrol. The reasons this is obvious are: we all have long pants on. This was mandatory on patrol as leg protection was important when firing the guns as spent shell casings were very hot. Reason two is that the boat is running at full speed and we are all smiling
    From the collection of Joseph N. Myers
    Bob Myers
    PT-190 & 191 622k Shot of the 191 boat, left and the 190 boat, right, at the Morobe River Base this is about October of 1943 just before going up to Dreger Harbor at Finschhafen these two boats were in an epic gun battle with Japanese aircraft on the morning of December 27th 1943 after a night of barge hunting on the South Coast of New Britain the running battle lasted for 45 minutes until Army Air Force aircraft showed up and drove off the remaining Japanese aircraft. During the air battle one P-47 was shot down and the 190 boat Captained by Ed Farley picked up the pilot and returned him to Finschhafen for medical care, the 191 boat limped back to base damaged with four wounded men including Captain [Ensign] Rumsey Ewing , the 191 boat was the most successful PT in the South and Southwest Pacific having destroyed 18 Japanese barges Bob Rocker
    PT-130 219k 25 December 1943
    Drawing showing PT-130 and PT-191s position
    Photo from PT Boats in World War II..., The Mosquito Fleet by Bern Keating (See Planes at Arawa below)
    Tommy Trampp
    Photo added 15 January 2020

    Boat Captains
    01ENS Rumsey Ewing, USNRSeptember 1943
    02ENS Nelson Davis, USNRAugust 1944
    Courtesy Joe Radigan

    There is no DANFS history available for PT-191

    Immediately following the landing of our troops at Arawe, New Britain, on December 15, 1943 PT's instituted regular nightly patrols of the Arawe area to forestall any attempts by the enemy to move troops in by barge. Lt. William C. Quinby, USNR, in PT 110 and Lt. (jg.) Elliott H. Goodwin, USNR, in PT 138 made one of these patrols on the night of December 25/26, 1943, and in the morning stopped at Arawe to embark 16 passengers for Dreger, including several wounded soldiers.

    As the PT's stood out of Arawe Harbor, 15 to 20 enemy dive bombers flew directly out of the sun, attacking the PT's, the APC 15, the SC 747, and an LCT. The attack was so sudden that the first bombs dropped before the PT's could open fire. The first bomb hit only 30 feet from the 110, severely jolting the boat and crew, and knocking the 20mm gunner, Stephen P. LeFebvre, TM3c, down the engineroom hatch. As other bombs were dropping 50 and 75 feet away, LeFebvre scrambled back to his gun and opened fire on a plane off the port quarter, following it around to the starboard bow. The plane caught fire and crashed ashore.

    Several bombs fell near the 138, exploding under water and spraying fragments, opening up seams, and piercing the hull. One small bomb landed on the deck forward, falling at an angle, and passed through the deck and out the starboard side of the boat above the waterline without exploding. The 138 was taking on water so rapidly that Goodwin ran her bow up on a reef on the south side of Arawe Island.

    The planes made only one pass and then went away. Aboard the 110, Quinby and William F. Lohman, GM2c, USNR had suffered superficial wounds. LeFebvre had a bruised shoulder from a bullet which hit the shoulder rest of his gun, missing him by less than an inch. No one was injured on the 138.

    In a few minutes it was apparent that the leaks in the 138 could be controlled. The SC 747 pulled her off the reef and she returned to Dreger Harbor under her own power.

    Twenty-four hours later Lieutenant Swift, in PT 190 (Lt. Edward I. Farley, USNR) with Ens. Ewing's PT 191, were 25 miles northwest of Arawe, on the way back to Dreger Harbor after an uneventful patrol. A large flight of enemy dive bombers and fighters -- estimates ran from 30 to 38 -- came in from the north and began to bomb and strafe the boats in groups of three and four. The PT's separated, increased speed, and started zigzagging toward a bank of low-hanging clouds 12 miles away.

    Unlike the planes of the day before, these made repeated dives, strafing and dropping a total of forty 100-pound bombs. As soon as the attack began, the boats asked for fighter cover, but they had difficulty getting the message through, and it was 40 minutes before a flight of P-47's arrived from Finschhafen.

    The 191 took the heaviest part of the attack. Ensign Ewing was wounded in the lung early in the action, and his second officer, Ens. Fred Calhoun, USNR, took charge of the boat. Himself hit in the thigh by a machine-gun bullet, Calhoun stuck to the wheel, watching each bomb drop and twisting the PT out of its path. Bomb fragments ricocheted from the 20mm. magazine, putting the gun out of action and severely wounding Thomas H. Dean, CMoMM, USNR, the gunner, and August Sciutto, MoMM2c, the loader. Other near-misses blew an 18-inch hole in the portside and peppered the entire boat
    with fragments.

    On the third and fourth run, the port and starboard engine water jackets were hit, and jets of hot water spurted through the engineroom. The starboard intake manifold also was hit, and the supercharger forced gasoline fumes into the engineroom. Victor A. Bloom, MoMM1c, USNR, despite bomb splinters and bullets, fumes and spraying hot water, swiftly taped and stuffed the leaks, keeping the engines running. Then, fearing that the fumes might explode, he closed off the fuel tank compartment and pulled the release valve to smother it with carbon dioxide. Finally, when he had brought order to his engineroom, he went to work to give first aid to the wounded.

    The action was far from one sided, however. The gunners on both boats met every attacking plane with a withering blast of fire. Four Japanese planes crashed into the sea near the boats. "Toward the end of the attack," Lieutenant Farley reported, "the enemy became more and more inaccurate and less willing to close us. It is possible that we may have knocked down the squadron leader as the planes milled about in considerable confusion, as if lacking leadership."

    The remaining planes were routed by our P-47's, which shot down at least one more of the enemy. One P-47, hit by an enemy plane, made a belly landing half a mile from the 190. The pilot, though badly cut in the head and wounded in the arm, freed himself just before his plane sank. The 190 sped to him, and Lieutenant Swift and Joe H. Cope, S1c, USNR, dived into the water and towed him to the PT.

    The 190 was undamaged. The 191, thanks to the accuracy of her gunners, the skillful boat handling of Ensign Calhoun, and the remarkable performance of Bloom, was able to return to base under her
    own power.

    "This action," Commander Mumma reported, "is believed to be one of the outstanding fights between PT boats and aircraft. It has shown that the automatic weapon armament is most effective. It has demonstrated that ably handled PT's can in daylight withstand heavy air attack, however not without disabling damage."

    (The following personnel were cited for the above action: ENS Fred Calhoun, USNR - Silver Star, CMoMM Thomas H. Dean, USNR - Bronze Star and MoMM1c Victor A. Bloom, USNR - Navy Cross).

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    This page created by Joseph M. Radigan and maintained by Tom Bateman
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