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PT-59
 
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PT-59 was a 77 foot ELCO boat that had been modified into a gunboat. By 1943, PT boats were increasingly being used to interdict Japanese barge traffic among the islands of the Solomons. The barges were heavily armored and the PTs developed progressively heavier arms to sink them. In the Solomons, in 1943, three boats, the 59, 60, and 61 were converted to gunships. The torpedo tubes were removed and two 40mm guns mounted, fore and aft, and additional 50 cal. machine guns mounted along the sides.

Lt. John Kennedy, when he recovered from his injuries from the sinking of the 109, was the first commander of the 59. After about a month, however, he was ordered home on medical leave due to persistent back problems.

 
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  For photos of the 59, taken in 1944, visit the site PT Boat World at www.ptboatworld.com/pt59.htm  
     
     
 

This model was built to a scale of 1:20, making a model about 48" long. Plans were from Al Ross, Jr. The construction technique was similar to that used for the 34 and the 109 but utilized heavier plywood and balsa (1/16"). The model had triple screws with scale propellers and rudders. As a result, the propellers cavitated easily so acceleration and performance were less than exciting. Also, the cavitation caused loss of rudder control, so rather than add larger props and rudders, the model was relegated to the scale model bench.

The interior of the deckhouse was finished and detailed. The model is now in the collection of the PT Boat Museum at Battleship Cove in Fall River Massachusetts

www.battleshipcove.org

 
         
 
Portside view  
   

Deck layout. Note the deck stiffeners added along the side of the cabin/enginehouse.

 

 
   
In the cradle. Note the characteristic shape of the bow of the ELCO 77, and the triple screws