USS PT-109

PT-109 being transported to the Pacific aboard the SS Joseph Stanton, August, 1942. US Navy photo.

Ship Class
Ship Type
Laid Down

PT-109 was an 80', PT-103-class motor torpedo boat, built by the Elco Launch Company between March and July, 1942. Armed with a quartet of single torpedo tubes, a 20mm Oerlikon autocannon, and a pair of twin .50 caliber browning machine guns, PT-109 also carried two depth charge mounts. These were uncommon on PTs, and were usually employed as diversions, rather than offensive weapons. PT-109 was sent to the Solomons aboard the SS Joseph Stanton in August, 1942, and was employed in patrols around Guadalcanal from December to February. Assigned to Motor Torpedo Boat Squadron 2, PT-109 remained in the Solomons, and was placed under the command of Lt. John F. Kennedy on 14 April. She was in need of an overhaul, but was made ready by the end of May. PT-109 participated in the capture of New Georgia, then was forward based to Rendova. On the night of 1-2 August, PT-109 was sitting in Blackett Strait with her engines off, looking to ambush Japanese destroyers on a supply run, when she was surprised and rammed by the destroyer Amagiri. PT-109 exploded and sank with two of her crew, but the remainder swam ashore and were later rescued. PT-109 herself was rediscovered in 2002.