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irish

An interesting patch PT-110 or 110' Sub Chaser?

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One of the more interesting items brought home from the SOS is the patch shown below. On Thursday afternoon a fellow was at my table looking at some naval related hats. He being a retired merchant sailor himself. One in particular caught his eye but the price was a bit more than I think he wanted to pay. After a few minutes of talking he asked if I was interested in patches. The answer of course was yes. He pulled this from his bag which he had over his shoulder. He told me it had come out of a flea market in Beaumont Tx many years ago and had been attached to a remnant of a shearling type flight jacket. He removed the patch and that is how I first seen it. In fact there was still a piece of the jacket attached. He had learned the patch was from a boat that was assigned to patrol the South West Pass in the Gulf of Mexico and if needed to search for and pick up survivors of sunken ships. SWP as seen at the top of the patch refers to the South West Pass. I had never heard of the SWP before. He told me it is a channel leading out of the Mississippi River into the Gulf of Mexico. I thought that is interesting. We did a trade for the hat and I got the patch. At the time the patch was quite dirty and almost grey in some spots. I decided earlier this week to remove the piece of shearling jacket and give it a quick soak in cold water and a touch of woolite. For those not familiar with this process it works quite well particularly on wool and melton type patches. As you can see it came out great and in addition it revealed hull numbers on the boat that had been obscured in the grime. The number being 110, it shows up in the photo not too bad. Having surmised from the profile of the boat that it looked to be a PT style.

 

What I found looking on line was that the SWP had seen a fair amount of U boat activity and merchant shipping sunk in the earlier parts of the war. So what I had previously heard made some sense. I next looked in to PT 110 assuming the number was accurate and not just artistic license with the person who made it. The backing by the way is gauze with a scrap of red floral material under that. PT 110 was an 80’ Elco Boat launched on 24 June 1942. Its first assignment was with the 5th MTB Squadron. The 5th was assigned to the Panama Sea Frontier from Sept 1942 until spring 1943. The Panama Sea Frontier was responsible for the waters off of Central America, Guatemala and Mexico, both Atlantic and Pacific side. So the SWP connection is making more sense now, at least to me. In the spring of 1943 the 5th was transferred to the Solomon Islands were it would see action at Rendova, Vella Lavella and other Islands patrolling the slot against the Tokyo Express. It was sunk on 26 January 1944… Another interesting side note is that PT 109 was part of this package of ships.

 

Well that is what I have found so far. It all appears promising but would like to hear any of the members comments. Just to make sure I am barking up the right tree or at least a tree nearby… Thanks

 

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Talk about out of the woodwork! That's amazing!


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Thanks for the comments.


 

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A most fortuitous encounter Irish, thanks for sharing this patch. I looked for the war diary of MTBRon 8 for January 1944 but unfortunately it's not available (only Dec 1943 and Feb 1944, Jan 1944 is missing) but I did find this info on a deep dive in the Navsource archives, some of which I'm certain you have already found. No mention of casualties on either PT-110 or PT-114 here or in the official USN KIA losses for WWII so that was fortunate on both boats involved. There may have been a board of inquiry for the skippers and I'll see if I can find any mention of that. (Note: I did find after action reports for PT-110's encounters with the Tokyo Express in late 1943 if you're interested in those.)

 

EXTRACTS

 

From Navsource - PT-110

 

80' Elco Motor Torpedo Boat:
Laid down 11 March 1942 by the Electric Boat Co., Elco Works, Bayonne, NJ
Launched 24 June 1942
Completed 14 July 1942, placed in service and assigned to Motor Torpedo Boat Squadron FIVE (MTBRon 5) under the command of Comdr. Henry Farrow, USN
MTBRon 5 was assigned to Panama Sea Frontier from September 1942 until the spring of 1943, when it was shipped to the Solomons. There its boats were in action at Rendova, Vella Lavella, Treasury,
Bougainville, Green, and Emirau
Transferred 22 September 1942 to Motor Torpedo Boat Squadron TWO (MTBRon 2) under the command of Lt. George A Brackett, USNR
Late in 1942, with six 77' Elco boats and six 80' Elco boats, MTBRon 2 was 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 1 June 1943 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
The "Tavaro", ex-"Hirohito's Headache" was sunk by an exploding depth charge 26 January 1944 following a collision with her sister-ship PT-114 at Ablingi Harbor, New Britain.

 

 

From the navsource archives:

 

USS PT-110 was built in March 1942 and commissioned into US Navy Service in July 1942 at the ELCO Works in Bayonne, NJ. Promptly loaded onto the SS Roger Williams, a freighter bound for the Pacific, PT-110 arrived in theatre and was placed into wartime operation as part of Motor Torpedo Boat Squdron 5 at Noumea in October 1942.
Damaged by a nighttime collision during her run from Noumea to her forward operating base at Tulagi, PT-110 was out of action for over three months under repair before she embarked on her first wartime patrol in mid-January 1943. As American forces made steady advances up the Solomon Islands chain, so did the PT Boats and their crews and PT-110 was no exception. Frequently engaged in clandestine troop movements, scouting and anti-shipping patrols during 1943, PT-110 eventually joined with Motor Torpedo Boat Squadron 8 based in New Guinea and saw action with her fellow PT Boats at New Guinea waters at Tufi, Morobe, Kiriwina, and Aitape, and also at Rein Bay and Talasea on the Island of New Britain. As 1943 drew to a close, the Squadron was preparing to forward deploy further North to keep pace with Allied movements, and patrols in the area became more of harassment missions of entrenched Japanese troops than the usual anti-ship effort.
Departing their base on a mission to New Britian on such a mission, PT-110 and her sistership PT-114 patrolled along the Southern shoreline of the island on January 26th, 1944. Both boats entered Ablingi Harbor; a regular stop for Japanese supply barges, but found no contacts and turned to depart to resume their patrol. PT-110 led the way out of the harbor and into open waters but as both boats came up to their patrol speed, a miscommunication between the two led to PT-110 making a turn to Port that PT-114 was not expecting and the two collided.
The bow of PT-114 rode up onto the aft deck of PT-110 and was dragged aft by the motion of the two vessels, tearing off deck fittings and heavily damaging PT-110's Port quarter, but within seconds both ships had separated and came to a stop. Both ships had not received fatal damage, thanks in part to their stout construction but also owing to their wooden hulls not being stronger or weaker than each other. As crews on each boat moved to inspect their damage, PT-110 was suddenly rocked by an enormous underwater explosion as one of her armed deck-mounted depth charges, ripped free in the collision, detonated almost beneath her. The concussive force of the explosion was enough to open up seams in the hull of PT-110, and the weight and force of the collapsing water column sent up by the blast flooded and damaged her topside spaces. Shell-shocked crew tried in vain to restart the engines, but all three were knocked out of action and were quickly being flooded by inrushing water. Without power to operate her pumps and with the boat quickly swamping by the Stern, the order was passed to abandon ship. PT-114 closed in and took all of the men off of PT-110 then stood by as she flooded and sank at this location on January 26th, 1944.

 

 

Boat Captain: LT William C. Quinby, USNR December 1943 - 26 January 1944

 

On 26th January 1944, US motor torpedo boat PT-110 is sunk by a depth charge explosion, following a collision with motor torpedo boat PT-114, Ablingi Harbor, New Britain, 06°17´S, 150°09´E. PT-114 is damaged.

Cressman R. J., Official Chronology of the U.S. Navy in WWII

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Thanks for that information. Yes if you can easily access PT110’s action in the Tokyo Express. I am still a bit confused with the time the boat may have served in Panama Sea Frontier and when it headed for the Pacific. The time line seems very tight.


 

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They (MTBRon V or 5) were retained by the Panama Sea Frontier in September 1942 as escorts while the other MTB Squadrons rotated through Panama & the Caribbean for training and then postings to the war zones.

 

The war diary notes them on September 23rd and 28th as being plucked from MTBRon 5 and assigned to MTBRon 2 COMPANSEAFRON (see below)

Panama Sea Frontier September 1942 001.jpg

Panama Sea Frontier September 1942 002.jpg

Panama Sea Frontier September 1942 003.jpg

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Great patch!!

 

Any "before" treatment pics??

 

Thanks for sharing!


 

 

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Just awesome!!!


-Steve

OEF 11-12 veteran

WWW.WW2PATCHQUILT.COM

ASMIC #5169

Buying WW2 Home Front patches (mirror patches, anything with a V or Victory, war manufacturing patches, air depots, sub depots, training school squadrons, etc...)


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It's been interesting digging into the history of the PT-110, but now I'm going to rain on the parade......

 

This may be a Submarine Chaser, specifically a 110' (one hundred and ten foot) SC-497 Class Submarine Chaser, many of which were assigned to the Southwest Passage to hunt U-Boats in WWII

 

Note the fore and aft aerials and rigging running over the mast and yardarm.

 

Pretty good match and a 110' wooden hulled boat too

USS_SC-661.jpg

USS SC 497 Class 001.jpg

PC-522.jpg

PC-536.jpg

PC-536 02.jpg

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SS, Thanks again for the information. I can see the similarities with the sub-chaser. Had not thought of that. With my limited ship knowledge I saw a PT boat. That makes the time line fit together a bit better. Not as exciting as PT but still pleased. I will see what I can dig up on a Sub Chaser 110. This is what makes the forum valuable.


 

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I'm thinking "110" on the patch represents 110' (feet), the size of that class sub chaser, not the hull number. It most likely represents all of the 110' SC's types assigned to this group.

that makes sense. Thanks.


 

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