Coastal vessel, Elco PT-boat with a prototype Thunderbolt, which has 2 additional .50cal MGs.
An 80 foot Elco PT-boat, PT-160 was built in 1942 and assigned to MTB Squadron 9 in the South Pacific. Before it was properly put into service, the experimental 20mm Thunderbolt mount, which had 2 .50cals in additiion to the cannons, was tested on it at the AA Training Centre in Newport, which it would carry for the rest/most of its service. After the tests, 200 of these mountings were ordered as they seemed to be an effective way to deal with Japanese barges, though with a new lead-sight and the .50cals removed. The order would be cancelled in 1943 after only 50 were delivered. 3 other PT-boats in Squadron 9 would also be equipped with the production Thunderbolt.
PT-160 saw action in the South and Southwest Pacific supporting convoys and landings, and was give the name “Tokyo-Ahead”, later “Lazy Daisy Mae”, by its crew. After the war in 1945 it was decommissioned and destroyed at Samar.
1x1 37mm M4
1x1 prototype Mk.15 Elco Thunderbolt mounting:
- 1x4 20mm Oerlikon
- 1x2 12.7mm M2
1x1 20mm Oerlikon
2x2 12.7mm M2
4x1 569mm Mk.13 Torpedoes
Propulsion: 3 Packard W-14 M2500 petrol engines, 4500 hp, driving 3 shafts
Speed: 41 knots (75.9 km/h)
Range: 500nmi (at 20 knots)
PT-160 in its earlier refit.
Images of the Thunderbolt during testing
Ah Daisy Mae, the waifu of the 1940s
A selfie of some crew members, you can barely see the bottom of the Thunderbolt mounting
A model of it in its earlier refit, would be more “unique”, but I’d rather the better refit get added into the TT so f2p players can have an epic quad 20mm. Also don’t buy Revell models, they kinda suck.
Friedman, N. (1987). U.S. Small Combatants: Including PT-Boats, Subchasers, and the Brown-Water Navy: An Illustrated Design History (pp. 170, 438-439). Naval Institute Press.