Huckins 78ft Motor Torpedo Boat - Only 15% the PT-boat Elco Was

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Huckins 78ft Motor Torpedo Boat

TL;DR:
Coastal vessel, the worst of the WW2 PT-boats, lol, lmao.

Overview:
The third of the PT-boat designs approved for mass production. The Huckins 78ft PT-boat was the least successful of the three. While its original design, PT-69, performed well in the trials with the other prototypes, the Huckins in service proved to have the worst ocean seakeeping compared to the Higgins and Elco designs. While following behind another boat, the waves of the forward boat would cause the boat to lose control. Though, it was faster and longer ranged than the Higgins design, and had an innovative quadraconic planing hull invented by Huckins (and according to him was copied by Higgins and Elco). Nevertheless, with two other designs already in mass production, Huckins wasn’t given a chance to refine the design and was given three production orders to make up two, later three, squadrons, totaling a measly 18 boats. The armament consisted of the standard early-war PT-boat loadout of two twin .50cals and a 20mm Oerlikon, along with two torpedo tubes and eight depth charges. Later in the war, some had larger armament fitted, like the 37mm autocannon, 40mm Bofors, and 4 Mk.13 torpedoes (although the latter 2 lack photographic evidence).

The boats were assigned to the training squadron MTBron 4 in Rhode Island, MTBron 14 in Panama, or MTBron 26 in Hawaii. None of the squadrons would see action. Post-war, as the PT-boat fleet was being scrapped and sold, a Huckins boat sold to a private buyer for merely $150, compared to the $1000 of the Elcos and Higgins. Some were sold to foreign countries, with apparently two ending up in the Republic of China Navy.

Ship List:

PT-95
PT-96
PT-97
PT-98
PT-99
PT-100
PT-101
PT-102
PT-255
PT-256
PT-257
PT-258
PT-259
PT-261
PT-262
PT-263
PT-264

Specifications:

Armament:
1x1 20mm Oerlikon
2x2 12.7mm Browning M2
2x1 533mm TT (Mk.8 Torpedoes)
8 DC

Displacement:
48 tons standard

Length: 23.8m

Beam: 5.9m

Draft: 1.5m

Propulsion: 3 Packard W-14 M2500 engines, 4500 hp, driving 3 shafts

Speed: 41 knots (75.9 km/h)

Range: ~425nmi (at 20 knots)

Crew: 12

Images:

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PT-259 late war with a 37mm fitted to the bow
Drawings:
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bruh, Huckins’ family still have the original plans tucked away in their drawer

Sources:
Friedman, N. (1987). U.S. Small Combatants: Including PT-Boats, Subchasers, and the Brown-Water Navy: An Illustrated Design History (pp. 136-157, 175). Naval Institute Press.
https://www.navsource.org/archives/12/05096.htm

Images:
https://www.navsource.org/archives/12/05096.htm
https://www.navsource.org/archives/12/05259.htm

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