A patrol torpedo boat that sank two German supply barges and carried U.S. commandos to French shores has nearly been restored to completion by The National World War II Museum in New Orleans, Louisiana. Officials say that PT-305 will be back on the water in about a year. This will give the museum an opportunity to carry tourists and history enthusiasts on the lake where it was originally tested for the war in 1944.
After World War II the boat was cut down to sixty feet and spent decades as a tour boat and a Chesapeake Bay oyster boat. Now PT-305 is back to its original seventy eight foot length. Two engines have been put in and a third is to be installed along with all other electrical and plumbing required.
Tom Czekanski, the museum’s senior curator has been head of this project since the beginning, over seeing all proper historical restoration aspects of the project. Czekanski says only about ten PT boats still exist today. PT-305 is one of four boats that saw combat and the only one to be fully restored and launch-able.
There is still a lot of work to be done in order to get PT-305 ready to move. The museum has estimated about $500,000 for the move which will include several months of sea trials, crew training, and a boathouse in which PT-305 can rest and be exhibited while docked.
The restoration of PT-305 leads the way for future innovative restorations in which we are able to experience a piece of our nation’s history for years to come.