At Close Quarters: PT Boats in the United States Navy

By Robert J. Bulkley Jr. | Go to book overview

THE WHITE HOUSE WASHINGTON


FOREWORD

In the dark days of the American Revolution when the strongest efforts on land seemed always frustrated by British seapowers, General Washington said,

"In any operation, and under all circumstances, a decisive Naval superiority is to be considered as a fundamental principle, and the basis upon which every hope of success must ultimately depend."

The next year the French fleet defeated the British off the Virginia Capes making possible the victory at Yorktown. Since that day the destiny of our country has been inextricably interwoven with the sea. This was never more true than in the giant World War II that involved all seas and most of mankind. To fight the sea war we needed many types of ships, large and small, from aircraft carriers and battleships to PT boats.

Small though they were, the PT boats played a key role. Like most naval ships, they could carry out numerous tasks with dispatch and versatility. In narrow waters or in-fighting close to land they could deliver a powerful punch with torpedo or gun. On occasion they could lay mines or drop depth charges. They could speed through reefs and shark infested waters to rescue downed pilots or

-vi-

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