Korean War era Combatant Craft
History - Throughout most of its history,
Korea has been invaded, influenced, and fought over by its larger
neighbors. Korea's closed-door policy, adopted to ward off foreign
encroachment, earned it the name of "Hermit Kingdom." Japanese,
Chinese, and Russian competition in Northeast Asia led to armed
conflict, and Japan defeated its two competitors and established
dominance in Korea, formally annexing it in 1910. Japan remained
firmly in control until the end of World War II. Near the end of the
war, the April 1945 Yalta Conference agreed to establish a
four-power trusteeship for Korea. With the unexpected early
surrender of Japan, the United States proposed-and the Soviet Union
agreed-that Japanese troops surrender to US forces south of the 38th
parallel and to Soviet forces north of that line. . .
at this Link
This section covers those boats that
came out after the end of WWII and were operated around the world.
Dan passed on your email to me. I know a
lot about the history of the boat you saw in the boneyard
at Little Creek. Below is what I sent Dan. If you are
interested in a more expanded story (she had quite a
history), please let me know.
This boat is what was left of PT-809/Guardian/DR-1
Retriever. Her Packards were replaced with diesels at
Trumpy and Sons in 1959 or so. After the airdales were
finished with her at Little Creek, she was turned over to
the Special Boat Squadrons for their use. They did not
want anything to do with her and she sat at the pier for
some time (with the pumps running ALL the time). The SBS
CO sent a letter to PT Boats, Inc. asking if they were
interested (they were not) and the retired Navy Captain
running the USS Alabama exhibit showed some interest.
Eventually, she was put up for sale (scrap) but the buyer
never made good on the deal. I was told that she was
broken up at Little Creek for scrap, which may or may not
be true. She was put into service as PT-809 in 1952 and
lasted in service to 1988. Quite a long time. And some
VERY interesting stories too. One of my contacts was a
Chief Bosun with the Naval Administrative Unit, the outfit
that ran the Presidential Yachts. Jim Thomas said he
remembered seeing her at the Washington Navy Yard when he
was there in the 60s.
If you have a moment, I'd like to ask a couple of
questions concerning what you saw at Little Creek. I have
some pictures of the boat (in the water) that would
absolutely confirm your sighting.
Thanks for your time and any assistance.
For the Korean War-era boats there would be PT809 through PT812. The USAF also had nifty Crash Boats in the 1950's that had a layout similar to the WW2 Higgins-built PTs but were around 85 feet (I don't know what they were called or who built them). If you get into landing craft, you will have to put a size limit on them. After the LCT/LSU/LCU type craft you get out of the boats into ocean-going ships category (see www.navsource.org for information on this type).
Of the 'gator craft there would be LCP, LCP(R), LCP(L), LCVP, LCM-3, LCM-6, LCT-5, LCT-6 (and perhaps others that I've not included). The craft developed during WW2 were kept in service and were improved. Example: The 50-foot Mk 3 LCM evolved into the 56-foot Mk 6 LCM (that continues to be a workhorse) and spawned a newer design called the 78-foot Mk 8.
For the Korean War
entries, we should add spots for the Navy's four
developmental PT boats: PT-809, 810, 811, and 812.
The 810 and 811 boats became PTF-1 and PTF-2, but 809
hung around for a long, long time as DR-1.
Guardian, it was an escort for the Presidential
yachts. After the presidential yachts were
discarded it was used as a drone retriever for target
drones. Also known as Retreiver, DR-1 was
based at NAB Little Creek. I remember seeing it tied
up to the piers in the mid-1980's when I was there on
active duty for training with the USNR. I'm told that
after failing to sell it, the USN broke it up in the
||Retriever (DR-1) as
Guardian (ex-PT809) in the mid-1960s.