The History of the "boats" in World War II

WWII Era - Section Introduction

Many types of fast combat patrol and similar military boats and their crews distinguished themselves during World War II. Among these small but powerful wartime watercraft that operated from the early to the mid-1940’s were the U. S. Navy’s famous patrol torpedo or PT boats, Army Air Force crash rescue boats or CRB’s, Coast Guard cutters and many more.

In the sections that follow you’ll find information about the primary types of each WWII boat in separate categories. For example the Navy PT boat section focuses on the two designs and builders that produced the most well-known boats, Elco and Higgins but also includes Huckins and Vosper.
Within the Army Air Force crash rescue boat section, because the basic designs were built by many companies in several areas of the nation, the boats are usually identified by length – 63, 85 and 104-footers.

Finally in the Coast Guard section the 83 foot Wheeler cutters are highlighted because they are one of the most common WWII types involved with harbor security and their actions at the Normandy Invasion. This section highlights the 83 footer CG-83527 which has been acquired by Combatant Craft of America (this sites sponsor) and a "wartime configuration" restoration has been started.

Similarly among the various historic restoration, exhibit and operating combatant craft projects, again only the major efforts are highlighted. However where available you’ll find website links for more information about other interesting projects.


World War II boats being restored


US AAF (Army Air Force) Crash Rescue Boats
Links: Crashboat Newsletter On Line
Crash Boat : Wartime Missions of the P-399, Guadalcanal to the Philippines

PT Boats - Elco, Higgins and Vosper
Links: Crew of PT-309, Inc
PT Boats, Inc
Knights of the Sea
Pats PT Boat Adds from magazines and books
pt761h.jpg (35884 bytes)

PRB - Plane Rearmament Boat A privately owned PRB, yes a Plane Rearmament Boat.  

US Coast Guard  83' Cutters & Liberty Boats
Links: The 83 Footers
Other CG Links:
83 Footer Newsletter: