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Don Boyd | all galleries >> Memories of Old Hialeah, Old Miami and Old South Florida Photo Galleries - largest non-Facebook collection on the internet >> DOWNTOWN Miami, Bayfront Park and Port of Miami Historical Photos Gallery - All Years - click on image to view > 1941 - U. S. Navy PT boats at Bayfront Park, downtown Miami
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1941 Courtesy Dr. Paul S. George-MDCC

1941 - U. S. Navy PT boats at Bayfront Park, downtown Miami

Bayfront Park, downtown Miami

Thank you to George W. Young for sending this image. Charlie Rice, who has contributed other old images seen on this site, says: "I just discovered that the PT-boat picture on the same page that you posted my downtown/Bayfront Park photo shows the Navy's "PT-boat Shakedown Detail" commanded by Guadalcanal veteran Lieutenant Commander Alan R. Montgomery. It was established in April 1943 to shake down the PT-boats manufactured by the Higgins and Elco companies. I thought you might like this information." Thanks, Charlie!

Charlie also says: "The SCTC commandant was Commander Eugene Field McDaniel, an Annapolis graduate who had served aboard the destroyer Livermore on anti-submarine duty in the North Atlantic before his transfer to Miami."

And more from Charles W. Rice, published in the "Tequesta Journal":
He refers to German U-boats and submarines off the US coast sinking ships that supported the war effort:

"...Part of its answer to the U-boat dilemma was the establishment of the Submarine Chaser Training Center (SCTC) at the old Port of Miami along downtown Biscayne Boulevard. Its purpose was to instruct subchaser officers and men in the maritime combat skills necessary to operate the anti-submarine fleet then under construction and effectively search out and sink the offending enemy marauders. Between 1942 and 1945, the SCTC became Miamiís largest industry as it washed across Biscayne Boulevard to absorb the ritzy hotels; extended its dominion over the cityís piers; and served as the nationís primary training site for subchasers to kill Axis submarines, escort ships carrying men and equipment to the theaters of war, fearlessly lead amphibious invasions against fortified enemy beaches, and perform a variety of ancillary tasks in the face of enemy bombs and bullets..."

A British film about "America's Mosquito Navy" at Miami is at:

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Guest 18-Nov-2016 01:46
Merrill Stevens is still there, I live on Nw North River Dr. And 19 Ave.
Mark Lincoln 23-Apr-2015 23:29
Remember when when the PT-109 from the movie was down on the Miami River?
Charlie 30-Aug-2009 01:02
This picture is actually from 1941 when the first two PT Boat Squadrons with prototype boats, were on a shakedown run (you can tell by the numbers on the boats). They were to go from Miamin to Cuba. Squadron 1 had PTs 3-8 and Sqaudron 2 had 10-19.
Charlie Rice 07-Mar-2009 11:18
In December 1941, the City of Miami granted a zoning variance to Merrill-Stevens affiliate Miami Yacht Storage, Inc. to construct a plant on the south bank of the Miami River on the west side of the Twelfth Avenue bridge. That is directly across the river from the main Merrill-Stevens yard. The Navy wanted Miami Yacht Storage, Inc. to build small wooden boats for it there. I am not sure, but those might have been PT-boats. I do know that they were not subchasers, some of which were also wood. Hopkins-Carter Marine Hardware offered to supply its products to Miami Yacht Storage, Inc. for use in the construction of those wooden boats.
joe maclean 02-Mar-2009 01:20
i worked as first mate on a convrted navy rescue boat in1957 can't find any info,we fished out of leonardo n.j boats name joanne 3
Jim Rochester 07-Feb-2009 19:41
In the 1940's ( I am not sure of date.) there was an incident where a PT boat ran aground on Point au Fer reef, in Lake Champlain, NY. I remember this, but the date and particulars ,I can't remember.

Have been doing a little research, The Canadian Power Boat Co. started a factory In Montreal, Quebec on the St. Lawrence, which is only 50 miles to the north of here, and produced a quite a few boats, Hubert Scott Paine, the owner/designer came from England. I the first Elco was patterned their earlier crafts after his design. From what I can gather the US bought 4 crafts from the Canadian Power boat Co.
Could it be possible that is the reason a PT boat was traveling Lake Champlain?
I would appreciate any information

Don Boyd16-Nov-2008 02:55
From my old buddy Dick Besola:

"PT 1 & 2 were built at Miami Shipyard in 1939-40 but were too small for service. In 1940, my father repaired and "reinforced" the very first wave of PT boats at Merrill Stevens Boatyard. They were PT 10 through 19 and were breaking up during sea trials off Miami Beach (prototypes before "production"). Subsequent PT boats used their "reinforcement" systems. He later built the 63-foot "air sea rescue" boats at Miami Shipyard."

Dick also forwarded a great link on the restoration of PT 658 at:

There is also substantial information on PT boats at:

Don Boyd13-Nov-2008 00:55
Thanks Kris for posting your comments to add to the discussion. An old family friend told me back in the 60's that some PT boats were built in Miami on the river during WW II. He was a big boating fan and boat owner on the river at the time but I don't recall how many or where they were built due to the forty plus years that have passed since that conversation.

Kris J 12-Nov-2008 16:20
According to the PT Boats Inc website, the only PTs constructed in Miami were PTs1 and 2 which were experimental/development boats,and part of the original "Plywood Derby". They were 58' long, manufactured at the Miami Shipbuilding Co / Fogal Boatyard, and did not see combat that I can determine.

Hope this helps.
Wilson Wright 16-Jul-2008 23:52
PT Boats were NOT made in Miami. Most were Higgins made in New Orleans, some were Elco and I think a few were Huckins. There is a PT sire tht will tell for sure. I remember the day they came to town. Right after passing under the 79th St. Causeway, one veered off to the left and hit a spoinl bank and plywood went everywhere. Recon some Ensign caught hell.
Don Boyd03-Feb-2008 00:36
Barney, I've heard that before and I believe someone else has commented on that in one of the galleries. I don't believe the boatyard has been identified yet though.

Please keep posting under the photos that you feel like commenting on since you have been around a lot longer than virtually all of the posters who have commented.

Best regards,

Guest 02-Feb-2008 21:31
Hey PT Boats were manufactured at Miami.
Can't remember the Boat Yard - It'l come to me Later.
But remember they were made of Plywood. Can U imagine.
They played an important part in the War.
I participated.
Barney Roberts, Monroe ,GA
Burl Grey 24-May-2007 00:37
When I was 17 or 18 I worked for a laundry and had to pick up and deliver to the PT boat sailors. I fought with the owner, quit and went to work flipping hamburgers for Royal Castle in downtown Miami. I was drafted from that job in 1943.