PT-305 is the only operational combat-veteran PT boat in existence. Unique among restoration efforts in her class of vessels, PT-305's restoration has included original Packard engines, and the restored boat can match or even exceed PT boats' fabled wartime speed, which was the fastest in the Navy. Two PT boats have been a source of parts for PT-305: PT-659 in Vancouver supplied over five tons of parts including lumber, engines, electrical components, and deck fittings; PT-308 in Delaware supplied five out of six exhaust pipes. Thousands of other parts have come as in-kind donations from more than 100 donor companies, who in some cases have located original parts-some in original packaging-and in others have followed original plans to manufacture replica parts according to 1943 design plans.
From the boat's arrival in New Orleans to its eventual launch, the rebuilding of PT-305 spans 10 years and is the Museum's most ambitious restoration. During that time the boat has become a familiar site to the Museum-goers and neighbors who have watched its restoration unfold and become invested in its story. Some of those observers have become actively involved during the process, becoming longtime restoration volunteers.
On November 18, 2016-nearly 10 years after she came to the Museum in an advanced state of disrepair-PT-305 emerged from her home at John E. Kushner Restoration Pavilion a fully restored vessel. The next morning, she traversed the Warehouse District streets en route to the Mississippi River accompanied by Museum staffers and volunteers, news reporters, and neighborhood residents.
Celebrate Pt-305's return to the water and her new home on Lake Pontchartrain.