International Radio Call Sign: November-Quebec-Juliet-Echo
PT658 was built at Higgins Industries Boatworks, New Orleans LA, the keel was laid down 2-24-45, launched on 4-11-45 and completed on July 30, 1945. The boat was originally slated to be part of Squadron (RON) 45, which was never placed in commission. It was to consist of 11 Higgins PT's 649-660, and 11 Elco PT's 773-784 and assigned to the Pacific Fleet.
Near the wars end in mid 1945, RON45 was scheduled to be "Lend-Leased" to the USSR. Several boats in the group (649 to 656) were already shipped to Russia when the transfer was halted; just before PT 657-660 were to be sent over. The Elco construction contract was also canceled at this time. PT657-660 had been moved from New Orleans to Seattle on an LST, where they would be piggybacked onto a transport ship bound for Russia. When the war ended, (Sept 45) the shipment was stopped and the boats returned to Port Hueneme, CA. Then all four boats were Reclassified as "Small Boat" C105342,3,4 and 5 (Crash Rescue Boat) in August 1946, and were then assigned to the Bureau of Aeronautics as a "Remote Controlled Target" at Naval Air Facility, Pt Mugu, CA. (ex-PT660 was actually sunk as a target by a "Bullpup" missile off Port Hueneme in the early 1990's.) PT658 was reclassified again as "Floating Equipment" in Dec 3, 1948.
Ten years later, on June 30, 1958; PT658 was sold off as "war surplus" by the US Navy to a private owner. PT658 was acquired from the estate of one of these private owners (Mr. Orlando Brown in Oakland, CA) in 1993, (35 years after being sold) who had intended on using her as a private pleasure craft. Since 1994, PT658 has been in the process of restoration by Save the PT Boat Inc.
The goal of the Save the PT Boat Inc. is to restore the PT658 to her "as-built" condition which can then be used as a living history display. As much as possible, the PT658 will be restored with historically authentic items and configuration that was used in operational PT Boats during WWII. Some modern day items have been included on a case by case basis to ensure safety and meet legal requirements for an operating wooden boat. It is our belief that this boat is the only completely authentically restored operating US Navy PT Boat in the world.
@ 5555 N. Lagoon Ave, Portland, OR 97217