Patrol Torpedo Fast 26

PTF-26 is a 95’ Vietnam & Cold War US Navy gunboat owned by KY-based non-profit Maritime Pastoral Training Foundation, Ltd. PTF-26 is one of four Osprey-Class PTFs, the larger, aluminum-hulled sisters of the wooden Nasty-Class PTFs. As the final PTF, and # 841 of 841 total PT-type boats built for the US Navy 1940-1968, PTF-26 earns the distinction as “THE LAST AMERICAN PT BOAT”.

PTFs were the Vietnam War’s version of WWII’s famed PT Boats, with a design speed of 40+ knots. WWII PT boats used torpedoes to attack enemy shipping, but these heavily-armed near-coastal gunboats were primarily used to support special operations. Built by Sewart Seacraft, (now part of Swiftships) in Berwick, LA in 1968, Ospreys were powered by imported Napier Deltic engines, each rated at 3,100 hp. PTF-26 and her three sisters were delivered to the Military Assistance Group (MACV) in DaNang in 1968. Osprey crews were trained to operate any of the variety of weapons: 40mm Bofors cannon aft, two 20mm Oerlikon AA guns forward, .50 caliber Browning machine gun/81mm mortar piggy-backed foredeck.

With the 1971 drawdown of US forces in Vietnam, PTF-26 returned to the U.S. West Coast where the Navy used her for patrol, training and equipment testing. First assigned to Coastal River Squadron One at Naval Amphibious Base Coronado, PTF-26 was later transferred to the Pacific Missile Test Center, Port Hueneme, CA. Released as surplus in 1985, PTF-26 was soon reacquired by the Navy, and served in the fleet through the end of the Cold War, 1987 – 1990.
PTF-26 Officers-In-Charge (1971-1978)
LTJG Bryan Herring, USN Retired as CAPT, USNR
LT William Snyder, USN Retired as RADM, USN
LT Eugene Kohler, USN Retired as CAPT, DC, USNR

From 1995 - 1998, PTF-26 was a school ship for the Boys & Girls Clubs of San Francisco, operating from Suisun Bay, CA. In 1998 PTF-26 was transferred to Sacramento non-profit Liberty Maritime, Inc. and renamed T/V LIBERTY. For the next two decades PTF-26/LIBERTY made history of a different sort as the nation’s first Sea Scout training ship with an all-female crew. T/V LIBERTY and its award-winning crew, TIKI TOO (SSS 777), were well-known and much admired throughout the Bay Area.

PTF-26 was purchased in March 2020 by Maritime Pastoral Training Foundation Ltd. to become the first maritime training ship on the Inland Waterways. From its new freshwater homeport of Golconda, IL, PTF-26 will spend most weekends training Sea Scouts, Sea Cadets and NJROTC cadets from 164 different units in Illinois and five neighboring states. PTF-26 also serves as a Maritime Incident Command Ship for the Paducah Area Maritime Security Committee to augment its response to natural disasters, port security incidents, etc.

“TWO SIX BOAT” retains its distinctive naval appearance with its photogenic 80’ Elco pattern camouflage paint scheme (w/alternating olive drab, flat black, grey) and but two minor modifications topside (CIC windows, 80’ Elco-style deckhouse aft). Other post-Navy upgrades include modern shipboard electronics (AIS), VHF/UHF radios, Furuno radar, ECDIS navigation and Detroit 3-71/1200 rpm 30 kw electric generator. PTF-26 was repowered in 2013 w/twin Detroit Diesel 16v71 main engines, replacing its original Napier Deltics.

Source: Chaplain Kempton. D. Baldridge, Co-founder MPTF, Ltd.

Museum info: Maritime Pastoral Training Foundation, Ltd. - 605 Woodland Drive, Paducah, KY 42001
Current location: enroute to Golconda Marina, One Marine Drive, Golconda, IL 62938
website icon 70x70  Facebook Icon  email
From Address:

Pin It