This book is the first comprehensive history of an important, but mostly overlooked, element of the World War II Patrol Torpedo (PT) boats: the Motor Torpedo Boat Squadrons Training Center (MTBSTC) in Melville, Rhode Island. While not every sailor who served on PT boats went through the training at MTBSTC, every PT sailor was affected by what went on there. The MTBSTC created the PT boats’ operational policies and tactics, as well as weapons and equipment experimentation and development. Even the orders the men received for their PT boat assignment were dictated by the MTBSTC. Most of the books written about PT boats have only a passing reference to the MTBSTC. This lack of detailed information on the Training Center has left a large hole in the overall printed history of PT boats. This book fills that gap.
This book documents the Training Center from its beginnings when the land was undeveloped swampland, through its growing pains during construction and expansion during the war. It traces the problems of developing a training curriculum from scratch, the struggles to keep the training current, up through the point when the training reached its peak of proficiency just as the war ended. It provides insight into what life was like for the sailors that spent two to three months going through the training program and of those who were stationed at the Training Center as instructors or staff personnel. This book also details the Training Center’s post-war career and its current development as a thriving marina and boat building enterprise.
This book is culled from the MTBSTC’s wartime correspondence files and other deck logs, published and unpublished books, articles, and reports; and interviews with PT boat veterans who underwent the training at the MTBSTC. It is lavishly illustrated with archival, private, and public photographs, most of which have never been published before.
This book completes the written history of the PT boats in World War II.