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January 5, 2018

Action Report of PT 74 & PT 82 in Batangas Bay, March 1945

Transcription of an action report on the 3 March 1945 Operations in Batangas Bay of PT1 74 and PT 82. This is a declassified document2 taken from the United States National Archives.

[p. 1]

MOTOR TORPEDO BOAT SQUADRON THIRTEEN
c/o Fleet Post Office
San Francisco, Calif.

5 March 1945.
From:
To:

Via:



Subject:
Commanding Officer, USS PT 74.
Commander-in-Chief, UNITED STATES FLEET

Commander, MTB Squadron THIRTEEN
Commander, Task Unit 70.1.4.
Commander, MTB Squadrons, SEVENTH Fleet.
Commander, SEVENTH Fleet.
Action Report, USS PT 74, 3 March 1945.
1. On 3 March 1945, PT’s 82 and 74 with Lieut. (jg) Harrison L. BENNETT, USNR, as Officer-in-Tactical-Command aboard the PT 82 made a day-light sweep of Batangas Bay, Luzon. North of Matoco Point, Batangas Peninsula, the patrol found numerous suicide boat revetments3. Four boats were found concealed in these revetments, three of which definitely exploded while a fourth was shelled and set on fire. In addition, a large oil fire was started, indicating a fuel dump had been hit. Light, inaccurate enemy return fire was received.

2. The suicide boat revetments were located north of Matoco Point, Batangas Peninsula, about 10 yards in from the beach. The fuel dump was just back of the revetments. The PT’s were in column, idling at seven knots, on a northerly course for three strafing runs and on a southerly course for two runs. During the five runs, the boats were 150 yards from the beach. Three suicide boats exploded and a fourth started to burn. A fuel dump back of the revetments was set on fire. Light small arms fire was received from the hills above the beach, but no hits were received.

3. PT 74 fired 180 rounds of 40mm; 600 rounds of 20mm; and 2000 rounds of .50 caliber. The strafing was extremely effective while the enemy fire was light and ineffective.

4. Four suicide boats were set afire, three of which exploded. A fuel dump was set afire and left burning. It is believed that all four boats may be considered destroyed. No damage was sustained by our forces.

RUSSEL D. KNAPP

[p. 2]

1st endorsement on
Lieut. (jg) KNAPP’s ltr.
dated 5 March 1945.

MOTOR TORPEDO BOAT SQUADRON THIRTEEN
c/o Fleet Post Office
San Francisco, Calif.
8 March 1945.
C O N F I D E N T I A L
From:
To:

Via:


Subject:
Commander, MTB Squadron THIRTEEN.
Commander-in-Chief, UNITED STATES FLEET

Commander, Task Unit 70.1.4.
Commander, MTB Squadrons, SEVENTH Fleet.
Commander, SEVENTH Fleet.
Action Report, USS PT 74, 3 March 1945.
               1. Forwarded.

A. W. FARGO, JR.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2nd Endorsement

TASK UNIT 70.1.4
PT Advanced Base
Mindoro Island, P.I.
8 March 1945.
From:
To:

Via:
Commander, Task Unit 70.1.4
Commander-in-Chief, UNITED STATES FLEET.

Commander, MTB Squadrons, SEVENTH Fleet.
Commander, SEVENTH Fleet.
                      1. Forwarded.

               2. Damage to the enemy in this action is assessed as four suicide boats destroyed by explosions or burning and one fuel dump set afire.

A. W. FARGO, JR.

[p. 3]

MOTOR TORPEDO BOAT SQUADRON THIRTEEN
c/o Fleet Post Office
San Francisco, Calif.

5 March 1945.
From:
To:

Via:

Subject:
Commander, MTB Squadron THIRTEEN
Commander, Task Unit 70.1.4
Commander, MTB Squadron, SEVENTH Fleet.
Commander, SEVENTH Fleet.

Action Report, USS PT 82, 3 March 1945.
1. On 3 March 1945, PT’s 82 and 74 with Lieut. (jg) Harrison L. BENNETT, USNR, aboard PT 82 as Officer-in-Tactical-Command, conducted a daylight sweep of Batangas Bay, Luzon. Five Japanese suicide boats were found camouflaged on the beach. All were strafed with the result that three exploded, one burned, and one was damaged. Light ineffective return fire was received.

2. At approximately 1115, the enemy craft were discovered camouflaged in individual shelters or revetments several hundred yards north of Matoco Point, Batangas Peninsula. At a range of approximately 200 yards [of] the boats, proceeding in column at eight knots speed, made two starboard and three port runs on the targets. Four of the targets caught fire, and three of that exploded. The fifth target was seen to have been hit, but the extent of damage could not be ascertained. Some of the shots that missed the targets set fire to a small fuel dump behind the boat shelters. Firing was secured at 1215.

3. All guns functioned properly, and ammunition was expended as follows: 100 rounds of 40mm; 180 rounds of 20mm; and 2120 rounds of 50 caliber. There was small arms or light machine gun fire from the beach behind the boats, but the enemy fire was ineffective.

4. The PT boats sustained no damage, while the enemy lost four, possibly five, suicide boats. The four which burned or exploded are considered destroyed, while the fifth is believed to have been damaged.

HARRISON L. BENNETT



[p. 4]

1st endorsement on
Lieut. (jg) BENNETT’s ltr.
dated 5 March 1945.

MOTOR TORPEDO BOAT SQUADRON THIRTEEN
c/o Fleet Post Office
San Francisco, Calif.
8 March 1945.
C O N F I D E N T I A L

From:
To:

Via:


Subject:
Commander, MTB Squadron THIRTEEN
Commander-in-Chief, UNITED STATES FLEET.

Commander, Task Unit 70.1.4
Commander, MTB Squadrons, SEVENTH Fleet.
Commander, SEVENT Fleet.
Action Report, USS PT 82, 3 March 1945.
               1. Forwarded.

A. W. FARGO, JR.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2nd Endorsement
TASK UNIT 70.1.4
PT Advanced Base
Mindoro Island, P.I.
8 March 1945.
From:
To:

Via:
 Commander, Task Unit 70.1.4
Commander-in-Chief, UNITED STATES FLEET.

Commander, MTB Squadrons, SEVENTH Fleet.
Commander, SEVENTH Fleet.
                      1. Forwarded.

               2. Damage to the enemy in this section is assessed as four suicide boats destroyed by explosions or burning and one fuel dump set afire.

A.W. FARGO, JR.

[p. 5]

UNITED STATES FLEET
COMMANDER, MOTOR TORPEDO BOAT SQUADRONS
SEVENTH FLEET

CTG70.1(06)/A16-3(elk)

Serial: (0618)

CONFIDENTIAL

THIRD ENDORSEMENT to
CO, PTs 82/74 conf
ltrs dated 5 Mar 1945.

From:
To:
Via:

Subject

The Commander, Motor Torpedo Boat Squadrons, SEVENTH Fleet.
The Commander-in-Chief, UNITED STATES Fleet.
The Commander, SEVENTH Fleet.

Action Reports, PTs 82 and 74, Daylight 3 March 1945.
1. Forwarded, concurring in the second endorsement.


S. S. BOWLING.

Copy to:
CominCh (Advance Copy).
CTU 70.1.4.
ComMTBRon 13.

To view or download the original document, please refer to Item 2 below under Notes and References.

↓ Scroll down to leave a comment.

Notes and references:
1 PT
stands for “Patrol Torpedo” boat. Wikipedia.
2PT-74 & PT-82 - Rep of act off the Southwest coast of Luzon Is, Philippines on 3/3/45,” online at the United States National Archives.
3Revetment” pertains to barriers made of earth or sandbags intended to provide protection against a blast. Lexico Dictionary.

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