The WWII Museum in New Orleans has one of the rarest of artifacts, a PT boat. Only 10 others exist. None are operational. Hundreds of PT boats served in both the Pacific and European theaters, sinking thousands of tons of enemy supply shipments, and much larger, steel hulled warships. Most were built by the Electric Boat Company ("Elco") in New Jersey. This included the most famous, John F. Kennedy's PT-109. PT-305 is additionally rare because she was built by Higgins Industries in New Orleans. She served in the European theater and was shipped to the US to be refitted and sent to the south Pacific when the European war ended. The war in the Pacific ended before completion. This is likely the only reason 305 survived. Most of the PT boats were hauled onto the beach burned after the war. The rest were sold and converted to a variety of uses. PT-305 last served as an oyster boat. She was in wretched shape when acquired by the museum. More than 200 volunteers have served in a $3 million restoration, with the goal of returning her to Lake Ponchartrain, where she was originally launched. The museum needs $500,000 dollars to build a boathouse, and operate tours. To help, call 528-1944, ext. 365, go to, or


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