Their dream was a glorious restoration. A waterfront display and a captivating lesson for those who don’t appreciate the role the fast, powerful “patrol torpedo” boats played in World War II.
Recently, those dreams were drowned out by the growl of a reciprocating saw.
PT Boat 659 arrived in Vancouver in 1996, months after a committee began working to secure the donation and transport of the boat from Camp Withycombe in Clackamas County, Ore., where it had been stored for years.
However, their plans never materialized and now only three tractor-trailer’s full of parts will remain. Those parts will eventually end up as part of the $5 million restoration of another craft, PT Boat 305.
Nearly four years ago the group behind the PT Boat 659 project acknowledged that they would not be able to raise sufficient funds to restore the boat. However, at that time it was decided that the boat would be donated to the National WWII Museum in New Orleans.
But even those plans had to be abandoned after the group learned that it would cost an estimated $350,000 to have the 50-ton vessel moved.
Instead, the D-Day Museum went after PT Boat 305, a ship that was actually used in the war and is credited with sinking two German ships.