- 480 blocks
- Compatible with other leading brands of construction blocks
- Made in Europe
- Illustrated instructions manual included in each set
- Model dimensions (L x W x H): 13.2″ x 3.1″ x 3.5″
- Recommended Ages: 7 and Up
- Part of COBI Historical Collection: World War II series
- Scale: 1:72
Build the iconic PT-109
Construction of the PT-109 began in March, 1942 in Bayonne, New Jersey. Built by the Electric Boat Company (Elco), they would go on to build 320. In addition, Higgins Industries, famous for producing the ‘Higgins Boat,’ the LCVPs used during D-Day, manufactured 205 PT Boats as well. Since Elco and Higgins made PT Boats out of wood (mahogany planking on a wood frame, with plywood making up a significant remainder of the ship’s materials, they were inexpensive and easy to build.
A young Navy Lieutenant Junior Grade John F. Kennedy famously commanded the PT-109 in the Pacific Theater during World War II. When the boat was hit by a Japanese Destroyer, Kennedy and the crew would take part in one of the most famous and harrowing tales of survival during the entire war.
What was a PT-Boat?
These were the smallest craft in the U.S. Navy. Since the PT Boat engines used 100 octane gasoline, they were extremely vulnerable to enemy fire. Thus PT-Boats operated mostly at night, when they would scout, harass, and attempt to cut the enemy’s supply lines. In order to accomplish this, PT Boats were typically armed with 4 torpedoes, 2 twin Browning M2 Machine Guns, and a smoke generator to help them get away. In addition, the PT-109 was equipped with a 20mm Oerlikon cannon. Although PT-109 carried 4 Mark VIII torpedoes, they were quite ineffective until later in the war when the Navy recalibrated its detonator.
PT Boats were fast and maneuverable and could go 45 knots (equal to more 45 mph on land). They were powered by 3 extremely reliable 12-cylinder Packard Marine Engines. Because of their wood construction, PT Boats could not be saved for future conflicts. So when World War II was completed, all of the Navy’s remaining PT Boats were burned.
Did you know? In the time it took to construct a battleship, over 200 PT boats could be produced!
A Wisconsin Veteran’s Story
Donald E. Fisher, from Beloit, served aboard a motor torpedo boat during World War II as a Radioman First Class. To see items from Fisher’s service the Wisconsin Veterans Museum holds, click here:
Donald E. Fisher Collection