165 ft PC-451

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Rank 4 USA
USS Helena Pack
165 ft PC-451
Research:7 900 Specs-Card-Exp.png
Purchase:10 000 Specs-Card-Lion.png
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GarageImage 165 ft PC-451.jpg

The Experimental class sub-chaser PC-451 is a rank II American sub-chaser with a battle rating of 1.7 (AB/RB/SB). It was introduced in Update 1.79 "Project X" as part of the fleet closed beta test.

General info

Survivability and armour

The PC-451 is the first ship in the USA line to gain all-round steel armour protection, with between 5-8 mm of protection on all areas. This allows the ship to be mostly immune to .50 cal fire and under, while also giving good protection against 20 mm fire when angled well. However, when not angled those shells will have no problem penetrating through.


Without any upgrades purchased the PC-451 has a top speed of 35 km/h in RB (45 km/h in AB). While being a lighter and more nimble vessel than other larger ships like destroyers, players must still be aware that the PC-451 will need some time to make a full stop in the water, as it is a heavy ship for its class weighing in at about 374 tons. The ship has very good mobility considering its overall characteristics. It is advised that players plan out their movements thoroughly with the PC-451 to get the most out of its mobility, as it is a heavier ship.


Primary armament

The PC-451's primary armament is a 3-inch cannon which gives it considerable stopping power. Well placed shots can disable smaller craft with ease and do major damage to larger ships. Use the HE shells when facing lower ranked enemies, and the AP shells when up-tiered. The HE-VT shells can be effective against aircraft while being used as mini HE shells, but using them in that fashion is not ideal.

Secondary armament

The PC-41 is armed with a large amount of 20 mm Oerlikon cannons, some in twin mounts and some in single mounts. These double as both AA weapons and a secondary armament and are capable of punching through most armour. Use the default belts, due to their equal mix of AP and HE shells. The AP shells give them a good amount of penetrating power, enough to pierce most armour at your battle rating, while keeping enough HE to deal with lighter targets.

Special armament

The PC-451 is armed with both depth charges and charge mortars. With enough daring, one can use them to give a huge punch to other vessels, but they will more likely be hit by fire and damage your ship. It is not recommended to take them unless you believe you can use them effectively.

Usage in battles

This ship is an excellent vehicle even in an uptier compared to other US boats due to the steel armour, 20 mm secondary armaments, and a 76 mm cannon able to knock out a a PT boat. Though the armour is good enough against even a small crowd of PT boats, larger ships with bigger guns could still destroy the PC-451 with ease.

During a match, the 165 ft PC-451 is best used somewhat during the middle or towards the end of a match as the second or third spawn. The number of players attempting to torpedo will go down, while planes will start spawning in. Using the secondary weapons, the PC-451 can bring down multiple enemies and rack up points. However, dedicated and skilled pilots can still get a drop on the PC-451 if left unattended with all of the PC-451's firepower.

In terms of shell selection for the main armament, which consists of HE, HE-VT (variable time-fused), and APHE, bring Fuse and HE during downtiers as the HE can cripple boats easily while the Fuse can be used to target aircraft, adding the main armament into the defensive network the 20 mm secondaries provide already. In uptiers, HE and AP are recommended for dealing with more persistent boats. While destroyers could be damaged with the HE, anything further than 3 km away should be engaged with the AP shell in order to penetrate through armour.


Tier Seakeeping Unsinkability Firepower
I Dry-Docking Tool Set 20 mm HE 76 mm AP Mk.29
II Rudder Replacement Fire Protection System Smokescreen 20 mm AP 76 mm HE-VT Auxiliary Armament Targeting
III Propeller Replacement Depth Charges Improved Rangefinder Primary Armament Targeting
IV Engine Maintenance New Pumps Bomb mortar

Pros and cons


  • The 3-inch gun is powerful for its rank
  • Powerful AA defence
  • First US ship to receive all-out steel armour
  • The main 3-inch gun has access to HE-VT rounds, useful for shooting at aircraft infront of it


  • Not very fast
  • 3-inch gun can be difficult to master for newer players
  • If stationary, gives torpedo armed vessels a relatively big target to hit


PC-451 was an experimental submarine-chaser class. It was layed down on September 28, 1939 as Hull No.166, by DeFoe Boat and Motor Works, Bay City, Michigan. It was built as a part of the Experimental Small Craft program of 17 May 1938. The ships were called X-boats, and were classified as 165 footers, but the ships had differing characteristics. It was launched on May 23, 1940, and was commissioned on August 12, 1940 as the USS PC-451. It was assigned to the East Coast of the United States. The ship sank the American tug Nancy Moran off the eastern coast of Florida on December 26, 1941 by ramming, likely by accident. The USS PC-451 was decommissioned on December 2, 1945, and was struck from the Naval Register on January 8, 1946. It was transferred to the Maritime Commission in January of 1947, to be disposed of. It is unknown what happened to the ship after that point.

The ship had a displacement of 374 t, a length of 163 ft, and a beam of 20 ft 9 in. It was powered by two 2,880 bhp General Motors 16-258S diesel engines, two General Motors 6-233A diesel engines, and Farrel-Birmingham 75 kw generator sets. It had a single reduction gear and two shafts. The armament consisted of two 3"/50 dual purpose mounts, two twin 20mm mounts, two single 20mm mounts, two Mk 20 Mousetrap projectors, two k-gun depth charge projectors and two depth charge racks. The crew complement was 65 sailors and officers, and the maximum speed was 18.8 knots.


Excellent additions to the article would be video guides, screenshots from the game, and photos.

See also

Links to articles on the War Thunder Wiki that you think will be useful for the reader, for example:

  • reference to the series of the ship;
  • links to approximate analogues of other nations and research trees.


External links

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  • topic on the official game forum;
  • encyclopedia page on the ship;
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DeFoe Boat and Motor Works
Submarine Chasers 
Experimental 163’ PC  165 ft PC-451

USA sub-chasers
110 ft SC-497 · 165 ft PC-451 · 165 ft PC-466 Carmi