Elco 77 ft PT-59

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Rank 4 USA
USS Helena Pack
Elco 77 ft PT-59
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GarageImage Elco 77 ft PT-59.jpg

The Elco 77 ft PT-59 is a rank III American motor gunboat with a battle rating of 3.0 (AB/RB/SB). It was introduced in Update 1.79 "Project X" as part of the fleet closed beta test. This was President John F. Kennedy's second boat he commanded.

General info

Survivability and armour

The boat's hull and superstructure are made of wood (40 mm and 15 mm respectively), the Bofors L/60 Mk 3 cannons have a 9.52 mm shield and the hull-mounted AN-M2 machine guns have a 12.7 mm shield, the elevated AN-M2s don't have any gun shield.

Despite this lack of armor, the PT-59 has enough firepower to outmatch most boats at its Battle Rating(3.0), however engaging more than 2 boats at once without having friendly support isn't recommended, you should also be careful when going against armored gunboats and boats with much bigger crews.


The PT-59 is powered by 3 Packard V12 M2500 engines, It takes around 14 seconds to reach full speed (AB: 97 km/h, 60 mph)(RB: 72 km/h, 45 mph) and 18 seconds to stop, it takes 10 seconds to reach full speed in reverse (AB: -34 km/h, -21 mph)(RB -25 km/h, -16 mph), and a full 360 turn takes around 18 seconds in AB (around 24 seconds in RB).


Primary armament

The Bofors cannons takes around 10 seconds to do a full 360 degree turn, The bow cannon is limited to a 190 degree range and the cannon at the aft is limited to 280 degrees, the cannons overheat after firing for 15 to 17 second consecutively, the cannons become almost ineffective at ranges above 2Km(1.25Mi, 6560ft).

Available Ammunition
  • Universal: AP-T/HEFI-T/AP-T/HEFI-T (The Universal belt is the starting of ammunition , its pretty much good against anything but it may not be too good against armored gunboats.)
  • 40mm HE clips: HEFI-T/HEFI-T/HEFI-T/AP-T (The HE clips is good against boats with little armor and planes.)
  • 40mm AP clips: AP-T/HEFI-T/HEFI-T/HEFI-T (The AP clips is better suited to go against armored gunboats and harassing destroyers since the ammo may not be enough to take down a destroyer.)

Secondary armament

Main article: AN-M2 (12.7 mm)

The AN- M2 machine guns can fire until they run out of ammo, overall these are mostly used against smaller boats and planes, mostly ineffective at ranges above 1Km (0.62Mi, 3280ft).

Available Ammunition
  • Universal: API-T/AP/I/AP
  • .50 AP belt: API-T/AP/AP/AP
  • .50APIT belt: API-T/API-T/API-T/I

Usage in battles

There are multiple ways to play this vehicle 

Ambush tactics 

The strategy requires the player to use the mobility of the boat to get to a strategic position of the map before other enemies are able to reach that place. Typically this would be hiding behind a island or a static objects on the map. Position the boat perpendicular to the object in front of you. This allows you to have the full broadside of you 40 mm Bofors cannons and, if needed, your .50 caliber machine guns. This takes advantage of your excellent speed and negates the lack of amour and poor survivability. Lots of unsuspecting players will not be able to outgun you, allowing for easy pickings. 

Speedy attacks

This tactic is able to be employed by should only be used if needed, e.g. capturing a zone or harassing larger vessels. You will want to accelerate to full speed and zigzag you way through enemy fire, it is paramount that you do not slow down. When close to a enemy ship you can deploy your smoke, open your full broadside and fire into the enemy ship, then making a hasty retreat. When capturing a zone (this is not advisable) you want to deploy your smoke and try to conceal yourself, as soon as the zone is captured, like above making a hasty retreat.

Threats against this ship

SF 40 leichte

The SF 40 leichte is one of the most dangerous enemies against you. Armed with four 4x20mm turrets and having very good survivability with spaced turrets. One salvo from this vessel and you will be sent back to the hangar. Since it has a battle rating of 2.7, it will be quite common to see these and most of the times you will be engaging this vessel at long range due to its poor speed. To combat this. There are 2 options: run or push with friendlies. 

Due to its poor speed you can easily disengage or relocate to a better position to snipe at it with you 40 mm as your guns have better range and the SF 40 leichte is quite a late target.

The second option is to push with friendlies. This option is more risky, but is a quick and effective way do dealing with it. If you are able to surprise it and catch it between reloads and disable the turrets, or can be dispatched quickly. However, its superior firepower at close range will one-shot you with one salvo.

Kanonenboot K-2 (German)/ Syonan (Japanese)

These 2 vessels are quite similar, having two 120mm cannons and multiple smaller caliber guns, it can quickly dispatch you. Lacking torpedoes and your HE rounds having trouble penetrating the hull, this vessel can become quite a pain. Most of the time you friendlies will see this large vessel and may be able to damage it enough for you to get the final blow or for you to relocate to a new position. However is the case that you are faced in a 1v1. You best option is to try to outflank it. Running away will most likely result in your death as its two 120 mm guns will easily catch you, even at long distances. The first module to aim for when outflanking or the engine or the turrets, thus making it easier to outflank.


Tier Seakeeping Unsinkability Firepower
I Dry-Docking Tool Set 40 mm HE clips .50 AP belt
II Rudder Replacement Fire Protection System Smokescreen 40 mm AP clips .50 APIT belt Auxiliary Armament Targeting
III Propeller Replacement Primary Armament Targeting
IV Engine Maintenance New Pumps Artillery Support

Pros and cons


  • The ships 12.7 mm machine guns can easily destroy lightly armoured ships
  • The 2 x 40 mm Bofors guns are great for taking out other ships and can act as decent anti-aircraft guns as well
  • Its speed allows it to quickly move from one area of the map to another, making it a great vehicle for ambushing larger, less nimble ships


  • No armour leads to frequent incapacitations of modules and crew
  • A smaller crew in combination with a small size leads to a lower survivability
  • Threatened by dive-bombing aircraft



The ship was planned to be Motor Boat Submarine Chaser PTC-27, but it was reclassified as Motor Torpedo Boat PT-59 in June 1941. PT-59 was laid down by the Electric Launch Company (Elco) on 26 July 1941, as an Elco 77-foot PT. It was reclassified as BPT-11 for transfer to the Royal Navy but was reclassified as PT-59 and was retained in the US. PT-59 was launched on 8 October 1941 and completed on 5 March 1942. 


MTBRon 4

PT-59’s first assignment was to Motor Torpedo Boat Squadron Four (MTBRon 4), based at the MTB Squadrons Training Center, Melville, RI. On 9 April 1942, PT-59 was involved in an incident in which a 21” torpedo was accidently fired, hitting the supply ship USS Capella (AK-13). As the Capella was sinking, the PT-59 came alongside and helped to pull the Capella onto the shoals, grounding her. Eight sailors from the Capella were injured, but no one died.

MTBRon 2

PT-59 was transferred to MTBRon 2 on 7 May 1942. The squadron was sent to Panama in the same month with the mission of guarding the Panama Canal and the coasts of Central and South America.

MTBRon 2 shipped out to the South Pacific in late 1942, seeing combat in the Solomons campaign in which the ships saw action against the Tokyo Express in the defense of the Marines on Guadalcanal. During this time the squadron was based at Sesapi on the island of Talugi. On 9 December 1942, PT-59 was on a patrol with PT-44 in Kamimbo Bay when lookouts on the PT-59 spotted the Japanese submarine IJN I-3 on the surface of the water while it was deploying its Daihatsu-class landing craft. PT-59 launched two torpedoes at 400 m of distance. One torpedo slammed into the stern of I-3, sending a water spout into the air followed by a massive explosion. The second torpedo passed underneath PT-44 without hitting it. It was later confirmed that PT-59 had indeed sunk the I-3.

The squadron moved to the Russell Islands in March 1943.

MTBron 3(2) - Under Kennedy’s Command

PT-59 was transferred to MBTRon 3(2) on 11 November 1943, and its new commanding officer (CO) was LTJG John F. “Jack” Kennedy. Kennedy was assigned to the PT-59 after his second command - the PT-109 - was sunk by a Japanese destroyer. After that action, Kennedy had elected to remain in the theatre, rather than to be sent home, and was given command of PT-59.

PT-59 was converted to a PT gunboat while Kennedy was the CO. The original armament had been two twin .50 cal mounts and four 21” torpedoes. The gunboat conversion removed the torpedoes and added two 40 mm gun mounts and six .50 cal machine gun mounts, three on each side of the superstructure; the total armament was two 40 mm guns and ten .50 cal machine guns. In order to man the new guns the crew had to be expanded.

Operation Blissful

Operation Blissful was a raid by US Marine Corps ground forces on Choiseul Island, led by Lt. Col. Victor H. Krulak on 28 October 1943. The point of the raid was to try to convince the Japanese to send more troops from Bougainville to Choiseul, since Bougainville was the real target of the Allies. 

American Marine paratroopers first landed on Choiseul Island on 18 October 1943. PT-59 was ordered to transfer from Tulagi to Lambu Lambu Cove on Vella Lavella Island. For the next month, PT-59 took part in patrols against Japanese barge traffic to the north of Choiseul. During that period, PT-59 was often tracked by Japanese aircraft, with some bombs being dropped as close as 150 yards away.

Rescue Operation

Kennedy was asked by Lt. Arthur Berndsten on 1 November 1943, if he would take PT-59 to a rescue operation about 65 miles north near the Warrior River of Choiseul Island. This came after Lt. Col. Krulak had informed Berndsten of the necessity for an evacuation.

Because of the time-sensitive nature of the mission, Kennedy was not allowed to refuel PT-59, with his gas tanks being only one third full. As PT-59 would be unable to make the return journey, two more PTs were assigned to the mission.

PT-59 picked up Lt. Richard Keresey and Lt. Col. Victor Krulak near the Marine outpost at Voza Village; they were picked up from an off-shore landing craft. Krulak and Keresey acted as guides as PT-59 moved further northwest up the coast. They arrived at the base of the Warrior River at approximately 18:00 on 1 November. They assisted in the evacuation of Major Warren T. Bigger’s company of up to 50 Marines into LCVP landing craft.

Marines from the 2nd Parachute Battalion of the 1st Marine Parachute Regiment had become trapped in the jungle by Japanese shore fire. Afraid to hit American Marines, Kennedy chose not to fire on the shore line, instead using the PT-59 as a diversion and shield. He positioned the PT-59 between the Japanese shore fire and the evacuating Marines. 250 yards off-shore, a landing craft had run aground on the coral reef. PT-59 took aboard 10 Marines from the craft. Three of them were wounded, including Corporal Schnell - he would die that night aboard PT-59.

The PTs escorted the landing craft back to Voza for a time, but turned to return to Lambu Lambu when it was clear the craft would make it safely to the base. Halfway back to Lambu Lambu, PT-59 ran out of fuel at 03:00 on 2nd November, having to be towed by PT-236. In order to cover the ships while they were towing, RAAF P-40s were called for air support, but they were all shot down.

PT-59 returned to Choiseul on 3 November, heading back to Voza Village. Arriving at about 23:30, PT-59 covered the process of loading Marines onto the landing craft for withdrawal, and escorted the craft to Vella Lavella Island.

Overall, the Choiseul raid of Operation Blissful had been successful, with the Japanese sending reinforcements to the island from Bougainville. Japanese shipping had also been significantly disrupted during the campaign.

Post-Operation Blissful Action

PT-59, along with two other PTs, located and sank three Japanese barges they had found beached on Moli Island on 5 November 1943, at approximately 05:30. PT-59 also engaged two barges on 11 November as they were exiting the Warrior River; the barges fled.

PT-59 shelled Sipassa and Guppy Island on 13 November. During that action, the muzzle flashes of shore fire were spotted and targeted, likely resulting in their destruction. After the successful actions, Kennedy made plans for a daylight raid up the Warrior River, but it was rejected by his superiors because it was too dangerous.

Kennedy was removed from command after a patrol on 18 November 1943, due to a number of medical issues; he had lost too much weight and had chronic back problems.

Back With MTBron 4

PT-59 remained in the Solomon’s after Kennedy was relieved of command until it was transferred back to MTBRon 4 in Melville, RI, on 7 August 1944.


It was reclassified as Small Boat C102584 on 14 October 1944 and was transferred to Naval Station Philadelphia, PA, for use in dehydration and preservation tests, on 15 December 1944.

She was surveyed and sold on 21 March 1947, and then underwent civil operations as a fishing boat until eventually catching fire and burning up due to an electrical failure.


An excellent addition to the article will be video guides, as well as screenshots from the game and photos.

See also

Elco 80 ft PT-565

External links

Paste links to sources and external resources, such as:

  • topic on the official game forum;
  • encyclopedia page on ship;
  • other literature.

Electric Launch Company (Elco) Ships
Motor Torpedo Boats (PT) 
77' PT  Elco 77 ft PT-20 · Elco 77 ft PT-59
80' PT  Elco 80 ft PT-103 · Elco 80 ft PT-109 · Elco 80 ft PT-314 · Elco 80 ft PT-556 · Elco 80 ft PT-565

USA boats
Motor torpedo boats  58 ft PT-3 · 89 ft PT-810 · 94 ft PT-811 · Elco 77 ft PT-20 · Elco 80 ft PT-103 · Elco 80 ft PT-109 · Elco 80 ft PT-314 · Elco 80 ft PT-556
  Elco 80 ft PT-565 · Higgins 78 ft PT-200 · Higgins 78 ft PT-71 · Higgins 81 ft PT-6
Motor gun boats  80 ft Nasty · Elco 77 ft PT-59 · PGH-2
Motor torpedo gun boats  Asheville (PGM-84) · LCS(L)(3)