Monday, August 17, 2009
Everett PBR Vietnam Riverine Patrol Boat Tour
There was a restored, operational (the only one) PBR riverine patrol boat like the one in Apocalypse Now at Seafair ship display. It is still used to escort ships into Everett such as the FFG frigate named for a guy Ford who gave up his life saving his shipmates for ceremony.
I couldn't wait for the lines for the big boats, but this one was worth after getting a personal tour of Portland's PT boat in 2006. This boat (35 ft, crew 0 officers 4 enlisted) makes a PT boat (80 ft, crew 3 officers 4 enlisted) look like a battleship, even though it has almost as many guns with only 4 enlisted sailors running the thing. By comparison, a big humvee or M113 APC are only fitted with a single 50 cal (ACAV added 2 7.62 guns) and the Stryker has only a single 7.62 machine gun, and armored all around for trading bullets with the bad guys. The only armor are the small gunshields, and around the bridge. It used speed and firepower for protection. It's a fiberglass hull adapted from civilian powerboats, powered by jacuzzi (yes, look it up on wikipedia) waterjets run by 3 diesel truck engines. Nozzles were reversible so it could turn in its own length.
Front view: Note radar on top, front twin-50 gun tub.
They showed off this personal photo album. These are the original photos, not digital prints.
One boat is shown being lifted in/out of the water.
More photos, including Marine Corps OV-10 Bronco, the funny looking observation plane.
Patrick O Ford is the PBR crewman who got a ship named for him for doing his duty to the very end.
Here's the small crowd lined up, and boat ID. Built in Bellingham in 1973, it was one of the last training boats from when they roamed the SF Bay waters before being disestablished. Operations in new boats had to be restarted for Iraq service, now they are using big inflatable rigs.
View just before getting onboard.
Rear 50 cal. These are the classic punch a hole in light armor half-inch shell machine guns
Side shields and placeholder for grenade launcher, 7.62 MG would be on other side.
rear .50. Gun shield is all the armor you get.
3 diesel engines under the floor.
Hatch for jacuzzi water jets
Water jet pump unit
Talk with the Vet in back
50 cal front gun turret / tub
front twin 50 cal
Cute T-shirt for tiny boat with 3 50s, 1 7.62 and 140mm grenade launcher
That's a manly apron