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All hands on deck! We need your help to get the world’s only restored, fully operational, WWII-veteran PT boat back in the water.
All hands on deck! We need your help to get the world’s only restored, fully operational, WWII-veteran PT boat back in the water.
1,074 backers pledged $205,506 to help bring this project to life.

About

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$205,506

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We're almost ready to set sail, but we need your help!
We're almost ready to set sail, but we need your help!

Fast, fierce, and maneuverable, heavily armed, reliant on teamwork, and built with ingenuity, WWII patrol-torpedo (PT) boats were a perfect naval expression of the American Spirit at war. Today, just four of these combat-veteran PT boats still exist in the United States; of those, only PT-305 is fully restored, complete with original-model engines, and ready to launch—the culmination of a decade-long, $3.3 million restoration effort and more than 100,000 hours of work from our dedicated corps of over 200 volunteers.

The crowning achievement of this record-breaking restoration project will be the return of PT-305 to the water to become a whole new kind of Museum experience. Visitors will be able to stand where WWII servicemembers once stood and walk the deck where the Greatest Generation fought for our freedom. They will also have the thrill-of-a-lifetime opportunity to ride over the waves at top speed, reliving the rush of wind and adrenaline that Navy sailors did when PT boats—the fastest US Navy ships of World War II—first launched.

WE NEED YOUR HELP TO FINISH THE JOB! 

Just one thing remains to make this decade-long vision come true and help our volunteers surmount this final hurdle: the funds to return the restored boat to her home waters of Lake Pontchartrain, where she was launched and tested by Higgins Industries over 70 years ago, and where she will now undergo Coast Guard testing before moving to a new, custom-built boathouse for permanent, interactive display. After we reach our goal, we look forward to inviting WWII PT-boat veterans to join us for a ride on the ship they once called home—an opportunity which, given the advancing age of our WWII veterans, is a narrow one indeed.


Sadly, the day is not far off when firsthand contact with these veterans will be lost to us forever. But by preserving significant artifacts such as the vessels on which they served—creating crucial context for the scholarship, personal profiles, and oral histories in our collection—The National WWII Museum is building the framework for tomorrow’s generations to connect with their service and sacrifice. 

Just a few of the dedicated PT-305 volunteer crew.
Just a few of the dedicated PT-305 volunteer crew.

Help us launch PT-305 and complete this important mission to honor their legacy and preserve the lessons of history for tomorrow’s generations. 

Risks and challenges

Moving PT-305 from the Museum’s restoration pavilion to the water will involve removal of a wall of the pavilion, loading the boat onto a custom-built cradle for transport to the dock, and transfer to a barge for passage through the Industrial Canal to Lake Pontchartrain. The engineering and logistical needs are significant, which accounts for the high cost of the transfer. However, detailed plans are in place for each stage, and a team including naval architects, engineers, restoration experts, and Coast Guard advisors are working with Museum staff to ensure that every step of the process occurs as safely and efficiently as possible.

Timing for the move is still approximate. The date for Coast-Guard testing will be weather dependent; it is expected to occur in early 2017 and last for about a month. A custom boathouse has been designed and funded, and will soon be under construction. An exact date for moving the boat to its new home will be determined and shared with our supporters as soon as construction has progressed to a point where a completion date is known.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    "Thank You"

    A special thank you letter from Museum President and CEO Nick Mueller and personalized updates on progress via the Museum’s quarterly V-Mail newsletter.

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    "Crew"

    A custom PT-305 Crew Member Badge and Lanyard, plus a special thank you from Museum President and CEO Nick Mueller and personalized updates on progress via the Museum’s quarterly V-Mail newsletter.

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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    "Medallion"

    A special PT-305 Medallion plus a custom PT-305 Crew Member Badge and Lanyard, a special thank you from Museum President and CEO Nick Mueller, and personalized updates on progress via the Museum’s quarterly V-Mail newsletter.

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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $305 or more About $305

    "LTJG"

    Name recognition on the PT-305 website, a PT-305 Baseball Cap, plus a special PT-305 Medallion, a custom PT-305 Crew Member Badge and Lanyard, a special thank you from Museum President and CEO Nick Mueller, and personalized updates on progress via the Museum’s quarterly V-Mail newsletter.

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    "LT"

    An invitation to the exclusive dedication ceremony for PT-305 in spring 2017, plus name recognition on the PT-305 website, a PT-305 Baseball Cap, a special PT-305 Medallion, a custom PT-305 Crew Member Badge and Lanyard, a special thank you from Museum President and CEO Nick Mueller, and personalized updates on progress via the Museum’s quarterly V-Mail newsletter.

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    Pledge $2,500 or more About $2,500

    "CDR"

    A ride for you and a guest on PT-305* along with an invitation to the exclusive dedication ceremony for PT-305 in spring 2017, plus name recognition on the PT-305 website, a PT-305 Baseball Cap plus a special PT-305 Medallion, a custom PT-305 Crew Member Badge and Lanyard, a special thank you from Museum President and CEO Nick Mueller, and personalized updates on progress via the Museum’s quarterly V-Mail newsletter. *Not neccessarily at the time of the dedication.

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Funding period

- (30 days)