NEW ORLEANS -- PT-305 was built in New Orleans and sank two ships in the Mediterranean during World War II, and now a huge repair project is nearly complete.
"Seventy-three years after PT-305 was tested in Lake Pontchartrain, we're getting ready to bring her back to the same waters in pretty much the same condition that she was," said National World War II Museum Vice President Stephen Watson.
Veterans can recall how the boat looked when the project first began.
"It looked like a good pile of kindling, it looked like a pile of kindling on a trailer," Paul Hilliard remembered.
Board member and World War II Marine aviator Hilliard remembers how the boat looked like a wreck at the time of the first Action Report in 2009. More than 200 volunteers restored PT-305 in a $3 million project.
"It's gonna show America what we did during the war, what we could do," Hilliard said of the restored boat.
In July, when the restoration work is finished, they'll start giving tours of PT-305. When you visit the museum, you can walk the decks. In January 2017, they'll take her out of the museum, and back to Lake Pontchartrain where she was originally launched in 1943, and sometime next year they'll start selling tours, where you can take the ride of a lifetime on PT-305.
"Riding on a PT boat with this much horsepower under you, and the wind in your face, it's just going to be incredible," said Museum Curator Tom Czekanski.
The WWII Museum is starting a $500,000 fund raising campaign for a boat house and operational expenses.
You can donate March 11, at the Drafts For Crafts event.
"That's Friday night here at the museum," said Watson. "It's a fun event, we have 18 restaurants, we have live entertainment."
Along with having fun, museum officials think that the public will be impressed with the restored piece of history.
"I think when people look at this and consider that PT boats were designed to go up against battleships, that they will have a much better understanding of the courage and determination of America's greatest generation," concluded Czekanski.
Tickets to Drafts For Crafts can be purchased at the door on Friday, March 11, or call 528-1944, ext. 365. For more information about PT-305 and the fund raising and Kickstarter campaigns, visit their websites at http://www.nationalww2museum.org and http://pt305.org.