Restored WWII boat PT 305 returns to dock, rides start in April

Bill Capo talks about PT 305's return to the lake.

NEW ORLEANS -- newly restored World War Two Motor Torpedo Boat PT 305 is back at the same dock as in 1943.

This boat does not like to go slow, built to race into the danger of war at sea.

"She's a challenge, she's a thrill, but more than that she's an honor to pay homage to the crews that were on her in World War I," said PT 305 Captain and Restoration Project Leader George Benedetto.

PT 305 was built at Higgins Industries in New Orleans and sank two enemy ships during World War II.

Eyewitness News followed volunteers over nearly a decade painstakingly restoring the aging warrior to pristine condition. Original builder Andrew Higgins' granddaughter was overwhelmed.

MORE: WWII's PT 305 begins trip to launch in lake

"Everything that happened with this boat was nothing short of a miracle,” said Gayle Higgins Jones.
PT 305 sliced through the water effortlessly, those on board aware this was history.

This is the only fully restored combat veteran PT Boat in the world,” said World War II Museum Curator Tom Czekanski. “This is the only one that saw active service and has its Packard engines in it.”
People will be able to ride the boat beginning April 1.
Actor Gary Sinise wore a smile as big as any while looking at the weapons, then joined museum CEO Nick Mueller at the controls.

You can feel the incredible power of this boat, and they only hit half throttle.

The World War II Museum's Drafts For Crafts party March 25, raises funds to operate PT 305.

"All the funds from that go to support this vessel. It's going to be incredible, they're going to have bands, they're going to have food,” Czekanski said. “You'll just hardly be able to stand it."

The only thing better is being aboard PT 305. When PT 305 begins taking passengers on unforgettable rides in April, tickets will cost $350, or $305 for museum members and seniors.

Drafts For Crafts takes place March 25. Tickets cost $100. For details, call the Museum at 528-1944, extension 365, or visit their website at http://www.draftsforcrafts.org

© 2017 WWL-TV


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