I took this picture of PTF-26 Liberty in November 2010 while relocating a salvaged 50' DeFever Trawler "Seeker" to Sacramento for restoration...that is a whole other story. LOL.
PTF-26 Liberty is the last of the Vietnam-Conflict "Fast Patrol Boats".
PTFs (Patrol Torpedo Fast) were the Vietnam War version of the famous WW II PT Boats. They were heavily armed, near-coastal gunboats, used mostly by Special Forces. A total of 26 PTFs were built, with PTF-26 being the last US PT boat ever built. The first two PTFs built were post WW II PT Boats, the next twenty were 80 foot wood boats, known as the "Nasty" class, and the last four PTFs were 95 foot aluminum boats known as "Osprey" class. PTF-26 is the last of only four Osprey-Class PTFs, the bigger, aluminum-hulled sister to the Nasty-Class boats. Liberty was designed with nine separate watertight compartments, and can withstand holes in two compartments below the waterline without sinking. Furthermore, all openings to the outside can be completely sealed to prevent water from entering. She was powered by twin T-1837K Napier Deltic engines. These exotic diesels put out 3100 HP each using 3 crankshafts, 18 cylinders and 36 pistons. During a 1970s speed run, Liberty was clocked at 51 knots (approx 58 mph)! Not bad for a 95 footer.
PTF-26 Liberty was delivered to the Military Assistance Group in DaNang, Vietnam in 1968. With a crew of 19 manning, a 40mm Bofors cannon aft, two 20mm Oerlikon AA guns just forward of the house, and a .50 caliber Browning machine gun / 81mm mortar piggy-back mount forward. In 1971, with the draw-down of forces PTF-26 returned to the United States. She continued to be used by the Navy for patrol, training and equipment testing. Liberty first served as part of Coastal River Squadron One in Coronado, then at the Pacific Missile Test Center at Port Hueneme, CA. She was released by the Navy in 1985, and brought back for further service from 1987 through 1990. PTF-26 Liberty now serves as an operational museum and youth training vessel. Her homeport is in Sacramento, CA.
The written information was compiled from various websites. Here are some links for additional info, recent pics and service pics (including pics of the interior and engines)
pics of the interior and engines
Info and pic of her running
recent and service pics from the 70's & 80's
service pics and pics of other PTs
I hope you enjoyed a little piece of history on the Sacramento River.