This site is developed to increase the awareness of the U.S. Army T Boat. To develope an open exchange between owners past crew members and interested parties. Also to present the History of it's unique design and keep the spirit of this little known vessel alive.
If you have any questions please don't hesitate to contact me and I will answer to the best of my ability. Thank You for your interest in the U.S. Army T-Boat ..... Bill Kerber Army T-Boat Historian
This pictorial History of the Higgins Army T-Boat is from 1952 to Present - Steel plus the pre Wood Series Higgins Boat (1940s) - Some of these earlier solidly constructed wood small ships are still afloat and in use today! All wooden T-Boats were decommissioned in 1953 t0 1965.
The Steel 2001 Design Higgins Army T Boat was built for use in the Korean War. They were designated "Transport/Tugs". These boats were constructed with a 22 Long Ton Cargo Hold and a Traveling Tow Bitt on the stern. They were basically used as "Lighters" to load cargo and transport personnel to deep draft vessels waiting off shore. Some were fitted with a 5o Cal. Machine Gun mounted on top of the Main Deck House. These were loaded on transports and shipped over seas. There were a total of 84 Steel T Boats built in three yards across the United States. The T-Numbers and their individual constuction yards are listed elsewhere on this site.
My research indicates that the Higgins 2001 Design Army T-Boat is the most popular class of vessel used for Research & Training in the United States. Although the Government Specifications were the same for all those built some yards made minor changes and went with heavy or a better grade of steel. Most yards eliminated the additional air ports up forward because of the"War Time" Brass shortage.
While the second group of boats were still under construction the Korean War ended and they were mothballed after being built on land and in bays. Most of the ones on the East Coast were transferred to the South Carolina Navy Supply Depot in Charleston. I received information from one eye witness who states , "They were lined up in the water and on shore as far as I could see". I am searching for a picture of this. (Picture In Slide Show Of Ts In Water Courtesy Skipper Conway Of T-510)
T-423 To T-436 Higgins Shipbuilding - New Orleans
T-437 To T-452 National Steel & Shipbuilding - San Diego, CA
T-453 To T-456 Missouri Valley Steel - Leavenworth, Kansas
T-478 To T-485 National Steel & Shipbuilding
T-486 To T-517 Higgins Shipbuilding
Contract Dates: T-437 Thru T-466 June 30 1951
T-486 Thru T-485 July 3 1952
84 Total 2001 Series T-Boats Built
As Of July 2012 Of The Ones Built:
54 Accounted For With Cuurrent Information
4 Known Wooden Ts Still Afloat & Operating
3 Steel Series Donated As Artificial Reefs
4 General Location Known But Haven't Visited Yet
1 Sank In Storm Off Grand Banks (Info & Pictures To Follow -The Seaman who took pictures while assisting the sinking T has recently passed on - unable to secure pictures )
1 Currently For Sale For Cruising - 1 For Sale With Business
T-490 Price Reduction: Call Hal Oakes - Mid Coast Marine Sales
T-57 "Laura B" - Vougue Magazine - Vessel Used For Pictorial Ad
T-57 "Laura B" - Wooden Boat Magazine - July/August 2000
T-57 "Laura B" - Professional Marina - June/July 2007
T-454 "The General" - You Tube Video (Above)
T-454 "The General" - Soundings - January 2004
T-502 "Virazon" - History Channel DVD - April/07
T-504 "Mi-T-Mo" - Passagemaker Magazine - Fall 1997 - Article
"Unknown T" - St. Petersburg Times - September 1962 - "Army T-Boat Comes To Brandenton" May 02 2012 Found to be T-453!
"PJ Madigan" - History Channel - 20 Sec Clip - "The Big House" - Showing her used as the Alcatraz Ferry - (Google "Alcatraz Alumni")
"Unknown T" - 1 Second Clip History Channel - "America's Lost A-Bomb" Berth at Dock near Tybee Island, Georgia - View Carefully Directly After You See Scene of Mooring Ball
"R/V Jane Yarn" - You Tube Video - Sunk As Artificial Reef Georgia With Underwater Scene
"SE Raymond" - Unknown T number - Ebony Magazine - December 2007
"Silent Thunder" Article Florida Newspaper "All At Sea" April 2012
December 13 2013:
This Site is a work in progress - Updated Regularly - Most of these pictures were provided by the owners of the T Boats - A good percentage were taken by myself when I visited them throughout the U.S. - I wish to thank all of the owners for allowing me access and pictures. I will find some way to credit them with each picture presented. A special thanks goes out at this time to Carolyn of the Monhegan-Thomston Boat Line for providing me information on their 65 year old Wooden T "Laura B". Also I would like to thank Hal Oakes the past owner of "Pathfinder" for his pictures of the USCG "Crash Boats". A very special thanks to Mr. Simms Jr who's Dad built the boat that started it all, T-1! Last but not least Rick Bauman for his pictures of the Sisters together at Baltimore. As time permits I will add my thanks to all the others who have assisted to make this site possible:
Note: "My Policy" - The Information Listed Is Current - I have Corrected Misinformation That Is Listed Elsewhere. This Has Been Accomplished by Speaking Directly With The Current Owners And/Or Visiting The Boats Existing. I will not show pictures or list the owners names without their consent.
March 1 2014: U.S. Army T Boats is now on Facebook. A forum was created so any T Boat interested parties can communicate with each other. Questions can be asked and answered. Parts can be located. It has many advantages for the T Boat owners and former crew. Please check it out and ask to be included. I will as administrator monitor the site for spam. I will at times post pictures also.
February 17 2014: If anyone knows or has a Fresh Water Pump for a BUDA Engine please email me. We can either exchange it for a part we have that you need or pay for it. The winter in the north took it's toll and somehow fresh water remained in the pump and froze cracking the casing. Thanks.
January 19 2014: Happy New Year All - The first posting for 2014 is a request from the owner of T-473. He is looking for a part for his engine. The part is from the old Snow Nabstedt Transmission. If you know of someone hoarding parts here is Caterpillar Part Number 8F 1950 Collar or 2815-00-532-5760. A picture is elsewhere on site. With this posting I have added a much needed section below. If you need parts or need information on parts.
Friday December 13 2013: When ever a T-Boat is lost I seem to become sad and depressed for a couple of days. I hate to see these beautiful vessels lost. This day I am sad beyond belief. A very special T-Boat owner and close friend has Crossed the Bar. Steve Cummings owner of "Silent Thunder" has taken that final Cruise. Rest in Peace my friend.
November 08 2013: I haven't been able to bring this site up to date in a while. I have had several requests. Sorry all. I will do so soon. Meanwhile I have a request from the owner of the "Alaskan Salvor". He has the old original Snow Agnese Transmission that has a slipping Clutch. Can anyone assist him. Email me at TBoat490@aol.com.
August 1st 2013: Many of the old T-Boats started out as Sea Scouts Ships. Just for General Information a lot of the Old Crews on these Ts have web pages or are on Face Book. T-493 "SES Thunderbird" is one of the groups that got together via the Net. If you were a Sea Scout on her check out their face book page and join. Ship-228 "Sea Dart II" has an Alumni Page also.
July 10th 2013: Added some more pictures. I received information from a production company from a major network channel. They may be doing an episode on T-Boat liveaboards. If you are a full time live aboard and would it would be ok to recommend your boat email me.
July 07th 2013 - The original Sea Scout Vessel "Sea Explorer" is berth at it's new home. Will the current owner please email me at TBoat490@aol.com
June 28th 2013 - Below are a couple of pictures I received from a past crew member of T-507 when she was in Active Service and was used during the Missile Crisis in Cuba. Take a close look at her and see if you can notice anything significantly different with her. These pictures were taken at Fort Eustis VA. Thank you Steve!
I receive this request a few days ago:......."I am staff for the Institute of Nautical Archaeology. Our research vessel "Virazon" is a T boat (T-502). I am presently writing an article about the boat's history as our research vessel and prior to that task, hence my request to join this group." Please welcome Mr. Liitlefield aboard.
I received emails and pictures from Mr.Geiger of T-493 back in February and never had a chance to post them or tell of his story. He located original pictures of Ts on Ebay and bought them. When they were received the backs had notations. He is graciously sharing the pictures and story that I have posted. Again Thanks Pat.
May 13 2013 - I added some pictures today and will follow up with stories behind them later but would like to thank one Skipper who I have been in touch with for many years. Mr Hugh was one of the first Captains I had contacted about 15-20 years ago when I was looking for a T Boat to purchase. This past Christmas he sent me the picture below of his model that took him 8 years to build. Thank you friend. I would also like to thank the Captain that operates the swing bridge down in the Bayou for the pictures of the Explorer leaving on it's maiden voyage with new owner after several years being berth behind the previous owners house. Thank You!
May 11 2013 - To all my friends and readers. I apologize for not posting what you have sent. I have been super busy lately but will update this coming week. Many of you have sent very interesting pictuures & comments. One close friend has actualy made a 48" Model of the T-Boat he once owned. The picture will be included shortly with all his information. Also there is a T Boat on the East Coast for sale at a very resonable price. If interest contact my friend Hal Oats at Midcoast Marine Sales. Best Wishes to all the Moms that have one of their children in the form of a T-Boat. "Happy Mothers Day!"
December 24 2012 - At this time I want to wish all my Shipmates a "Merry Christmas & Happy New Year". Next Year the "Old Girls" are turning 60. I feel it fitting to dedicate an album to some of them. Most have been refitted and are better then ever! Merry Christmas & Happy Birthday Ladies! Love you All.
December 21 2012 - Minor Changes to information.
December 14 2012 - I visited T-431 "Cumberland" on the Miami River. I have included two pictures courtesy the owner. Thank you Les.
December 10 2012 - A while back I received additional pictures from Mr. Itzel including a copy of his U.S. Army License. I didn't have time to post them till now. One picture is the "Hydra" as he was passing by while aboard the "Mi-T-Mo". The other is a vehicle loaded aboard the "Mi-T-Mo". Thanks again Mr. Itzel.
November 22 2012 - Happy Thanksgiving to all my T-Boat Enthusiast. Today I received two pictures from Mr Itzel who was Stationed as an engineer aboard T-512. He has just completed a voyage aboard T-504 "Mi-T-Mo" from Baltimore to Florida. He also is sharing a picture of T-504 on a stopover in Portsmouth Virginia.
November 9 2012 - I received a drawing (below) from Mr Wright who was a Sea Scout aboard the T-Boat "Thunderbird" in 1972. Thank You Art.
October 18 2012 - Thanks to Nic Adamson of Alaska for making me aware of the Historical Picture of T-433 just posted below.
October 08 2012 - Thanks go out to Nic Adamson who took the pictures of the "Alaskan Salvor" and her working Dive Crew up in Alaska.....Brrrr! while in Dry Dock with his vessel. Pictures above. Nic also informed me the the Auction of the "Curlew" has ended and the after 24 Bidders contending it went for $92,015.00. Congratulations to the new owners! Please get in touch with me so I can update the records on ArmyT-Boats
September 11 2012 - Received update from Captain Ron on T-501 "Hydra ". She has been splashed. New pictures added.
September 7 2012 - The owner of T-454 "The General" out of Norwalk Conn. just got back from their Summer Cruise. Since her purchase a decade ago she has had an extensive refit as a permanent live-aboard. Her video story is to right of this page. Double Click her listing. I received a couple of additional pictures today. Thank You Sam.
September 1 2012 - Received a couple of pictures of the "F/V Lodestar from Owner Thanks Wayne!
August 15 2012 21:00Hrs EST - The T-Boat that is going up for sale is T-446 "Curlew" CG038613 US Fish & Wildlife Service Juno, Alaska. Below are pictures.
August 15 2012 17:00Hrs EST - Anyone on the West Coast interested in purchasing a US Army T-Boat? Please get in touch with me immediately. One is about to come up for sale! Email....TBoat490@aol.com Put in Subject Line "West Coast T"
August 03 2012 - Received a new refitting picture from the owner of T-501 "Hydra". When you T Boat lovers see this one at bottom of page it's going to eat your Heart out...lol. Thanks Ron She Is Beautiful!!!
July 17 2012 - Found an unidentified T Boat that was involved on some sort of conflict over "Sunken Treasure" Can anyone identify?
July 14 2012 - Thanks go out to Mr Alrich of Alaska was kind enough to send a picture of Wooden T-31 he found in an picture album.
July 12 2012 - Sometimes I get an email from an owner that includes pictures that scream out for it's own separate section. This is such a case. Thanks to Rob the owner of "Shelikof". By the way if any of you recall working on her when she was the "Enforcer" a Alaska State Trooper Boat and know her T-Number please get in contact with me. Her T-Number is "Mystery".
June 28 2012 - I have noticed that some of the links to the boats listed on right side of this page are dead ends now. I don't understand because they were strong sites. I will do my best to locate current site links if they are available. If not I will delete the T number. If any owner has changed their site and still want it listed please email me.
June 15 2012 - The new owner of T-465 "Shenehon" has contacted me and current pictures and brief story of her trip to new home will follow shortly. Congratulations and Thanks go out to him.
June 2 2012 - Received Information T-460 was Ex "U.S. Navy 65WB801" before becoming "Jane Yarn" Also the "Jane Yarn" & "Shenahon" were both classified in their History as "WYAG" Research Craft. Also the "Unknown T" stated below in "St. Petersburg Times - North Sunset Coast" is actually T-453!
May 5 2012 - Received an article from former Sea Scout Officer Ken Keep. He ran across an article from Florida about the "Silent Thunder". It can be view in the Publications/Media Section below. Thanks Ken.
April 2012 - T Boat For Sale In Europe - Notice It Has No Rudder
March 20 2012 - Added 2 New Pictures of T-501 & T-509. Added Old Newspaper Article Found.
December 05 2011 - Latest Pictures of Sea Scouts training on T-Boats courtesy Lance Tastet.
November 1 2011 - While researching Army T Boats in a major Library I ran across a December 1970 "Ebony Magazine" that had the article "Careers At Sea" The article was about a Captain Bellesen who started a program at the time for disadvantage African American Youths. The vessel used was the U.S. Army T-Boat "SE Raymond". When I obtain more information and pictures this post shall be updated.
November 2 2011 - Received information on the "R/V Shenehon" that I will post shortly.
November 08 2011 - The R/V Shenehon who's cargo hold was being used as a Fuel "Tanker" was auctioned off this date. Will the new owner please get in contact with me. Congratulations.
September 25 2011 - Wooden T "SES Sea Horse" - Courtesy Sea Scout Officer Keep from San Francisco.
June 20 2011 - The Sea Dart II completed her USCG Inspection at Tottenville Marina on Staten Island in New York City.
May 26 2011 - Because of recent activity with this site. I have decided to expand the pictures section to include Interior pictures and pictures owners have sent of their activities with their T Boats. I like to thank Sam Haigh owner of T-454 "The General" for his recent pictures and the article from "Soundings" magazine on his boat.
May 20 2011 - I like to Thank Glenn the new owner of T-493 for inviting me aboard to take pictures and crawl around his boat. I would also like to thank Jon owner of Shellfish Marine for allowing me free access into his yard and and his Great Machine Shop. Thanks Guys!
April 28 2011 - T-493 has been sold and is being refitted by her new owner. Congratulations Glenn!!!
April 9 2011 - I have a treat for all Wooden T enthusiastics I recieved information from Niclas Andersson a Seaman from Sydkoster Sweden on a Wooden T Boat "T-151". The information and boat deserves it' own page and is reproduced completely below. Thanks Niclas!
April 8 2011 - "M/V Explorer" Posted on Facebook by former Sea Scout Captain Mitchell
March 29 2011 - New picture addition - Wooden T "Bassacki" - Picture courtesy Deb & Clint owners T-478 "T-Sarge" in California.
March 6 2011 - Recently there has been an unusual interest in the Army T Boat. Wooden and Steel 2001 Series. If I haven't responded to your requests in a reasonable amount of time please resend.
February 20 2011 - Update "Silent Thunder" T-453 is now at home in Florida.
Congratulations to Joshua B. the new owner of T-509 "Pathfinder". Josh video tape a segment of his trip home from Maine to Canada via part of the "Great Loop" and supplied us with a link. It is posted below. T-509 was refitted in Maine as double decked and is now being fitted out as a live a board.
Recent additions and Thanks: Clayton Conway & Dad for original pictures of T-510 "Norhwind" Mr Conway Sr was the Skipper of this Sea Scout Ship - Mike Knutson new owner T-450 the previous Sea Scout Vessel "Barclay Stephens". Alex Caron of Canada for the highly modified and elusive T-497 "Irving Chestnut".
April 24 2009 - Thanks Again to Alex Caron for the second picture of the highly modified T-435 the "Irving Hazelnut".
June 20 2009 - Congratulations and Thanks for update go out to Mrs & Mr Cummins for the update on their recently acquired T-453. She is presently being refitted for extended cruising and will soon be rechristened.
July 2009 - I like to thank the owners of "The General" for inviting me aboard their home and allowing me to take pictures....Thank You Sam! ------- I also like to thank Rose & Steve for their continued update on the refitting of the "Cormorant".
August 2009 - I recently returned from visiting the owners of the "Cormorant" in North Carolina and watched in amazement how one owner through dedication can transform an old classic T-Boat into a fine looking Cruising Yacht. I have posted a picture of the new bridge under construction........... Thank You Steve!!!!
Enclosed is also a recent picture of the Tow Boat "Carina" - Thank You Dewitt!
January 10 2010 - Congratulations to the New Owner of T-473!!!
February 21 2010 - Thank You the owner of T-218 A Wooden T Boat Built in 1943
March 10 2010 - Today I received information from Bill Urshel the new owner of T-451. He has provided a site link with her full history. She has been re christened the "Endeavor". Thank You Bill!
April 23 2010 - I received information from Retired Quartermaster Chief Harvey that T-460 had a previous life in the Navy as the "Donald P Hall". As the Hall she service thousands of Navy Personnel. She was also used to train Citadel Cadets and JROTC High School Students.
June 17 2010 T-501 The former "R/V Hydra" (R/V Perkins) also is undergoing sand blasting and painting at Ocean Marine with her new owner - Congratulations Ron!
August 26 2010 - Thanks goes out to Sea Scout Skipper Ron Dunkard for his pictures and Face Book entries on the former "Barclay Stephens" T-450. And for correcting typos I had on this site. Thank You Skipper.
August 27 2010 - A Very Special "Thank You" goes to the new owner of the "R/V Hydra" for the pictures sent yesterday. Thank You "Captain Ron"..... :)
If you have a T Boat that needs saving - have one for sale or are in the market for one please email me. I will do my best to help you: - TBoat490@aol.com If you have any information that can update this site and help keep the memory of these vessels alive I would greatly appreciate you getting in touch with me. Also I purchase original T-Boat equipment and memorabilia. Best Regards - Bill K
T-490 "R/V Adam Hyler" seen above is For Sale - Email TBoat490@aol.com for more information.
T-461 "Ray of Hope" Refitted Double Decker Liveaboard - Congratulations to new owner and thank you for getting in contact with me.
January 1 2010: T-515 "Watts T Use" has completed it's trip from West Florida through the Panama Canal and is presently for sale on the North West Coast: *** Just Sold *** Congratulations To The New Owner! (Please get in touch with me)
As Of June 2010 T-501 The Former "R/V Perkins" has a new owner. Congratulations Ron.
T-4-2 ("Tea For Two") Currently for sale on the hard in South Carolina ~ Received Information T-4-2 has been sold.
T-493 The previous "Ashley Jean" has been sold.
T-446 "Curlew" - August 17 2012 - West Coast: T-446 be going up for auction soon by Fish & Wildlife of Juno Alaska. Auction Ended 10/04/2012 Final Winning Bid $92,000
Information is very difficult to locate for two T Boats. If you have any additional information or pictures please contact me:
T-485 "Tudor" I received information she was transfered and served in Chu Lie, Vietnam as a general use and survey boat.
The current owner and I are searching for the original T Number of the old Alaska Dept of Fish & Wildlife Patrol vessel "Enforcer"
Letter Received From Seaman Niclas Andersson:
I worked as a Seaman and began my career as a deck hand aboard the "Rex". She was built as T-151 a U.S. Army. Not only was it the first boat I worked on but also the first boat I was on board as a new born baby. It was the Rex that took me from Stromstad on the Main Land to my home on the Island of Sydkoster, Sweden.
Over the years I tried to find out about T-151 history and the yard she was built in, but it has been difficult and so far all I know about her is her History from Norway and Sweden. I made contact with Bill Shell an American boat historian and he sent a picture of T-147 photograph by an Earle Boyd. As of today T-151 "Viking" is fly the Danish Flag and has Copenhagen as it's home port. Last year she went through a renovation of the hull. Another T Boat the "T-212" flying the flag of Dnemark and has been named Oby and runs fishing trips in the Sound. Below you will find links to my photo album with pictures of the "T-151" as Akero, Rex and Viking. Spar Shipping currently owns "T-212" Oby.
1943 - Delivered from yard to US Coast Guard (or Army ?) Named T-151 Harbor Patrol Boat in New York. Engine 8 Cyl Superior Diesel 160 HP. Diam. 62.3' x 16.4' Beam.
1944 - Shipped to Europe participates in Invasion of Normandy.
1946 - On loan to the Royal Danish Marine, Marshall Aid.
1949 - Formally taken over by the Royal Danish Marine Stubbekoping in Demark. Renamed "Gulborgland".
1949 - Sold to Mauritz Osterberg P/R Lillesand, Norway. Renamed "Aakeroy". Converted to Passenger Vessel 46 GT 19NT Traffic Kristiansand-Flekkeroy.
1951 - Sold to Fredrikstad-Hvaler Dampskip Sellskap A/S, Fredrikstad in Norway for 100,000 NOK.
1952 - Rebuilt at the shipyard EM. Moen og Sonn in Risor, Norway. New Superstructure and Stern. New lenght 21 Meters.
1952 - Traffic Fredrikstead - Hvaler. Renamed "Akero"
1958 - Grounding. Extensive damage to hull. Repairs completed 21 June.
1962 - Sold to AB Koster Trafik. New name "Rex". In service Stromstad, Sweden to Halden, Norway.
1962 - In service Stromstad Mainland to Koster Islands. The hull is painted Blue. (previously White).
1963 - New Customs Regulations makes a less profitable service. Tours end but resume when Ice is gone.
196? - New engine Volvo Penta TMD-120A Installed.
1984 - Leased to Ockero Municipality - Traffic Ockero - Kalvsund - Groto. Backup reinforcement to the regular boat "Nordstjarnan".
1984 - Repalced in Summer by newer boats in the Stromstad - Koster Trade. Used as backup boat and manages traffic to the smaller Island Ramso.
1990 - Sold to Rederi HB Arvika for $225,000 SEK. Renamed "Viking of Arvika".
199? - A water pipe freezes and the boat sinks at the dock. Salvaged and Repaired.
1995 - Sold to Varmdo Sjoentrepenad, Bengt Ake Djupdal, Saltso-Boo. Renamed to "Viking of Varmdo".
1995 - Regestered as a recreational vessel. Used as residence and office. Same Owner.
2006 - Sold to Age Rokkjaer, Brondby in Denmark.
October 2006 - Arrives in Copenhagen.
2010 - Used as Live-aboard boat in Copenhagaen, Denmark.
The above is complete as received except for Swedish Accents to letters that were not reproduced.