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What do you know about PT-109?
Defend with this World War II History Made Easy quiz.
"Check Your Answers" at the end of the page.

1) MTBs (Motor Torpedo Boats) were designed for high speed and maneuverability on the water to get close enough to launch their torpedoes at enemy vessels. With next to no armor, the boats relied upon their agility at high speed to avoid being hit by gunfire from bigger ships.PT-109

  • True or False?

2) The PT-109's keel was laid down on March 4 1942.
Where was it built?

  1. Bayonne, New Jersey
  2. Bridgeport, West Virginia
  3. Santa Barbara, California

3) What was the date the PT-109 was launched?

  1. May 20, 1942
  2. June 20, 1942
  3. July 20, 1942

4) In an action considered too inconsequential by military historians to even have a formal name, PT-109 was sent out north on a night mission through Ferguson Passage to Blackett Strait. She was one of 15 boats sent to intercept the Tokyo Express. PT-109, along with PT-162 and PT-169, continued to patrol the area in case the enemy ships returned.  
What was NOT one of the PT boats with PT-109?

  1. PT-162
  2. PT-169
  3. PT-103

5) With only ten seconds warning, PT-109's crew realized they were squarely in the path of the Japanese destroyer.  
What was the name of the destroyer?

  1. Amagiri
  2. Mikuma
  3. Mogami

6. What was the date the Japanese destroyer cut the PT-109 in half?

  1. August 2, 1943
  2. September 2, 1943
  3. October 2, 1943

7) All of the nearby large islands had Japanese camps on them. The survivors carefully chose the tiny deserted island, southwest of Kolombangara Island. They placed their lantern, shoes, and non-swimmers on one of the timbers used as a gun mount and began kicking together to propel it. It took four hours for the survivors to reach their destination, 3.5 miles away.
What was the island?

  1. Plum Pudding Island
  2. Purple Flowers Island
  3. Red Orange Island

8) Kennedy had swum at Harvard University, so, using a life jacket strap he clenched in his mouth, he towed one of his badly-burned sailors.
Who was the sailor?

  1. John E. Maguire
  2. Patrick H. "Pappy" McMahon
  3. Gerard E. Zinser

9) Kennedy then led his men to Olasana Island, which had coconut trees and water. The explosion on August 2 was spotted by Australian coastwatcher Sub Lieutenant Arthur Reginald Evans, who manned a secret observation post at the top of the volcano on Kolombangara Island; over ten thousand Japanese troops were garrisoned in the southeast. The Navy and its squadron of PT boats held a memorial service for the crew of PT-109 after reports were made of the large explosion. However, Evans dispatched Solomon Islanders Biuku Gasa and Eroni Kumana in a dugout canoe to look for possible survivors after decoding news that the explosion he had witnessed was probably from the lost PT-109.
What was the PT boat that rescued the PT-109 crew?

  1. PT-161
  2. PT-165
  3. PT-157

10) Lt. John Kennedy and some PT-109 crew decided to remain in the South Pacific. 
What was the PT boat Kennedy commanded?

  1. PT -59
  2. PT-103
  3. PT-176


1) True. 2) A. 3) B. 4) C. 5) A. 6) A. 7) A. 8) B. 9) C. 10) A.

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