PT Boats on Europe

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    Henry Higgins

    Hello everybody, I’m building up some British and American forces for games based in the Mediterranean. I’m really looking forward to the Italian fleet coming out soon.

    I have a coupel of questions that I hope someone can help me with. Firstly, I recall reading somewhere that US PT boats in the Med weren’t fitted with the rocket launchers or deck guns that the Elco boat model has. Is this correct? Will I need to leave them off and carve off the deck fittings?

    Second, I want to be sure I’m making up my Fairmiles properly. The Warlord pictures show the gun with the shield at the front, but I have been told that the automatic gun should always go at the front and the gun with the shield at the back. Is that right?

    Finally, (oh, sorry, thats 3 questions) any suggestions for colour schemes for the US boats? I have Germans as well so thinking I might want my US boats to be OK for the Med and the Channel


    So I wonder the same. I found a site ( this may have what you are looking for and the specific squadrons that were used and there boats. I found a lot of info about the med in there.

    Bill McGill

    Regarding the Fairmile Dog Boats for the Med, you will have to do a lot of work on the current Warlord model. As I understand it, only one of the Dog Boat squadron that operated in the Med alongside PT boats carried torpedo tubes, and that only had a single pair. The rest were pure gun boats, and all did have heavier armament than the current model.

    Henry Higgins

    Oh that’s a shame, and i just found out the Vosper Type 2 was only used in the North Sea as well. Maybe my Mediterranean idea is sunk and I should just play the North sea

    Big Al

    Look online for pics of Fairmiles, Henry. You’ll find that the gun on the front with a shield, too. Whether it has a shield or not, it is still a semi automatic gun.

    invisible officer

    1. The Med Elcos had rocketlaunchers, they did two attacks with them but hit nothing. Higgins had no in Europe but late one in Pacific had them.

    2.The Fairmile D vesion with four 18 in. tubes are the latest Version, those in med had two 21 in.

    3. European PT scheme was normally Grey over all. In Med. the Zebra scheme was used for short time with Little sucess.


    A good reference on Allied coastal forces are the books by John Lambert and Al Ross call Allied Coastal Forces of World War II. There were two volumes published – Volume I dealt with Fairmile designs and U.S. sub chasers, and Volume II covered Vosper MTBs and Elcos. They are pricey to buy, but sometimes you can find them in libraries.

    Volume II has a short chapter on U.S. Elco camouflage that includes the factory applied and subsequent camouflage measures applied. But there is a summary paragraph that says:
    “There were at least twelve different approved camouflage measures applied to Elco PTs between 1940 and 1945, as well as a variety of unofficial, field-applied patterns. Most of the boats produced up to early 1942 left the factory in grey and were then repainted as appropriate for their theater of operations. Pacific boats we generally repainted overall green initially, then in one of the multiple green measures. Atlantic boats generally retained an overall grey scheme. As one might expect, though, variations occurred. The Elcos operating in the Aleutians were grey, while RON 29 boats in the Mediterranean were light blue (Measure 16), despite having left the factory in the greens of Measure 31.5P.”

    US Navy MTB RON 29 was made up the of Elco 80 foot PT boats number 552 – 563. Measure 16 used Thayer Blue on vertical surfaces and Deck Blue on Horizontal surfaces ( You can find some naval color equivalents for Vallejo paints at this link –

    Note that USN MTB RON 15, made up of Higgins 78 foot PT boats 201 – 218, also operated in the Mediterranean. I haven’t seen an official color for those.

    For the rocket launchers, the ones on the Warlord game model Elco PT are the Mk 50 launcher, which were not common until 1944. The ones used in the Mediterranean on the Elcos were probably the Mk 8 “egg-crate” launchers (see this image: and on the Higgins boats a Mousetrap type (see this image: That said, it wouldn’t hurt anything to use the ones that are included with the model.

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