PTF-3 A FAST AND NASTY P.T. BOAT
Since 2003, a group of military veterans have been restoring an 80ft (mahogany) Vietnam-era Patrol Boat at the Deland Naval Air Station Museum, Deland Airport, creating a living tribute to the veterans who lived and the many thousands who died serving our country. Restoration of PTF-3 is a labor of love, drawing worldwide attention. A notable highlight of our project is that some of the Crew Members who actually served on her have visited the site with their families. They parade with us on Veterans Day in Deland. Our Newsletter, Facebook page and Website present a daily reminder to thousands of admirers that PTF-3 is alive and well and WILL SAIL AGAIN. Designated PTF-3 (Patrol, Torpedo, Fast), this historic vessel was launched in 1962. She was the first PTF boat put into service. While on a mission in the Tonkin Gulf, PTF-3 was discovered by the “enemy,” chased by Patrol Boats and forced to run for cover between two US Destroyers.
The ensuing action became the “Tonkin Gulf Incident”that triggered president Johnson’s “Tonkin Gulf Resolution”in 1964. After years of valiant sevice, a battered PTF 3 returned to the US for duty as a Navy Dive Training Vessel in Key West,eventually retired and sold.She was found in the New River ,Ft. Lauderdale,and donated to Boy Scout Troop 544, Orange city, FL.The Vessel was pushed by tug to the Boston Whaler Dock, Edgewater, FL.With bridge removed ,she was hoisted from the water.
On 25 July 2003,the 60 ton craft was transported overnight ,on an improvised cradle ,down Internationa; Speedway Boulevard to her present site at DNAS Museum,Deland Airport.When restored ,PTF3 will be moored on Lake Monroe at a dock by the city of Sanford,where she will seve as a historic museum, tourist attraction,and a fully operational Training Vessel for Sea Scouts and Sea Cadets.
The restoration crew works on PTF3 every Wednesday and Saturday. Volunteers have rebuilt the hull literally from stem to stern,laminating ,installing ,removing and replacing as they move along.Funds for materials came from donations and a Historic Preservation Grant from the State of Florida.The Preservation Grant ran out mid 2009. The project is now without an established source of income.
Utilizing the balance of materials already purchased ,and carefully controlling expenditures,the Restoration is still moving forward.To regain stability and to take this worthy project to completion,we are actively seeking Donations and sponsors from our community.Many of you have already demonstrated your support: now we are looking to strengthen your interest.
PTF crew would be pleased to present a short informal program on our project at one of your meetings.
Visit us at the museum, Facebook and at www.ptf3resoration.org
Donations and correspondence: PTF 3 restoration, 910 Biscayne Blvd,Deland FL 32724