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PTF-26 Liberty



Temporary Berth

PTF-26 Liberty standing by at the bow of the USS Hornet waiting to shift to her Memorial Weekend berth.

A Power Engineering crane barge loans her the landing spot, the Sea Scout Ship Intrepid's 95' Cape-class Coast Guard Cutter is astern.


Underway and Stowing Fenders

Redwood City, California - May 2013  Josh Gilliland photo


Redwood City, California - May 2012  Paul Sweeney photo


Redwood City, California - April 2011  Kelly Lindblom photo


San Francisco Fleet Week 2010 "After the Parade" Tom Elliott photo


Mandeville  - July 3rd 2009


About to launch at Anderson's May 2008


Some History

Liberty, PTF-26, is a Vietnam-War, near coastal gunboat that was stationed in DaNang Vietnam.

PTFs were the Vietnam version of the famous WWII PT Boats.

PT (Patrol Torpedo) boats served in every theatre of WWII. The crews of these intrepid boats were well known for fighting these small, fast, gun and torpedo boats in countless battles against far bigger and more heavily armed enemies.

 PT Boat exploits in the Philippines, including the rescue of General Douglas Macarthur, were dramatized in the movie They Were Expendable, staring Robert Montgomery, John Wayne, Donna Reed.  Then Lieutenant, junior grade, John F. Kennedy’s exploits were memorialized in the movie PT 109, starring Cliff Robertson. A PT boat was towed down Pennsylvania Avenue in President Kennedy’s Inaugural Parade.

Vietnam PT boats were called PTFs. There were a total of 26 built, with PTF-26 being the final PTF and America’s last PT Boat.

PTFs were used as a near-coastal gunboats in Vietnam. Tens of thousands of sailors, soldiers and Special Forces personnel served on a great variety of combat and support vessels throughout the region during the war. The crew of PTF-26 salutes all who served.

River Patrol Boats (PBRs), as seen in the movie Apocalypse Now; the Swift Boats (PCFs), the heavy riverines (Monitors, Armored Troop Carriers and others) all were used extensively and saw heavy action. Support personnel on LSTs and at shore bases throughout Vietnam worked tirelessly, under adverse conditions to keep the boats operational. 


Filming the "Walk-On" portion of the Fear Factor military episode at the USS Hornet


Liberty Maritime is preserving, restoring, and actually operating, a unique historic vessel. Liberty, PTF-26, is the last of the Vietnam-Conflict "Fast Patrol Boats". 

The PTFs were directly derived from the World War II PT Boats. 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.  Today, of the four Osprey class boats, only 2 survive, PTF-23, and of course, Liberty, PTF-26.

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.  The stack houses the air intake for the engine room, so, even in very rough seas, the engines are  protected from waves and spray.  There were originally two l8-cylinder Napier Deltic diesel engines, each of 3100 Bhp, which, during a time trial in the 1970s, brought Liberty to a top speed of 51 knots.

The two tall antennas visible in the photograph above are SSB (single-side band) antennas that are approximately 45 feet off of the water.

Moored at Ayala Cove, Angel Island in the summer of 2008


See the Images page for more photos!



PTF-26 Original Specs

* Length

* Beam

* Draft

* Freeboard

* Antenna Height

* Construction

* Watertight Compartments

* Main Engines

* Aux.

* Fuel Capacity

* Original Armament




95 feet

24 feet

7.5 feet

7 feet

45 feet



2 ea. 3100 HP Napier Deltic Diesel

2 ea. 3-71 30kw Detroit Diesels

9,600 gallons

1 - 81mm over/under bow gun (.50cal/mortar,   piggy-back mount)

2 - 20mm  wing guns

1 - 40mm stern gun



Text and images (c) 2003-2014 Liberty Maritime Museum unless otherwise stated.