Higgins Class, U.S. Motor Torpedo Boats

Photograph of Higgins class motor torpedo boat

ONI 222

Schematic diagram of Higgins class motor torpedo boat

ONI 222


Tonnage 43 tons standard
Dimensions 78' by 19.5' by 5.3'
23.8m by 5.9m by 1.6m
Maximum speed       41 knots
Complement 17
Armament 4 21" torpedo tubes
1 20mm Oerlikon AA gun
2 0.50 machine guns
3-shaft internal combustion engine (1200 hp)
A large number were fitted with additional machine guns and cannon, often after landing their torpedo tubes. The heaviest effective armament was a single 40mm Bofors AA gun.
A modest amount of armor protection was applied to some boats.

Higgins produced one of the two main classes of motor torpedo boats, the other manufacturer being Elco. The Higgins PT boats were considered inferior to the Elcos, being less seaworthy and slightly slower in practice.

Video of PT boat reconstruction


"Ships of the U.S. Navy, 1940-1945" (accessed 2012-1-6)

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