Huckins' Shirt Letter
In 1940 the Navy was fed up with its fledgling PT program, since the boats were pounding themselves to pieces. When Frank Huckins offered to build it a proper boat, the Navy offered to “loan” him the engines. Huckins began design and construction simultaneously, but was not satisfied with his 72-foot PT’s fi rst sea trial. Huckins solved the problem with an oak “belly band” chine. In the Navy’s competition — dubbed the “Plywood Derby” — Huckins’ design outperformed the pack. He claimed to have earned $28.60 for his effort! Huckins was given just 18 of 511 Pt boat orders, which inspired his “shirt letter” at war’s end. Read it below, or download a copy of the PDF.
Published: December, 2011
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