The National WWII Museum will now offer fast torpedo rides to the public from a WWII boat in Lake Pontchartrain, New Orleans on April 1. The PT-305 Patrol Torpedo boat, the world's only fully restored combat-veteran vessel, will bring interested locals and travelers into a 90-minute ride on the waters and another 45-minute deck tour about the history of the patrol boats.
The PT-305 is believed to be one of the four remaining patrol boats in the country. It rested at Back Bay Boat Yard in Galveston, Texas where it was acquired by the National WWII Museum in April 2007. It took over 105,000 hours for volunteers to finish the restoration project within the span of ten years.
National WWII Museum Executive Vice President, Stephen Watson, told ABC's WGNO, "By restoring and preserving the PT-305, the museum can now offer new generations an even deeper connection to the Greatest Generation - the chance to actually walk, and ride, in their footsteps." People who volunteered to help with the project consisted of WWII veterans, naval engineers, electrical engineers, retired Coast Guard captains, historians, and students.
Torpedo rides are only offered on Saturdays and are priced at $350 per person and $305 for seniors, children ages 12-17, military, and Museum Members, according to its website. Meanwhile, deck tours are offered on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Sundays cost $15 per person and $12 for seniors, children ages 12-17, military, and museum members.
Those who wanted to avail a shuttle service from the museum to the lake will cost $29 per person round-trip. The PT-305 can only accommodate 18 people on its deck with seating arrangements in designed "ammo cases."
Patrol boats during WWII were built in New Orleans by the Higgins Industries, helping the American Army from 1944 until the end of the war. After its service, it became a fishing boat until it was found by the Museum.