This April, travelers and history buffs alike will be able to enjoy public rides on the fastest torpedo boat from World War II.
The Patrol-torpedo PT-305 was first tested prior to the war in Lake Pontchartrain of New Orleans. The “USS Sudden Jerk,” as it was nicknamed, had the important role of monitoring enemy coastlines and launching attacks on enemy ships just before it made a quick getaway. On top of being the fastest—it reached a speed as high as 40 knots, or 46 miles/hour—it is also one of the most rare types of boats from WWII; today, there are only four other patrol boats like it that still exist.
Now, the PT-305 is revisiting Lake Ponchertrain, but this time for leisure. Ninety-minute rides take passengers across the water, allowing them time to admire the seats on board which are designed to look like ammo cases. The ship’s new and restored glory is brought to the public by the National WWII Museum, who has dedicated over 100,000 hours of time to installing cabling, wiring, caulking and painting in hopes of creating a way for visitors to transport themselves into the days of the Greatest Generation with a single ride.
Rides are on Saturdays for $350, with discounts for children, seniors and members of the military. If you don’t have your sea legs yet, enjoy a deck tour of the ship for $15 during the week.
Grace Williamson is a travel intern with Paste and a freelance writer based out of Athens, Georgia.