Class: PCF Mark I
At: Sewart Seacraft, Berwick, LA
Length: 50 feet, 1.5 inches
Beam: 13 feet, 1 inch
Draft: 3 feet, 6 inches
Displacement: 19 tons, 22.5 full load
Speed: 32 knots
Complement: 6 (1 officer)
Armament: Three .50 caliber machine guns (two twinned, one single); one 81mm mortar
National Museum of the United States Navy
805 Kidder Breese St., SE
Washington Navy Yard, DC 20374-5060
Fax: (202) 433-8200
Latitude: 38.8717424423, Longitude: -76.9943264668
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The Patrol Craft Fast (PCF) or “Swift Boat” as it was affectionately known, was adapted from a commercial design manufactured by Sewart Seacraft. The original boats transported workers to the offshore drilling rigs in the Gulf of Mexico. With minimal changes it was adapted for military use. These aluminum-hulled boats proved to be very useful in the near-shore, river, and bay war of South Vietnam. All told, of the approximately 170 PCF boats built, some 105 were of the Mark I type, the rest being mark II & III.
PCF-1 was the lead in the class and was used for training. She was based out of Coronado, CA until July of 1969 when she was moved to Mare Island, CA. In 1971 she was sent to the U.S. Navy facility in Panama.
In the fall of 1994 PCF-1 was located in Panama. She was transferred to the Naval Historical Center (Naval History and Heritage Command) from the Atlantic Fleet Training Command in 1995.
Note in the top photo the unique arrangement of a machine gun is strapped atop the mortar, an arrangement devised by a Coast Guard warrant officer.