Just after Pearl Harbor, a half-dozen PT boats were the US Navy’s only real fighting force in the Pacific. They went at their mission with a vengeance
The sun was still low in the sky over the Philippines on December 10, 1941, as 54 Japanese bombers and an escort of fighter planes flew toward the United States’ Cavite Navy Yard at Manila. Holding a beautiful, tight formation at 20,000 feet, the planes pounded the ships below.
Lieutenant John D. Bulkeley, commander of Motor Torpedo Boat Squadron 3, had received advance warning of the attack and started moving his squadron away from the confines of the shipyard for the open waters of Manila Bay. Maneuvering at high speed, his PT (Patrol Torpedo) boats made elusive targets. Five bombers swooped to attack, but ran into a storm of bullets from all 24 of Squadron 3’s guns. Three bombers fell from the sky and two other planes were damaged. So far, the tiny squadron seemed to have a fighting chance against the mighty Japanese force in the Far East... (see more at: http://www.americainwwii.com/articles/squadron-of-furies/)
When the Japanese attacked the Cavite Navy Yard in Manila, the Philippines, in December 1941, the overpowered US Navy Asiatic Fleet was forced to flee to safety under the protection of a tiny force that included the six PT (Patrol Torpedo) boats of MTB Ron 3.
1941 - US Patrol Torpedo Boat PT.34.- PT-34 of MTB Squadron 3 was one of six PT boats that represented the entire fighting American Navy in December 1941. The 84 officers and enlisted men of the PT boat squadron went to war against the Japanese Pacific forces. PT-34 met its end on April 9, 1942. After surviving an attack the day before against Japanese destroyers and a cruiser, she was again attacked by four Japanese floatplanes. All boats of MTB Squadron 3 were lost.