Drafts for Crafts, an annual fundraiser organized by The National WWII Museum’s Young Benefactors, serves as a platform for the Museum’s ongoing efforts to restore significant WWII macro-artifacts. In years past, the Benefactors—a committee of young professionals who support the preservation of important WWII artifacts—used this signature event to help complete the restoration of PT-305. With the vessel now fully operational and back in its home waters of Lake Pontchartrain, their focus has shifted to a 1943 Ford-American LaFrance Fire Truck, a macro-artifact in the Museum's collection that will be used to educate the public about service on the American Home Front. The Fire Truck will be restored as an Army fire engine and will help Museum visitors interpret the broad range of occupations and tasks needed to win the war.
Since 2014, Drafts for Crafts has been vital in providing the funds necessary to restore PT-305. In 2017, Drafts for Crafts celebrated the completion of the PT-305 project with its return to the Louisiana waterways after 10 long years of restoration.
Patrol-torpedo boats were the perfect expression of the American Spirit at war. Swift and highly maneuverable, heavily armed, equipped with advanced technology—and often ingeniously modified—the boats required teamwork and raw courage. And they proved a deadly asset.
PT-305, built by Higgins Industries in New Orleans, served with distinction in the Mediterranean during World War II, then had a long postwar career as a workboat. After nearly a decade of restoration, PT-305 has returned to the waters where she was tested before shipping off to war. Based at a custom-built boathouse at Lakeshore Landing, PT-305 offers the public thrilling rides and fascinating deck tours. She will serve as a living history lesson, showcasing wartime technology, Home Front ingenuity, and the stories of the brave men who served with her.
The National WWII Museum thanks the many individuals who contributed supplies, materials, financial support, and their time in helping us write the next chapter of this amazing WWII story.