MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCBD)- A lengthy renovation process is over at Patriots Point as the patrol boat in the Vietnam War exhibit was put back into the water Tuesday morning.
A 90 ton crane lifted the boat into a lagoon at the exhibit.
“It will go back in freshwater for about five years. Then every five years we’ll go through the same process of pulling her out and repainting the hull as necessary,” said Hastings.
The boat is known as a Patrol Boat River (PBR) and helped the U.S Navy patrol the deltas and rivers in Vietnam.
“They first saw service in 1966 through 1971. They’re fast, small and maneuverable about 31 foot long boats that are heavily armed, not armored,” said Michael Hastings, Director of Operations at Patriots Point. “They had a lot of machine guns on them. A couple of them had grenade launchers and a four man crew.”
The PBR at Patriots Point never saw any action in Vietnam, but it was used for training purposes by the U.S Navy
“This is one of about 30 left in the United States and only six are actually on display and we have one of them,” said Hastings.
Patriots Point had to fundraise for the renovations last year. The fundraising goal was met and surpassed in a month as about 70 donors gave money.
“It was really exciting to watch. There were people from all over the country who connected this. There were PBR veterans all over the country and they were reaching out to their friends,” said Allison Hunt, Executive Director for the USS Yorktown Foundation.