Restored WWII PT Boat sails through the streets of New Orleans (VIDEOS)

She may be 73-years-old, but PT-305 has never looked better as she moved from the National World War II Museum on her way back to the water after a $6 million restoration.

The world’s only fully operational and fully restored combat-veteran PT boat, PT-305 (also known over the years as “Half Hitch”,”Barfly” and “USS Sudden Jerk”),is a 78-foot patrol torpedo boat built in New Orleans during the war for the U.S. Navy.

Completed by Higgins Industry’s Industrial Canal Plant in December 1943, she served in Motor Torpedo Boat Squadron 22 in the Mediterranean along the coast of Southern France and Northern Italy, sinking two similar enemy small craft, a German Flak lighter on June 18, 1944 during the invasion of the island of Elba, and an Italian MAS boat on April 24, 1945.

Disposed of by the Navy in 1948, the wooden-hulled craft was used as an oyster boat in the Chesapeake Bay until 2001 when the Defenders of America Naval Museum in Galveston, Texas purchased her in poor condition. She joined the collection of the National WWII Museum in 2006 and over the past decade has been lovingly restored with the help of 100,000 volunteer hours to her former glory.

Seaworthy again, she is being moved from the museum to her new home, a boathouse on Lake Pontchartrain, where she will be open for tours and cruises by next April.

“This is a big deal for all of us, but especially for the men and women for the last ten years who put blood, sweat and tears into the restorations,” Stephen Watson, museum executive vice president and COO, told Monday.

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