Courtesy of The National WWII Museum

The nation's only restored ship of its kind will offer public rides for the first time in April. 

Talia Avakian
March 17, 2017

History buffs will soon be able to take a ride on the fastest torpedo boat from World War II for the very first time.

The National WWII Museum will begin offering public rides on its restored patrol-torpedo PT-305, the only fully restored ship of its kind in the U.S., on April 1.

The 90-minute rides will take place along the same waters of New Orleans’s Lake Pontchartrain, where the patrol torpedo was first tested before the war, and will include seats designed to look like ammo cases that passengers hop into.

Nicknamed the “USS Sudden Jerk” by its first crew back in 1945, the PT-305 played a crucial role in the war, patrolling enemy coastlines and launching attacks on enemy ships before quickly darting away thanks to its speed, according to the Associated Press.

Besides being the fastest at a speed of 40 knots (or roughly 46 miles per hour) and some of the most heavily armed ships during the war, the patrol boats are also some of the rarest, with only four still in existence in the U.S. today.

Courtesy of The National WWII Museum

To bring the torpedo back to full fruition, museum staff and volunteers put in more than 100,000 hours to install 12,000 feet of cabling and wiring, three miles worth of caulking, and some 300 gallons of paint.

Visitors can see their efforts not just on the boat rides, but also on deck tours that will be offered during the week for $15.

Courtesy of The National WWII Museum

“By restoring and preserving the PT-305, the museum can now offer new generations an even deeper connection to the Greatest Generation — the chance to actually walk, and ride, in their footsteps,” Stephen Watson, the museum’s executive vice president, told ABC's WGNO

Visitors who want to be transported into the past as they make their way down the lake’s waters in what is the only operating ship of its kind today can do so on Saturdays, when the rides will be offered, for $350.

Courtesy of The National WWII Museum

“Normally, exhibit items are behind a piece of glass; this one you can see, feel, and hear,” project historian Josh Schick told the AP. “I always say you can't smell history in a museum ... You can smell it now.”

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