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Veteran patrol boat to head back to the US

One of two patrol boats donated to Malta when George Borg Olivier was still Prime Minister, is about to head back to the US to become a memorial.

P-24, along with P-23, was donated to the then Malta Land Force by the US government in 1971.

The two small inshore patrol boats became the work horses of the Maritime Squadron and were only retired once four new Austal patrol boats were commissioned last year.

The Swifts were built at the time of the Vietnam war, with the two vessels used in Malta having started their life as training vessels.

Vietnam veterans, members of the American Swift Boat Sailors' Association, visited Malta two years ago and said the Malta Swifts were the last two still in service, out of hundreds that were built.

P-24 is expected to be exhibited at San Diego Maritime Museum in California. It will be shipped on a US Navy vessel. 

The AFM will retain P-23 as a memorial to the seven soldiers and policemen killed in a fireworks explosion aboard more than 25 years ago.

 

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