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RightLurker

Huntingdon Valley, PA

#21 Aug 1, 2010
For those who might be interested, the three engines in the Flying Saucer were Packard model 4M 2500 marine engines. They were supercharged V-12s, and the same engine was used in all PT boats. They ran on 100 octane gasoline, sometimes referred to as "aviation fuel." The Packard 4M 2500 was never used in any airplane, however.
Dave D

Cherry Hill, NJ

#22 Sep 25, 2010
Mike Keville wrote:
Sadly, there will probably never again be anything like Chris' in O.C.
Although I'm nearly 70 years old I can still "hear" those Merlin/Rolls Royce (Allison?) V-12s coming to life at the dock.
Chris' was an institution, and it's too bad that the operation wasn't carried on by someone else after his passing. It was a great disappointment, sometime in the '80s, when I drove over the bridge from Somers Point and saw the condo' development. I'd been in Philly on business...drove down specifically to spend the day at Chris' and walk the boardwalk. Not only was Chris' gone, but so was Simms Restaurant (replaced by what appeared to be a tacky video arcade!). In fact the whole town looked like it had been taken over by corporate interests.

And I haven't been back since.
I agree with you Mike.OC is dead as well as the great history it once had.I live near there and it kills me to see how it has evolved.
Arthur Haberland

Bensalem, PA

#23 Dec 7, 2010
My Father was the last engineer aboard the saucer. I was out on her almost every evening and have very fond memories of that boat.

I was there when she "broke" The Saucer, unlike most PT boats, was planked, not plywood. On that particular night, Chris had just idled her out to the inlet and cleared the longport bridge when he began throttling up. As the bow rose above the water, a smaller speedboat (I think a cigarette) cut across her bow and he had to pull all three throttle back. This pissed him and as soon as he did so, he slammed all three throttles to the stops

The stern of the saucer dropped like a rock, churning up sand and mud from the inlet before the boat all but jumped out of the water. This was the fastest ride ever on the Saucer as Chris did not let up again on the throttles until he had returned to the Long Port bridge.

Sadly, the strain of all that power, all those people, and the age of her wood led to the inner hull splitting from the outer.. rendering her unsafe.

I am sure the Coast Guard held a party that night.

She made one last run.. with just Chris and my Father aboard. A full speed run up the Cedar Swamp Creek to her final Resting place just off of Moisquito Landing Road. From what I understand, Chris did not wait for the Beasly's Point Bridge to open, but just cleared it as they went up river. The bridge Tenders were scrambling that night.

I still have the intake from one of those engines. You can stick your head in it
ken struthers

Broomall, PA

#24 Dec 7, 2010
Arthur,

great story. go to Flickr and search Flying Saucer. I have many pictures.
Chris K

Yorba Linda, CA

#25 Dec 23, 2010
The book PT Boats at War (Polmar and Morison 1999) has a complete PT Boat Order of Battle (Appendix C) which lists the type and disposition of every WWII PT boat built. It says that PT 713 was a Vosper-B "Last reported as still in existence in 1978 rotting away at Yanks Boat Yard." Given the complete listing of all PT boats, and Ken Lee's Flickr photo of the Sentinel Ledger clipping showing the boat at Yanks waiting for the wrecking ball, that would seem to confirm the Saucer as a Vosper 70 footer. According to the book, the Vospers were considered too small (compared to the Elco 80 and Higgins 78 footers) for the U.S. Navy, and were all built for Britain. Beside the Saucer, the most famous Vosper was the PT 73 in the TV show McHale's Navy. That was originally PT 694 which, when surplussed like Saucer, was first sold to Howard Hughes and served as a tender for his Spruce Goose. After the TV show it was sold and eventually sunk in 1993.
ken

Broomall, PA

#26 Jun 21, 2011
I have 8mm pictures converted to dvd of the FLYING SAUCER. e-mail me kstruthers1@yahoo.com. Enter flying saucer in subject line
Arthur Haberland

Egg Harbor Township, NJ

#27 Jun 21, 2011
Mike,

Sadly, you are very right about OC being taken over by coroprate interests.. but in a round about way. It really started once people realised they could make money off of the casinos by catering to the people who worked there and played there. Once that happened and the money started to roll in.. it was down hill from there.

I am lucky to be old enough to remember what OC was like.. back when the traffic lights used to blink after labour day, when Chris was still alive and kicking, and places like Simms still served some of the best seafood around. I miss those times.
Bill Caskey

Glenside, PA

#28 Jul 5, 2011
As a kid growing up in OC I remember well hearing the Saucer come around the point and open em' up for her nightly run down the beach. If you were in the water when she came by you could put your head under the water and hear the screws turning. I t was awesome. I also remember the night it exploded down by the yacht club and a bunch of folks ended up jumping overboard.
FLYING SAUCER Mold-A-Rama

Washington, DC

#29 Jul 14, 2011
Hello
I was wondering if you (or anyone) remembers the MOLD-A-RAMA 25c plastic injecting machine that molded hot plastic 5" replicas of the FLYING SAUCER in just 33 seconds, circa 1963-64. I own a working machine, with the original moldset! Would love to hear from ANYONE who remembers, or to just talk about it! Please email me at MoldvilleMachine@gmail.com

Bill
Big Horse wrote:
Ken, I'd like thank you for posting the pictures of my Great Uncle Chris and his boats. Most of the other replies got it right. Those boats and the man were and are special to us, his family. My father work with him off & on fixing and tuning those Rolls Royce engines. By the way the Saucer had 4 engines and also needed air rutters to stear her. It was the first,the largest and fastest off shore speedboat ever in the United States. I got to ride in the cockpit one time with him when I was 14. He just had the engines worked on and was making a test run. We were about a mile out when he really cranked her up. It was as close as you can come to being in a rocket. Each engine had it's own gauges and throttles. Needless to say he scared the crap out of me when he told me to take hold of the controls and I froze in place, fearful of screwing up. Again thanks for the pictures . I'll tell my family to check this site out.
mike k palmyra nj

Riverton, NJ

#30 Aug 26, 2011
I worked as a mate on the wild goose back in 1959, wondering if anyone has photo's or video's of the Goose, Pony, or saucer.
My Dad ran a head boat out of Barnaget Light, and knew Chris.

Kozlowski2007@comcast.net
larry shindel carlock il

Bloomington, IL

#31 Aug 28, 2011
My grandfather ran the fishing boat Columbia for many years for Chris and I remember when we visited OC going on the different boats with him. Sadly after my granddad passed they sank the Columbia by the dock and made a place for people to see the fish. I wonder if anyone remember Capt. Frank Horner, my grandfather.
Anthony Migiaccio

Prince Frederick, MD

#32 Sep 7, 2011
My father worked for Chris in the mid 1930's. Chris was ten years older than pop. Pop was a charter captain, worked at the market and prepared fish for shipment. He also met my mother there in 1935. My parents left for war related work in Washington DC and only returned to OC to visit. I remember Chris' facility well. It was always neat and ship shape. My father said Chris was the neatest man he ever met and always had great respect for Chris. When did he finally close his restaraunt. And what became of the Flying Saucer and the other boats after the Flying Saucer was retired in 1973? Hard to believe it has almost been 40 years since that boat roared.
Tom

Mount Laurel, NJ

#33 Dec 20, 2012
We spent all our summers in the 50's and 60's In Ocean City on the beach at 23rd Street. I remember the Flying Saucer made two runs each day and turned around just off our beach, 11AM and 3PM as I recall. I rode the Saucer a few times and it was an unbelievable thrill for me as a young teen. I recall the Saucer got beached on one run as it made the turn. Chris's always had the best snapper soup and it was the first place my Dad would stop when we went down for the summer.
Ken

United States

#34 Dec 20, 2012
Tom wrote:
We spent all our summers in the 50's and 60's In Ocean City on the beach at 23rd Street. I remember the Flying Saucer made two runs each day and turned around just off our beach, 11AM and 3PM as I recall. I rode the Saucer a few times and it was an unbelievable thrill for me as a young teen. I recall the Saucer got beached on one run as it made the turn. Chris's always had the best snapper soup and it was the first place my Dad would stop when we went down for the summer.
. The pony ran 11:00 & 1:00. The saucer ran 3:00 & 7:00
See my pictures search Chris flying saucer. I have pictures and sine moviesy
OC Johnny

Woodbine, NJ

#35 Feb 6, 2013
For some reason I recall that the Saucer either blew up or caught fire with a bunch of people aboard

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