PBR Restoration Project
PBR Searchlight Shock Mount

A restored PBR would be incomplete without the large searchlight attached to the Mark-56 Gun Tub on the bow. My gun tubs did not come with any searchlights so I decided to make them from scratch. (Photograph courtesy of the National Archives)

Fortunately a friend of mine who is also restoring a PBR provided me these fantastic plans, which shows every detail to make a PBR searchlight "Shock Mount". If you read the list of materials item #6 lists an "Aluminum Cook Pot-8 Qt." Yup, that's right...an 8 Qt. Aluminum Cooking Pot made my Mirro was used to hold the searchlight in position with tiny springs. When I told another friend about this discovery he exclaimed, "A stock pot? a lousy stock pot? I can't believe it...The person that came up with that one should get some kind of award. They should get the award just for having the a big enough pair to suggest it. I'm sure if they tried that these days they would be laughed out of the room. Somebody would have to spend millions to create such a simple solution as this." I couldn't have said it better myself!

My first task was to see if I could locate an antique 8 Qt. Mirro Pot. I was having absolutely no luck so I turned to a friend who immediately found one on eBay. I needed two so another eBay search turned up a mint Mirro 8 Qt. Stock Pot still in the box!

What a rare treasure-It was like opening a time capsule form the 1960's. I removed the two large staples on top of the box and opened it up. Inside the pot was still wrapped in the paper packing material.

Aluminum cooking pots were later found to be dangerous because the aluminum would transfer to the food cooked inside the pot. So using them on PBRs was an ingenious idea! The lid can be discarded and the handles need to be removed from the pot.

This is my second Mirro pot with the handel's removed. Taking off the handles was a simple task, which only requires removing two mounting screws. The handles attach to two mounts, which are riveted to the side of the pot. Those can remain in place as seen in the original B&W photo above.

This is the correct searchlight that goes inside of the pot. The light is listed as a Model No. 173 manufactured by the Portable Light Co, Inc.

Test to see if the light will fit...it's a perfect match!

 

 

To be continued...