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USCGC Castle Rock (WAVP-383)
USCGC Castle Rock (WHEC-383)
USCGC Castle Rock (WHEC-383, ex-WAVP-383) on 1 May 1969.
Career (United States) Ensign of the United States Coast Guard.svg
Name: USCGC Castle Rock
Namesake: Castle Rock, an island in Alaska (previous name retained)
Builder: Lake Washington Shipyard, Houghton, Washington
Laid down: 12 July 1943
Launched: 11 January 1944
Completed: October 1944
Acquired: Loaned by U.S. Navy to U.S. Coast Guard 16 September 1948
Transferred permanently from U.S. Navy to U.S. Coast Guard 26 September 1966
Commissioned: 18 December 1948
Decommissioned: 21 December 1971
Reclassified: High endurance cutter, WHEC-377, 1 May 1966
Struck: 26 September 1966 (from Navy List)
Honors and
awards:
Two campaign stars for Vietnam War service
Fate: Transferred to South Vietnam 21 December 1971
Taken over by the Republic of the Philippines April 1975
Transferred to Philippines April 1976
Decommissioned June 1985
Discard March 1993; probably scrapped
Notes: Served as United States Navy seaplane tender USS Castle Rock (WAVP-35) 1944-1946
Served as South Vietnamese patrol vessel RVNS Tran Binh Trong (HQ-05) 1971-1975
Served as Philippine Navy patrol vessel BRP Francisco Dagohoy (PF-10) 1975-1985
General characteristics
Class & type: Casco-class cutter
Displacement: 2,529 tons (full load) in 1966
Length: 310 ft 9 in (94.72 m) overall; 300 ft 0 in (91.44 m) between perpendiculars
Beam: 41 ft 2.375 in (12.55713 m) maximum
Draft: 13 ft 8 in (4.17 m) maximum in 1966
Installed power: 6,400 bhp (4,800 kW)
Propulsion: Fairbanks-Morse direct-reversing diesel engines, two shafts; 166,430 US gallons (630,000 L) of fuel
Speed: 18.2 knots (33.7 km/h) (maximum sustained) in 1966
10.0 knots (18.5 km/h) (economic) in 1966
Range: 8,000 nautical miles (15,000 km) at 18.2 knots (33.7 km/h) in 1966
18,050 nautical miles (33,430 km) at 10.0 knots (18.5 km/h) in 1966
Complement: In 1966: 151 (10 officers, 3 warrant officers, 138 enlisted personnel)
Sensors and
processing systems:
Radars in 1966 (one each): SPS-51, SPS-29
Sonar in 1966: SQS-1
Armament: In 1966: 1 x single 5-inch (127 mm) 38-caliber Mod D gun mount; Mark 52 Mod 3 director; Mark 26 Mod 4 fire control radar
2 x 81-millimter mortars
2 x .50-caliber (12.7-millimeter machine guns
1 x Mark 10-1 antisubmarine projector; 2 x Mark 32 Mod 5 torpedo launchers

USCGC Castle Rock (WAVP-383), later WHEC-383, was a Casco-class United States Coast Guard cutter in service from 1948 to 1971.

Construction and U.S. Navy serviceEdit

Castle Rock began life as the United States Navy Barnegat-class seaplane tender USS Castle Rock (AVP-35). She was laid down on 12 July 1943 by Lake Washington Shipyard, Houghton, Washington, launched on 11 January 1944, and commissioned into the U.S. Navy on 8 October 1944. She operated in the Central Pacific during and after World War II. She was decommissioned on 6 August 1946 at San Francisco, California, and placed in reserve.

Transferred to the United States Coast GuardEdit

USCGC Castle Rock (WAVP-383) commissioning

The commissioning ceremony for USCGC Castle Rock (WAVP-383) on 18 December 1948 at Mare Island Naval Shipyard, Vallejo, California.

Barnegat-class ships were very reliable and seaworthy and had good habitability, and the Coast Guard viewed them as ideal for ocean station duty, in which they would perform weather reporting and search and rescue tasks, once they were modified by having a balloon shelter added aft and having oceanographic equipment, an oceanographic winch, and a hydrographic winch installed.

The U.S. Navy loaned Castle Rock to the Coast Guard on 16 September 1948. After undergoing conversion for use as a weather-reporting ship, she was commissioned into the Coast Guard service as USCGC Castle Rock (WAVP-383) on 18 December 1948 at Mare Island Navy Yard, Vallejo, California.

U.S. Coast Guard serviceEdit

North Atlantic and Caribbean service 1948-1971Edit

Castle Rock was stationed at Boston, Massachusetts, after her commissioning. Her primary duty was to serve on ocean stations in the Atlantic Ocean to gather meteorological data. While on duty in one of these stations, she was required to patrol a 210-square-mile (544-square-kilometer) area for three weeks at a time, leaving the area only when physically relieved by another Coast Guard cutter or in the case of a dire emergency. While on station, she acted as an aircraft check point at the point of no return, a relay point for messages from ships and aircraft, as a source of the latest weather information for passing aircraft, as a floating oceanographic laboratory, and as a search-and-rescue ship for downed aircraft and vessels in distress, and engaged in law enforcement operations.

In March 1956, Castle Rock towed the Finnish merchant ship Sunnavik from 300 nautical miles (560 km) south of Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, to safety.

Castle Rock reported to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, for service during the blockade of Cuba during the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962.

Castle Rock took part in the United States Coast Guard Academy cadet cruise in May 1963 and again in August 1965. On 1 May 1966, Castle Rock was reclassified as a high endurance cutter and redesignated WHEC-383. On 26 September 1966 her period on loan to the Coast Guard ended when she was stricken from the Navy List and transferred permanently to the Coast Guard.

Castle Rock was stationed at Portland, Maine, beginning in 1967, with the same duties she had as during her years at Boston. On 22 February 1967 and 23 February 1967, she rescued eight people from the sinking fishing vessel Maureen and Michael 90 nautical miles (170 km) southwest of Cape Race, Newfoundland, Canada.

Vietnam War service 1971Edit

Castle Rock was assigned to Coast Guard Squadron Three in Vietnam in 1971. On her way to Vietnam, she suffered an engineering casualty and sank at her pier in Singapore, but continued on her way after making repairs and reported for duty with the squadron on 9 July 1971. Coast Guard Squadron Three was tasked to operate in conjunction with U.S. Navy forces in Operation Market Time, the interdiction of communist coastal arms and munitions traffic along the coastline of Vietnam during the Vietnam War. The squadron's other Vietnam War duties included fire support for ground forces, resupplying Coast Guard and Navy patrol boats, and search-and-rescue operations. Castle Rock served in this capacity until 21 December 1971.

Castle Rock earned two campaign stars for her Vietnam War service, for:

  • Consolidation I 9 July 1971 – 30 November 1971
  • Consolidation II 1 December 1971 – 21 December 1971

DecommissioningEdit

The Coast Guard decommissioned Castle Rock in South Vietnam on 21 December 1971, the day her Vietnam War tour ended.

Foreign serviceEdit

South Vietnamese serviceEdit

Castle Rock was transferred to South Vietnam on 21 December 1971 and commissioned into the Republic of Vietnam Navy as patrol vessel RVNS Tran Binh Trong (HQ-05). When South Vietnam collapsed at the end of the Vietnam War in April 1975, Tran Binh Trong fled to Subic Bay in the Philippines,

On 22 May 1975 and 23 May 1975, a U.S. Coast Guard team inspected Tran Binh Trong and several other former Casco-class cutters which had been transferred to South Vietnam in 1971 and 1972 and, like Tran Binh Trong, fled to the Philippines in April 1975. One of the inspectors noted: "These vessels brought in several hundred refugees and are generally rat-infested. They are in a filthy, deplorable condition. Below decks generally would compare with a garbage scow."[1]

Philippine Navy serviceEdit

After Tran Binh Trong was cleaned, repaired, and made ready to return to service, the U.S. Navy formally transferred her to the Republic of the Philippines in 5 April 1976. She was commissioned in the Philippine Navy as frigate BRP Francisco Dagohoy (PF-10) on 23 June 1979. She was decommissioned in June 1985, discarded in March 1993, and probably scrapped.

ReferencesEdit

  1. This quote, from the U.S. Coast Guard Historian's Office at http://www.uscg.mil/history/webcutters/McCulloch_1946.pdf, is unattributed.

See alsoEdit

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