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USCGC Coos Bay (WAVP-376)
WHEC-376 Coos Bay 1
USCGC Coos Bay (WAVP-376, later WHEC-376) sometime between 1949 and the U.S. Coast Guard's 1967 adoption of the "racing stripe" marking on its ships.
Career (United States) Ensign of the United States Coast Guard.svg
Name: USCGC Coos Bay
Namesake: Coos Bay, on the coast of Oregon (previous name retained)
Builder: Lake Washington Shipyard, Houghton, Washington
Laid down: 15 August 1941
Launched: 15 May 1942
Completed: May 1943
Acquired: Loaned by United States Navy to Coast Guard 5 January 1949
Commissioned: 4 May 1949
Decommissioned: 1 September 1966
Reclassified: High endurance cutter, WHEC-376, 1 May 1966
Fate: Returned to U.S. Navy 2 September 1967
Sunk as target 9 January 1968
Notes: Served as United States Navy seaplane tender USS Coos Bay (AVP-25) 1943-1946
General characteristics
Class & type: Casco-class cutter
Displacement: 2,510 tons (full load) in 1965
Length: 310 ft 0.375 in (94.49753 m) overall; 300 ft 0 in (91.44 m) between perpendiculars
Beam: 41 ft 0 in (12.50 m) maximum
Draft: 13 ft 2 in (4.01 m) at full load in 1965
Installed power: 6,080 bhp (4,530 kW)
Propulsion: Fairbanks-Morse geared diesel engines, two shafts; 166,421 US gallons (629,970 L) of fuel
Speed: 17.2 knots (31.9 km/h) (maximum sustained in 1965)
10.3 knots (19.1 km/h) (economic in 1965)
Range: 9,974 nautical miles (18,472 km) at 17.2 knots (31.9 km/h) in 1965
20,700 nautical miles (38,300 km) at 10.3 knots (19.1 km/h) in 1965
Complement: 151 (10 officers, 3 warrant officers, 138 enlisted personnel) in 1965
Sensors and
processing systems:
Radars in 1965: SPS-23, SPS-29A
Sonar in 1965: SQS-1
Armament: In 1965: one single 5-inch (127 mm) 38-caliber gun

USCGC Coos Bay (WAVP-376), later WHEC-376, was a Casco-class United States Coast Guard cutter in service from 1949 to 1966.

Construction and U.S. Navy serviceEdit

Coos Bay began life as the United States Navy Barnegat-class seaplane tender USS Coos Bay (AVP-25). She was laid down on 15 August 1941 by Lake Washington Shipyard at Houghton, Washington, launched on 15 May 1942, and commissioned into the U.S. Navy on 15 May 1943. She served in the Central Pacific and Southwest Pacific during World War II, and on occupation duty in Japan postwar. She was decommissioned on 30 April 1946 and placed in the Atlantic Reserve Fleet at Orange, Texas.

Transferred to the United States Coast GuardEdit

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 Navy loaned Coos Bay to the Coast Guard on 4 January 1949. After she underwent conversion for service as a weather reporting ship, the Coast Guard commissioned her as USCGC Coos Bay (WAVP-376) in May 1949.

U.S. Coast Guard serviceEdit

Coos Bay was stationed at Portland, Maine, throughout her Coast Guard career. 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.

Coos Bay rescued the 10-man crew of a downed U.S. Navy patrol aircraft midway between Bermuda and the Azores on 27 February 1953. On 11 March 1953 she assisted the commercial tanker Angy.

On 26 January 1955, Coos Bay rescued six crewmen of a downed United States Air Force transport aircraft about 1,000 nautical miles (1,900 km) east of Bermuda.

In December 1960 the Coos Bay rescued four inexperienced seamen aboard the R/V Grace (operated by the Lamont Geological Observatory) about 104 nautical miles (193 km) southwest of Bermuda. The Grace was towed back to Bermuda in heavy seas.

On 19 February 1964, Coos Bay rescued survivors from the British merchant ship Ambassador in the North Atlantic. Coos Bay was reclassified as a high endurance cutter and redesignated WHEC-376 on 1 May 1966.

Decommissioning and disposalEdit

USCGC Coos Bay (WHEC-376) being sunk as a target in the Atlantic Ocean on 9 January 1968

Coos Bay being sunk as a target off Virginia on 9 January 1968.

The Coast Guard decommissioned Coos Bay at Boston, Massachusetts, on 1 September 1966 and berthed her at Curtis Bay in Maryland, then returned her to the U.S. Navy on 2 September 1967. She was stricken from the Naval Vessel Register.

The Navy towed Coos Bay from Curtis Bay to a point in the Atlantic 120 nautical miles (220 km) off the coast of Virginia where on 9 January 1968 guided missile destroyer USS Claude V. Ricketts (DDG-5), one other Navy ship,[1] and 35 aircraft sank her as a target.

NotesEdit

  1. The Coast Guard Historian's Office does not identify the second ship; see http://www.uscg.mil/history/webcutters/CoosBay1949.asp.

ReferencesEdit

See alsoEdit

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