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USCGC Escanaba (WHEC-64)
EscanabaWHEC45
USCGC Escanaba (WHEC-64), 1 September 1968
Career US flag 48 stars.svg
Builder: Western Pipe & Steel
Laid down: Unknown
Launched: Unknown
Christened: Otsego
Commissioned: 20 March 1946
Decommissioned: 28 June 1974
Reclassified: WPG-64 to WHEC-64
Fate: Scrapped 1974[1]
Notes: WPS Hull No. 151.
General characteristics
Class & type: Owasco-class United States Coast Guard Cutter
Displacement: 1,342 light (1966), 1,978 fully loaded (1966)
Length: 254 ft
Beam: 43 ft 1 in
Draft: 17 ft 3" (1966)
Propulsion: 1 x Westinghouse electric motor driven by a turbine, shaft horsepower 4,000 (1945)
Speed: 17 knots
Range: 6,157-mile radius @17 knots, 10,376 mile radius @10 knots (1966)
Complement: Crew: 10 officers, 3 warrants, 130 men (1966)
Armament: 1960's: 1 x 5"/38; Hedgehog; 2 x Mk 32 ASW TT

USCGC Escanaba (WHEC-64) was an Owasco-class high endurance cutter built for World War II service with the United States Coast Guard. The war ended before the ship was completed and consequently she never saw wartime service.

Escanaba was built by Western Pipe & Steel at the company's San Pedro shipyard. Named after Escanaba Lake, New York, she was commissioned as a patrol gunboat with ID number WPG-64 on 20 March 1946. Her ID was later changed to WHEC-64 (HEC for "High Endurance Cutter" - the "W" signifies a Coast Guard vessel).[2][3]

Operational serviceEdit

Escanaba was originally named Otsego after Otsego Lake in the state of New York. It was renamed in honor of the first Escanaba- wpg class-77 which was sunk during the second world war. That cutter and a third still in service, were named for the city of Escanaba in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. She was home ported at Alameda, California, from 1946 to 1954, and used for law enforcement, ocean station, and search and rescue operations in the Pacific. She was decommissioned and placed in storage from 1954 to 1957. From 1957 to 28 June 1973, she was stationed at New Bedford, Massachusetts, and used for law enforcement, ocean station, and search and rescue operations in the Atlantic. In late November 1965, she assisted the US MV's American Pilot and Maumee Sun following their collision west of Cape Cod Canal. On 10 January 1966, she rescued two survivors from MV Monte Palomares that sank in heavy seas with a loss of 31 lives. On 5 February 1967, she rescued two Cuban refugees from Elbow Cay. In January 1969, she was disabled 100 miles east of Virginia Beach, Virginia, when the aft bearing on the main motor burned out. She arrived at Norfolk, Virginia, on 20 January. From 28 December 1969 to 2 January 1970, she escorted the distressed East German MV Ange to Bermuda. On 13 January 1970, she stood by the Norwegian MV Chandeleur in the mid-Atlantic until fire damage was repaired. Two days later, she escorted the distressed Norwegian MV Condo until Condo could proceed on her own. On 25 March 1970, she medevaced a crewman from the Korean MV Kumsong in the mid-Atlantic. The ship was decommissioned on 28 June 1974.

FootnotesEdit

ReferencesEdit

  • Escanaba WHEC-64, United States' Coast Guard website.
  • Scheina, Robert L.: U.S. Coast Guard Cutters & Craft of World War II Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 1981, pp. 1–3.
  • Scheina, Robert L.: U.S. Coast Guard Cutters & Craft, 1946-1990 Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 1990, pp. 18–26.

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