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USCGC Humboldt (WAVP-372)
USCGC Humboldt (WAVP-372)
USCGC Humboldt (WAVP-372, WHEC-372) sometime between the Coast Guard's 1967 adoption of the "racing stripe" marking on its ships and her decommissioning in 1969.
Career (United States) Ensign of the United States Coast Guard.svg
Name: USCGC Humboldt
Namesake: Humboldt Bay, on the coast of California (previous name retained)
Builder: Boston Navy Yard, Boston, Massachusetts
Laid down: 6 September 1940
Launched: 17 March 1941
Completed: October 1941
Acquired: Loaned by United States Navy to Coast Guard 24 January 1949
Transferred permanently from Navy to Coast Guard 26 September 1966
Commissioned: 29 March 1949
Decommissioned: 30 September 1969
Reclassified: High endurance cutter, WHEC-372, 1 May 1966
Struck: From Naval Register 1970
Fate: Transferred to U.S. Navy; sold for scrapping
Notes: Served as United States Navy seaplane tender USS Humboldt (AVP-21) 1941-1947
General characteristics
Class & type: Casco-class cutter
Displacement: 2,498 tons (full load) in 1966
Length: 311 ft 7.75 in (94.9897 m) overall; 300 ft 0 in (91.44 m) between perpendiculars
Beam: 41 ft 0 in (12.50 m) maximum
Draft: 12 ft 9 in (3.89 m) maximum
Installed power: 6,250 bhp (4,660 kW) in 1966
Propulsion: Fairbanks-Morse direct-reversing diesel engines, two shafts; 166,430 US gallons (630,000 L) of fuel
Speed: 17.3 knots (32.0 km/h) (maximum sustained in 1966)
10.0 knots (18.5 km/h) (economic)
Range: 10,138 nautical miles (18,776 km) at 17.3 knots (32.0 km/h) in 1966
20,500 nautical miles (38,000 km) at 11.0 knots (20.4 km/h) in 1966
Complement: 151 (10 officers, 3 warrant officers, 138 enlisted personnel)
Sensors and
processing systems:
Radars in 1966: SPS-23, SPS-29B
Sonar in 1966: SQS-1
Armament: In 1966: one single 5-inch (127 mm) 38-caliber Mark 12 gun mount, 1 x Mark 52 director, 1 x Mark 26 fire-control radar, 1 x Mark 10 Mod 0 antisubmarine projector, 2 x Mark 32 Mod 2 torpedo tubes

USCGC Humboldt (WAVP-372), later WHEC-372, was a Casco-class United States Coast Guard Cutter in service from 1949 to 1969.

Construction and U.S. Navy serviceEdit

Humboldt began life as the United States Navy Barnegat-class seaplane tender USS Humboldt (AVP-21). She was laid down on 6 September 1940 by the Boston Navy Yard at Boston, Massachusetts, and launched on 17 March 1941. She commissioned into the U.S. Navy on 7 October 1941. She operated in the Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea during World War II. She began conversion for use a press information ship in 1945 in anticipation of the invasion of Japan, but was converted back into a seaplane tender when the war ended without the invasion being necessary. She was decommissioned on 19 March 1947 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.

Humboldt was loaned to the Coast Guard at 24 January 1949. After undergoing conversion for use as a weather-reporting ship, she was commissioned into Coast Guard service as USCGC Humboldt (WAVP-372) on 29 March 1949.

During her Coast Guard career, Humboldt's 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 performed law enforcement operations.

U.S. Coast Guard serviceEdit

Humboldt was stationed at Boston, Massachusetts, from 29 March 1949 to September 1966. She was reclassified as a high endurance cutter and redesignated WHEC-372 on 1 May 1966. On 26 September 1966, her long-term loan from the Navy to the Coast Guard came to an end when she was transferred outright to the Coast Guard.

In September 1966, Humboldt shifted her home port to Portland, Maine. On 29 October 1968, she rescued the crew from the sailing ship Atlantic II.

Decommissioning and disposalEdit

Humboldt was decommissioned on 30 September 1969 and transferred to the U.S. Navy. She was struck from the Naval Register in 1970 and sold for scrap to Cantieri Navali, Genoa, Italy, for a bid amount of $60,000 (US$).

ReferencesEdit

See alsoEdit

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