March 21

WHO RECEIVES THIS NEWSLETTER? Members who have an upcoming birthday, each potential Coast Guard Club recruit, & any Coastie I write to. Dick Anderson, KE7A, also posts a copy of this Newsletter on his Web page at If you can receive e-mail files, are a member of the Coast Guard Club, & would like a copy of this Newsletter each month, please advise.

E-MAIL: My address is & If you have e-mail service, please let me know & I will add you to Appendix E of the call book. Additionally, Dick Anderson,, & I need to know when you obtain or cancel e-mail, change providers or addresses & would appreciate it if you would please keep us updated.

NEW BUOY TENDERS: [Info. provided by Al Mans, KG9BI.] The SPAR was commissioned & launched at Marinette Marine Corp., Marinette, WI on 12 August. SPAR is a 255-ft. Cutter with a crew of 37; the old 18-foot tenders had a crew of about 45. SPAR is loaded with electronics equipment, much more horsepower, & the buoy deck crane that is opposite the 18s. The first Commanding Officer will be a female who will take the Cutter to Kodiak, AL, its homeport.

DECOMMISSIONING: [From George E Vincent, WA5GEV]. POINT ESTERO will be decommissioned soon & transferred to the Colombian Navy. The 82-ft. WPB was commissioned in December 1963 at the CG Yard. Meanwhile, the crew will be familiarising themselves with the operations of the replacement Cutter, the 87-ft. RAZORBILL of the Predator class, which are built to accommodate mixed crews.

COPTER CREW EARNS MEDAL: [From George E Vincent, WA5GEV] The citations speak of extraordinary achievement, exceptional fortitude & devotion to duty. 5 July about 12 pm Ocean Crusader, an oilrig, sent a Mayday message that they were on fire. Although no one despatched them, HH-65 Dolphin helicopter, with LT Troy Beshears, pilot, PO1 MIKE Bouchard, LCDR Brian Moore, & PO1 John Green. 51 people needed evacuation, but the helicopter could only carry 4 at a time, which were taken to another platform about 1 miles away. A supply boat in the area offered to help; a process of lowering the evacuees to the boat using a crane & gondola was used. Having flown 12 men to safety, the helicopter crew had to leave the scene to refuel at a nearby platform. A second helicopter arrived from Mobile to assist. Eventually the rig erupted in flames with Green still on it, but Moore flew to the rig with the rotors washing away the smoke, Green dove into the helicopter. Beshears & Moore considered recommending Green for the Distinguished Flying Cross. Its rarely given in peacetime & in peacetime its given for very extraordinary circumstances; the DFC ranks between the Silver Star & the Bronze Star.

SAVED FROM THE SEA! Forty-five miles out at sea & battered by waves from Hurricane Gordon, two men who live in the High Point, NC, area clung to their capsized boat for 36 hours. The Coast Guard told us they were out of flying time & that was their last pass, one of the men was quoted. The rescue is even more remarkable due to the fact they did not tell anyone before setting out from their Oak Isl& (NC) hotel room to fish. The men were on the water barely 3 hours when the bilge pump broke down & the vessel filled with water, which they abandoned in 3 to 4 foot seas. One man didnt know how to swim & donned the only life jacket on board just before the boat sank. A woman who works at the Oak Island Inn noticed their beds had not been slept in & notified her suspicion to the Coast Guard. Two boats were sent out from Oak Island & Wrightsville Beach & two helicopters from Air Station Elizabeth City & Savannah. Rescuers with night vision goggles spotted a flare near Frying Pan Shoal Light off Cape Fear & hoisted the men in from 15-ft. seas. The crew are being recommended for the Coast Guard Commendation Medal.

SAVED FROM THE SEA PART TWO: On 30 September an EPIRB was activated approx. 4 miles south of Cape Fear, NC & a HH-65 Dolphin helicopter from CGAS Savannah was despatched. An HC-13 was also despatched from CGAS Elizabeth City. Through the use of night vision goggles the helicopter crew located 3 survivors from the FV Still Crazy 1 in a life raft adrift in 2-ft. seas. Exceptionally rough sea conditions & thunderstorms in the immediate area hindered several attempts by the helicopter crew to recover the survivors. Low on fuel & with the HC-13 on scene the helicopter departed to refuel & return. The nearby MV Diego Star was summoned & arrived on scene but was unable to recover the survivors due to heavy sea conditions; they remained nearby to monitor the situation. At approx. 4.3am the helicopter was back on scene. Rescue Swimmer Jason Mathers was lowered into the 2-ft. seas & assisted each survivor while they were hoisted to safety by the helicopter. All 3 survivors were delivered to the Medical University of South Carolina Hospital in stable condition. The men reported they had been struck by another vessel. (The crew was recently awarded air medals by the Vice Commandant.)

AIRSTA KODIAK: The Coast Guard received a report of the downed Piper Cub from the Kenai Flight Service Station. A Jayhawk helicopter was immediately launched with two aviation survival technicians qualified as emergency medical technicians. The crew located the crash site, removed the man & began performing & maintained CPR throughout the 50-minute flight to the Spruce Cape helicopter pad in Kodiak. The man was transferred to an ambulance for further transport to Providence Kodiak Island Medical Centre but died of his injuries that evening.

CGC IRONWOOD: After 57 years of service, eight homeports & more than a half-million nautical miles past the propeller, the CGC IRONWOOD retired from military service. The 180-foot "B" Class (also known as Mesquite Class) buoy tender was decommissioned during a ceremony at the Northern Lights Recreational Facility at Integrated Support Command Kodiak, Alaska, 6 October 2. The IRONWOOD was commissioned Oct. 11, 1943, primarily to conduct aids to navigation duties for the Coast Guard. It was stationed in Boston, San Francisco, Monterey, Calif., Guam, Honolulu, & Homer, Adak & Kodiak, Alaska. The Cutter served in World War II, the Korean War & Vietnam War, & was the only U. S. ship left on active duty awarded the Korean Service Medal. It was the second oldest commissioned Cutter in service behind the CGC STORIS. It also held the distinction of being the only 180-foot buoy tender built at the Coast Guard Yard in Baltimore, Md. The IRONWOOD & its crew departed Kodiak Oct. 7 for San Pedro, Calif., where the ship will await the final paperwork before being sold to the Nigerian navy for tender work in the country's oil fields.

ACADEMY CADETS: One of the Academy's commissioned instructors & several cadets helped Station New London get speedy medical attention to a woman with a broken ankle. Lt. Greg Hall, a chemistry professor here & several cadets were returning from a regatta , when they overheard a distress call to the Coast Guard. A 57-year-old woman aboard a pleasure boat had fallen & broken her ankle. A quick position fix showed the crew that they were only 1 NM away. After checking with Station New London, they set sail to the injured woman's boat. Hall, a qualified EMT, boarded the vessel with Cadet Paul Schurke. Hall gave the woman first aid, but decided it would be too painful to move her to the Coast Guard small boat, which arrived shortly afterward. He opted instead to remain with her, her husband & Schurke aboard their vessel & head for the hospital at Orient Point, N.Y. The woman was delivered safely to a waiting ambulance.

COAST GUARD CLUB CALL BOOK: It is bound in a spiral binder & includes the latest changes. As of today the book is 1 thick186 sheets of paper. If you want a copy of the call book, send a cheque for $15. payable to Don Gardner.

COAST GUARD NETS: The Coast Guard Radio Amateur SSB Net is on the air each Saturday from 12-13 ET on 143 (14313 alternate). At 13 ET the Net shifts to 14327 & continues, usually for about 3 minutes. Dick Anderson, KE7A, in the Dallas-Ft Worth area, is the NCS. A CW Net with Fred Goodwin, K7LF, as NCS, is on 1452/752 & runs simultaneously.

NEW COAST GUARD BOOK: D R Peterson, our vessel historian, reports his book U.S. Lighthouse Service Tenders, was released 7 August. This is the first book to feature all of the lighthouse tenders & auxiliary craft of the USLHS. 9.5x9.5 hardbound, ISBN 1-885457-12-X, price $39.95 + $5.00 shipping. I bought the book & recommend it. You may order direct from the Eastwind Publishing, 4302 Baildon Road, Trappe, MD 21673, fone 41 476 4469, e-mail: or web page or

COAST GUARD STORIES: Check Out: Jacks Joint,, which has interesting Coast Guard short stories & scuttlebutt. I used selected short stories from this site for my version of Coast Guard Stories. I will print the stories on my printer, put it in a spiral binder & send you a copy if you will pay $19.95, which includes the cost of postage also.

QUA? If you have an item of interest to our members, please send it in. Want to swap, sell, trade gear?

COAST GUARD PRODUCTS: Shop at the Academy Exchange,


Bering Sea Patrol/Alaska Veterans Assn. Jack Spiegel, N7BWG reports that he . . . just arrived back from an Alaskan cruise with 25 other Coasties & friends onboard the cruise ship Westerdam of the Holland-America lines. We were greeted by the Commander, 17th CG District in Juneau with a full honour guard. While sailing out of Ketchikan a new 47-footer escorted us to sea & put on a great display of its capabilities for us. While passing the CG Base in Ketchikan they played the Coast Guard Anthem while the duty section of a 21 stood at the rails in a salute. Many of the passengers onboard the Westerdam were amazed & asked many questions about our group.

CGC BIBB: (from The Chief) The 16th annual reunion of BIBB (W-32-W-99) will be held 9-12 May 21 at the Holiday Inn, New Orleans West Bank, Gretna, LA. For more details contact James Kelly, USCGC BIBB Assoc., 4 Lisa Lane, Uncasville, CT 6382, fone 86 848 116, e-mail

CGC CASCO: Any former crewmembers who would like to be placed on a mailing list of shipmates & activities that includes a reunion every several years, contact: Gordon C Kelly, P O BOX 141, Lyon WI 5314.

CGC CHINCOTEAGUE & ABSECON: First reunion October 2001 at Norfolk, VA. For info. Contact John R Peters, 1831 Volvo Parkway, Chesapeake, VA, fone 757 479 , e-mail: or Harry S Huggins, 5411 Greenfield DR, Portsmouth, VA 2373, fone 757 484-37, e-mail: (Info from EMCM J R Peters)

83 Footers: Check out A reunion of 83 WPB sailors 11 August at Ft Worden, Port Townsend, WA. For additional info, e-mail Wink Weber at, or fone 53 848 3276, FAX 53 848 848. Wink needs head count NLT 11 June.

Navy Patrol Squadron 18 (VPB-18) annual reunion will be hosted in Mobile, AL 9-12 October by Warren Locklin, N4RUC. Interested parties may contact him at 334 479 2961.

USCG LIGHTSHIP SAILORS ASSN: Reunion 4-6 October 21 at Port Huron, MI. Contact Jerry Radloff, 12 Woods Lane, Grosse Pointe Woods, MI 48236-1157, fone 1-313 884 371, e-mail de K6IRR

USCG CW Operators Assn: The 3d annual reunion for the CG CW Operators Assn. will be Charleston, SC, from 17 to 21 October. Celebrities MCPO CG Vince Patton & Fred Siegel (Freds Place) will be there.

USCGC RUSH: CWO John Vogel is planning a reunion for those who served aboard RUSH during the 197-71 deployment to Vietnam. If you are interested or know anyone who was aboard during that period please contact him at e-mail address: [from COMM ONE, November 2.]

255 Foot Cutters: 3d reunion of all 13 from 6-1 May 21 at the Union Plaza Hotel, Las Vegas. For info write: USCG 255 Reunion Committee, PO Box 33523, Juneau AK 9983, fone 1 97 789 2579 (note from GMCS R A Morgan, Ret.)

MEMBERSHIP: As of 28  February there are 467 members in our Club. We are striking for 5 for 21!        de AD4PT

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