Brief History of the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter MOHAWK (WPG-78)
The MOHAWK was built by Pusey and Jones Company of Wilmington, Delaware. The keel was laid down on 14 October 1933 and was launched on 1 October 1934 The MOHAWK was commissioned as a Patrol Gunboat Coast Guard Cutter on 19 January 1935.
Originally assigned to ice breaking duties on the Hudson River and Chesapeake Bay. In 1940 with the outbreak of WWII in Europe she was assigned to various coastal defense duties. In May of 1940 she towed the Tusitala, a ship that been torpedoed by a Nazi submarine to safety in St. Petersburg, Florida. Prior to the United States entry into WWII she was transfered to operational control of the U.S. Navy, though still a part of the Coast Guard and fully manned by a Coast Guard crew. From 1941 to the end of the war she was assigned to CINCLANT (DESLANT).
The MOHAWK's principal assignment was to the Greenland Patrol where she participated in protecting the continuos stream of convoys, in both directions, between the United States and Europe. On 22 November 1942 she rescued 25 survivors from the SS Barbery which had been torpedoed. On 15 July 1943 she helped refloat the U.S. Army Transport Fairfax which had also been torpedoed.
These are only a few of the MOHAWK's part in the history of the North Atlantic battleground during WWII. She constantly went into harm's way during those turbulent years.
With the loss of the Cutter Comanche in Charleston during Hurricane Hugo, the Mohawk is the last Coast Guard Cutter of the pre-war 165 foot Indian Class cutters remaining. This ship should be preserved at all costs, not only to honor the Mohawk but her 5 sister ships, all gallant veterans of WWII. They are the Algonquin (WPG-75), Comanche (WPG-76), Onondaga (WPG-79), Tahoma (WPG-80) and the Escanaba (WPG-77) which was torpedoed by a German submarine on 13 June 1943 with only 2 survivors.
We cannot let the memory of these gallant ships fade into history while this last one still survives.
To save this historic ship The Battle of the Atlantic Historical Society, Inc. (BATLANT) has undertaken the job of raising the funds necessary to obtain and preserve this venable ship and prepare it for public display. Your help is urgently solicited. For more information as to what is planned and how you can help contact BATLANT at the following address:
THE BATTLE OF THE ATLANTIC HISTORICAL SOCIETY, INC.
Post Office Box 297281, Kings Highway Station
Brooklyn, NY 11229-7281
Telephone: (718) 377-0713BATLANT is organized as a non-profit organization under the laws of the State of New York. All contributions are tax exempt for charitable purposes.
Watch this space for new, more up-to-date and the latest information on the efforts to save the MOHAWK!
Web site still under Construction !
Revised: February 17, 2001
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