By Jack A. Eckert

Marinette, Wisconsin 8/12/2000 -- Under a beautiful Wisconsin Sky the brand new Coast Guard Cutter Spar was christened by Attorney General Janet Reno and launched at the Marinette Marine Corporation today in the presence of 80 to 100 World War II Coast Guard SPARs and another 2000 or more guests. 

Preceding Ms. Reno were remarks delivered by Congressman Stupak, Senator Kohl, Vice Admiral Josiah, Coast Guard Chief of Staff and Mr. Dan Gulling, a representative of the Builder. The prospective Commanding Officer LCDR  Joanna Nunan brought tears to everyone's eyes when she described her emotions when she would be announced on board her new ship; "SPAR ABOARD" As a female Coast Guard Commanding Officer of the SPAR, she represents all of the 11,000 SPARs who served so notably in World War II.

The audience was entertained by the Coast Guard Band with stirring marches one of which surprisingly was the "Alte Kamaraden" Some 60 SPAR's and a few others formed on the dock and marched in formation and in uniform to their seats of honor in front of the podium. 








Ms. Reno breaks the traditional bottle of champaine across the bow and the ship slowly slips sideways into the water, heeling over and then righting herself.

By 12 Noon the SPAR's, Dignitaries, invited guests and onlookers left the shipyard. 

The Spar will be homeported in Juneau, Alaska.

The Announcement from the Coast Guard website of the launching of the SPAR follows this short article.

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News and Information: Special
Monday August 14, 2000 05:26 PM

Coast Guard Cutter SPAR
Cutter Named After Women's World War II Service
The SPARs Launch Page

the 225-Foot Seagoing Buoy Tender (WLB)

The Coast Guard & the Women's Reserve in World War II
A  report from the historian

A history of women in the Coast Guard

Coast Guard Spars
Reservist Magazine Article from 1997

Living Legend
One of the Coast Guard's first spars

SPARS Honored in Proposed House Resolution

Attorney General Janet Reno
JANET RENO is the first woman Attorney General of the United States of America. Nominated by President Bill Clinton on February 11, 1993, Reno was sworn in as the nation's seventy-eighth attorney general on March 12, 1993.

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The U. S. Coast Guard will honor its women who served in WWII during a August 12 launching ceremony for Coast Guard Cutter SPAR (WLB 206) at Marinette Marine Corporation in Marinette, Wisconsin. U. S. Attorney General Janet Reno will serve as keynote speaker and sponsor. The launch ceremony will begin at 10:00 am.

  • Other speakers will include U. S. Senator Herbert Kohl, (D-WI), Bart Stupak (D-MI) and Vice Admiral Timothy Josiah, Chief of Staff, U.S. Coast Guard
  • The SPAR will be named after the 11,000 women who served in the United States Coast Guard during World War II. "Semper Paratus – Always Ready," the Coast Guard motto, was condensed to the S.P.A.R. acronym to symbolize the woman’s corps because it reflected their attitude and willingness to contribute to the war effort. Like the Army WACs (Women’s Army Corps), Air Force WASPs (Womens Airforce Service Pilots) and the Navy WAVES (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service), the SPARs were integral to the Allied victory in World War II.
  • In addition to success in their wartime role, the pioneering service of the Women’s Reserves helped to lay a cornerstone for the future integration of females into the Coast Guard, where all opportunities and jobs are open to women. Nearly a hundred Coast Guard SPAR veterans will attend the ceremony.
  • Attorney General Reno’s aunt served as an Air Force WASP during World War II,
  • The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter SPAR is a 225-ft seagoing buoy tender that will serve in Kodiak, Alaska under the command of LCDR Joanna Nunan. It will have a complement of six officers and 34 enlisted personnel. SPAR will join her sister cutters, now operating in both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, which form a new fleet of technically advanced and highly capable buoy tenders. SPAR is equipped to perform search and rescue, law enforcement, pollution response and domestic icebreaking missions as well as servicing aids to navigation. The newest SPAR is the second Coast Guard vessel to bear the name. The first was launched in 1944 and decommissioned in 1997.
  • Press Credentials MUST be picked up at Marinette Marine’s Security Desk prior to entering the shipyard. Press Kits with detailed information will be available at the launch ceremony, by the refreshment tent.
  • For web links and more information, check the Coast Guard’s news page at
Length: 225 feet
Beam: 46 feet
Draft: 13 feet
Displacement: 2,000 tons
Buoy Deck Area: 2,875 square feet
Power plant: Two Cat 3608, 3100 BHP@900 RPM diesel engines
Primary Missions: Aids to Navigation, Law Enforcement,
Ice Operations, Search & Rescue, Marine Environmental Protection
Typical Crew: 40 Personnel (6 Officers, 34 Enlisted)

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