Bowstring, 1943 (WPC 365)

Nov. 10, 2020

Bowstring, WPC-365

Builder:  New York Yacht, Launch & Engine Company, Morris Heights, NY

Length:  110'

Beam:  14' 9" max

Draft: 5' 8" max (as of 1917)

Displacement: 167 fl (in 1943)

Cost: $26,750 (WSA purchase in 1943)

Commissioned:  28 November 1917 (USN); 7 July 1943 (USCG); another source lists 4 September 1943

Decommissioned:  22 December 1944

Disposition: Transferred to the WSA on 6 January 1945

Machinery:  3 x Standard Motor Construction Company 6-cylinder gasoline engines; 600 shp; three propellers

Complement: 2 officers, 25 men (1917)

Armament: 1 x 3"/23 (single-mount); 2 x .30 caliber mg; 2 x Mousetraps; 2 x depth charge tracks (1943)


Bowstring (ex SC-238, ex-Sea Roamer) was a Navy SC-1 Class patrol craft taken into Coast Guard service in July of 1943 to meet the pressing need for coastal escort vessels.  Originally designed and built during World War I to meet that shortage of escorts, these patrol craft were known as the "splinter fleet" due to their wooden construction.  The other three acquired by the Coast Guard in 1942/1943 were the CGC Blaze (ex SC-231); Belleville (ex SC-258); and Boone (ex SC-229).

The War Shipping Administration purchased the Sea Roamer (ex USS SC-238), from a group of private owners for $26,750.  She was "reconditioned" and rearmed at the Oxford Boatyard Company in Oxford, Maryland.  She was placed in commission on 7 July 1943 as the CGC Bowstring and was assigned the hull number WPC-365.  She was assigned to the Gulf Sea Frontier and was to be stationed in Miami.  She first reported for shakedown and sound training and then reported to the Fleet Sound School on 8 December 1943 for temporary duty.

After serving out of Miami on general patrol duty, she transferred to New Orleans in April, 1944 and again conducted general patrol duties.  Due to continuing maintenance problems, including serious difficulties with her engines, she was ordered to sail to Charleston on 4 December 1944 for decommissioning and storage.  Bowstring was decommissioned and placed in storage Bucksport, South Carolina, on 22 December 1944.


Cutter History File.  USCG Historian's Office, USCG HQ, Washington, D.C.

Donald Canney.  U.S. Coast Guard and Revenue Cutters, 1790-1935.  Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 1995.

Robert Scheina.  U.S. Coast Guard Cutters & Craft of World War II.  Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 1982.

U.S. Coast Guard.  Record of Movements: Vessels of the United States Coast Guard: 1790 - December 31, 1933.  Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1934; 1989 (reprint).