Cape Corwin, 1958
Cape Corwin is named for the easternmost point of Nunivak, Alaska which in turn was named after the Revenue Cutter Corwin.
Builder: Coast Guard Yard, Curtis Bay, MD
Commissioned: 14 November 1958
Decommissioned: 6 April 1990
Disposition: Transferred to Micronesia, 30 September 1990
Length: 95’ oa; 90’ wl
Navigation Draft: 6’2”
Beam: 20’ max.
Displacement (tons): 98 fl
Main Engines: 4 Cummins VT-600 diesels; 2 Detroit 16V149 diesels (renovated)
BHP: 2,200; 2,470 (renovated)
Performance, Max. Speed: 22 kts.; 24 kts. (renovated)
Performance, Cruising: 12 kts., 1,780-mi radius (1961)
Fuel Capacity: 3,114 gallons
Complement: 15 (1961)
Radar: SPS-64 (1987)
Armament: 1 x 20mm single-barrel (as completed). 2 x 12.7mm mg, 2 x 40mm Mk 64 grenade launchers (1987)
Class History—The 95-foot or Cape class was an outgrowth of a need for shallow-draft anti-submarine-warfare (ASW) craft brought on by the increasing tensions during the years immediately following World War II. During the period of construction, three distinctive sub-classes evolved as the Coast Guard’s mission emphasis shifted from ASW to search and rescue (SAR), The A Type 95-footer was outfitted primarily for ASW. The B Type differed by mounting a 40 mm vice 20 mm gun and being fitted with scramble nets, a towing bit, and a large searchlight – all important SAR tools. The C Type units were constructed without the heavy armament and for economy some of the SAR equipment was also deleted. However, the Coast Guard added these SAR items to both the As and Cs during various refits. A renovation program began in the mid-1970s but was ended, due to increasing expenses and a shortage of funds, after 16 boats had been overhauled.
The 95-footers were designed by the Coast Guard and built at the Coast Guard Yard. Their hulls were made of steel while their superstructures were made of aluminum. This proved to be problematic throughout their service lives due to electrolysis between the dissimilar metals.
These cutters remained unnamed until January of 1964.
The Cape Corwin was stationed at Honolulu, HI, from 1958 to 1981. She was used for law enforcement (LE) and SAR. Additionally she occasionally appeared in the television program “Hawaii Five-O.”
On 22 June 1964, she towed the yacht Vida Mia 12 miles southeast of Diamond Head, HI. On 12 January 1965, she medevaced an injured seaman from the barge Western Offshore No.3. On 12 June 1965, she towed the pleasure craft Sea Sharp to Honolulu following an injury to the operator of the craft. In January 1966, she medevaced a seaman from the commercial tug Hudson 280 miles southwest of Honolulu. On 1 June 1967 she rescued the seven-man crew of the 57-foot fishing sampan Luzon after that vessel went down five miles off Makapuu Point. On 4 December 1967, she rescued three from M/V Jeannie Marie. On 21 September 1968, she rescued one from a rubber craft off Kaena Point. On 2 November 1970, she towed a disabled 230-foot pleasure craft from 37 miles off Diamond Head to safety.
Cape Corwin was awarded the Coast Guard Unit Commendation after recovering the hijacked yacht Kamalii approximately 300 miles southwest of Honolulu from 8 to 10 August 1971.
In 1982, she underwent major renovation. She was stationed at Maui, HI, from 1983 to 1990 and was used for LE and SAR.
Cape Corwin was awarded another Coast Guard Unit Commendation after engaging in a LE and SAR patrol which took place “throughout the Hawaiian Island and Central Pacific Basin” from 1 October 1984 to 7 October 1985. During that year she “participated in 90 SAR cases, 157 boardings, and cruised over 14,251 nautical miles for an unprecedented 2,208 operating hours.” In August 1985, she helped the disabled F/V Manta 195 miles south of Hawaii. In February 1989, she helped recover debris for United Airlines Flight 811.
Cape Corwin was decommissioned 6 April 1990 and was transferred to Micronesia on 30 September 1990.
Cutter History File. USCG Historian's Office, USCG HQ, Washington, D.C.
Robert Scheina. U.S. Coast Guard Cutters & Craft, 1946-1990. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 1990.