CAPE CROSS, 1958
Builder: Coast Guard Yard, Curtis Bay, MD
Commissioned: 20 August 1958
Decommissioned: 2 March 1990
Disposition: Transferred to Micronesia, 30 March 1990
Length: 95’ oa; 90’ wl
Navigation Draft: 6’2”
Beam: 20’ max.
Displacement (tons): 98 fl (C)
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: 2 .50-cal. machine guns (as completed). 2 12.7mm mg, 2 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 Cross was homeported at New Castle, NH, from 1959 to 1968. She was used for law enforcement (LE) and SAR. In mid-June of 1965, she assisted in the unsuccessful search for the ditched USAF C-121 85 miles east of Nantucket. On 28 May 1967, she medevaced a crewman from F/V Phillip J. On 11 June 1967, she escorted two Polish M/Vs from U.S. waters. On 26 September 1967, she escorted a lost fishing vessel 45 miles east-southeast of Boston to that port. On 2 May 1968, she escorted the distressed F/V Stella Maris 110 miles east of Nantucket to Newport, RI. She was stationed at Gloucester, MA, from 1969 to 1981 and was used for LE and SAR. On 10 January 1977, the Cape Cross rescued two from the F/V Chester A. Poling off Cape Ann, MA. In 1982, she underwent major renovation. From 1983 to 15 April 1987, she was stationed at Crecent City, CA, and was used for LE and SAR. From 15 April 1987 until 1990, she was stationed at Hilo, HI, fulfilling similar tasks.
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.