Castle Rock, 1948 (WHEC 383)

Nov. 20, 2020

Castle Rock, 1948

Photo of the Castle Rock

AVP-35; WAVP / WHEC-383
Radio Call Sign: NBZF

Castle Rock was named for an island off the Alaskan coast.

Builder: Lake Washington Shipyards, Houghton, WA  

Commissioned:  8 October 1944 (USN); loaned to Coast Guard 16 September 1948
         18 December 1948 (USCG); permanently transferred to USCG on 26 September 1948

Decommissioned: 21 Dec 1971; transferred to South Vietnam


Length:  310' 9" oa; 300' 0" bp

Navigation Draft: 13’18” max

Beam:  41’ max

Displacement:  2,529 fl

Main Engines:  Fairbanks-Morse, direct reversing diesels

SHP:  6,400

Performance, Maximum Sustained: 18.2 kts, 8,000 nautical mile range
Performance, Economic: 10.0 kts, 18. 050 nautical mile range

Complement:  10 officers, 3 warrants, 138 men

Electronics: Radar: SPS-51, SPS-29
                   Sonar: SQS-1

Armament:   1 x 5”/38 Mod D; 1 x Mk 52 Mod 3 director; 1 x Mk 26 Mod 4 fire control radar; 2 x 81mm mortars; 2 x .50 caliber MG's; 1 x Mk 10 Mod 1 A/S projector; 2 x Mk 38 Mod 5 torpedo tubes

Class History:

The Casco class ships were built as small seaplane tenders by the US Navy. They were designed to operate out of small harbors and atolls and had a shallow draft. The fact that the class was very seaworthy, had good habitability, and long range made them well suited to ocean-station duty.  In fact, an assessment made by the Coast Guard on the suitability of these vessels for Coast Guard service noted:

"The workmanship on the vessel is generally quite superior to that observed on other vessels constructed during the war.  The vessel has ample space for stores, living accommodations, ships, offices and recreational facilities.  The main engine system is excellent. . . .The performance of the vessel in moderate to heavy seas is definitely superior to that of any other cutter.  This vessel can be operated at higher speed without storm damage than other Coast Guard vessels."  [Memo, CDR W. C. Hogan, Commanding Officer, CGC MC CULLOCH to Commandant “SUBJ; CGC MC CULLOCH, Sutiability [sic] for use as CG Cutter.”, 12 February 1947; copy in 311-Class Cutter File, USCG Historian’s Office.] 

Once they were accepted into Coast Guard service, a number of changes were made in these ships to prepare them for ocean-station duty. A balloon shelter was added aft; there were spaces devoted to oceanographic equipment and a hydrographic winch as well as an oceanographic winch were added. 

See DANFS for naval service.

Cutter History:

Castle Rock was stationed at Boston, Massachusetts, from 18 December 1948 to 1967 and used for law enforcement, ocean station, and search and rescue operations in the Atlantic.  In March 1956, she towed the Finnish M/V Sunnavik from 300 miles south of Halifax, Nova Scotia, to safety.  She reported to Guantanamo Bay for service during the blockade of Cuba during the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962.  She took part in the cadet cruise in May of 1963 and again in August of 1965.  From 1967 to 1971, Castle Rock was stationed at Portland, Maine, with the same duties as during the years at Boston. On 22 and 23 February 1967, she rescued eight from the sinking F/V Maureen and Michael 90 miles southwest of Cape Race. 

Castle Rock was assigned to Coast Guard Squadron Three, Vietnam, from 9 July to 21 December 1971.  She was decommissioned and transferred to South Vietnam as Tran Binh Trong but fled to the Philippines at the fall of South Vietnam.  She served as Francisco Dagahoy and was laid up as non-operational in June 1985.  She was disposed of (scrapped?) in March of 1993.


Photo of the Castle Rock

Castle Rock, 5 January 1949, at the Mare Island Naval Shipyard.

Photo of the Castle Rock

Castle Rock, 1 May 1969, no caption.


Castle Rock, Cutter Subject File, USCG Historian's Office

Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships, Vol. II (1963), p. 51.

"Listings: AVP's"; compiled and written by LCDR J. P. Smith, USCGR, copy in 311’ Class Cutter File, USCG Historian’s Office.

Olsen, A. L., Jr., Commander.  Senior Coast Guard Officer, Philippines.  Report: “Ships returned from Viet Nam: Preliminary Inspection Ex-WAVP/WHEC”, 1975, copy in 311’ Class Cutter File, USCG Historian’s Office.

Robert Scheina, U.S. Coast Guard Cutters & Craft, 1946-1990 (Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 1990), pp. 10-16.

Ship's Characteristics Card: USCGC Castle Rock, 16 May 1966.