Colfax, 1927 (WSC-133)

Dec. 7, 2020

Colfax, 1927 

ex-Montegomery; WSC-133

CLASS: Active Class Patrol Boat

BUILDER: American Brown Boveri Electric Corp., Camden, NJ

LAUNCHED: 22 March 1927

COMMISSIONED: 7 April 1927

DECOMMISSIONED: 9 November 1954


LENGTH: 125'

BEAM: 23' 6"

DRAFT: 7' 6"

PROPULSION: 1926: 2 x 6-cylinder diesel engines
                            1938: 2 x GE 268-A 800 BHP diesel engines


     Max speed: 13 knots, 1945, 2,500 mile range
     Econ. speed: 8.0 knots, 3,500 mile range

COMPLEMENT: 3 officers, 17 men

ARMAMENT: 1927: 1x 3"/27
                         1941: 1 x 3"/23, 2 x depth charge tracks
                         1945: 1 x 40mm/80 (single), 2 x 20mm/80 (single), 2 x depth charge tracks, 2 x mousetraps

Class History:

This class of vessels was one of the most useful and long- lasting in Coast Guard service with 16 cutters still in use in the 1960’s. The last to be decommissioned from active service was the Morris in 1970; the last in actual service was the Cuyahoga, which sank after an accidental collision in 1978. They were designed for trailing the "mother ships" along the outer line of patrol during Prohibition.  They were constructed at a cost of $63,173 each. They gained a reputation for durability that was only enhanced by their re-engining in the late 1930’s; their original 6-cylinder diesels were replaced by significantly more powerful 8-cylinder units that used the original engine beds and gave the vessels 3 additional knots.  All served in World War II, but two, the Jackson and Bedloe, were lost in a storm in 1944.  Ten were refitted as buoy tenders during the war and reverted to patrol work afterward.


The Colfax, originally named Montegomery, was first stationed San Pedro, California but was reassigned to San Francisco in April of 1932.  Her name was changed to Colfax on 1 April 1933.  She was stationed in Charleston, South Carolina by the mid-1930s and was in Chicago by 1940.  During World War II she was based out of Philadelphia.

After the war she was based at Cape May, New Jersey.  On 21 May 1946 she assisted the P/C Buccaneer.  On 26 July 1946 she assisted the M/V G. M. Cohan.  She was placed in storage at Cape May in 1948.  She remained in storage there until 1951 when she was towed to Curtis Bay, Maryland to be reconditioned.  She was then towed back to Cape May where she was recommissioned, serving until she was decommissioned on 9 November 1954.  She was sold on 5 January 1956.


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

Donald Canney.  U.S. Coast Guard & 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.

Robert Scheina. U.S. Coast Guard Cutters & Craft, 1946 - 1990.  Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Pres, 1990.