Coos Bay, 1949 (WHEC-376)

Dec. 9, 2020

Coos Bay, 1949

Photo of Coos Bay

Radio call sign: NBPG

The Coos Bay was named for a bay along the coast of Oregon.

Builder: Lake Washington Shipyards, Houghton, WA

Commissioned:  15 May 1943 (USN); loaned to USCG 5 January 1949
                         4 May 1949 (USCG); 

Decommissioned: 1 Sep 1966; transferred to USN 2 Dec 1967; expended as target


Length:  310' 3/8" oa; 300' 0" bp 

Navigation Draft:  13' 2" full load 

Beam:  41’ max 

Displacement:  2,510 fl 

Main Engines:  Fairbanks-Morse, direct reversing diesels 

SHP:  6,080

Performance, Maximum Sustained: 17.2 kts, 9,974 nautical mile range
Performance, Economic: 10.3 kts, 20,700 nautical mile range

Complement:  10 officers, 3 warrants, 138 men

Electronics:       Radar: SPS-23, SPS-29A
                        Sonar: SQS-1

Armament:   1 x 5”/38

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 and an oceanographic winch were added. 

See DANFS for naval service.

Cutter History:

Coos Bay was stationed at Portland, ME for the duration of her stay in the Coast Guard. She was used for law enforcement, ocean station, and search and rescue operations in the Atlantic Ocean. 

On 27 February 1953, Coos Bay rescued the 10-man crew of a downed USN patrol aircraft midway between Bermuda and the Azores. On 11 March 1953 she assisted the tanker Angy. On 26 January 1955, Coos Bay rescued six crewmen of a downed USAF transport aircraft about 1,000 miles east of Bermuda. On 19 February 1964, Coos Bay rescued survivors from the British M/V Ambassador in the North Atlantic.

After her return to the Navy, Coos Bay was struck from the Naval Register and on 9 January 1968 she was expended as target by USS Claude V. Ricketts, one other ship, and 35 aircraft, 120 miles off the Virginia coast.   


Photo of Coos Bay

CGC Coos Bay, no date/caption/photo number; photographer unknown.


Coos Bay, Cutter Subject File, USCG Historian's Office.

Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships, Vol. II (1963), p. 183.

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

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. 

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

Ship's Characteristics Card: Coos Bay, 10 August 1965