Dione, 1934

Dec. 28, 2020

Dione, 1934


Photo of Dione

The cutter Dione was named for the mother of Aphrodite by Zeus in Greek mythology.

Builder: Manitowoc Shipbuilding Corporation, Manitowoc, Wisconsin

Launched: 30 June 1934

Commissioned: 5 October 1934

Decommissioned: 8 February 1963

Disposition: Sold, 24 February 1964

Displacement: 1933: 337 tons full load
                        1945: 350 tons full load

                       Length: 165' oa
                       Beam: 25' 3"
                       Draft: 7' 8" (1933); 10' (1945)

Machinery: 2 x Winton Model 158 6-cylinder diesels; 1,340 bhp

Propellers: twin, 3 blades

Performance: Maximum speed: 16.0 knots

                       Maximum sustained: 14.0 knots for 1,750 statute miles
                       Cruising: 11.0 knots for 3,000 statute miles
                       Economic: 6.0 knots for 6,417 statute miles

Complement: 1933: 5 officers, 39 men
                       1945: 7 officers, 68 men

Armament: 1933: 1 x 3"/23; 1 x 1-pounders;
                   1941: 1 x 3"/23; 1 x Y-gun; 2 x depth charge tracks;
                    1945: 2 x 3"/50 (single-mounts); 2 x 20mm/80 (single mounts); 2 x depth charge tracks; 2 x Y-guns; 2 x Mousetraps

Electronics: 1933: Wireless
                    1945: Radar: SF; Sonar: QCN-1 

Cost: $258,000

Class History:

The 165-foot cutters, sometimes referred to as the Thetis-Class, were a follow on to the 125-foot cutters.  Both types of cutters were designed for the enforcement of Prohibition.

Cutter History:

CGC Dione was built at Manitowoc, Michigan in 1934.  She entered into commissioned service on 5 October 1934 and was assigned to Norfolk, Virginia.  She was 165 ft. long, with 24 ft. 3 in. beam and drew 9 ft. 6 in. with a displacement of 334 tons.  She had a steel hull, and could make 16 knots.  She was powered with a 1,340 horsepower twin-screw diesel engine.

At the beginning of the war the Dione was assigned to EASTSEAFRON.  Placed on coastal convoy escort duty she continued to operate out of Norfolk.  On 20 March 1942 a plane from the Elizabeth City Air Station dropped two depth charges on a contact made by the Dione with unknown results.  On 5 April 1942, the oil tanker Byron D. Benson was torpedoed.  The Dione picked up one survivor.  Again on 18 April 1942, a plane of the same air station observed the Dione dropping depth charges after a submarine had attacked a tanker, but there were no visible results.  On 24 June 1942, at 1900 the Dione, while on escort duty, made an underwater contact.  Five minutes later she dropped one charge from each reach with negative results.  At 1910 two ships in the convoy, the SS Nordland and the SS Manuela appeared to have been torpedoed.  The Dione made a sweep search for the submarine which appeared to be on the starboard side of the convoy.  At 2000 the Nordland was in a sinking position with a fire amidships, with the Norwich City standing by to pick up survivors.  The Dione made another underwater contact on 25 June 1942, and expended five depth charges resulting in quantities of oil rising to the surface.  On 27 June another contact was made at 1054 and the Dione dropped four charges, but the contact was doubtful.  In June 1945 she was assigned to Air-Sea rescue duty in the 5th District.

From 1945 through 1947 she was used for law enforcement and search and rescue.  In 1952, after four years in storage due to lack of personnel she was transferred to Freeport, Texas.  Dione towed the disabled cutter Iris to New Orleans from 2-5 January 1957.  She remained at Freeport until the end of her career in 1963.  She was decommissioned on 8 February 1963 and sold on 24 February 1964.


                                                       Photo of Dione

No official caption/date/photo number; photographer unknown.

CGC Dione underway, probably late 1941.

The following images were collected by COMO Stephen McElroy (5th District-SR Aux Historian), who noted:  

“The CG Auxiliary of the Fifth District-SR has been working on several historical projects and have been able to obtain pictures, and other information on the Cutter Dione.  We are honoring this cutter this August [2011] during the CG Day events at Sector North Carolina.  There are two living crewmen who were aboard this ship during the opening days of WWII when she was the only major US naval vessel protecting the North Carolina coast during the U-Boat campaign.”  Most of the historical photos were donated by Seaman 1/c Harrison Ochs, USCGR.  Sea1/c Ochs enlisted in the Coast Guard when he was 17 years old and served on board the Dione during the Battle of the Atlantic.  Most of his photographs were taken in 1942.  After the war he founded the 165-foot Cutter Association.


Photo of Dione


Dione Aiding Ship.”

Photo of Dione

“Rescue at sea.”

Photo of Dione

Lieutenant James Alger, USCG, commanding Dione.  Photo taken by the Saturday Evening Post for an article published in 1942.

Photo of Dione

“Gun cleaning.”

Photo of Dione

“Gun loading.”

Photo of Dione

“Preparing to fire.”  Photo taken by Saturday Evening Post for an article published in 1942.

Photo of Dione

“Preparing for a depth charge run.”

Photo of Dione

“Loading a depth charge.”


Photo of Dione

“Loading a depth charge.”


Photo of Dione


“Depth charge run.”

Photo of Dione


Photo of Dione

“Unknown crewman.”

Photo of Dione

“Sewing Day.”



Cutter History File, Coast Guard Historian's Office.

Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships.  Washington, DC: USGPO.

Donald Canney.  U.S. Coast Guard and Revenue Cutters, 1790-1935.  Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 1995.

Homer H. Hickam, Jr.  Torpedo Junction: U-Boat War Off America’s East Coast, 1942.  Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 1989.

Robert Scheina.  U.S. Coast Guard Cutters & Craft of World War II.  Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 1982.

U.S. Coast Guard.  Record of Movements: Vessels of the United States Coast Guard: 1790 - December 31, 1933.  Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1934; 1989 (reprint).