Forward, 1925 (WAGL-160)

Jan. 8, 2021

Forward, 1925


Walter Forward was appointed to be the 15th Secretary of the Treasury after Thomas Ewing resigned as the 14th Secretary of the Treasury. This was one of many appointments in President Zachary Tyler's reorganized cabinet. He served as Secretary of the Treasury from September 13, 1841 until March 1, 1843.

A judge from Pittsburgh, Forward was an active supporter of President William Henry Harrison and Vice President Tyler in the presidential campaign of 1840 and was rewarded by Harrison with an appointment to the position of Comptroller of Currency in the Treasury Department in 1841. After his resignation as Secretary of the Treasury, he practiced law.

That year, the Independent Treasury System of 1840, supported by Levi Woodbury, the 13th Secretary of the Treasury, was repealed and the government's funds were deposited once more with commercial banks. Soon after Forward took office, he was asked by Millard Fillmore, then chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, to devise a plan to increase the tariff, in response to the serious decrease in revenue caused by the Panic of 1837. He was also asked to develop plans for a Board of Exchequer to receive and disburse customs revenue, since the Independent Treasury System was no longer in effect. In August 1842 a strongly protective tariff was passed.

Walter Forward was born in 1786. He died in 1852.

Type/Rig/Class: 100-foot patrol boat

Builder: Defoe Boat & Motor Works, Bay City, Michigan

Dates of Service: 1925 - 1947

Disposition: Sold

Displacement: 210 tons

Length: 99' 8"

Beam: 23'

Draft: 4' 6"

Machinery: 2 Grey Marine diesel engines; 300 BHP; twin propellers

Speed: 12 knots maximum

Complement: 15 (with 1 warrant officer)

Armament: 1 x 3"/23 (1930); 1 x 3"/23; 1 x 20mm/80; 2 x depth charge tracks (1944)

Cutter History:

The third cutter named Forward, a 100-foot patrol boat built to combat rum-runners during Prohibition, was one of 13 in her class.  These 13 were steel-hulled patrol boats that were capable of close inshore work but were slower than the 75-foot patrol boats.  They made up for their slower speed and lack of maneuverability with better accommodations for the crew so that they could stay at sea for longer periods and work well off-shore.  They were all built by Defoe Boat & Motor Works of Bay City, Michigan. 

The Forward operated out of Atlantic City, New Jersey and Stapleton, New York until she was transferred to Pascagoula, Mississippi in 1927.  She was later transferred to Oswego, New York by 1935.  She was modified for tending buoys by 1941 and was given the designation and hull number WAGL-160.  She was assigned to Miami, Florida, where she served until 1943.  Besides tending buoys, she also participated in search and rescue operations and on 19 February 1942 she assisted in the rescue of 18 survivors of the torpedoed tanker Pan Massachusetts.  From 1944 through her decommissioning in 1947, she was assigned to Coast Guard Headquarters and was stationed at Curtis Bay, Maryland where she was used to transport freight.

She was sold on 9 September 1947.


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

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).