Jarvis, 1971 (WHEC-725)

Feb. 1, 2021

Jarvis, 1971


CCG Jarvis Returns From Final Patrol

WHEC-725 was named for Captain David H. Jarvis, USRCS.  Captain Jarvis devoted the majority of his service career to pioneering and developing maritime activities in the waters and coastline of Alaska as well as in the Bering Sea.  Jarvis was in command of a 3-1/2 month "Overland Rescue" expedition that drove a herd of reindeer across frozen seas and snow covered mountains to rescue and provide relief to 300 seamen from 10 whaling vessels that were iced in and marooned near Barrow, Alaska without food.  President William McKinley called his exploits "A victory of peace."  Jarvis, along with his two other team members, including future Commandant Ellsworth Bertholf, were awarded Congressional Gold Medals by a special act of Congress for their heroism.

Captain Jarvis retired from the Revenue Cutter Service in 1905 and served as the treasurer for a commercial fishing corporation in Alaska until he crossed the bar on 23 June 1911.


Builder: Avondale Shipyard (now Northrop Grumman), New Orleans, LA.

Keel Laid: 09 September 1970

Launched: 24 April 1971

Commissioned: 04 August 1972; re-commissioned after FRAM 11 December, 1992.

Decommissioned: July, 1990 (for FRAM modifications); final decommission on 02 October 2012; transferred to Bangladesh Navy as BNS Somudro Joy (F28) and classified as a frigate.  Her new name translates as "Victory at Sea."

Length: 378’ overall, 350’ waterline.

Beam: 42’

Draft: 13’6“ (design)

Displacement: 2,748 tons

Hull: V-shaped bow design, aluminum with welded steel, two compartment floodable length and anti-rolling tank

Speed: Maximum sustained, 29 knots; cruising 20 knots, minimum, all speeds down to 0 knots

Endurance: 2,000 miles at 29 knots; 10000 miles @ 18 knots

Power: 36,000 shaft horsepower

Fuel capacity: 210,000 gallons (diesel); 18 tons JP5 (aviation)

Fresh water capacity: 15,000 gallons; 7,500 gallons/day evaporation

Auxiliary power generator: 3 @ 500 KW each

Main propulsion: Two controllable pitch propellers; 2 x Fairbanks-Morse diesel engines, 3,500 hp per shaft; 2 Pratt & Whitney FT4 gas turbines, 18,000 hp per shaft

Bow Thruster: GE @ 350 hp

Control: Pilot house, engine room control booth, and local.


Pre-FRAM: One 5-inch/38 caliber dual-purpose gun forward; two Mk 67 20mm cannons; MK 56 Gunfire Control System; MK 32 Torpedo tubes; MK-309 Fire Control (Underwater Battery); AN/SQS 38 Sonar; .50 caliber MGs.

Post-FRAM: One Otobreda 76 mm (3-inch) cannon on an elevated platform; two 25 mm Mk 38 antiaircraft cannons; later addition -- one stern-mounted Mk 15 20 mm Phalanx Close In Weapons System (CIWS), a radar-guided anti-ship-missile “Gatling gun.”

Crew capacity: 15 officers, 149 enlisted (pre-FRAM); later increased to a total of 178 (post-FRAM).

Class History:

“High endurance” cutters of the Hamilton class (designated WHEC) succeeded cruising cutters for ocean service. The basic criterion for a high-endurance cutter was ability to operate continuously at sea for 30 days or more, so that they could maintain established ocean and weather stations as well as perform coastal missions. At the time the new WHECs were designed, the Coast Guard had been relying since 1944 on vessels converted from U.S. Navy service for its largest cutters.

The Hamilton class of twelve WHEC cutters met added design criteria for inter-operability with U.S. Navy warships, including weapons systems and speed. They achieved the speed by using CODOG (combination diesel or gasoline) technology which permitted them to cruise at economic speeds under diesel power or pursuit speeds using gasoline-fueled aircraft turbines for power. At the time they were built only one class of warship in the world used a similar system, a West German frigate design. This technology has since become standard for high performance vessels.

In addition to the main propulsion system, the ships in this class had a retractable, fully rotatable General Electric bow thruster which boosted their maneuverability and permitted them to operate at up to five knots without using the main propulsion system.

Other design features included large and more comfortable living spaces to permit longer times at sea; a hull design that drew on the British-favored V cross section rather than the U cross-section then favored for U.S. Navy vessels; and wet and dry labs to support oceanographic and meteorological research while on station. The longer sea-time capability was expected to enhance the value of cutters as ocean navigational aids and weather stations. The new hull design was the result of extensive tank testing of four 20-foot wooden hull models, which led to a hull expected to survive and stay afloat longer after suffering damage. The original design also included an 80-foot landing pad that could accommodate the large boat-hulled amphibious helicopters then used by the Coast Guard for air-sea rescues. It was also equipped with a weather balloon shelter which also served as a “nose shelter” for the large helicopters.

In order to maintain their inter-operability with U.S. Navy warships the entire class underwent Fleet Retention and Maintenance (FRAM) renovation after two decades which increased their Coast Guard service life to 44 years and added aviation, electronic and gunnery capabilities. One aviation modification is visible in profile in the expandable hangar, that rolls out onto the landing pad to permit today’s smaller helicopters to be completely sheltered from heavy weather and to be maintained at sea, shortening the usable length of the landing pad. Another visible change was the enclosure of the sixth bay of the open walkways that originally stretched from just aft of the bridge to the afterdeck, which changed the original sleek lines of the class. Other visible changes in profile included the elevation of the forward gun platform, as well as the addition of an electronics dome atop the bridge and forward of the mast. Later a Phalanx CIWS anti-ship-missile system was mounted at the stern rail.

Cutter History:

The contract for Jarvis was awarded to Avondale Shipyards on 30 June 1969 along with that of CGC Munro (WHEC-724).  When completed Jarvis' final cost was $14,065,811. The cutter's keel was laid on 9 September 1970 and she was christened Jarvis and launched at Avondale on 24 April 1971.  Mrs. Mary Beggs, the wife of Under Secretary of Transportation James M. Beggs, served as Jarvis' sponsor.

Jarvis was placed "In-Commission, Special" on 17 January 1972 at Naval Support Activity facility in Algiers, Louisiana, under the command of Commander Frederick O. Wooley, USCG.  Jarvis departed New Orleans 18 January 1972, arriving at Curtis Bay on 22 January.  After undergoing special equipment modifications Jarvis departed for her new home port of Honolulu, Hawaii, via the Panama Canal on 29 March 1972.  While enroute, Jarvis responded to her first SAR call, locating the M/V Compromise, which had lost all power north of Panama, and towed the vessel to safety.  Jarvis arrived at Honolulu on 3 May 1972.  The cutter then underwent shakedown training, drills, and readiness inspections.  During that time Jarvis responded to another SAR call, this time on 18 June 1972 when the Japanese F/V Kaigata Maru caught fire 500 miles southwest of Honolulu.  Jarvis arrived on scene and rescued one survivor and then sank the burnt hulk of the fishing vessel. No other crewmen were located.

Jarvis was placed in commission on 4 August 1972 in Honolulu, joining the "active" Coast Guard fleet.  Of note Jarvis was the first Coast Guard cutter placed in commission in the Hawaiian Islands.  The cutter made her first official deployment when she operated on Ocean Station November, 1,100 miles midway between Honolulu and San Francisco, from 14 August to 2 September 1972, departing Honolulu on 10 August.  The cutter's primary primary duty while on station was to gather and provide the U.S. Weather Bureau with meteorological information, furnish overseas flights with radar fixes and collect ocean water samples.

Jarvis departed Honolulu on 28 September 1972 enroute Alaska and the Bering Sea for a fisheries patrol, taking oceanographic samples during the voyage.  Such patrols of Alaskan waters, referred to as "ALPATs", began a staple mission for the cutter in the coming years.  The cutter arrived in Kodiak, Alaska, on 6 October 1972.  After refueling, minor repairs, and embarking a Coast Guard HH-52 for surveillance work, Jarvis departed Kodiak on 11 October 1972 for the Bering Sea.  Ports of call were made at Dutch Harbor and St. Paul Island in the Pribilof Islands.  After conducting extensive surveillance in several fishing areas and observing numerous fishing vessels of several nationalities, including Russian, Japanese, and American, Jarvis proceeded along the Alaskan coastline, stopping at the Columbia Glacier, and then on to Ketchikan, arriving there on 27 October 1972. 

Jarvis next proceeded to Juneau where the cutter held an open house for local residents.  Jarvis then raised anchor for a voyage to Anchorage via the Cook Inlet, spending a few days there in support of a local Coast Guard recruiting drive and hosting VIPs.  Jarvis then departed Anchorage on 6 November 1972 to carry out additional fisheries surveillance missions.  Gunfire tests were conducted enroute and on several occasions Jarvis sought shelter from Arctic storms in protected bays.  During the evening of 15 November 1972, while sheltering in a protected bay from just such a storm, Jarvis dragged anchor and grounded, causing serious underwater hull damage that pierced the hull in the engine room, causing flooding.  After temporary repairs were made the cutter got underway for Honolulu.  While underway worsening weather caused more flooding and the cutter lost power.  Two nearby Japanese fishing vessels responded to Jarvis' distress calls and one, Kogo Maru No. 3, got the cutter under tow and safely towed her to Dutch Harbor.  There more extensive repairs were made and Jarvis again got underway for Honolulu under escort of CGC Winona (WHEC-65), arriving there safely on 7 December 1972.

The following narrative notes highlights of Jarvis's active-duty career as a Coast Guard cutter and were taken from miscellaneous sources available in her archive file but it is by no means a comprehensive account of her history. 

From 8 April to 3 May 1973 and again on 17 June to 11 July 1973 Jarvis served on Ocean Station November.  From 6 to 11 June 1973 Jarvis towed the disabled S/V Tou Case to safety. 

Jarvis departed Honolulu on 21 September 1975 for a routine ALPAT with two NMFS agents on board.  While proceeding to her patrol area Jarvis responded to a distress call from the U.S. crabber Mar Del Sud which was being blown ashore off Unimak Island.  Jarvis proceeded to the scene and safely towed the crabber to King Cove.  Later in the patrol Jarvis seized F/V Eikyu Maru No. 35 for illegally fishing within the contiguous fishing zone near Amlia Island.

Jarvis seized the fish transport vessel Nikko Maru northwest of Unimak Pass on 12 November 1983.  On 5 October 1984 she seized F/V Haeng Bok 511 for illegally fishing 35 miles southeast of Palmyra Island.

In December, 1988 the cutter seized F/V Iho Maru No. 23 800 miles northeast of Hawaii after a boarding team discovered "a large quantity of Thai stick marijuana."  Jarvis sank the vessel as a navigation hazard after the fishing vessel's crew unsuccessfully tried to scuttle their ship.  The following April, in 1989, Jarvis seized the Taiwanese F/V Tyi Yong No. 1 off Alaska after pursuing the fleeing vessel for three days.  In May, 1989, Jarvis seized the Soviet F/V Novoelnya for "poaching."

Jarvis was decommissioned in July, 1990 to undergo the Fleet Renovation and Modernization program (FRAM) at Todd Shipyard in Seattle, Washington.  Here the cutter went through a $55 million stem-to-stern overhaul including engineering, habitability, electronics and combat systems upgrades.  The precommissioning crew took delivery of Jarvis on 26 November 1991 and the Coast Guard placed Jarvis "In Commission, Special" status on 4 January 1992.  Jarvis was formally recommissioned on 11 December 1992, returning to her duties of patrolling the fisheries of Alaska and the Western Pacific, enforcing U.S. laws and treaties within the EEX and upon the high seas.

During the summer of 1994, Jarvis was the only Coast Guard vessel to participate in RIMPAC 94, a multi-national naval defense exercise.  In the fall of 1998, Jarvis took part in Foal Eagle 98, a combined U.S.-Republic of Korea Naval exercise which included fleet exercises with the USS Kitty Hawk Battle Group.

During ALPATs, Jarvis was often called upon to aid those in danger.  The crew of Jarvis effected much needed repairs to the sailing vessel Hus Fu, a replica of an ancient Chinese sailing vessel undergoing a National Geographic sponsored trans-Pacific voyage from China to the U.S.  In the waters of Alaska, Jarvis was the first Coast Guard unit on scene when the 380-foot fish processing vessel All Alaska suffered violent internal explosions and burst into flame.  Jarvis rescued 132 fishermen and with the aid of commercial and Pacific Strike Team personnel, extinguished the fires.

Jarvis conducted an ALPAT mission in the Bering Sea and Western Gulf of Alaska from 20 May 1997 to 14 June 1997 with an HH-65A (CGNR 6528) deployed (AVDET 09-97).  While underway Jarvis sought "boarding targets of interest" and conducted ship-helicopter training. On 25 May 1997 the cutter began its formal patrol after reaching the Convention Line.

In May, 1998 Jarvis intercepted and prosecuted two cases involving illegal drift net fishing.  Operating in the North Pacific Ocean off the coast of Russia, Jarvis observed the Chinese Fishing Vessel Shan Yu 16 engaged in retrieving an illegal high seas drift net.  Jarvis interdicted and boarded the vessel and detained it on behalf of the Peoples Republic of China.  Jarvis escorted Shan Yu 16, as well as a second Chinese high seas drift net fishing vessel, Shen Shun, interdicted by Jarvis's sister cutter CGC Boutwell (WHEC-719), to the East China Sea for delivery to Chinese law enforcement officials.  Over a nine day period, Jarvis escorted the Shen Shun and Shan Yu 16 over 2,000 miles, including several days of difficult transit through thousands of fishing vessels in the East China Sea.  During her return to Alaskan waters Jarvis documented illegal directed fishing for salmon by the Russian drift net fishing vessel Lotus in the Russian EEZ.

On 21 October 2009 while on a law enforcement patrol in the Eastern Pacific off the coast of Central America Jarvis intercepted and captured a self-propelled semi-submersible (SPSS) first located by a U.S. Customs and Border Protection patrol aircraft.  Jarvis's boarding team discovered 4,500 kilos of narcotics aboard the craft and arrested the SPSS's four crewman.

Jarvis departed on her final patrol as a commissioned Coast Guard cutter from Honolulu on 17 August 2012.  While underway she conducted operations with an embarked NOAA ship-rider to enforce the U.S. EEZ. "The cutter conducted critical training to maintain proficiency and readiness. Through a coordinated effort with District 14 and Air Station Barber's Point, Jarvis was able to provide law enforcement presence throughout the Hawaiian island chain and most notably the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument extending out to Midway Island" according to a news report of her final patrol.  Her commanding officer, CAPT Richard Mourey, noted: "Serving aboard Jarvis has been an honor and this final cruise is especially bittersweet for everyone onboard.  Jarvis has proudly served the Coast Guard and the people of Hawaii for the past 40 years, and we will all remember her fondly."

Jarvis was decommissioned on 02 October 2012.  She was formally transferred to the Bangladesh Navy on 23 May 2013.  They classified the former cutter as a frigate and renamed her BNS Somudro Joy (F28).  Jarvis's new name translates as "Victory at Sea."


Mottos: "Whatever - Wherever - Whenever"
            “Dedicare Ad Excellentia" (Dedicated to Excellence)



Jarvis at sea soon after commissioning

CGC Jarvis soon after entering commissioned service.
USCG Photo.


CGC Jarvis, circa 2003

Jarvis underway circa 2003.

CGC Jarvis circa 2005.

CGC Jarvis, Alaska, circa 2005.


Jarvis Cutter File, Historian's Office.

Robert E. Johnson.  Guardians of the Sea: History of the United States Coast Guard, 1915 to the Present.  Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 1987.

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