Mohawk, 1935 (WPG-78)

Feb. 28, 2021

Mohawk, 1935


The cutter Mohawk was named for a Native American tribe, part of the Iroquois Confederation, which originally dwelt in the Mohawk River Valley, New York, but was forced to flee to Canada for having sided with the Loyalists during the American Revolution.

Builder: Pusey & Jones Corporation, Wilmington, DE

Length: 165' 

Beam: 36'

Draft: 12' 3" mean

Displacement: 1,005 tons

Cost: $499,800

Launched: 1 October 1934

Commissioned: 19 January 1935  

Decommissioned: 8 January 1948

Disposition: Sold, 1 November 1948

        Main Engines: 1 x Westinghouse double-reduction geared turbine; 1,500 shp
        Main Boilers: 2 x Foster-Wheeler; 310 psi, 200° superheat 
        Propellers: 1 x four-bladed

        Maximum Speed: 12.8 knots; 1,350 mile range
        Economic: 9.4 knots; 5,079 mile range

Fuel Oil: 41,500 gallons

Complement: 6 officers, 56 men (1934)

        1934: 2 x 3"/50; 2 x 6-pounders
        1942: 2 x 3"/50; 2 x 20mm/80 (single mount); 2 x depth charge tracks; 4 x "Y" guns; 2 x mousetraps.

        Radar: SF (1945)
        Sonar: QCJ-3 (1945)

Class History:

The 165-foot "A" class cutters were based on the 1915 Tallapoosa/Ossipee design.  They were designed for light ice-breaking as well, and were constructed with a reinforced belt at the waterline and a cutaway forefoot.  They could break up to two feet of ice.  They were also the first cutters with geared turbine drives.  They were constructed utilizing Public Works Administration construction allotments, a program established to aid the country after the onset of the Great Depression.

Other cutters in the 165-foot (A) class cutters were: Algonquin (WPG-75); Comanche (WPG-76); Escanaba (WPG-77); Onondaga (WPG-79); and Tahoma (WPG-80).

The author, D. E. ("Gim") Hobelman, was given free access to the Escanaba and he describes her from stem to stern.  His comments are equally applicable to the other cutters in Escanaba's class.

Cutter History:

The fifth cutter named Mohawk (WPG-78) was built by Pusey & Jones Corp., Wilmington, Delaware, and launched 1 October 1934.  She was commissioned on 19 January 1935.  She was first assigned patrol and general icebreaking duties on the Hudson and Delaware Rivers, and the outbreak of war found her stationed at Cape May, New Jersey.  In accordance with Executive Order No. 89-29 of 1 November 1941, Mohawk was directed to serve as part of the naval forces of the United States.  Assigned to North Atlantic escort operations with the Greenland Patrol, where she served for the entire war, Mohawk launched a total of 14 attacks against submarine contacts between 27 August 1942 and 8 April 1945.

As part of the Greenland Patrol, the Mohawk was standing down the west coast of Greenland, in Davis Strait on 1 May 1942 en route to Godthaab from Sondre Stromfjord with the cutter Raritan, which had lost her propeller breaking ice in tow.  The Mohawk resumed ice breaking operations on the 5th and on the 9th,when she was forced to discontinue because of a bent propeller.  She proceeded to Bluie West One at reduced speed, furnishing local weather and ice information to six amphibious planes on patrol en route.

She departed Bluie West One on 1 June 1942 to rendezvous with the SS Julius Thomsen and escorted her to Boston, arriving there on the 9th.  The trip was uneventful with the exception of expending one depth charge on a sound contact on 3 June.  At  the Boston Navy Yard the Mohawk underwent extensive alterations.  On 5 July 1942, she left the Navy Yard and on the 7th was underway to Casco Bay, Maine.  Due to personnel changes while in overhaul status, one fourth of her crew were apprentice seamen (Reserves) without any preliminary training.  She remained at Casco Bay from the 9th to 13th of July during which time evidence of sabotage was found, steel filings having been placed in two Q circuit meters.  

She got underway on 13 July in company with the cutter North Star, the C&GS vessels Hydrographer, Driller, and SS Nancy as a special task group under the command of Lieutenant Commander W. P. Hawley, in the North Star, and proceeded along the coast of Nova Scotia.  On the 19th the Hydrographer and Driller left the group for an undisclosed destination.  The Mohawk remained at Sydney through 21 July 1942.  On the 26th she began escorting the Canadian ice-breaker MacLean to the Hudson Straits, in company with the cutters Tampa (Escort Commander), Modoc, and the SS Askepot.  Proceeding by way of the Gulf of St. Lawrence and Straits of Belle Isle, the Tampa detached at Belle Isle on the 27th and the Mohawk proceeded to Skov Fjord, escorting the Askepot.

On 9 August 1942, the Mohawk escorted the USAT Chatham and the Panamanian freighter SS Aristides to Ivigtut, in view of the numerous submarine and floating mine reports.  On 16 August the Mohawk departed Bluie West One and rendezvoused with a five ship convoy, escorted by the cutters Mojave and Algonquin for Sydney Nova Scotia, where she arrived on 21 August 1942.

The Mohawk  departed from Sydney, Nova Scotia as junior escort for Convoy No. 6 to Greenland on 25 August 1942.  The convoy was in two groups.  One consisting of the Chatham and Mojave, departed the group at Sydney outer buoy and proceeded on the same route at a higher speed.  The second group, with the cutters Mohawk and Algonquin as escorts, consisted of the USS Laramie, SS Biscaya, SS Arlyn, SS Alcoa Guard, and SS Harjurand in convoy.  At 0900 on 27 August 27 1942, the Mohawk received a radio message that the Chatham had been mined or torpedoed near the north end of the Belle Isle Straits and at 1600, the Mojave and a corvette loaded with Chatham survivors were sighted south bound.  Later at 2133 on the same day, while passing through oil slicks believed to have been from the Chatham at the north end of Belle Isle Straits, a torpedo explosion was heard and a faint white glow was observed in the vicinity of the Laramie's port bow, this was followed by a second explosion and another glow.  There was a third explosion a minute later.  The Laramie sent up two white rockets and the Mohawk headed in their general direction. 

Five minutes later the Algonquin was making a depth charge attack on the starboard quarter of the Laramie, which was down at the head and listing to port.  At 2232, the Mohawk sighted the Algonquin and two ships standing to the southeast between Cape Norman and Belle Isle. It was decided that the safety of the Laramie took precedence over the investigation of red flares.  At this time the sinking of the Arlyn was unknown, but it was reasoned that if the red flares were from life boats, the survivors were within five miles of shore.  The fact that the submarine had remained in the vicinity after sinking the Chatham in the morning gave rise to the belief that if the Laramie was left unescorted, the submarine might attempt to finish her off, while the Mohawk was engaged in hunting survivors. 

It was not until 2259 that the Mohawk received the first positive information that the Arlyn had been torpedoed.  On making contact with the Laramie at 2350, it was learned that she had had an echo bearing 165° true at a distance of 2,000 yards and the Mohawk ran down this bearing, without obtaining a sound contact, and dropped four depth charges from her stern racks as an embarrassing attack in the best estimated position. Three of them failed to explode as they were set too deep for the depth of the water.  The Mohawk continued to escort the Laramie until relieved on 29 August 29 off Cap Ray in Cabot Straits by the USS Bristol and then proceeded to Sydney, Nova Scotia.

The Mohawk stood out of Sydney en route to Green land via Belle Isle Strait and contacted the SS Harjurand in Henley Harbor, Labrador on 1 September 1942, escorting her to Greenland.  She arrived in Greenland on the 6th where the Harjurand was detached to begin salvage work on the SS Montrose.  While moored at Onoto, Greenland, the Mohawk was ordered on the 17th to proceed to the assistance of the USAT Armstrong, which was reported leaking badly at an indefinite location some place in the area between Simiutak Island and Julianehaab.  She proceeded down Skov Fjord and an hour later sighted the SS Armstrong close to the beach near the northeast corner of Simiutak Island in position 60° 42' N x 46° 30' W.  Her engines ware flooded. 

Because of the darkness and uncharted and numerous exposed rocks, damage control pumps were placed aboard her by motor launch.  A tow line was put aboard her and next morning the Mohawk took her in tow astern and proceeded to Skov Fjord.  After clearing the swells, the Mohawk brought her alongside and rigged the wrecking eductor to keep her afloat, as all her pumps ware failing.  At 1800, the Armstrong was turned over to the Comanche in the vicinity of Narsak and the Mohawk proceeded to join escort of convoy GS-8.

Entering Skov Fjord with convoy GS-8 on 3 October 3, 1942, the Mohawk remained anchored off Onoto, Greenland, until the 14th.  On the 15th she escorted two merchant vessels to Bijsed and then anchored off Ivigtut on the 16th.  On the 18th she proceeded to assist SS Ozark reported in distress northeast of Cape Farewell.  She arrived in the vicinity on the 20th and commenced a search which continued until the 23rd.  The search was without results and she returned to Kungnat Bay on the 23rd.  Next day she was on her way to St. John's, Newfoundland where she arrived on the 28th and escorted two vessels to Argentia. 

Departing Argentia on 3 November 1942, the Mohawk proceeded to St. John's and began escorting a convoy to Kungnat Bay, Greenland.  On the 9th she took over the escort of two vessels unable to keep up with the convoy, but lost contact on the 11th due to a snowstorm.  She entered Kungnat Bay on the12th.  The next day she departed escorting a convoy to St. John's where she arrived on the 19th.  On the 22nd she was dispatched to search for survivors of the SS Blair Atholl.  On the 28th she took on 25 survivors of the SS Barberry and returned them to St. John's.

The Mohawk departed St. John's with the Algonquin for Greenland on December 2nd and anchored in Kungnat Bay on the 6th.  Two days later she departed as a member of Task Unit 24.8.2 escorting convoy GS-15 to St. John's.  Due to a heavy snow squall and a moderate gale she lost contact with the convoy on the 10th and, while endeavoring to regain contact under poor visibility conditions, dropped three depth charges as an embarrassing charge on a possible submarine contact on the 13th.  After searching the area with negative results, the contact was classified as non-sub.  Abandoning efforts to regain contact with GS-15 she proceeded to Argentia on the 11th.  On the 20th she departed for St. John's.  At 2200 she sighted the Travis assisting the SS Maltran.  Strong northwest gales were blowing both ships toward the rocky, poorly charted lee shore which had no navigation aids.  Icing conditions were severe.  At 2145 the Travis requested assistance.

Visual signal devices were so iced as to make communication difficult.  The Mohawk assumed to take the Maltran in tow, the Travis having parted her hawser and the Maltran drifting rapidly toward shore.  The Travis was assigned to anti-submarine sound screen during the assistance operations.  After three attempts, a 10-inch manila hawser was finally gotten aboard the Maltran on the 21st.  The vessels were now within a mile of the rocky shore, with numerous uncharted reefs and rocks.  By 0527, she had towed the Maltran well clear of all immediate danger and about five miles from shore.  In attempting to place the chafing gear on the hawser it had to be cut to save the arm of the Chief Boatswain's Mate which became jammed and the Maltran cut her end to keep it from fouling her propeller.  The USS Junalaska now took the Maltran in tow, while the Mohawk maintained an anti-submarine screen with the Travis, until the Maltran was safely within the swept channel of Argentia.

Arriving at St. John's, the Mohawk departed on 23 December as a member of Task Unit 24.8.2 escorting convoy SG-16, consisting of the SS Aragon to Greenland.  Arriving at Skov Fjord on the 28th, she departed on the 29th with the Algonquin and Sandpiper to escort the Laramie to Ivigtut.  Later encountering the Laramie in Arsuk Fjord, us learned that the vessel was bound for Kungnat Bay where the Mohawk escorted her.  The Mohawk stood out of Kunguat Bay on the 29th escorting the convoy GS-17, consisting of the SS Norlago to St. John's.  On 2 to 4 January 1943, having lost contact with the convoy due to poor visibility and high winds, she was assigned to search for the Natsek but abandoned search on the 5th and moored at St. John's.  Proceeding to Argentia on the 6th she remained there until the 13th, when, while en route to St. John's the Mohawk intercepted a call from the YMS-25 and proceeded to her assistance.  She continued to search for the YMS-25 in the vicinity of entrance to Placentia Bay until she was informed that the Faunce was in contact with the YMS-25, whereupon she returned to Argentia.

On January 15, 1943, the Mohawk departed Argentia, in company with the Mojave, escorting the SS Sapelo to St. John's.  On the 18th she departed St. John's as a member of Task Unit 24.8.2 escorting convoy SG-18 to Greenland.  She delivered the convoy at Bluie West One on the 24th.  She then escorted the SS Rocha to Kungnat Bay.  Here with the Storis she joined the Task Unit which departed on the 28th escorting GS-18.  The Mohawk lost contact with the convoy on the 29th due to snow squalls and mountainous seas, and on the 30th a huge comber broke over the bridge, smashing the motor launch and partially flooding compartments through the ventilator system.  On 1 February, still trying to regain contact, the Mohawk entered a side area of ice field off the Newfoundland coast.  After traversing this field, which was 70 miles wide, she was ordered to proceed to Argentia.  On the 3rd she departed Argentia escorting the Travis, Arvek and Albatross to Boston.  On the 4th she entered an ice field in the vicinity of Ateman Bank and cleared it on the 5th.   Contact could not be regained by scouting and a rendezvous at Sambro Lightship was arranged for 1400 on the 6th, when all vessels met and proceeded, the Mohawk maintaining the anti-sub screen.  Visual contact was again lost on the 7th but radio contact was maintained and the Mohawk arrived at Boston on the 8th with the other three arriving an hour later.  The Mohawk departed Boston on the 10th, arriving at Curtis Bay, Coast Guard Yard on the 14th for two weeks of overhaul.

Departing the Coast Guard Yard on 14 February 1943 the Mohawk arrived at Boston on 16 February and departed on the 20th for Argentia.  En route on the 21st she sighted, at 0045, an object believed to be a submarine on the surface, about 1,800 yards off the port bow.  The sighting was confirmed by a Q.C. contact. The sighting and contact were lost at 1,500 yards and an attempt to regain contact by searching the area was unsuccessful.  It was believed that the submarine moved eat of range on the surface.  At 1750 she obtained another sound contact and expended three depth charges in what was later analyzed as a doubtful submarine attack.  At 1750 a third contact was attacked and 16 anti-submarine MK 20 mouse trap charges were expended in two attacks. This contact was later analyzed as also doubtful.  The Mohawk discontinued further search and moored at Argentia on the 214th.

On March 30, 1910, the Mohawk departed Argentia en route to Greenland, with the Escanaba and Nanok and arrived at Onoto on the 6th.   Proceeding to Kungnat Bay she patrolled the entrance to Arsuk Fjord until the 15th and then left Kungnat Bay on the 16th as escort to convoy GS-22 to St. John's.  En route she dropped three charge patterns on sound contacts.  She arrived at St. John's on the 21st and proceeded to Argentia the next day and returned to St. John's on 30 April 1943.  

On 1 May 1943 the Mohawk departed St. John's for Base One, Greenland and moored there on the 7th.  She patrolled the entrance to Arsuk Fjord until the 14th.  On the 20th she was underway with the Northland, Tahoma, and four other vessels to St. John's as convoy GS-23, arriving on the 26th.  On the 29th she was en route Boston, arriving on the 31st.

On 10 June 1943, the Mohawk began escorting the USS Pontiac to Argentia in company with the cutters Modoc, Tahoma, and USS SC-704.  On the 16th she made a QC contact and dropped a pattern of eight depth charges.  She arrived at Argentia on the 29th.  Departing the same day for St. John's she dropped nine charges on a QC contact.  She departed St. John's on the 22nd escorting the convoy SG-26 to Greenland, arriving on the 29th.  She proceeded immediately to assist the USS Albatross reported aground at the western entrance of Arsuk Fjord.  On arrival, the vessel had already floated arid the Mohawk escorted her to Base One.  On 1 July 1943, she departed Gronne Dal for Argentia escorting convoy GS-25 to Argentia.   She arrived at St. John's on the 5th.

The Mohawk  departed St. John's for Gronne Dal again on the 15th escorting convoy SG-28.  On the 20th she stood into Kungnat Bay to assist the USAT Fairfax, which was aground.  The vessel was floated with the Mohawk and Tahoma pulling bow and stern.  On the 22nd the Mohawk departed for the Hudson Straits and Argentia, escorting convoy GS-26.  On the 24th, five vessels detached for the Hudson Straits and on the 27th another detached for Botwood, Newfoundland.  The Mohawk arrived at Argentia on the 31st.  She proceeded to St. John's on the 5th and on the 7th departed for Argentia.

On 9 August 1943, the Mohawk departed Argentia for St. John's, Hudson Straits and Greenland escorting convoy SG-29 in convoy with seven other escorts.  Six ships departed on the 18th for Hudson Straits.  On the 20th she dropped one embarrassing charge on a doubtful contact thought to have resulted from water currents and temperature conditions.  On the 21st she screened the entrance to Skovfjord as the convoy entered and then departed for Kungnat Bay.  On the 24th she departed Kungnat Bay for St. John's, escorting convoy GS-27 and arrived there on the 30th.  She departed for Boston on the same day, arriving there on 1 September for a 20-day availability.  On the 23rd she stood out for Casco Bay and then departed for St. John's, mooring there on 28 September 1943.

The Mohawk departed St. John's on 1 October 1943, escorting convoy SG-31, in company with the Mojave.  She moored at Gronne Dal on the 5th.  On the 7th she departed with the Mojave as escort commander for convoy GS-33, consisting of six vessels.  At 1525 she dropped two embarrassing charges and at 2020 two more on a radar contact that was then lost.  On the 8th a pattern of seven charges was dropped on a sound contact with no apparent results.  On the 11th two of the convoy detached for Botwood and the cutter Mojave detached for St. John's.  The Mohawk continued to Argentia, and dropped an embarrassing charge on a contact en route.  She moored on the 13 October 1943.

On the 17th of October 1943 the Mohawk departed Argentia for Narsarssuak, Greenland, and moored there on the 21st.  On the 22nd she escorted the SS Nevada and SS Alcoa Guard to Kungnat Bay and departed for St. John's on the 25th in company with 7 other vessels as escorts to convoy GS-34, that consisted of 15 vessels.  On the 28th she detached from the convoy as escort of three vessels for Botwood.  En route she obtained a sound contact at 1,000 yards and dropped nine depth charges.  A second bank of eight projectiles followed the first after which the contact was lost from the concussions generated by the exploding depth charges.  She moored at Argentia on the 31st.  On 1 November she departed Argentia for Boston with seven other vessels as escorts for 12 merchant ships.  Arriving at Boston on the 5th, the Mohawk had a three-day availability.

On November 9th, 191,3, the Mohawk, in company with the Mojave and Tampa, began escorting convoy HX-82 to Halifax.  Arrived in Argentia on the 13th she departed the same day with the Mojave and Modoc and moored at Gronne Dal on the 17th.  On the 19th she proceeded out of Arsuk Fjord as escort of convoy GS-36 to St. John's, with five other escorts and five convoyed vessels.  They arrived at St. John's on 24 November 1943 and the Mohawk with three other escorts continued to escort the convoy to Boston.  Arriving at Boston on 1 December 1943, she underwent availability for repairs and on the 26th departed for Casco Bay, Maine, for training exercises.

On 8 January 1944 the Mohawk, in company with the cutter Laurel, was en route Argentia.  The Laurel proceeded independently on the 9th and the Mohawk arrived at Halifax on the 10th.  Underway on the 12th, she rendezvoused with convoy HX-91 and the same day detached as an escort of the USS Laramie to Stephenville, Newfoundland.  On the 19th she returned to Argentia with the Laramie, and sailed the same day for Greenland, stopping over at St. John's on the 20th for repairs.  She entered Skov Fjord on the 24th, proceeding to Narsarssuak the next day.  On the 28th she began escorting convoy GS-41 in company with the Storis to Argentia and moored there on 2 February 1944.

On 5 February 1944, Mohawk set forth again for Greenland, escorting convoy SG-38, in company with the Tampa and Modoc.  On the 9th she stood by in ice at the entrance to Skov fjord and rammed there until the 11th, when she proceeded to Gronne Dal and Narsarssuak.  On the 13th she got underway on rescue patrol and the next day located, in company with the Modoc, HMT Strathella, which was in distress.  The Mohawk took the Strathella in tow next day and moored with her at Narsarssuak on the 18th.  Then she broke ice and patrolled Skov Fjord until the 20th.  She returned to Gronne Dal on the 24th.  On the 26th she began escorting convoy GS-42, with the Tampa and Modoc to Argentia, where she arrived on 3 March 1944.  Getting underway for Boston on the 6th, she arrived there on the 9th and underwent repairs until the 24th.

The Mohawk got underway out of Boston on 25 March 1944 en route to Argentia, in company with the Laramie, Tahoma, and USS Saucy.  On the 28th she fired a six charge pattern of depth charges at a contact, later assessed as doubtful, and moored at Argentia on the 29th.  Next day she was underway, with the Tahoma, escorting convoy SG-40 to Greenland.  On 3 April she dropped two standard patterns of nine charges on sound contacts that were believed to be good. There was no positive evidence of sinking, however, and the Mohawk resumed her station with the convoy.  She arrived at Gronne Dal with the convoy on the 7th and on the 11th escorted the Laramie to Narsarssuak.  On the 22nd she stood out escorting convoy GS-43 to Argentia, with the Comanche, arriving there on 30 April 1944.

The Mohawk remained at Argentia until 6 May 1944, when she stood out in convoy with Tampa, Saucy, and Tenacity, escorting the five vessel convoy SG-41 to Greenland.   She detached with the SS Rocha for Brede Fjord on the 11th, arriving at Narsarssuak the next day.  On the 16th she stood out to escort the Rocha to Gronne Dal.  Returning to Narsarssuak on the 18th, she departed for Weather Station "Charlie" on 22 May and patrolled this station until relieved by Tenacity on the 30th.  Mooring at Gronne Dal until 2 June 1944, she relieved Weather Station "Charlie" again on the 14th.  She patrolled the weather station until the 7th and returned to Gronne Dal on the 12th.  Again on the 17th she patrolled Weather Station "Charlie" for three days.  Based at Gronne Dal, she patrolled Weather Station "Charlie" from 8 to 12 July, 15 to 20 July, and from 28 to 31 July.  When relieved on 1 August 1944, she proceeded to Reykjavik, Iceland, but departed for Weather Station "Charlie" again on 8 August, and after a three day patrol moored at Narsarssuak.  She was again on weather station from the 21st to the 26th of August 1944.

Arriving at Narsarssuak on 4 September 1944, the Mohawk departed on the 8th, taking HMT Strathella in tow for St. John's.  She arrived there on the 12th and on the 14th she stood out of St. John's, escorting SS Biscaya.  She moored at Atlantic Works, East Boston, on the 19th to undergo repairs.  On 20 October she departed for Portland, Maine, where she underwent drills and practice at Casco Bay, departing for Argentia on the 27th.  

The Mohawk moored at Argentia until 2 November 1944, and then got underway for St. John's.  En route she boarded the Spanish fishing vessel Cierzo.  Arriving at St. John's on the 14th, she departed for Narsarassuak on the 5th, escorting the SS Garnes and SS Linda.  Reaching her destination on the 13th, she broke ice on the 15th and 16th and proceeded to Fredericksdal on the 19th.  Returning to Narsarassuak, she was underway on the 25th, escorting the SS Fairfax through the ice.  She moored at Reykjavik, Iceland, on the 29th.

 On 1 December 1944, the Mohawk proceeded to Weather Station No. 7 and patrolled it until 8 December when she was relieved by the Saucy.  Mohawk then proceeded to Reykjavik.  En route she had a sound contact at a range of 2500 yards.  She dropped an eight charge pattern and regaining contact, proceeded on attack course.  She then lost contact but continued the search.  The contact was classified as non-sub.  She proceeded out of Reykjavik for Gronne Dal on the 14th, mooring there on the 18th.  On the same day she proceeded to the assistance of the Evergreen.  Assistance proved unnecessary by the next day.  On 20 December 1944 the Mohawk struck a large growler, which hit the ship five feet below the waterline on the port side, centered at No. 1 and No. 2 magazines.  The ship took about 100 gallons of water per hour in the magazines, which, however, could be controlled.  About 18 plates were damaged and port frames from Nos. 16 and 22 were buckled.  The Mohawk remained moored at Gronne Dal where temporary repairs were made.

The Mohawk departed Gronne Dal in company with the Algonquin and Evergreen on 30 January 1945, and arriving at Argentia on 2 February, was on availability until the 7th when she proceeded to Boston, arriving on 11 February.  After an availability there until the 29th she proceeded to the Casco Bay Training Area until 8 March 1945, returning to Boston the next day.

She left Boston and arrived at Argentia on 14 March 1945, escorting a convoy from there to Gronne Dal, Greenland, where she arrived on 20 March.  Shortly afterward she departed Gronne Dal to patrol an area in which a submarine was suspected.  She returned to Gronne Dal on the 31st and left the same day as escort to convoy GS-65, detaching to patrol Weather Station No. 6 8 until April 1945, when she returned to Gronne Dal.  She was again patrolling Weather Station No. 6 from 21 to 26 April.  Between 3 and 14 June she patrolled Weather Station No. 1.  On 21 July she was at Narsarssuak, at Kungnat Bay on the 28th and Gronne Dal on 4 August 1945.  From 18 to 23 August she was on Air-Sea Rescue Station off Skov Fjord, returning to Narsarssuak to remain until her departure for Argentia in September, 1945.

The Mohawk arrived at  Argentia on 14 October 1945, at Boston on 7 October and at Curtis Bay on 9 October for availability until November, 1945.  After her war-time armament was removed, she was transferred to her old homeport of Cape May.  She was stationed at Cape May, from 25 November until  5 January 1946, when she proceeded to New York on special duty.  She returned to Cape May on 19 February 1946, for salvage work on an 83-foot cutter beached at Atlantic City.  She then proceeded to Berkeley, Virginia, on 7 March.  On 14 April she arrived at Cape May from Norfolk with a fishing vessel in tow.

During the post-war demobilization mania and the consequent reduction in the number of personnel kept on active duty, there were not enough Coast Guardsmen to man every cutter in the fleet.  The Coast Guard then began to determine which cutters would remain operational and which would be placed in reserve status or decommissioned altogether.  On 6 April 1946 Mohawk was ordered to be placed "in reserve, in commission" status, with a skeleton crew, at Cape May, New Jersey.  There was some discussion of converting Mohawk and her sister cutters into lightships but this was eventually deemed to be impractical.  On 8 October 1947 Mohawk was ordered to be decommissioned and placed in storage at the Coast Guard Yard. 

She was declared "surplus to needs of CG" on 13 July 1948 and was put up for sale.  She was sold on 1 November 1948 to the Delaware Bay and River Pilots' Association.  She went through various owners over the years and has recently been purchased by the Miami Dade Historical Maritime Museum.

A photo of the cutter Mohawk

USS Mohawk, CGno caption; 14 January 1935; Photo No. 4529-4; photographer unknown.

A photo of the cutter Mohawk

USS Mohawk, CG (WPG-78)"Mohawk at her berth at Cape May, NJ, spring, 1941; a few months after conversion to gunboat status."; 1941; no photo number; photographer unknown.

Copy of photo provided by John S. Stamford and we gratefully acknowledge his assistance.

A photo of the cutter Mohawk

USS Mohawk, CG (WPG-78); no caption/date/photo number; photographer unknown.

View forward from her flying bridge.

A photo of the cutter Mohawk

USS Mohawk, CG (WPG-78)no caption/date/photo number; photographer unknown.

Photo is probably from mid-1942, see next photo.  Note her newly painted camouflage, additional armament, including the depth charge tracks on her quarterdeck, and how her bow has been cut away to permit a better field of fire for the forward battery.

A photo of the cutter Mohawk

USS Mohawk, CG (WPG-78); "U.S.C.G. MOHAWK. 2895-42 NYBOS."; 4 July 1942; Photo No. 2895-42; photographer unknown.

Note her newly painted camouflage, additional armament, including the depth charge tracks on her quarterdeck, and how her bow has been cut away to permit a better field of fire for the forward battery.

A photo of the cutter Mohawk

USS Mohawk, CG (WPG-78); "165-FT MOHAWK (WPG-78)."; 10 March 1944; Photo No. 3385; photographer unknown.

A photo of the cutter Mohawk

USS Mohawk, CG (WPG-78); "C.G.C. Mohawk underway off Hawkins Point [Photo enclosed with Yard's letter, 3 December 1945."; 24 October 1945; Photo No. 909-2; photo by N. Gunnock. 

The Mohawk after her war-time armament was removed.


The Coast Guard at War V: Transports and Escorts. Part I [Escorts], (Washington, DC: U.S. Coast Guard, 1 March 1949), pp. 74-79.

Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships, Vol. IV, p. 408.

"The New Coast Guard Cutters."  Marine Engineering and Shipping Review  40 (1935), pp. 130-133.

Robert Scheina, U.S. Coast Guard Cutters & Craft of World War II (Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 1982), pp. 21-24.