POINT GREY, 1961
Builder: Coast Guard Yard, Curtis Bay, MD
Commissioned: 11 October 1961
Decommissioned: 14 July 1970
Disposition: Transferred to South Vietnam as Nuy Bo on 14 July 1970
Length: 82’10” oa, 78’ bp
Navigation Draft: 5’11” max (1960)
Beam: 17’7” max
Displacement: 69 fl; 60 light (1960)
Main Engines: 2 Cummins diesel (see class history)
Performance, Maximum Sustained: 14.5 kts, 577-mi radius (1,200 hp, 1960)
Performance, Economic: 10.7 kts, 1,271-mi radius (1,200 hp, 1960)
Maximum Speed: 16.8 kts (1960)
Fuel Capacity: 1,840 gal
Complement: 8 men (1960), 2 officers, 8 men (1965)
Radar: SPN-11, CR-103 (1960), or SPS-64
Armament: 1 x 20mm (1960), 5 x .50 cal mg, 1 x 81 mm mortar (Vietnam service)
Class history—The 82-foot patrol boats have mild steel hulls and aluminum superstructures. Longitudinally framed construction was used to save weight.
These boats were completed with a variety of power plants. 82301 through 82313, 82315 through 82317, and 82319 through 82331 were powered by two Cummins 600-hp diesels. Boats 82318 and 82332 through 82379 received two Cummins 800-hp diesels. The 82314 was fitted with two 1,000-hp gas turbines and controllable-pitch propellers. The purpose of this installation was to permit the service to evaluate the propulsion equipment. All units were eventually fitted with the 800-hp diesels. Units remaining in 1990 were re-equipped with Caterpillar diesels.
WPB 82301 through 82344 were commissioned without names; at that time the Coast Guard did not name patrol craft shorter than 100 feet. In January 1964 they were assigned names.
The Point Grey was stationed at Norfolk, Virginia, from 1961 to 1965. She was used for law enforcement and SAR.
She was assigned to CG Squadron One, Division 11, Vietnam, from July 1965 to July 1970. On 10 May 1966 Point Grey was on patrol near the Ca Mau peninsula, under the command of LTJG Charles B. Mosher, when she sighted a 110-foot trawler heading on various courses and speeds. Suspicions aroused, Point Grey commenced shadowing the trawler. After observing what appeared to be signal fires on the beach, she hailed the vessel, but received no response. The trawler ran aground and Point Grey personnel attempted to board it. Heavy automatic weapons fire from the beach prevented the boarding and two crew and one Army passenger were wounded aboard Point Grey. CGC Point Cypress, and U.S. Navy units came to assist. During the encounter the trawler exploded. U.S. Navy salvage teams recovered a substantial amount of war material from the sunken vessel. This incident was the largest, single known infiltration attempt since the Vung Ro Bay incident of February 1965 and was the first "suspicious trawler interdicted by a Market Time unit." LTJG Mosher was awarded the Silver Star for his actions.
On 29 February to 1 March 1968, she assisted in the destruction of an SL-class North Vietnamese trawler near Cu Lao Re island, 70 miles southeast of Danang. On the afternoon of 29 February 1968 the USCGC Androscoggin took the trawler under surveillance after it was first detected by a P-2 Neptune aircraft 150 miles south of the demilitarized zone. The Point Welcome and Point Grey, along with two Navy Swift boats, waited close to shore as the trawler approached, with Androscoggin trailing. In the early morning of 1 March 1968 as the trawler closed to within seven miles of the coast, Androscoggin closed and challenged the trawler. After receiving no response, Androscoggin illuminated the target with 5-inch star shells. The trawler, positively identified as a North Vietnamese SL-class vessel, opened fire on the cutter with recoilless rifle and machine gun fire. Androscoggin then opened fire with her 5-inch battery, scoring one hit on the trawler's "after starboard side." The trawler then headed for the beach. Two helicopters took the trawler under fire while the 82-footers and Swift boats closed. The Point Welcome illuminated the target with illumination rounds fired from her 82mm mortar while the Point Grey and the Swift boats fired their .50 caliber machine guns into the trawler. It grounded 50 yards from the mouth of the Song Tha Cau river. Point Welcome then hit the target with two high explosive mortar rounds fired from her 82mm mortar. The trawler soon thereafter exploded, leaving little trace. The cutters were hit with debris but suffered no personnel casualties.
She was transferred to South Vietnam as Nuy Bo on 14 July 1970. Her ultimate fate is unknown.
Cutter History File. USCG Historian's Office, USCG HQ, Washington, D.C.
Alex Larzelere. The Coast Guard at War: Vietnam, 1965-1975. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 1997.
Robert Scheina. U.S. Coast Guard Cutters & Craft, 1946-1990. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 1990.
Paul C. Scotti. Coast Guard Action in Vietnam: Stories of Those Who Served. Central Point, OR: Hellgate Press, 2000.