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USCGC Casco (WAVP-370)
USCGC Casco (WAVP-370)
USCGC Casco (WHEC-370, ex-WAVP-370) in 1969.
Career (United States)
Namesake: Casco Bay on the coast of Maine
Builder: Puget Sound Navy Yard, Bremerton, Washington
Laid down: 30 May 1940
Launched: 15 November 1941
Completed: December 1941
Acquired: 19 April 1949
Commissioned: 19 April 1949
Decommissioned: 21 March 1969
Reclassified: WHEC-370 1 May 1966
Fate: Transferred to U.S. Navy 1969
Sunk as target 15 May 1969
Notes: Served as United States Navy seaplane tender USS Casco (AVP-12) 1941-1947
General characteristics
Class & type: Casco-class cutter
Displacement: 2,528.72 tons (full load)
Length: 310 ft 6.75 in (94.6595 m) overall; 299 ft 11 in (91.41 m) between perpendiculars
Beam: 41 ft 0 in (12.50 m) maximum
Draught: 13 ft 1 in (3.99 m) maximum
Installed power: 6,000 bhp (4,500 kW)
Propulsion: Fairbanks-Morse direct-reversing diesel engines, two shafts; 166,429 US gallons (630,000 L) of fuel
Speed: 18.6 knots (34.4 km/h) (maximum)
17.4 knots (32.2 km/h) (maximum sustained)
12.4 knots (23.0 km/h) (economic)
Range: 10,138 nautical miles (18,776 km) at 17.4 knots (32.2 km/h)
20,000 nautical miles (37,000 km) at 12.4 knots (23.0 km/h)s,
Complement: 151 (10 officers, 3 warrant officers, 138 enlisted personnel)
Sensors and
processing systems:
Radar: SPS-23, SPS-29B
Sonar: SQS-1
Armament: one single 5-inch (127 mm) 38-caliber dual-purpose gun mount; 1 x Mark 10-1 antisubmarine projector

USCGC Casco (WAVP-370), later WHEC-370, was a Casco-class United States Coast Guard Cutter in service from 1949 to 1969.

Construction and U.S. Navy service

Casco began life as the United States Navy Barnegat-class small seaplane tender USS Casco (AVP-12). She was built by the Puget Sound Navy Yard at Bremerton, Washington. She was launched on 15 November 1941 and commissioned into the Navy on 27 December 1941. She operated in the Aleutian Islands and Central Pacific and supported the Okinawa campaign during World War II, operated in the Philippine Islands after the war, and was decommissioned on 10 April 1947.

Transferred to the United States Coast Guard

The Barnegat-class ships were very reliable and seaworthy and had good habitability, and the United States Coast Guard viewed them as ideal for ocean station duty, in which they would perform weather reporting, law enforcement, and search and rescue tasks, once they were modified by having a balloon shelter added aft and having oceanographic equipment, an oceanographic winch, and a hydrographic winch installed.

Casco was transferred to the United States Coast Guard on 19 April 1949, and was commissioned as USCGC Casco (WAVP-370) the same day.

U.S. Coast Guard service

Casco was assigned to operate from Boston, Massachusetts, which was her home port throughout her period of service in the Coast Guard. She served as a weather reporting ship, and also supported Coast Guard law-enforcement and search-and-rescue operations in the Atlantic Ocean, operating on ocean stations. While on duty in one of these stations, she was required to patrol a 210-square-mile (544-square-kilometer) area for three weeks at a time, leaving the area only when physically relieved by another Coast Guard cutter or in the case of a dire emergency. While on station, she acted as an aircraft check point at the point of no return, a relay point for messages from ships and aircraft, as a source of the latest weather information for passing aircraft, as a floating oceanographic laboratory, and as a search-and-rescue ship for downed aircraft and vessels in distress. She was the first ship of future Commandant of the Coast Guard Admiral J. William Kime.

Casco responded to the a distress call from the sinking fishing vessel Magellan on 22 August 1949, rescuing Magellan's crew and then saving Magellan from sinking.

When the fishing vessel Wamsutta became disabled, Casco took her under tow and towed her 86 nautical miles (159 km) from a point north of Nantucket, Massachusetts, to Boston on 23 January 1950.

On 26 August 1950, Casco rendezvoused with the Greek merchant ship Igor 360 nautical miles (670 km) northeast of Bermuda and evacuated an Igor crewman in need of medical assistance. On 24 November 1954, she went to the assistance of the disabled fishing vessel Sea Ranger and towed Sea Ranger to safety. On 17 February 1956, Casco took 21 men off of a United States Navy seaplane that had ditched 100 nautical miles (190 km) south of Bermuda, then towed the seaplane to St. George’s Harbor at Bermuda. On 20 October 1958, Casco took a crewman in medical distress off of the merchant ship Maye Lykes.

In cooperation with universities in the eastern United States and international agencies, Casco conducted oceanographic experiments between South America and Africa from 1 August 1963 to 19 August 1963.

Casco was classified as a high endurance cutter and redesignated WHEC-370 on 1 May 1966.

Casco helped fight a major fire on Long Wharf at Boston on 27 March 1968.

Decommissioning and disposal

The Coast Guard decommissioned Casco on 21 March 1969. She was transferred to the U.S. Navy, which sank her as a target in the North Atlantic at 16:33 hours on 15 May 1969 at Latitude 36-40N Longitude 024-16W.


See also

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