After fitting out at Charleston, the cutter sailed north to the Fifth Coast Guard district, with Norfolk, Va., as her assigned home port. On 28 August, after her arrival in the 13th Naval District, she was returned to Treasury Department jurisdiction. Three Germans were observed to be dead in the conning tower. Recommended Posts. Naval Institute Press (1982) ISBN 0-87021-717-8 U.S. Coast Guard in World War II, Malcolm F. Willoughby. Your email address will not be published. Twenty five of Spencer’s men were injured, one dying of his wounds [RM 3/c Julius Petrella]. (Later the CG came under Navy orders but not then.). The class were called the "Treasury class" because they were each named for former Secretaries of the Treasury. She served as an engineering training ship with students using her steam propulsion plant until 15 December 1980. The Treasury-class cutters proved highly adaptable, dependable, versatile and long-lived warships. He was a quartermaster. 501stGeronimo. She was decommissioned on 23 January 1974. At 1220 the sub began sinking and sank stern first at 1227. We also spent July 4th weekend in 1966 escorting the tugs towing the SS Alva Cape out past the 1000 fathom curve off New Jersey and sinking her with gunfire. I believe I have the actual list “original” of the 22 Germans placed on the Duane. I was about 10 years old at the time and remember picking him up at 1 AM in Bayonne New Jersey. The USCGC Northland in World War II. The Allies drove toward Manila and captured the capital city Feb. 6, but several strongpoints still remained in Japanese hands. ... On Jan. 31, the Secretary-class cutter Spencer, converted into an amphibious-force flagship, helped to direct landings south of the entrance to Manila Bay. Share Followers 0. At 1140 Spencer commenced firing all guns and observed many hits on the conning tower and at its base. COAST GUARD CUTTER SINKS SUB: Coast Guardsmen on the deck of the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter SPENCER watch the explosion of a depth charge which blasted a Nazi U-Boat’s hope of breaking into the center of a large convoy. Spencer saw service in the Pacific War. Commissioned in 1937, she was first used as a search and rescue unit off Alaska's fishing grounds. On Sep. 12, 1941, nearly three months before the Pearl Harbor attack, the crew of Coast Guard cutter Northland conducted the first U.S. raid of the war. One straggler was reported. 31 talking about this. She saw service in the later stages of World War II and was decommissioned postwar. The Duane, in the immediate vicinity, assisted, firing all batteries, while merchant vessels in rear columns of the convoy opened fire on the submarine, some projectiles passing it and landing close to and on Spencer. The crew of the submarine was observed to be abandoning ship via the conning tower. Apparently he was the only witness to this event it seems and when he reported it to the captain he was not believed, a dismissal that kind of hurt the very young seaman that he was at the time. By 501stGeronimo, June 28, 2013 in BOB GILL MEMORIAL GROUPINGS PAGE. Association membership was initially opened to World War II crew members and eventually to all former crew members. Fixed Wing Rotary Wing Significant Dates in Coast Guard Aviation Land. The U.S Coast Guard Cutter (USCGC) WHEC-37 is one of the famed Secretary of the Treasury Class Coast Guard cutters built in the mid-1930's. The after davit of Spencer’s No. Your email address will not be published. When the United States entered World War II the Coast Guard temporarily became part of the United States Navy. At 1140 Spencer commenced firing all guns and observed many hits on the conning tower and at its base. These cutters have adequate accommodations for crew to live on board and can do 6 to 8 week patrols. Last week, the flag was returned to its home ship in Portsmouth. Her last voyage was from New York City to the United States Coast Guard Yard, Curtis Bay on 15 January 1974. After the war, the Coast Guard added a huge tripod radar mast aft, and a two story balloon shelter. Spencer served for over 37 years and when decommissioned in 1974, she was the most decorated cutter in the Coast Guard's fleet. USCGC Spencer (WMEC-905) is a United States Coast Guard medium endurance cutter.Her keel was laid on 26 June 1982 at Robert Derecktor Shipyard Incorporated, Middletown, Rhode Island.She was named for John Canfield Spencer, United States Secretary of the Treasury from 1843 to 1844 under President John Tyler and launched on 17 April 1984 and was commissioned into service on 28 June 1986. Very good read. Parachuting out of bomber shot down over France, An English girl’s love letter for the Gestapo. From the United States Coast Guard – History of the Cutter USCGC Spencer. They were built to run from Atoll lagoon to atoll lagoon in the South Pacific, preferably on a nice day. Dad also told me that the Spencer and the Tourmaline almost collided in heavy seas during one convoy mission. One time he told me when leaving the pier from Bayonne, the ship was not properly untied and pulled the dock down as it left, causing a band playing on the pier to end up in the river. The Spencer had another sub kill taken away, and may have had a third but were unable to confirm the kill. On the 13th one escort was 25 miles to the north with four stragglers. The crew on the Spencer would be eating lobster for three or four days straight. Crotty, a 1934 graduate of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, served throughout the … I am told my Grandfather is one of the three sailors wearing an officers combination cover standing on the fantail of the Spencer of the historical photo with the deapthcharge bloom in the background. Air. During the Battle of Atlantic she acted as a convoy escort, hunting German U-boats, and was responsible for sinking U-175in 1943. On 11 April 1943, Spencer departed St. John’s in company with Task Unit 24.1.3 consisting, in addition, of Duane, two British and two Canadian escorts, and rendezvoused with the 56-ship east-bound convoy HX-233, relieving the local escort on the 12th. There was so much windage aft that we could not gybe, or bring the stern across the wind. She was one of the seaplane tenders the Coast Guard took over after the war. My dad didn’t speak much about his time on the Spencer and the only combat experience he ever mention was a kamikaze attack. Coast Guard units served with distinction in missions supporting the war effort even before formal U.S. entry into World War II. A World War II-era ship docked in Baltimore is about to get a new name.Living Classrooms Foundation and Historic Ships of Baltimore will rename the cutter Roger B. Taney. Location: 35°54'7.61"N, 75°23'42.47"W (35.902116, -75.395133) Depth:77 feet Vessel Type:U.S. Coast Guard Active Class Patrol Boat Length: 125 feet Breadth:23 feet 6 inches Gross Tonnage: 232 tons Cargo:N/A Built: American Brown Boveri Electric Company, Camden, New Jersey, and commissioned on March 14, 1927 Hull Number: Unknown Port of Registry: Morehead City, North Carolina, USA Owner:U.S. Coast Guard Former Names:None Date Lost:September 14, 1944 Sunk By: Great Atlantic Hurricane Surv… The sinking of U-175. At 1215 Spencer lowered her No. At 1138 a submarine [U-175] surfaced to conning tower depth at 2,500 yards, drawing slowly right, still underway but apparently damaged. On board her for this voyage were 24 of her World War II crew. As with all wars, World War II had a transformative effect on America's military services. Medical Logs of Revenue Cutters and Coast Guard Vessels, 1899 - 1934; Telegraph and Radio Logs of Revenue Cutters and Coast Guard Vessels, 1910 - 1916; Logbooks of Lighthouse Tenders, 1873 - 1941; For U.S. Coast Guard logs from 1972 to the 1980s see our Regional Archives depending on the vessel's home port and location of station. For ten months she carried out surveillance to prevent troops and supplies from getting into South Vietnam. Inactive; 1,429 posts; At one point we literally were forced to tack in order to change course. Another reason the Navy were jealous of her is that she was a tremendous seaboat, and a much more comfortable ride than anything near her size the navy owned. On the 15th the submarine report indicated that the convoy may have been sighted by U-boats. My wife and I visited Dieter and his wife in Germany in 2012. 501stGeronimo. Commissioned in 1937, she was first used as a search and rescue unit off Alaska's fishing grounds. The Medium Endurance Cutter or WMEC is a type of United States Coast Guard Cutter mainly consisting of the 270-foot (82 m) Famous- and 210-foot (64 m) Reliance-class cutters.These larger cutters are under control of Area Commands (Atlantic Area or Pacific Area). After the war Spencer returned to her Coast Guard duties, serving in the Atlantic Ocean. My older brother Herbert Adler served on the Spencer from about 1951 to 1954 in the engine room. At 1145 Spencer ceased firing and maneuvered in the vicinity of the disabled submarine. I think it was to Argentia, Newfoundland. At 0646 she established a contact and dropped a pattern of 10 charges and half an hour later fired mousetraps on another contact. The ship was lightly armed, had sonar, a hull strengthened for ice operations and carried an aircraft. 2 boat with a submarine boarding party. Spencer made the announcement Thursday alongside Adm. Karl Schultz, the commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard, in a ceremony aboard the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Eagle in Cherbourg, France. The Spencer served for over 37 years and when decommissioned in 1974 she was the most decorated cutter in the Coast Guard's fleet. She was then sold to the North American Smelting Company and scrapped. She returned to combat duty off the Vietnam coast in January 1969. My Dad’s ship, PY20, the USS Tourmaline, saw the Spencer in action while conducting convoy assembly escort duty along the east coast of the US during the height of the submarine attacks in 1942 & 1943 before being transferred to the Pacific Theater. Spencer earned eight battle stars in World War II (four in the Atlantic and four in the Pacific) as well as two battle stars in Vietnam. I wonder when the captions were written: they mostly speak of Nazis instead of German seaman. USCGC Spencer (WPG-36) was a Treasury-class cutter of the United States Coast Guard that served during World War II.. All. My brother never wanted to go on a cruiseship after spending a full three years on air sea rescue in the Atlantic. Here she provided navigational assistance for the fledgling Trans-Atlantic air industry and acted as a search and rescue platform both ships and aeroplanes. Spencer was assigned to the US Navy's Seventh Fleet, in the Pacific in late 1944, where she served as a Communications Command Ship. In the years immediately preceding U.S. entry into the conflict and over the subsequent four years, eight months of fighting, the Coast Guard's responsibilities grew exponentially. The book gives a comprehensive listing of all the craft used by the Coast Guard and transfered to the Navy. The U. S. Coast Guard in World War II . There she was credited with taking part in numerous amphibious assaults including Luzon and Palawan in the Philippines Campaign. I still have great memories of good times in the Spencer. We had to turn the other way, heading up into the wind and then falling off the other side to make our turn. Articles incorporating text from Wikipedia, European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medals, http://www.uscg.mil/history/webcutters/Spencer1937.asp, http://www.convoyweb.org.uk/on/index.html, http://www.convoyweb.org.uk/hx/index.html, http://www.convoyweb.org.uk/sc/index.html, https://military.wikia.org/wiki/USCGC_Spencer_(WPG-36)?oldid=2646226, Pages using duplicate arguments in template calls. Does anyone know what issue of Life Magazine this appeared in? The depth charge tossed from the 327-foot cutter blew the submarine to the surface, where it was engaged by Coast Guardsmen. Boats (Less than 65 ft) Cutters (65 ft or greater) Other Vessels (Non-CG) USCGC Tampa Notable People. The Coast Guard During World War II. His inflatable life vest was not working well as it had been punctured by shrapnel, and he almost didn’t make it. While still under Navy control, the cutter departed New York on 26 June 1919, bound for the west coast. The convoy proceeded due east to avoid submarines reported south of Greenland and Iceland. In mid 1943 three of the new 180 foot Buoy tenders arrived. Like all other Coast Guard vessels that sailed as part of the Navy during World War II, the cutter Spencer served right alongside Naval Ships-of-the-Line and matched them blow for blow through some of the most demanding actions. In an instant it had disappeared. Lt. James Crotty as lieutenant junior grade aboard a Coast Guard cutter. Very little in the way of boasting. 17th April 1943: USCGC Spencer’s mid Atlantic attack on U-175. We were relieved at the end of our Vietnam deployment by the Duane. All. They just did what they thought was their duty. The submarine boarding party returned at 1255, having boarded the submarine momentarily prior to it sinking. Caption: Sinking of German submarine U-175, April 1943. My father served on Duane and is pictured helping U-175 survivor Dieter Wolf across the deck in one photo not shown in this link. We just got set down sideways to leeward. At 1238 Spencer began picking up survivors alongside. I always thought it exciting for the CG ship to have actually sank a Nazi submarine. On the 16th Spencer dropped depth charge and delivered a mousetrap attack on a sound contact, firing eight more rounds of mousetrap ammunition on another contact an hour later. My dad, fluent in German, was told to get the prisoner’s names and ranks. When the United States entered World War II the Coast Guard temporarily became part of the United States Navy. Following in my Grandfather’s footsteps, I too joined the U.S. Coast Guard and retired several years ago after a seccessful career. World War II. Posted June 28, 2013. He had volunteered to make his way in the heavy seas to the aft depth charge racks to tighten them down their having come loose in the rough ocean at some considerable risk to his person. Subsequent contacts were non-sub or lost and Spencer rejoined the convoy. 1 boat had been damaged by a projectile and the superstructure had been damaged by shrapnel–all of the damage was caused by friendly fire as the gunners on board many of the nearby merchant ships failed to clear Spencer while firing at the surfaced U-boat. Original caption, “NAZI SUBMARINE SUNK BY THE FAMED CUTTER USCGC SPENCER (WPG-36): Effect of the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter USCGC SPENCER (WPG-36)'S fire are visible in this close-up shot of the U-Boat, taken as the battle raged. All Lighthouses & Light Stations Stations & Units Water. He told me that the Navy boys were jealous of the Coast Guard ship because the Navy ships had been ordered to remain on the periphery of the convoys proceeding north up the coast while the Coast Guard was free to engage anywhere they saw the enemy subs. Spencer returned to the United States in November 1969 and continued her peace-time mission of ocean station keeping. On the way from New York to Gitmo, we got stuck in a storm off Hatteras and actually hove to to avoid damage on our way to training. After I left the Spencer they painted her gray and sent her off to Vietnam. All At 1138 a submarine [U-175] surfaced to conning tower depth at 2,500 yards, drawing slowly right, still underway but apparently damaged. The last of the Secretary class cutters is moored in Baltimore. Welcome Aboard the USCGC SPENCER (WMEC 905) The Coast Guard Base is located at the intersection of Hanover and Commercial St. Best time to contact your sponsor will vary depending on Spencer's in port time, However, when in port, Spencer's crew can best be contacted between the hours of 0700 and 1300, Mon-Thurs. They were never meant for the North Atlantic, but we used them on ocean stations for years. *Coast Guard Cutter Spencer is scheduled to shift homeports to Portsmouth, VA in 2021* Commanding Officer, CDR Thomas C. Rodzewicz Executive Officer, LCDR Nolan J. Cuevas The Life magazine article was in the June 7, 1943 issue. WHEC-37 was designed for law enforcement missions, search and rescue, and maritime patrol. She was a naphtha tanker which had been in a collision in Kill Van Kull, and then blew up again in Gravesend Bay when they were trying to unload the remaining naphtha. He also saw the Spencer undergoing engine replacement due to its hard charging actions in defense of the convoys a complex process involving the detachment of the aft deck in order to remove and replace burned out engines. (U.S. Coast Guard) The Coast Guard conducted the first U.S. raid of WWII. As a torpedoed merchant ship goes down in February 1943, the U.S. Coast Guard cutter Spencer searches for the attacking U-boat. She then was transferred to the United States Coast Guard and was in commission as the Coast Guard cutter USCGC Barataria (WAVP-381), later WHEC-381 from 1949 to 1969, serving in the Cuban Missile Crisis and the Vietnam War during her lengthy Coast Guard career. My uncle had shown me many years ago the same photo in an old family photo album with an arrow pointing him out. I also served briefly in the Half Moon, having been loaned to her TDY for her Gitmo trip in January 1966 because she was very short of officers after some transfers and an illness and an accident. They joined next day as did another Canadian escort. One German officer and 18 men were rescued by Spencer and 22 by Duane. The US Revenue Cutter Spencer, 1844-1867 This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. I reported to the Spencer straight out of OCS in January 1965 and served in her until October 1966. He would tell us about how Canadian lobstermen would deliberately leave port with only enough fuel for half way on their trip, and would then radio the Coast Guard to have the Spencer tow them back to port to save on fuel expenses. Following a Coast Guard tradition, a new 270-foot medium-endurance cutter commissioned in 1986 was named the Spencer. When I was on the Half Moon ( WHEC 378 ) we tied up across from the Spencer. Although I never knew him, I have been told by my father and his siblings that my Grandfather Aubrey Rogers was the gunnery officer aboard the CGC Spencer during the sinking of this U-boat. That was typical of his amazing generation. The Spencer served over 37 years, and when decommissioned in 1974, was the most decorated cutter in the Coast Guard’s fleet. The 230 foot Coast Guard Cutter Storis, designed to serve as a supply ship for Bluie bases, was commissioned on 30 September 1942. WW2 Coast Guard USS Spencer Cutter, Captured U-175 group WW2 Coast Guard USS Spencer Cutter, Captured U-175 group. Required fields are marked *. The Coast Guard war diaries include Abstracts of War Diaries, 5/1942 - 9/1945, which are arranged by year and thereunder by unit, and include highlights of outstanding activities and operations by Coast Guard ships and shore units during World War II. She finished the war in the Pacific. He was the last of the U-175 survivors. As air-passenger aircraft flights were expanding at home and overseas, the Coast Guard believed that cutter-based aircraft were essential for future search and rescue missions. The crew of the submarine was observed to be abandoning ship via the conning tower. On 5 September, President Franklin D. Roosevelt proclaimed U.S. neutrality and ordered units of the U.S. Navy and Coast Guard to establish a “Neutrality Patrol.” Its duties included ob… Written at the top is “22 German prisoners”. This month marks the 70th anniversary of a decisive victory for the predecessor of Coast Guard Cutter Spencer. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. The Spencer and five of her 327-foot Secretary-class sisters helped keep the supply lifeline between North America and Britain open during the Battle of the Atlantic. https://military.wikia.org/wiki/List_of_United_States_Coast_Guard_cutters Sold for scrapping on 8 October 1981 to North American Smelting Co. 2,216 long tons (2,252 t; 2,482 short tons), 12,300 nautical miles (22,780 km) at 11 knots (20.4 km/h), 1937: 12 officers, 4 warrants, 107 enlisted, 1941: 16 officers, 5 warrants, 202 enlisted, 1966: 10 officers, 3 warrants, 134 enlisted, 2 x MK13 high altitude parachute flare mortars, 1 Republic of Vietnam Meritorious Unit Citation with Gallantry Cross with Palm. Pearl Harbor D-Day Vietnam Photos Oral Histories & Memoirs Browse by Topic. On 3 September 1939, two days after the German invasion of Poland, France and Great Britain declared war on Germany. Spencer saw service in the Pacific War. My father served on the Spencer. She was decommissioned on 23 January 1974. All US Navy AGCs, LCCs, and Coast Guard WAGCs; Fred's Place -- The Place to Meet Old Shipmates; Jack's Joint-- an Unofficial Guast Guard Library and More... U.S. Coast Guard Cutters & Craft of World War II, Robert L. Scheina. Onboard her for this voyage were 24 of her World War II crew. Dieter is shown in the picture above as the man still in the water grabbing the cargo net. They were single screw and had icebreaker bows. I’ve tried finding a list of crew names who served on the Spencer during the time in question but no luck. At 1050 she had a sound contact and dropped 11 charges and on reestablishing it dropped 11 more. The Treasury-class cutter was a group of seven high endurance cutters launched by the United States Coast Guard between 1936 and 1937. In the uncertain days of World War II, the Coast Guard-manned USS Spencer steamed alongside convoy ships maintaining long lines of food, men and war machines destined for the front lines of Europe. These ships were also collectively known as the "327's" as they were all 327 feet (100 m) in length. The Allied operation, launched on June 6, 1944, started the successful invasion of German-occupied Western Europe during World War II. These made them ride even worse. She’s the Taney and is wonderfully preserved. After the commissioning of the new Spencer in 1986 membership was opened to the crews of the USS Spencer WMEC-905. It remains in active service to this day. A historical document that may be getting donated to the museum in New Orleans. On the 17th SS Fort Rampart was reported torpedoed and Spencer screened the Canadian escort during rescue operations. Assets. This Association was founded by 24 WWII Veterans who served aboard USCG Cutter Spencer 36. Learn how your comment data is processed. During the Battle of Atlantic she acted as a convoy escort, hunting German U-boats, and was responsible for sinking U-175 in 1943. A truly awesome expierence. Dieter passed away in December 2014. Hollandia. For anyone interested in the role of the Coast Guard in World War II, this is the book to check out. They were wonderful hosts, and Dieter told many stories of that day and was grateful for the rescue. We went immediately to refresher training at Gitmo, and did several Ocean Stations in my time. While there he look up to see the bow of the Spencer looming over him on the crest of a wave. ww2dbase USS Spencer Awards Hope this story adds to the lore of the USCGC Spencer. Most served the United States for over 40 years, including with distinc… The submarine was sunk off south-west of Ireland by USCGC Spencer (WPG-36) on April 17, 1943. . At 1117 she regained it and fired mousetraps. Her last voyage was from New York City to the United States Coast Guard Yard, Curtis Bay on 15 January 1974. Alex Obrizok, a World War II veteran, held on to a Coast Guard ensign, a flag from his ship the Tampa, for 70 years. 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