Coast Guard Decommissions its Oldest Ship

The 67-year-old Coast Guard Cutter Acushnet was decommissioned during a ceremony Friday, March 11, 2011 at Base Support Unit Ketchikan.KETCHIKAN, Alaska – The 67-year-old Coast Guard Cutter Acushnet was decommissioned during a ceremony Friday, March 11, 2011 at Base Support Unit Ketchikan.

The Acushnet was originally commissioned as a Diver Class Fleet Rescue and Salvage Vessel, USS SHACKLE (ARS 9) for the U.S. Navy Feb. 5, 1944. As the oldest ship in the service, the Acushnet was crowned “Queen of the Fleet” after the decommissioning ceremony of the Coast Guard Cutter Storis on Feb. 8, 2007. The designation will now pass to the Coast Guard Cutter Smilax, a 100-foot inland construction tender commissioned in 1944 and based in Ft. Macon, N.C.

During the course of the cutter’s service, Acushnet crews have received the following awards for exemplary service: World War II Victory Medal, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, American Campaign Medal, two Coast Guard Unit Commendations, five Coast Guard Meritorious Unit Commendations, seven Coast Guard “E” Ribbons, Navy Occupation Service Medal, three National Defense Service Medals, two Humanitarian Service Medals, and two Coast Guard Special Operation Ribbons. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Walter Shinn.

KETCHIKAN, Alaska – Capt. Mark Frankford, commanding officer of the Acushnet, speaks to his crew standing in formation during the cutter’s decommissioning ceremony Friday, March 11, 2011.

During the course of the cutter’s service, Acushnet crews have received the following awards for exemplary service: World War II Victory Medal, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, American Campaign Medal, two Coast Guard Unit Commendations, five Coast Guard Meritorious Unit Commendations, seven Coast Guard “E” Ribbons, Navy Occupation Service Medal, three National Defense Service Medals, two Humanitarian Service Medals, and two Coast Guard Special Operation Ribbons

Over its Coast Guard career, the Acushnet had been designated as a tug (WAT), an oceanographic vessel (WAGO) and a medium endurance cutter (WMEC). The Acushnet served as a medium-endurance cutter in the Pacific Ocean, Gulf of Alaska, Bering Sea, and Arctic Ocean. Primary missions included search and rescue, homeland security, maritime law enforcement, and environmental protection.

In this video, Lt. Kirk Fistick and Petty Officer 1st Class Adam Rodgerson discuss serving aboard the 67-year-old Coast Guard Cutter Acushnet prior to the cutter’s decommissioning ceremony Friday, March 11, 2011.


Scenes from the cereomony



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4 Comments

  1. Bruce R. Talbot says:

    Wonderful that we can see this video on the Internet — sad that there is no cutter ready yet to replace Acushnet.

  2. Edwin Lashney says:

    …What happens to the ship now ???

  3. cgnews says:

    I’ve heard rumors ONLY RUMORS, that it might become a museum. I hope so.

  4. cgnews says:

    Looks like the Coast Guard will be decommissioning several boats in the next couple years with no replacements. More with less.