Coast Guard pays tribute to WWII veterans

Tomas Regalado, city of Miami mayor, delivers a speech to veterans of their service in WWII in Miami, May 16, 2015. American and Cuban veterans attended the event honoring their service. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Mark Barney)

Tomas Regalado delivers a speech to veterans of  in WWII in Miami, May 16, 2015. American and Cuban veterans attended the event honoring their service. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Mark Barney)

MIAMI —  The Coast Guard, the City of Miami and the Association for Research and Dissemination of Cuban Naval History paid tribute to WWII veterans who served in the American and Cuban armed forces Saturday.

The event commemorated the 72nd anniversary of the sinking of the Axis Submarine U-176 by the Cuban sub chaser Caza Submarino 13 (CS-13) becoming the only non-American Allied ship to sink an enemy U-boat in the Caribbean.

In the early years of WWII, Axis submarine activity was significantly impacting vital Allied shipping including in the waters of South Florida and the Caribbean. Substantial efforts were made to establish effective counter-submarine tactics and, train and arm Allied navies to expand anti-submarine warfare capabilities.

The U.S. Navy Sub Chaser Training Center (SCTC) was established here in Miami to provide that training in the waters of Biscayne Bay; the pier next to the American Airlines Arena is the last of four piers that existed during the war to support the Navy’s training efforts.

In Miami in March of 1943, ten 83-foot wooden patrol boats were transferred from the U.S. Coast Guard to the Cuban Navy under the Lend-Lease Program to expand Cuba’s capability to combat Axis U-Boat operations. One of these vessels, the CG-83338, was renamed under Cuban service as the CS-13.

On May 15th, 1943, the CS-13 engaged and sank the German U-boat U-176, becoming the only non-American Allied ship to sink an enemy U-boat in the Caribbean.

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