PHILADELPHIA — The Coast Guard Cutter Eagle, “America’s Tall Ship,” is scheduled to arrive in Philadelphia Thursday.
At 295 feet in length, the Eagle is the largest tall ship flying the stars and stripes and the only active square-rigger in U.S. government service. Constructed in 1936 by the Blohm and Voss Shipyard in Hamburg, Germany, and originally commissioned as the Horst Wessel by the German Navy, the Eagle was taken by the United States as a war reparation following World War II.
With more than 23,500 square feet of sail and six miles of rigging, the Eagle has served as a classroom at sea for future Coast Guard officers since 1946, offering an at-sea leadership and professional development experience. Currently, there are 150 cadets from the Coast Guard Academy training on the ship. The summer deployment for the Barque spans 17 weeks, stopping at 14 ports in three countries, with five different training groups of cadets and officer candidates.
A permanent crew of eight officers and 57 enlisted personnel maintain the ship and guide the cadets through an underway and in-port training schedule, dedicated to learning the skills of navigation, damage control, watchstanding, engineering and deck seamanship.