Cutter Mohawk Becomes a Memorial Museum

KEY WEST, Florida Keys – The U.S.S. Mohawk Coast Guard Cutter Memorial Museum, aboard the vessel believed to be the only remaining Coast Guard submarine chaser in existence, is to debut at Key West’s Truman Waterfront with a ceremony at 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 16.

Built in 1934 for the US Coast Guard, the 165-foot-long Mohawk (WPG-78) was assigned North Atlantic escort operations in World War II. The ship launched 14 attacks against Nazi submarines and rescued hundreds of people at sea. A rare example of a retired yet operational World War II vessel, the Mohawk is regarded as the memorial ship of the Battle of the Atlantic.

The museum’s opening ceremonies are to include presentations by high-ranking United States military personnel, Key West city officials and representatives of the Conch Republic. Other scheduled highlights include a flyover by World War II airplanes, a ribbon cutting and tours of the historic ship.

Visitors to the Mohawk can view the original radio room, bridge, galley, officers’ staterooms, large crew quarters, original weapons and the sonar room where crewmembers listened for German submarines during the war.

Future plans call for changing exhibitions of Navy, Coast Guard and veterans’ history, as well as video recollections by former Mohawk crewmembers.

The World War II Mohawk is the fifth vessel to bear the Mohawk name. The second was a steamer stationed at Key West after the island’s settlement, operating against pirates and slavers. The sixth and present-day Mohawk is a Coast Guard ship also stationed at Key West.

The Mohawk museum is to be open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Cost is $5 per person ($1 per person for veterans with identification).

For information, call (305) 799-1143 or visit the Miami Dade Historical Maritime Museum.

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