New Coast Guard Cutter To Be Named After MCPO-CG Charles L. Calhoun

Washington, DC – The Coast Guard has announced that the 10th Legend-Class National Security Cutter (NSC) will be named for the first Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard, Master Chief Charles Luther Calhoun.

Master Chief Calhoun volunteered for service with the U.S. Navy in 1943. Aboard the escort carrier USS LUNGA POINT, he experienced firsthand the toughest battles fought in the Pacific Theater: Leyte Gulf, Luzon, Iwo Jima, and Okinawa. USS LUNGA POINT was awarded the Presidential Unit Commendation Award for “extraordinary heroism and action against enemy Japanese forces in the air, ashore, and afloat.” After being honorably discharged as a torpedo man Second Class on February 21, 1946, Calhoun enlisted as a Boatswain’s Mate Second Class in the U.S. Coast Guard on September 20, 1946.

During his illustrious 30 years of active service, Calhoun served 14 years at sea including a tour aboard the USCGC POINT ORIENT in Vietnam. On their first patrol, the crew sighted and exchanged fire with an enemy company of soldiers ashore, becoming the first Coast Guard cutter to fire a shot in that war. On August 27, 1969, in a somewhat quiet, yet monumental moment in our Service’s history, Calhoun “assumed the watch” as the first Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard, a position he held from August 2, 1969, until he retired on August 1, 1973. He crossed the bar in 2002.

The NSC is the largest and most technologically sophisticated vessel in the Coast Guard fleet. The 418-foot cutter is capable of operating in the most demanding open ocean environments, including the hazardous fisheries of the North Pacific and the vast approaches of the eastern Pacific, where much of the American narcotics traffic originates. With robust command, control, communication, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance equipment; stern boat launch and aviation facilities; and long-endurance station keeping, the NSCs are exceptionally well-suited for complex law enforcement and national security missions integrating multiple Coast Guard and partner-agency units.

The Legend-Class has a tradition of honoring women and men who have a legendary status in the Coast Guard’s rich history. These individuals reflect a diversity of missions, historical periods, and career backgrounds, and they continue to inspire us to this day.

These ships are replacing the 378-foot High Endurance Cutters, which have been in service since the 1960s. There are eight Legend-Class NSCs currently in service. Coast Guard Cutters BERTHOLF, WAESCHE, STRATTON, and MUNRO are stationed in Alameda, California; HAMILTON and JAMES are in Charleston, South Carolina; and KIMBALL and MIDGETT are in Honolulu, Hawaii. The ninth cutter, STONE, is slated for delivery in fiscal year 2021. On December 21, 2018, the Service awarded a fixed-price contract option for the production of the 10th and 11th NSCs.

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