Risen from the river: A tender’s journey of mud, ice and modernization

By Petty Officer 2nd Class Bill Colclough Winter loitered on the banks of the Missouri River in Leavenworth, Kan., in 1979, at about 5:30 p.m., as seismic echoes rippled beneath the feet of two Coast Guardsmen. They were working aboard a drydock that held the Coast Guard Cutter Scioto, a 65-foot river buoy tender and its 90-foot aids to navigation barge. Like boot heels crushing a bag of corn flakes,...