Warship Wednesday, Sept 26
Here at LSOZI, we are going to take out every Wednesday for a look at the old steampunk navies of the 1866-1938 time period and will profile a different ship each week.
- Christopher Eger
Warship Wednesday, Sept 26
Here we have the classic and hard-serving US Coast Guard Cutter George M. Bibb around 1970. Named after an 1840s Treasury Secretary, she only carried the last name of the cabinet member and was known simply as Bibb for her nearly 50-years of service.
One of the class of six 327-foot large coast guard cutters built during the Great Depression by the Charleston Navy Yard, she was commissioned 10 March 1937. She fought German U-Boats in the Atlantic during World War Two, escorting over 20-convoys to Iceland. During one of these, her Captain ignored the order to leave the survivors of a torpedoed troopship, went back and rescued 202 men from the icy waters. In 1944 she served in the Med and ended the war in the Pacific where she shot down at least one kamikaze.
In 1947 she saved 69 passengers and crew from the crashed airliner Bermuda Sky who certainly would have been lost at sea otherwise.
Again working for the Navy she spent several years off the coast of South Vietnam providing fire missions ashore from her 5″ gun while supporting Swift boats and Point-class Coast Guard cutters in Operation Market Garden.
The old vet was decommissioned in 1985 after 48-years of service and then slipped into a watery grave off the Florida Keys on 28 November 1987, where she now serves as a reef.
Specs: Displacement: 2,350 (1936)
Length: 327′ 0″
Beam: 41′ 0″
Draft: 12′ 6″ (max.)
Propulsion: 2 x Westinghouse double-reduction geared turbines; 2 x Babcock & Wilcox sectional express, air-encased, 400 psi, 200° superheat 5,250 (total shaft horse power)
Speed: 19.5 knots (36.1 km/h)
Range: 13.0 knots, 7,000 mi (11,000 km) range
Complement: 1937: 12 officers, 4 warrants, 107 enlisted
1941: 16 officers, 5 warrants, 202 enlisted
1966: 10 officers, 3 warrants, 133 enlisted.
processing systems: Radar: (1945) SK, SG-1; (1966) AN/SPS-29D, AN/SPA-52.
Fire Control Radar: (1945) Mk-26; (1966) Mk-26 MOD 4
Sonar: (1945) QC series; (1966) SQS-11
& decoys: HF/DF: (1943)
1936: 3 x 5″/51 (single); 2 x 6-pounders.; 1 x 1-pounder.
1944: 2 x 5″/38 (single, DP), 6x 40mm/60 Bofors AAA, 4x20mm Oeirkilon cannon.
1966: 1 x 5″/38 (single); MK 52 MOD 3 director; 1 x 10-1 Hedgehog; 2 x (P&S) Mk 32 MOD 5 TT, 4 x MK 44 MOD 1 torpedoes; 2 x .50 cal. MK-2 Browning MG, 2 x MK-13 high altitude parachute flare mortars.
1980: 1 x 5″/38 (single); MK 52 MOD 3 director; 2 x .50 cal. MK-2 Browning MG,
Aircraft carried: Curtiss SOC-4, USCG No. V172 (1937-1938)
Grumman JF-2, USCG No. V146 (1939-44)