Last Pearl Harbor Surviving Ship
Taney serves 50 years…..Continuous
Thursday, December 8, 2011
Posted by: PA3 Casey Ranel, 8th USCG District PA
Tucked away in the Baltimore Harbor is the Coast Guard Cutter Taney, a 327-foot Security Class cutter that was commissioned, Oct. 24, 1936, after being built at the Philadelphia Navy Ship Yard. By 1941, the cutter and its crew of 221 was on its way to become a vital part of American history.
The Taney was named for Roger Brooke Taney, who was born in Calvert County, Md., March 17, 1777. Taney graduated from Dickinson College in 1795 and went on to study law in Annapolis, Md. Following school, he started a law practice in Baltimore. By 1831, Taney was appointed United States Attorney General, and in 1835, was appointed Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, under President Andrew Jackson. Taney was known to uphold states rights and to narrowly construe the Constitution’s grant of powers to the federal government. He died at the age of 87 in Washington, D.C.
On the other side of the country, more than 5,500 miles away from Washington, D.C., and more than halfway across the north Pacific Ocean, sits the third-largest Hawaiian island of Oahu, and the Pearl Harbor Navy Base.
“Air raid, Pearl Harbor. This is no drill!”
In the early hours of Sunday, Dec. 7, 1941, this message was heard across the airways by crewmembers of the Taney as Japanese planes attacked Pearl Harbor. The cutter was moored in Honolulu, more than nine miles away, where its crew was able to repeatedly engage Japanese planes which flew over the city. A few months prior to the attack, the Taney received successive armament upgrades which included three 50-caliber dual-purpose guns, a sonar for locating submarines and much more.
The attack lasted two hours, and in that time, more than 180 Japanese pilots in their fighter planes killed or wounded more than 3,500 Americans and sank or damaged numerous Navy vessels and aircraft.
“Yesterday, Dec. 7, 1941, a date which will live in infamy-the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan,” said President Franklin Roosevelt as he addressed Congress.
After the attack, the Taney and its crew began aggressive anti-submarine patrol duties near Pearl Harbor and throughout the central Pacific Ocean.
For the next 45 years, the Taney along with its crew carried out thousands of missions for the American people.
On Dec. 7, 1986, the Taney officially became a vital part of American history after more than 50 years of continuous service to the country and its people. Decommissioned and transferred to Baltimore, the Taney serves now as a museum ship for future generations to enjoy.