Tag Archives: cutter mohawk

USS Tampa flag found

The 240-foot Modoc-class of cutters was conceived for blue water use by the new Post-Great War multi-mission Coast Guard in the 1920s. Capable of carrying three 5-inch guns, a pretty stout armament for such vessels, they had a turbo-electric drive that could push them to 16 knots, which was thought to be good enough for government work. The four sisters, Modoc, Mojave, Haida and Tampa, went on to give hard service in WWII.

Speaking of which, USCGC Tampa (WPG-48) was built by Union in Oakland for a cost of $775,000 and commissioned in 1921. She would spend the next two decades running 15-day patrols from Boston, serving time in the International Ice Patrol, catching bootleggers and keeping the sea lanes safe for travel. The latter included famously saving 140 souls from the burning Ward Line steamer SS Morro Castle in 1932.

Transferring to Mobile, Alabama in the late 1930s, Tampa came under naval jurisdiction in November 1941, a month before Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, as USS Tampa (WPG-48). This caused a shift back to the North Atlantic for coastwise convoy escort runs in the Greenland area along with sisters Modoc (WPG-46) and Mojave (WPG-47).

USS Tampa (WPG 48) at anchor at Kungya Bay, Greenland, as seen from USS Bear (AG 29) while on Arctic patrol. The photograph released on May 1, 1944. NARA 80-G-225156

In this work, she fought U-boats, rescued survivors, landing parties to guard key facilities, and helped fight the “Weather War” to keep German Met units from setting up vital camps in the Arctic alongside such floating relics as the old cutter Bear.

From ship structure and a 20mm gun, onboard a coast guard cutter on the Greenland patrol during World War II. Note the variety of tools in use, including a baseball bat. The ship appears to be a 240-foot (“TAMPA”) class cutter. NH 96116

U.S. Coast Guard Combat Cutter, The Tampa, which patrols the North Atlantic, in the resumption of the International Ice Patrol World.” Accession #: L41-03 Catalog #: L41-03.02.02

Although paid off in 1947, her name was key to USCG history, with the first USCGC Tampa lost during the Great War and the second Tampa being the aforementioned WWII vet. This led to the name being reissued in 1984 to the 270-foot Bear-class medium endurance cutter USCGC Tampa (WMEC-902), which was in line with the rest of the naming convention for the class as all were named after famous Coast Guard vessels.

This week, Alex Obrizok a 96-year-old man and resident from North Carolina, traveled to Portsmouth, Va where the current Tampa is based. A former WWII USS Tampa vet, Obrizok has earlier this summer shown a special relic to a 2003 USCGA grad and member of WMEC-902s crew whose wedding he was attending– USS Tampa‘s ensign. Obrizok wanted the ensign to go home.

“It’s a beautiful flag,” said Obrizok. “It survived all these years and belongs with her namesake, it belongs to the Tampa.” (USCG photo)

VADM Scott Buschman, Coast Guard Atlantic Area Commander, presided over the ceremony and thanked Obrizok for the historical flag, his service to his country and for making the trip to meet the crewmembers aboard the current Tampa.

Ninety-six-year-old Alex Obrizok was able to keep this flag from the 1946 decommissioned Tampa over the last 70 years. Obrizok, who lives in North Carolina, returned to the current Tampa on Thursday, Nov. 21 at the Coast Guard base in Portsmouth, Virginia to give the current crew the flag. The World War II veteran also read promotions for four crew members. Photo of the flag that is being kept on the ship, Nov. 25, 2019. (L. Todd Spencer/The Virginian-Pilot)
https://www.pilotonline.com/military/vp-nw-fz-coast-guard-veteran-flag-20191128-eehkvfd5xzajtd2k5hn6ngv224-story.html

MII Board clears HITRON shoot

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Petty Officer 2nd Class Anthony Phillips, a precision marksman at Helicopter Interdiction Tactical Squadron, shows a group of VIPs the weaponry used at HITRON during missions Tuesday Feb. 23, 2010. The VIPs were at HITRON to view an advanced screening of an upcoming episode of Top Sniper featuring HITRON on the Military Channel Thursday at 9 p.m. EST. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Bobby Nash.)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Petty Officer 2nd Class Anthony Phillips, a precision marksman at Helicopter Interdiction Tactical Squadron, shows a group of VIPs the weaponry used at HITRON during missions Tuesday Feb. 23, 2010. The VIPs were at HITRON to view an advanced screening of an upcoming episode of Top Sniper featuring HITRON on the Military Channel Thursday at 9 p.m. EST. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Bobby Nash.)

The U.S. Coast Guard last week announced the fatal shooting of an Ecuadorian man was in accordance with U.S. and international law and fully complied with the agency’s tactics and procedures.

Javier Darwin Licoa Nunez, 35, of Ecuador, was killed during a law enforcement operation 195 miles north of the Galapagos Islands Aug. 30, 2016. The USCG’s Major Incident Investigation Report made public this week found that Nunez, part of the crew of a suspected “go-fast” cocaine smuggling boat, died from fatal internal injuries caused by bullet fragments after a helicopter-borne Coast Guard marksman fired 10 rounds into the engines of the vessel while attempting to stop the craft.

More in my column at Guns.com.

Sunken USCGC Mohawk To Get Underwater Photo Gallery

Past Warship Wednesday subject Mohawk  will be getting a diver-viewable photo gallery installed.

In May, Austrian photographer Andreas Franke plans to hang a series of photographs on Mohawk Veterans Memorial Reef, thus creating a temporary art exhibit only accessible to divers. Helping on the project will be the Lee County Division of Marine Sciences and Joe Weatherby, founder of Reefmakers LLC, a Key West-based company that specializes in sinking ships as artificial reefs.

mohawk gallery

On July 2, 2012, county scientists and Reefmakers scuttled the 165-foot World War II Coast Guard cutter Mohawk 30 miles off Redfish Pass.”

The News Press also has a great interactive graphic of the Mohawk herself.

interactive graphic

Former USS/USCGC Mohawk Sunk July 2nd…

You may remember Mohawk from a Warship Wednesday column

After two years in the builders yards being born, then 13 years in the US Coast Guard and Navy including hard service in World War Two, 30 years as a pilot boat for the Delaware Bay and River Pilots’ Association, 22 years lying idle as a forgotten  ship, and 11 years as a restored Museum Ship in Florida, the 165-foot long Patrol Gunboat was sent to the deep in just under 3-minutes by a controlled explosion. She was 79 years old and has found her final resting place.

While the boat largely had been stripped, items such as an 18th century rum bottle with a treasure map inside, as well as a case of aged Caribbean rum, were left on board as bounty for the first divers.

Warship Wednesday May 2

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,  May 2

Mohawk as new, 1935, USCG photo

Here we have the USCG Cutter Mohawk

Built as the USCG Cutter Mohawk by Pusey & Jones Shipbuilders, Wilmington, Delaware for $499,800 in 1933, she was commissioned into US service 19 January 1935. For several yeas she operated from Cape May, New Jersey, and later Boston Mass.

Coast Guard Cutter Mohawk. Pier B Naval Station. Key West. 1940. Monroe County Library.

During WWII she served with the Greenland Patrol during the so-called Weather War. She sent the final weather update from the Arctic that Eisenhower used to launch D-Day in 1944. A sub-buster, the tiny 165-foot gunboat launched a total of 14 attacks against submarine contacts between 27 August 1942 and 8 April 1945.

Model of Mohawk, note the tubbyness of the design. Must have been fun rolling around the North Atlantic in her with 125 hardlegs on a 165-foot boat.

One of her crewman, Chief Gunner’s Mate Sieg, invented a breakthrough bullpupped 30.06 rifle that, while revolutionary, came too late for the war.

Mohawk was decommissioned 8 January 1946, and sold 1 November 1948 to the Delaware Bay and River Pilots’ Association, who operated the craft until the 1970s. Abandoned, she sat rusting at the dock until 2001 where she was saved through an effort that brought her to Key West Florida where she was operated as a memorial museum until the Spring of 2012.

The old Mohawk is gonna be sunk as a reef.

You can say the Country got their $499,800 out of her…

General characteristics
Type:     Patrol Gunboat
Displacement:     1,005 tons
Length:     165 feet
Beam:     36 feet
Draft:     12 foot 3 inches
Ice class:     ice breaking capabilities up to 2 feet
Installed power:     1,500 shp
Propulsion:     1× Westinghouse double-reduction geared turbine, 2× foster-wheeler 310 psi 200 deg superheat boilers
Speed:     13.5 kt
Range:     (max speed=1,350 miles)(economic speed=5,079 miles)
Crew:     124 enlisted 10 officers
Sensors and
processing systems:     Radar SF (1945) Sonar QCJ-3 (1945)
Armament:     3× 3″ 50 cal deck guns. 2× “mouse trap” mortars. 2× depth charge racks. 10× “k” gun depth charge projectors

CGC Mohawk catches 2nd NarcoSub in 13 days

Third time’s a charm: 7 tons of cocaine seized

Monday, October 31, 2011

http://coastguard.dodlive.mil/2011/10/third-times-a-charm-7-tons-of-cocaine-seized/

Posted by: LT Stephanie Young

Rear Adm. Bill Baumgartner, commander of the 7th Coast Guard District, congratulates the crew of Coast Guard Cutter Cypress during the contraband offload. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Michael De Nyse. Rear Adm. Bill Baumgartner, commander of the 7th Coast Guard District, congratulates the crew of Coast Guard Cutter Cypress during the contraband offload. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Michael De Nyse.

While some claim 13 is an unlucky number, the crew of Coast Guard Cutter Mohawk would disagree. In just 13 days Mohawk interdicted two drug subs, keeping seven tons of cocaine, $180 million wholesale, off the streets of our nation.

Mohawk, a medium-endurance cutter, interdicted the self-propelled semi-submersible vessel while on a routine counternarcotics patrol in the Western Caribbean Sea. Used regularly to transport illegal narcotics in the Eastern Pacific, this is only the third Coast Guard interdiction of an SPSS in the Caribbean.

A sunken self-propelled semi-submersible vessel lay on the floor of the Western Caribbean Sea Oct. 19, 2011. Photo courtesy of the FBI Laboratory's Technical Dive Team. A sunken self-propelled semi-submersible vessel lay on the floor of the Western Caribbean Sea Oct. 19, 2011. Photo courtesy of the FBI Laboratory’s Technical Dive Team.

The chase commenced when the crew of a maritime patrol aircraft spotted a suspicious vessel and notified Mohawk’s crew of the location.

“We were about 150 miles away so we were in one of those instances where we really needed to come up to full speed and close that gap so we could interdict this vessel,” said Cmdr. Mark Fedor, Coast Guard Cutter Mohawk’s commanding officer.

With Mohawk steaming forward, their helicopter and boatcrew launched. Joined by the maritime patrol aircraft, the assets moved in and successfully interdicted the drug sub.

“This is the second self-propelled semi-submersibles case for this crew and I am extremely proud we were able to stop millions of dollars of cocaine from reaching the streets of America,” said Fedor. “They are a significant threat to our nation and throughout Central and South America because they can smuggle massive amounts of narcotics as well as other illicit goods or people and we will continue to be out here and stand a vigilant watch.”

With the crew detained, the self-propelled semi-submersible sank along with the contraband, an act that is common as drug traffickers design their vessels to be difficult to spot and rapidly sink when they detect law enforcement.

A member of the FBI Laboratory's Technical Dive Team located at Quantico, Va., recovers bales of cocaine from a sunken self-propelled semi-submersible vessel in the Western Caribbean Sea. U.S. Coast Guard photo. A member of the FBI Laboratory’s Technical Dive Team located at Quantico, Va., recovers bales of cocaine from a sunken self-propelled semi-submersible vessel in the Western Caribbean Sea. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

Because of the shallow depth at which the sub sank, Coast Guard Cutter Cypress, a 225-foot buoy tender, initiated a search with the FBI Laboratory’s Technical Dive Team. Together the crew and dive team conducted multiple search patterns and located the sub.

“The interdiction of a third SPSS in the Caribbean brings to a close an extremely successful fiscal year for the Coast Guard here in Southeast U.S. and Caribbean,” said Rear Adm. Bill Baumgartner, commander of the 7th Coast Guard District. “Working with our interagency and international partners, we detained 98 smugglers and prevented 60,064 pounds of cocaine and 4,412 pounds of marijuana with a combined street value of $727 million from reaching our streets.”

Another Narco Sub Bites the Dust

Mobile, Ala.-based Coast Guard Cutter assists interdiction of semi-submersible vessel in Caribbean Sea

MIAMI — Crewmembers from the Coast Guard Cutter Cypress on scene above a sunken self-propelled semi-submersible vessel as members of the FBI Laboratory's Technical Dive Team, located at Quantico, Va., recover approximately seven tons of cocaine Oct. 19, 2011. The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Mohawk interdicted the SPSS in the Western Caribbean Sea Sept. 30, 2011, before its crew sank the vessel. U.S. Coast Guard photo.
MIAMI — Crewmembers from the Coast Guard Cutter Cypress on scene above a sunken self-propelled semi-submersible vessel as members of the FBI Laboratory’s Technical Dive Team, located at Quantico, Va., recover approximately seven tons of cocaine Oct. 19, 2011. The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Mohawk interdicted the SPSS in the Western Caribbean Sea, Sept. 30, 2011, before its crew sank the vessel. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

 

MIAMI — A sunken self-propelled semi-submersible vessel lay on the floor of the Western Caribbean Sea Oct. 19, 2011. The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Mohawk interdicted the SPSS in the Western Caribbean Sea Sept. 30, 2011, before its crew sank the vessel. Photo courtesy of the FBI Laboratory's Technical Dive Team located at Quantico, Va.
MIAMI — A sunken self-propelled semi-submersible vessel lies on the floor of the Western Caribbean Sea, Oct. 19, 2011. The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Mohawk interdicted the SPSS in the Western Caribbean Sea, Sept. 30, 2011, before its crew sank the vessel. Photo courtesy of the FBI Laboratory’s Technical Dive Team located at Quantico, Va.

 

MIAMI — A member of the FBI Laboratory's Technical Dive Team located at Quantico, Va., recovers bales of cocaine from a sunken self-propelled semi-submersible vessel in the Western Caribbean Sea Oct. 19, 2011. The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Mohawk interdicted the SPSS in the Western Caribbean Sea Sept. 30, 2011, before its crew sank the vessel. U.S. Coast Guard photo.
MIAMI — A member of the FBI Laboratory’s Technical Dive Team located at Quantico, Va., recovers bales of cocaine from a sunken self-propelled semi-submersible vessel in the Western Caribbean Sea, Oct. 19, 2011. The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Mohawk interdicted the SPSS in the Western Caribbean Sea, Sept. 30, 2011, before its crew sank the vessel. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

 

MIAMI — The Coast Guard Cutter Cypress, a sea-going buoy tender, homeported in Mobile, Ala., assisted the crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Mohawk, a medium-endurance cutter homeported in Key West, Fla.,with the interdiction and search for a sunken self-propelled semi-submersible vessel, commonly referred to as a drug sub, in the Western Caribbean Sea, Sept. 30, 2011.

The Cypress commenced searching for the sunken SPSS, Oct. 17. Coast Guard crews and the FBI Laboratory’s Technical Dive Team, located at Quantico, Va., conducted multiple search patterns. The SPSS was located by the dive crew, Oct. 19.

The total interdiction is approximately seven tons and valued at nearly $180 million wholesale. The crew of the Mohawk stopped two SPSS vessels in 13 days. Used regularly to transport illegal narcotics in the Eastern Pacific, this interdiction is only the third Coast Guard interdiction of an SPSS in the Caribbean. The Coast Guard’s first interdiction of a drug smuggling, SPSS vessel in the Western Caribbean Sea happened July 13.

The crew of a maritime patrol aircraft deployed in support of Joint Interagency Task Force South operations in the Caribbean spotted a suspicious vessel and notified the Mohawk crew of the location.

The Mohawk-based Coast Guard helicopter crew and pursuit boatcrew interdicted the SPSS and detained its crew. The SPSS sank during the interdiction along with the contraband.

“The interdiction of a third SPSS in the Caribbean brings to a close an extremely successful fiscal year for the Coast Guard here in Southeast U.S. and Caribbean,” said Rear Adm. Bill Baumgartner, commander of the 7th Coast Guard District. “Working with our interagency and international partners, we detained 98 smugglers and prevented 60,064 pounds of cocaine and 4,412 pounds of marijuana with a combined street value of $727 million from reaching our streets. Although we have been finding highly creative and innovative ways to make our counter drug mission successful, we continued to be challenged by the maintenance requirements and limited capabilities of our aging fleet of larger ships. One of the greatest limitations to our success is the availability of large cutters to patrol the transit zones and new cutters, designed to patrol far offshore in District Seven, will ensure we continue to detect threats at greater distances from U.S. shores and meet the demands of our robust counter-drug mission.”

Built in the jungles and remote areas of South America, the typical SPSS is less than 100 feet in length, with four to five crewmembers and carries up to 10 metric tons of illicit cargo for distances up to 5,000 miles. Drug traffickers design SPSS vessels to be difficult to spot and rapidly sink when they detect law enforcement, thereby making contraband recovery difficult.

“This is the second self-propelled semi-submersibles case for this crew and I am extremely proud we were able to stop millions of dollars of cocaine from reaching the streets of America,” said Cmdr. Mark Fedor, Coast Guard Cutter Mohawk’s commanding officer. “They are a significant threat to our nation and throughout Central and South America because they can smuggle massive amounts of narcotics as well as other illicit goods or people, and we will continue to be out here and stand a vigilant watch.”

The U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Navy, Customs and Border Protection and partner nation aircraft and vessel crews work together to conduct counter-drug patrols in the Caribbean.

Editor’s Note: For more information on the drug sub interdiction operations, contact the Seventh Coast Guard District External Affairs Office at (305) 415-6696.