Documents, photographs, and news clippings pertaining to PENOBSCOT BAY's Commissioning Ceremony on January 4, 1985
After a keel laying on July 1, 1983, PENOBSCOT BAY was launched by Bay City Marine, Inc., at Tacoma, Washington, on July 20, 1984. After steaming down the West Coast of the United States, through the Panama Canal, and up the Eastern Seaboard, she was commissioned at Governor's Island, New York, on January 4, 1985.
WEBMASTER's NOTE: Photographs from the ceremony are available here in a gallery in the "Media Center" section of the Web site. The images are scanned from negatives and original prints in the ship's archives. News coverage of the construction and Commissioning is available here.
Informational pamphlet produced by the shipbuilder. Includes sections on
WTGB class capabilities, advantages over the WYTM class that preceded the
WTGBs, and listing of subcontractors and project vendors who supplied many
of the cutter's components during construction.
Actual program from the ceremony and the RSVP card sent to invitees.
Program from the Christening Ceremony held on November 2, 1984, at
Broadway Pier in San Diego, California. Guests and speakers included James
C. Sanders, Administrator, U.S. Small Business Administration; U.S. Rep.
Duncan Hunter; Thelma Duggin, Coordinator of Minority Affairs, U.S.
Department of Transportation; VADM Charles E. Larkin, USCG (ret.); and the
ship's sponsor, Mrs. Katherine Larkin, wife of VADM Larkin.
When commissioning warships of the United States, the OFCO is the official document that formally authorizes a new cutter or ship to be commissioned. OFCO 27-84, which officially established the PENOBSCOT BAY as a new unit of the Coast Guard, was signed by Coast Guard Chief of Staff VADM Paul Yost on May 25, 1984. The order provided for creation of necessary billets (crew positions) for the new unit, established PENOBSCOT BAY's Dining Facility (galley), established the cutter's budget and accounting line information, and laid out the necessary tasks that had to be accomplished prior to the cutter's commissioning.
This notice contains a copy of the Commissioning Ceremony script, with edits by the ship's first Executive Officer, LT(jg) Edward Sinclair. As is U.S. Naval tradition, LT(jg) Sinclair acted as master of ceremonies as the cutter's Commanding Officer, LT Jon Bechtle, carried out the commissioning.
This OPORDER charged various commands within the Coast Guard Fifth District, based in Portsmouth, Virginia, with assisting the new cutter through various tasks prior to PENOBSCOT BAY's arrival at its new homeport in New York. The OPORDER required PENOBSCOT BAY to undergo formal acceptance by the Coast Guard at the Coast Guard Yard in Curtis Bay, Maryland, and shakedown training at Little Creek, Virginia. After transiting from the West Coast, the cutter and crew underwent intensive training at Little Creek to ensure the new ship was ready to meet its demanding new list of mission requirements.
This Coast Guard Third District OPORDER mandated the creation of necessary support facilities for PENOBSCOT BAY at its new homeport on Governor's Island and contained a rough schedule of events leading up to the cutter's commissioning. The Third District, which was at the time responsible for the waters in and around New York, no longer exists and has since been folded into the First District, which is headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts.
Final draft of the commissioning prayer delivered by Chaplain Cram.
From Commander, Coast Guard Group New York, to Commander, Third Coast
Guard District. Contains a list of military and civilian invitees.
Draft (with pen and ink edits) of VADM Paul Yost's remarks delivered at the
Remarks delivered by the Group New York Commander, CAPT J. L. McDonald, at the