USS Blaze, WPC-336


A photo of the USS Blaze


Builder:  New York Yacht, Launch & Engine Company, Morris Heights, NY

Length:  110'

Beam:  14' 9" max

Draft: 5' 8" max (as of 1917)

Displacement: 167 fl (in 1943)

Cost: 

Commissioned:  8 February 1918 (USN); 15 January 1943 (USCG)

Decommissioned:  25 September 1944

Disposition: Transferred to the WSA on 8 March 1946

Machinery:  3 x Standard Motor Construction Company 6-cylinder gasoline engines; 600 shp; three propellers

Complement: 2 officers, 25 men (1917)

Armament: 1 x 3"/23 (single-mount); 2 x .30 caliber mg; 2 x Mousetraps; 2 x depth charge tracks (1943)


CUTTER HISTORY:

Blaze (ex SC-231) was a Navy SC-1 Class patrol craft taken into Coast Guard service in August of 1942 to meet the pressing need for coastal escort vessels.  Originally designed and built during World War I to meet that shortage of escorts, these patrol craft were known as the "splinter fleet" due to their wooden construction.  The other three acquired by the Coast Guard in 1942/1943 were the CGC Belleville (ex SC-258); Boone (ex SC-229); and Bowstring (ex SC-238).

The Navy transferred the Blaze to the Coast Guard on 18 August 1942.  She was sent to the Coast Guard Yard in Baltimore for rearmament, which was ultimately undertaken by the Oxford Boat Yard, Inc., of Oxford, Maryland, at a cost of $27,799.  Due to a shortage of "critical components," the rearmament was not completed until January, 1943.  Blaze was then commissioned on 15 January 1943 and assigned to the Gulf Sea Frontier.  Blaze was stationed at Miami and primarily conducted anti-submarine and escort of convoy patrols.  One escort of convoy voyage was undertaken from Cape Henry, escorting merchant vessels, in concert with the SC-1066, in March, 1943.

By mid-1943, her material condition had deteriorated to the point that urgent and extensive repairs were needed to keep her seaworthy.  Headquarters decided that the cost of repairing the vessel was prohibitive and instead, made a few minor repairs and then transferred her, on 23 July 1943, to the Coast Guard training Station at St. Augustine, Florida for duty as a training vessel.  Here in the sheltered waters of St. Augustine, her "unseaworthy condition" would not be a problem and she could be immediately utilized for "urgently needed training purposes."

On 5 September 1944 she was ordered to be delivered to the 6th Naval District for storage at Bucksport, South Carolina.  She arrived there on 24 September 1944 and was decommissioned the next day and placed into storage.  Blaze was transferred to the War Shipping Administration on 8 March 1946 for final disposal.


PHOTOGRAPHS:

(NOTE: The following images were provided to the USCG Historian's Office by Robert Morris, the son of 
MM 2/c David J. Morris--a crewman assigned to Blaze and who appears in some of the images.  We thank Robert Morris for donating the images to our office):

A photo of the USS Blaze during World War II

Overhead view of the Blaze, late-1943.

Donated courtesy of Robert Morris.

A photo of the USS Blaze during World War II

Overhead view, aft, of the Blaze, late-1943.

Photo courtesy of Robert Morris.

A photo of the USS Blaze during World War II

Overhead view, aft, of the Blaze at sea, late-1943.

Photo courtesy of Robert Morris.

A photo of the USS Blaze during World War II

"Dave Guichard, Chief Machinist, 'My Boss,'"; Blaze, late-1943.

Photo courtesy of Robert Morris.

A photo of the USS Blaze during World War II

Blaze at sea, late-1943.

Photo courtesy of Robert Morris.

A photo of the USS Blaze during World War II

"Part of the crew, left to right: Alva Johnson, BM 1c; 'Guns' Sartain, GM 1/c; Tex Morre, So.M 2/c; Paul Moore, BM 1/c; our skipper, Mr. Champey, LT.jg, Nov 1943" aboard Blaze.

Photo courtesy of Robert Morris.

A photo of the USS Blaze during World War II

MM 2/c David J. Morris handling the lanyard for the ship's bell aboard Blaze, December, 1943.

Photo courtesy of Robert Morris.


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Last Modified 1/26/2012