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U.S. Coast Guard History Program

U. S. Coast Guard Cutter Nicknames

(An Unofficial List)

Please Note:

The nicknames of the following cutters were sent to us from current and former crewmembers and do not reflect any official sanction and are included only for their historic interest.  Some of the nicknames that were considered to be offensive have not been included here but please feel free to stop by the Historian's Office to read all of the correspondence the History program has received regarding cutter nicknames--we have kept it all.

In some cases descriptive information was included in the correspondence we received to indicate why a cutter was given a certain nickname.  All direct descriptive quotations from that correspondence appears in parentheses.


For your information RONC is an acronym for "Republic of Nantucket Cutter."  The commanding officers or officers-in-charge of Coast Guard cutters that are assigned to or visit Nantucket play a "Ring Game" with the Nantucket Angler's Club for "ownership" of the cutter.  If the skipper loses, then the Nantucket Angler's Club becomes the cutter's owner.  The skipper is entitled to decide the newly acquired cutter's "RON" name.  [It's all done in fun.]



"The Big A"; "Ace of the Great Lakes"; "Ace of the Lakes"; "The Ace"; "The Occasional" (after she ran aground in the St. Mary's River back in the 80's and bent the main engine block--she occasionally ran.)


"Inactive" (in the late 70s/early 80s when she spent most of her time moored due to 'horrendous' problems with her turbines.)


"Mighty Acu"; "Squish-nut"; "Crush-nuts"; "NOAAs ARK" (due to our support for their [NOAA's] weather ops); "Mighty A"; "Never Never Home Again" (a take-off on its call sign NNHA)


"RONC Isolation"


"Aggie"; "Agony"


 "Fat Albert"; "Albert"; "Divert" (for its propensity for being diverted).

Alex Haley

 "Bulldog of the Bering" (biggest white hull in D-17); "Neversail" (after the USCG got her from the Navy, her first few months out of the yard, the bow of the ship actually sunk at the pier and the ship didn't leave Kodiak for a period of almost a year.)




"Andy"; "Big Andy"; "Rotten Andy"; "Galloping Ghost of the Florida Coast"; "Creeping Crud of the Florida Mud";


 "RONC Fast Attack Tug"; "Apple"


"Equipment"; "Aquanut"; "Squidneck" (due to close proximity to Norfolk)


"Caribbean Ninjas"


"Olave Oyel"


“The Goat Boat”

Bainbridge Island

"Bain-barge"; "RONC Larry Bob #"


"Snatcher Blossom"


"Barren One"; "Bear Ran Off"


"Bacteria"; "Burning Bee"; Dirty B"

Barbara Mabrity

"Babs"; "Babs Mab"; "The Pascagoula Protector" (for we are Senator Trent Lott's personal buoy tender)


"Black Sheep of the Black Fleet"; "The 'Wood'";




"RONC Ski Jump"; "ISC Portsmouth, Building 901" (nickname given because it's always in drydock)

Bering Straits

"The Straits"


"Be-no Boat" (as in "there'll be no liberty"); "Big Iron Battle Boat"; "Boston's  Iitty Bitty Baby"; "Mighty B"; "RONC Thunnus Albacares"; "Burning in Buzzard's Bay" (From her cold plant light-offs, she would black out the harbor temporarily, causing the ship to call local fire departments to inform them so they wouldn't receive so many calls next time.)

Biscayne Bay

"Biscuit"; "Sentinel of the Straits"


"RONC Champion"; "The Bitterbarge"; "Black Sweet Bitter"; "Bittersweat"


"Mighty Warship"

Boston (WLV-189)

"RONC Collision at Sea"


"Bad Smell"; "Batmobile"; "Bout Hell"; "RONC Abalone"


"Arctic Aristocrats"; "The Bumble"


"RONC Icicle" Buckhorn "Bucky"

Burton Island

"Hurtin' Burton"; "BI"; "White Antarctic Garbage Barge" (humorous definition of designation WAGB)


"The Wad"; "The Mighty B"


"Queen of the Fleet"; "Camp Bell"; "Soup Can"; "Camp-hell"; "RONC Shiny Deck"

Cape Carter

"Cape Crunch";

Cape Corwin

"Cape McGarrett" (from its use in the television series "Hawaii Five-O)

Cape Cross

"RONC Cape Double-Cross"

Cape Fox

"Dry Dox" (She never sailed)

Cape George

"Bathtub Ring"; "RONC Cape Chicken"

Cape Hatteras

"RONC Cape Outer Banks"; "Cape Hazardous"

Cape Henlopen

"RONC Cape Terrific"; "Cape Chickenlopen"

Cape Higgon

"RONC Cape Courageous"

Cape Horn

"RONC Cape Seldom"

Cape Jellison

"Tuff Boat"; "Cape J"

Cape Knox

"Cape Cutthroat" 

Cape Morgan

"RONC Cape Anchor"; "The Workhorse of the Sea"

Cape Shoalwater


Cape Small

"Three Puka Puka" (from her hull number 95300 and the Hawaiian word for zero--puka)

 Cape Upright

"Cape Up-All Night" (Seemed like most of our boardings were during the night); Cape Uptight"; "Cape Downright" (1964--always rough seas when called)


"Galloping Ghost of the Yucatan Coast"

Castle Rock

"The Rock"; "McKenna's Gold" (taken from the name of a former commanding officer, Captain McKenna and the movie of the same name)


"Cha-Zea"; "RONC Proud Mary V"; "No Liberty Poor Morale" based on her call sign NLPM; "The Great White Fid"


"Candy-Lure"; "Chandelier"; "Chat"; "Caribbean Knights"; "Semper Roto" (Always Broken); "Chandi"; "Casrep"; "Shark 19"; "Migrant Taxi"; "Big 'C'"


"Cha-Cha"; "Chat" Chilula "Chinchilla"; "Choo Choo"; "Galloping Ghost of the Graveyard of the Atlantic"; "Guardian of the Graveyard of the Atlantic"; "Pig Boat"; "RONC Honeymoon"; "Hotel Chilula" (because it never left the dock); Chincoteague "Chickenfeed"; "Chinco-Pig"


"Chokecherry"; "Chuck Berry"; "Choke-boat"; "Chuckleberry" Citrus "Sit and Rust"; "RONC White Needle of Death" Clamp "RONC Lone Star"; "Cramp" Cleat "RONC Steamer" Clover "Sea Lover" Comanche "Co-Manch!"; "Pregnant Marshmallow" (she used to toss and turn like a buffalo in a wallow, without a lot of provocation)


"Building 619" (from her days in Kodiak; [nickname was] from us Support Center types, because she never, ever got underway); "Connie"; "Con Fid Ence"; "Coni"; "RONC Rocket"; "White Fang"; "The Galloping Ghost of the Siberian Coast"; "The Big Fid"

Cook Inlet

"Cookie Cutter"; Cookie Maru" Coos Bay "Booze Bay"; "Cockeyed Coos"

Cor Caroli

"Coca Cola"; "Ole Coke"


"Outrageous!"; "Rage"


"Cow's Lip"; "RONC Meadow Muffin"; "RONC That's No Bull"; "The Mighty Moo" (Since we had a number of ex-Navy men aboard after WW2, they nicknamed [her] after the USS Missouri); "CGC Charlie" (got the nickname from the crew of the Mariposa because every time a buoy of theirs broke they would go into Charlie and we would have to go fix it); Cushing "Bad to the Bone"


"Kittychunks"; "Hunk of Junk"; "Pest of the West"; "Cutter-Junk"


"Big D"; "Roadrunner" (all 378's were nicknamed for Warner Brothers characters prior to the FRAM program); "Battleship Dallas" (from her service in Vietnam); "Dullest"; "The Mighty Warship"; "Gallapig"; "The CGC Tilt" (After a recent patrol the CGC Dallas scraped the pier prompting the VSF to dub the boat The CGC Tilt  because there was a very obvious list to port)


"The Dirty D"; "White Needle of Death"


"The Finest Kind"; "In-Decisive"; "White Ghost of the Gulf Coast"; "RONC Ben Franklin"


"The Big D"; "Galloping Ghost of the Gulf Coast"


"Dillie Devils" (her crew); "DAU 3" (this was painted on the hull by crewman of the Dauntless as a practical joke); "Dilly"; "RONC Not Yet"; WMEC-616 = "We Must Eat Chicken 616 days a year (because we ate chicken at every meal--or so it seemed); "Dili-O"; Dogwood "Dogfood"; "Divorce Boat"; "The Dog"


"Dirty D"; "Dune-bug"; "the Drain"


"The Bull"; "RONC Seminole"; "Burnable" (Too many fires!) Eagle "Arco Beagle"; "Beagle"; "BLURB"; "Schmeeg"; "RONC Flagship"; "Never Refuse Cold Beer" (play on her radio call sign NRCB); "The Barf Evil"; "Dirty Bird"; "Love Boat" (the latter two nicknames are popular with the cadets); "Buzzard" (in reference to the new 1976 figurehead that hardly resembles an eagle)


"RONC Ice Brother" Edisto "Lucky Eddie"; "Unlucky (call sign NLKY); "Ready Edi"; WPB-1313: "Guardian of the Redwood Coast"; "Red Microphone of Death"


"Esky 1"; "Esky 2"; "Esky 3"; "Escabobo"; "Escabanana"; "Lil White Elephant"; "Esca-Banana-Boat"; "The Good Ship Lollipop" Escape "The Great Escape"; "Low Riders"; One of "The Three Little Pigs" (overall nickname for the Escape, Lipan, and Ute)--each was known affectionately as the "Hurtin," the "Limpin", and the "Mistake"


"Evergone"; "Cutter Neverseen"; "Never Clean"; "The Green"


"Far-Baloney"; "Faralost" (This nickname came about when the [crew] thought they were heading into Miami when in fact they were heading into Port Everglades/Fort Lauderdale.)


"Mother Fir" (a reflection of her ability to care for her crew); "Building 212" (I served as a watch officer in the 13th District RCC for three years in the late 60's and the nickname I remember for the USCGC FIR (WAGL-212) was 'Building 212.' She got the name because FIR had an uncanny ability to always make it back to Lake Union at the end of the day, to the point that spouses would call at about 7:00 PM to complain if FIR hadn't tied up!)


"Black Tub of Happiness"; "Building 393"; "Firewood"; "RONC Ice Cube"; "Firebrush"; "Fireweed"; "Tour 393" (for the CO--the crew felt that they had volunteered for every opportunity to get underway); "Driftwood" (after she broke down in Anchorage, and we had to tow her back to Kodiak.)


"The Glove" Frederick Lee "Dirty Freddy"


"Gallopin' Gallatin"; "Good Ship Gallipop"; "Taz" (short for Tasmanian Devil--all 378's were nicknamed for Warner Brothers characters prior to the FRAM program); "Station Gallatin" (posted by the crew of the duty section of the CGC Dallas when the Gallatin failed to get underway due to propulsion problems when the Dallas had completed two trips in 1996)


"Gas Can"

General Greene

"The Old Girl"


"The Black Widow"; Black Sunshine"; "The Rig"; "G-Lady"; "Batmobile"


"Big Red"; "Wandering Antarctic Garbage Barge" was painted on her hull during Deep Freeze 82 (The Old Man was not too happy during the flyover!)

Governor's Island Ferry

"RONC Life Line"


"Gruesome Gresham"


"Haida Maru"


"The Love Boat"; "Ham-Bone"; "Big White Pig Boat"; "Framilton"; "Spamilton"; "Building 715" ("by our supportive friends at ISC Long Beach"); Hamil-tron; (Prior to FRAM, there was a vanity plate on the starboard side of the main bridge console with the Navy designator CGC Hamilton WPG-715, on which someone scratched an "I" making her the WPIG)

Harriet Lane

"The Steel"; References from Alcatraz prisoners having done time on "The Rock" and "The Hairy Vane"; WMEC-903 = "We Must Enter Cuba - 903 times a patrol"




"Hock"; "Hockey-puck"; "Neversail"; "Everdock"; "Building 220"


"RONC Par A Sec 4"; "Building 394" (in honor of how little she used to get underway from TRACEN Cape May.)


"The Hud Boys," (We road out Hurricane Andrew and referred to ourselves and the ship as the "Eye Wall Crew" 


"Bum Boat"

Ida Lewis

"RONC Mother of all Lifesavers"


"Mighty I"; "Ignite-ham" (We--[Taney sailors] watched the Ingham catch fire at the pier); "Hit-em" (This was due to her penchant for striking things that summer of 1976; while getting underway from being nested outboard of USCGC Chase in Bermuda in either late May or early June Ingham dragged the flukes of her starboard anchor down Chase's port-side; upon departing New London on the afternoon following graduation in 1976, Ingham struck the Morse Alpha buoy at the mouth of the Thames River and bounced it down the starboard side of the ship; upon arrival at then Coast Guard Base Boston, Ingham "T-boned" the pier causing significant damage resulting in an emergency shipyard period in Boston to replace a section of the ship's stem and hull plating.); "Building 35," a nickname given to Ingham by Taney sailors in the early 1980's due to the frequent mechanical problems suffered by Ingham that kept her in port while Taney went out on patrol)


"'I' 'R'egret 'I' 'S'igned"; "I-Rust" (following the prolonged return to service following the engine room fire in 1980); "Virus"; "Galloping Ghost of the Texas Coast"


"Black Needle of Death"; "Ironbush"; "Ironweed"


"Mighty J"; "RONC Huma huma nukunuku a pa'u'a"; "Big J"; "WHEC 725 = 'We Have to Eat Chicken', '7' days a week, '2' times a day, '5' different ways"

Jefferson Island

"RONC Jefferson Starship"

Joshua Appleby

"RONC Lighthouse Keeper"


"The Black Ghost of the Sun Coast" Katmai Bay "The Kat"; "Kitty Kat" Key Largo "The Key Enforcer"


"RONC Pacific" Klamath "River Boat"

Knight Island

"The Nightmare Island"

Kodiak Island

"Casrep Island" Kukui "Kook"


"The Chicken of the Sea"




"Leg Hair"; "La Gear"; "Le Gone"; "Le Who?" (it being the "Famous" [class] cutter no one has ever heard of); "The Pig"; "Hotel Le' Gare" (fancy French hotel during migrant ops)


"Slow but Steady"


"Dry-dock Warrior"; "Limpin'"; "The Bedpan"; One of "The Three Little Pigs" (overall nickname for the Escape, Lipan, and Ute)--each was known affectionately as the "Hurtin'," the "Limpin'", and the "Mistake"


"Rusty Bucket"


"Old Rocking Chair"


"The Mighty Mac"


"Big Mac"; "Ice Cream Machine" (for broken ice); "Great White Mother"; "Mack Attack"; "Mighty Mack"; "Grand Lady of the Great Lakes"; "Mighty Mac"; "Guardian of the Eighth Sea"


"Mad Crab"; "Madonna"


"Magie"; "Magie May"


"RONC Big Apple"


"Black Pig of Death" (call-sign BPOD); "Marsh Mallow"


"Bahama Piranha"; "Mani-tutu"; "RONC No Show"


"Mary P"; "RONC Ice Bound"; "Married Pierside" (always in port!)


"Master-Gordo"; "the Fat Bush"


"RONC Mighty Mot"; "RONC Jersey Devil"


"Maui-Wowee" McLane "Mighty Mac"


"Muckaloochie"; "Mac-Ca-Looch"


"Lemon"; Cantaloupe"; "Wally's World (XO was Commander Walter Hanson); "Smellin'"; "The Mighty War Cutter" (because it had missiles for awhile); "Petticoat Boat," 


"Great White Elephant"; ("the official ship's patch shows 'Bwana Pacydermus,' the unofficial 'Master' of the ship, a close relative to Neptune, Davey Jones, and most of the other mythical nautical deities.")


"Workhorse of the Great Lakes"; "Turtle" (painted on the hull by the crew of the Woodbine after a race between Sturgeon Bay and Milwaukee which the Woodbine lost); "The Mistake"; "The Sentinel of the Door" (while at Sturgeon Bay); "Miscue"




"Best in the West"; "The White Needle of Death"; "378-Feet of Fighting Fury"


"Minnie-ha-ha"; "Minnie"

Mobile Bay

"Guardian of the Winter Fleet"; "MOBAY" Modoc "Mud Duck"; "Mighty Mud Duck"; "Ghost of the Oregon Coast"; "Muduc"


"WMEC-913: Mo-chicken" (given to us by the USCGC Thetis); "Slow-hawk" (Given to us while returning to homeport at full speed--all of 19 knots [which was christened "All Ahead Moped";] "WMEC-913 We Must Eat Chicken-913 times a quarter"; "The Mighty Mo"; "NRUF--The Big Dog" (Mohawk's radio call sign is NRUF);


"The Mighty Mo"


"Mon Home Again" (always back before scheduled end of patrol); "RONC Conch"; "MONHEGAN on the Rocks" (In 1988 there were five 110s assigned to Roosevelt Roads, PR.  Of those an incident occurred that involved the MONHEGAN and NANTUCKET.  During a mooring evolution, the MONHEGAN attempted to moor alongside the NANTUCKET.  Due to several errors, the MONHEGAN slammed into the port side of the NANTUCKET and proceeded forward of the mooring.  Subsequently the MONHEGAN slid up on the rip rap that was forward of the mooring pier.  After sliding back into the water and refloating herself, the MONHEGAN attempted another mooring evolution, only to repeat the same thing AGAIN!  After this a cocktail was named after the MONHEGAN. . ."MONHEGAN ON THE ROCKS" . . . .a strong mix of two different rums and a slight splash of cola.)


"RONC Great Santini"; "Monument" (it seemed that they were in port a lot); "Mona Joy" (always a thrill to go on board)


"Morg"; "Morgenscow"


"Munro Funro"; "Skid Row"; "The White Needle of Death"


"The Mighty Mustang"; "The Stang"

Nantucket (WPB-1316)

"RONC Homeport"

Nantucket (WLV-534)

"RONC Dirty Dozen"

Nantucket (WLV-612)

"RONC Swordfish"

Nantucket (WLV-613)

"RONC Next to Last"


"Nauseous"; "Nettle"; "Noodle"; "Grey Ghost"


"The Love Boat"; "No Liberty Granted Forever" a play on her call sign NLGF (the name was mde up by the ship's operations department in 2003 because it takes a cruise ship a shorter time to moor up than NORTHLAND, these days!)


"Grand Old Lady of the North"


"RONC River Runner"


"OJ"; "JIB" (also the nickname of our canine mascot 1969-1971)


"Rolling O" Orcas "Dorkas"; "Sea Wolf"


"The Dirty Bird" (Washington environmental laws prohibit any kind of soap contacting the water, hence the crew's inability to keep it clean)


"Dirty O"; "Big O"; "The Rockin' Lady" (There were two reasons for that nickname: A: NRBQ [her call sign] is also the name of a rock band in New England; B: We took a wave from the stern late one night coming back from Ocean Station Charlie.  We rolled to 43 degrees and it set off rollover alarms and the Captain broke his arm); "The Ice Palace" (we came in from Ocean Station Bravo with 18" of ice everywhere.); "Galloping Ghost of the Atlantic Coast"

Owasco Class

"Fiasco Class"


"RONC Defender of Paradise"


"Pier-Pier"; "The Galloping Ghost of the Carolina Coast";


"RONC No Problem" Penobscot Bay "Peanut Butter Bay"; "RONC Ice Shark"

Petrel (WSES 4)

"Petrified"; "El Tiburon Negro" (black shark); "Smugglers' Blues," "Energizer" (from having to cover the other broken SES's hours.); "We Seize Every Smuggler"; "We Saw, Engaged, and Sank (takeoff on hull designation WSES, from gun shoots on drug boats and migrant boats); "Caribbean Cadillacs" (from the stable ride of the SES's)


"Black Thunder"; "The Tree"; "Planet Ree"; "Lame Tree"; "Black Thunder"

"Point" Class (82-foot)

"Vomit Comets"

Point Arena

"The Shark" Point Banks "Head Hunters" (while in Vietnam)

Point Barnes

"Point Blarney"

Point Batan

"Bat Boat" Point Bonita "RONC Proud Mary IV"

Point Bridge

"Cutter Hollywood"; "Point Hollywood"; "The Baywatch Boat"; "The White Knight"

Point Brower

"Play Boy" (Ship's insignia was the Playboy bunny head for many years); "Point Boo Boo" (after Yogi's little buddy); "The Vomit Comet"

Point Bridge

"Cutter Hollywood"; "Point Hollywood"; "The Baywatch Boat"; "The White Knight" Point Carew "Point Cashew"; "Point Ah-Choo"; "Pig Boat"

Point Comfort

"The Little Ice Cream Eater" (In Vietnam we used to rendezvous offshore with U.S. Navy DER's, looking as pitiful as possible, bumming whatever the destroyer sailors would part with, and they seemed to see a pattern in the ice cream requests, so-o-o they tagged us and maybe some others as well, with the ice cream moniker)

Point Countess

"Point Countless"

Point Divide

"The Boat" (Presidential Support duty)

Point Doran

"Point Dorito"

Point Dume

"The Doom Boat"

Point Estero


Point Francis

"RONC Point Overtime"

Point Franklin

"RONC Point Student"; "The Point Big Top (because anything can happen under the big top)

Point Glass

"Bahamian Raiders" Point Glover "Zip Power" (1969-1970)

Point Grey

"The Grey Ghost" (because of our successful night ops and ambushes in Vietnam.)

Point Hannon

"RONC Point Homarus"

Point Herron

"RONC Sudden Death" Point Hobart "Point Ho-Hum"; "Point Hobo"; "Tricky Dick's Yacht" (she stood security watch off the Western White House when President Nixon would routinely visit.); "Point Paint Brush" ("Always painting for presidential security detail"); "Alice the Goon" (named by the ship yard crew that built her. "That was the name painted on her while she was still in primer."); "No SAR Too Far"

Point Jackson

"RONC Point Perfect"; "RONC Point Angler"

Point Judith


Point Knoll

"RONC Floodtide"; "Point Bohica"

Point Lobos

"Lone Wolf"

Point Lookout

"Pride of the Atchafalaya"; "Old Nell" (from the cutter's radio call sign)

Point Martin

"Point Martini"; "Galloping Ghost of the Crystal Coast"; "CGC Slammer" (because we worked off of Hatteras); "Marlin Maru"; "Fishing Vessel Smackin Lips" (a pastime on patrol)

Point Monroe

"The Funroe"

Point Nowell

"RONC Point Christmas Tree"; "White Ghost of the Gulf Coast"

Point Orient

"Patience Hell, Kill" (nickname given in service in Vietnam.)

Point Roberts

"Point Charlie"

Point Sal

"Bayou Terror"

Point Stewart

"Stewy"; "Point Screw Up" (Called that by jealous crews of other WPB's that wished to be stationed in San Diego.)

Point Swift

"Guardian of the Gulf"; Point Thatcher "Galloping Ghost of Florida's West Coast"; "Point Charlie" (While stationed aboard the Point Swift '79-'81 out of Clearwater, FL the Point Thatcher out of Sarasota, FL was known as the 'Point Charlie.'   This moniker was bestowed on her because she was always broken down in 'Charlie Status.')

Point Turner

"Point Tuna--Chicken of the Sea"; "Numero Uno"; "RONC Point Perfect"; "RONC Dynamite" (following two successful explosive ordnance ops.)

Point Verde

"Combat Cutter"; "Point Never-Sail" (This came from the 82-foot crews at Grande Isle for having to cover the Verde's duty due to its being in and out of dry dock so much. Time frame for nickname was 1975-79.)

Point Warde

"Swiss Cheese" (due to 9 holes being found in her hull at the shipyard in Lantana Florida.); "Point Weird"; "Love Boat (because of many a squabble amongst us rowdies!)."; "Watchdog of the Caribbean"

Point Welcome

"Wiley Coyote" (1966); "Soul Boat" (1970); "Rocket Magnet" (she was nearly hit by three 122mm rockets in 1969)

Point Wells

"RONC Point Jaws"

Point Whitehorn

"The Galloping Ghost of the Virgin Coast"; "Point White-Thorn" (given to her by the crew of the Point Warde because we did all the dirty work while she sat in port looking pretty as the day she was commissioned)

Point Winslow

"Point Win-SLOW" (Seems it took us a long time for us to get underway for a SAR back in the early 1980's.  CG Station Humboldt Bay give us the name.)

Polar Sea

"Building 11" (nick-name given to her by the crew of the Polar Star--the Polar Sea's hull number is WAGB-11--also for remaining at her pier for so many months due to faulty propeller design); "Polar Roller"; "What a Great Boat"; "Wandering Arctic Garbage Barge"; "Red Tubs of Fun" (due to the round shape of the hull--like a bath tub.); "WAGB = We Always Gone Bye-Bye (because PSEA did two back to back 5 and 1/2 month deployments)"

Polar Star

"Building 10" (nick-name given to her by the crew of the Polar Sea, the Polar Star's hull number is WAGB-10--also for remaining at her pier for so many months due to faulty propeller design); "Polar Spare"; "Brand X" (X being the Roman numeral 10); "Red Tubs of Fun" (due to the round shape of the hull--like a bath tub.)


"Pontch"; "Raunchy Paunchy" Red Beech "Body Snatcher" (we retrieved four dead bodies when I was on her)

Red Birch

"RONC Oriole"

Red Cedar

"Dead Peter Red Oak "The Almighty"; "Red Joke"


"RONC Bluefish"; "Deadwood"; "Building 685" (This was given to her because of her shallow draft and that in seas over 5 feet we tied up.)


"Reluctance" (she was constantly broken down); "Ridiculous" (The Reliance would always break down. I remember one time when the pitch on screws would not work correctly. We hit and knocked down the flagstaff on a Navy vessel at Norfolk because engines would not reverse.); "RONC Numero Uno"


"Rootie-Toot"; "RONC New Years"; "Party Boat"; "Lunch Boat"; "Roach Coach"; (Crew known as the "Rough Riders"; her unofficial motto is "no bar too far"; her official motto is "Any time, any place, any sea"; "Rubber duck of the Pacific (i.e. North Pacific in a 210; go figure!)"; "Destitute"


"Rock of Ages"; "The Rock"; "Rustaway" (it seemed no matter how much you chipped, red leaded, and painted it white, it stall had rust streaks.  Especially coming back from patrol.)


"The Love Boat"; "BLDG 723" (her hull number); "Crush"; "Flush"; "Rust"


"Tumble Weed"; "Scrub Brush"; "Fid"; "Neverdock"; "The Official Pirate Ship in the Fleet"; 


"Black Ghost of the Gulf Coast"; "Saliva" (When home ported in Mobile, Alabama, we did a lot of buoy relocation for Corps of Engineer dredges around Gulfport and Pascagoula, Mississippi.  Whenever they would call on voice radio, they would always call us CGC SALIVA.  When told our real name they would either play dumb or say "Everytime we see you you're close to a spit.")


"RONC 31 Knots"; "Tinkerbell"; "Saniflush" (ran into a buoy or two)


"Scrapelo"; "The Best in the West"


"Sass"; "Pretty Princess of the Pacific Fleet" ("The Mallow called us [that] because the [commanding officer of the Sassafras] wanted and kept her so clean")

Sea Hawk

"Sea Hag"


"Black Stallion"; "Workhorse of the Black Fleet"; "Sludge"; "Sedge-maru"; "Sedge-maru-number-four-oh-two"






"RONC Liver Killer"


"El Tiburon Blanco" (White Shark); "RONC Half and Half"; "Shear Agony"


"Squirmin-Sherman"; Shermdog"; "Burnin' Sherman" (for the number of fires they have onboard);


"RONC Conception"; "The Six-Pack" Snohomish "Snow Boat"; "RONC Proud Mary XI"


"RONC Ironsides"; "Workhorse of the 1st District"


"RONC Practice"


"John C."

Staten Island

"WAGB stood for White Arctic Garbage Barge;"


"Steadfast Legend holds STEADFAST was nicknamed 'El Tiburon Blanco' (Spanish for 'The White Shark') by Colombian drug smugglers in the 1970s for being such a nemesis to their illegal drug operations. STEADFAST was the first, and is one of only two cutters awarded the gold marijuana leaf, symbolizing over one million pounds of marijuana seized. More recently, she also recorded the first at sea seizure of a self propelled semi-submersible (SPSS) smuggling vessel. To this day the crew uses the symbol of 'El Tiburon Blanco' as one of their logos to epitomize STEADFAST's aggressive law enforcement posture.  "Dead Last"; "Fid"; "Steady"; "Standfast" (from the crews of the cutters Resolute and Alert, ". . . after seeing this cutter at the dock when we would return to homeport and still be there when we got underway again."); "Stern First"; "You Call, We Haul" (from a sign erected on the stern for the cutter Juniper's crew to see while the Steadfast towed the Juniper back to our mutual homeport St. Pete FL); "Mooredfast" (because she never could get underway due to some type of engine failure. We just figured it was an excuse to stay home, although she did have to be boomed off every time she pulled into port due to a steady petroleum leak from her controllable pitch props, which for some reason could never be fixed.)


"Bulldog of the Bering"; "Galloping Ghost of the Alaska Coast"; "Not Really Under Command" (play on her radio call sign NRUC); "Guardian of the Last Frontier"; "Sore-us" (for the jostling about on the Bering Sea); "Mighty Storis"; "Cadillac" (for the slow maneuverability and lack of a bow thruster); "Queen of the Fleet" (for being the oldest commissioned cutter); "Slowest" (for her lack of speed even with fair winds and following seas); "STO-PIG" (This is due to the fact that she is slow, is impossible to maneuver & rolls like you would not believe.  I have to say that she was the most seaworthy craft I have ever been on though.)

Sturgeon Bay

"RONC Hudson Hustler"


"Building 311"; "Su-Barge"


"Sunspot"; "Neverdew"; "The Mildew"; "Fundew" Sweetgum "Sweet Pea"; "Gumball"; "We Light the Way"


"Sweet Pea"; "The Rose of the Fleet"; "Sweet Bee"; "Sweet Pig"; "Building 14" (I was stationed on the Clover and we used to call the Sweetbrier 'Building 14' [because] it never got underway)


"Always Homa"; "Mighty T"; "Never Home-a" (Underway for 200 days in 1998); "I wanta go homa"


"Tam"; "CG Submarine" (she sank in dry dock in March, 1963); "Mighty Z" (from her Navy name); "Ramatoa" (because of an "incident" with some barges in NY harbor); "Damn Tam";  "RONC Can't Hook It"; "You call, we haul" (During a tug strike in New York harbor, the Tam hauled sewage barges); "NNGR: Nothing Never Goes Right";   "Building 166" (from her days in Staten Island; "Automatic Trough Finder" (from her days as USS Zuni ATF 95); "Tamarilla" (People had a tough time pronouncing Tamaroa); "Sinker" (Every time she went out she tried to go down); "The Bull" (for her towing ability); "Galloping Ghost off the Jersey Coast"


"The Missing X"; "Cell Block 902"


"The Taney Maru"; "Roger B"; "Queen of the Pacific"; "Portsmouth Princess"; "McHale's Navy" (nickname given to the Taney by the crew of the Ingham); "The Hotel Taney" for her duty on Ocean Station Hotel; "The Jolly Roger" (from the late-1970's)


"The Floating Prison of Death"; "Mighty Thetis"; The Protectress of the Sea"

Thunder Bay

"RONC Cube Maker"


"Galloping Ghost of the Texas Coast"


 "RONC Point Express"


"Mighty U"


"The Lone Ranger"; "Battlebarge Unimaktica"; "Unibarge"; "Unisub"; "RONC The Long Ranger"; "Uni-rust"; "Fast Attack Missile Sponge" (coined from the numerous missile hit drill from REFTRE in Gitmo); New Bedford's Virgin Girl" (based on her call sign NBVG); "Runamuck"; "Big Mac Attack"

Ute, Escape, & Lipan

 "The Three Little Pigs" affectionately known as the "Hurtin," the "Limpin", and the "Mistake" Ute "The Good-Shoot Ute"; "Ute-R-Rust"; "The Love Boat"; One of "The Three Little Pigs" (overall nickname for the Escape, Lipan, and Ute)--each was known affectionately as the "Hurtin'," the "Limpin'", and the "Mistake"; "Ute-R-Us"


"Guardian of the Gulf"; "Building 621" (by the crew of the Hatchet due to extended "Charlie" in 1989 after losing both engines)


"Ven-tuna"; "Mighty V"; "Building 625"; "Unadventurous"; "My Uncle's Yacht"; "Looney Tunes"; Venturuvius"


"RONC Capt. Bob's Econo-Fill"; "None Here In Charge" (play on her radio call sign NHIC); "WMEC=We Must Eat Chicken"; "Baby Dallas"; "Warship U-617"; "The Zone of Insanity"; "Home of the Broken Orange Flying Chicken"


"Vig the Pig" (because of her appearance when we were stationed in New London)"; "Never Quit, Semper Paratus (because her call sign was NQSP)"




"Big Red of the Gulf Coast"; "Big Red Pig" & "Floating Football" (because of her football shaped lower hull that gave the ship a tendency to wallow around like a pig in mud even in the calmest of seas); "Wandering Arctic Garbage Barge" (a takeoff on the hull designation "WAGB" and due to the huge amounts of trash that would pile up on our fantail and the seemingly aimless trek those scientists would have us go.  Keep in mind now, even though these sound like the rants of disgruntled sailors they were not, only we were allowed to call the ship these names.  Anyone else heard to call our ship anything but the best met our displeasure, especially if it came from those lower forms of life living in Buildings 10 and 11.  Our motto when around those trophies were "We may be old but we still run!" and we made sure they knew it.)

White Heath

"White Heat"; "RONC Proud Mary VI"

White Lupine

"RONC Three of a Kind"

White Pine

"Polar Pine"

White Sage

"Proud Mary" (in honor of CWO George Bassett); "RONC Proud May IX"


"Wind Bag"; "Winnie"; "Winnie Hoo Hoo"; "4.0 Winnie"


"Wine Barge"; "Winnie"


"Harbor Wolf"


"Sentinel of the Sea";


"Woody"; "The Woody"; "Woody the Warship"; "Wood-rust"; "Planet Woodrush"; "Scrub Brush"; "Gene's World"; "Goodrust"; "Weirdrush"; "Headrush"; "Woodrow"; "Wee Little Battleship 407 (A pun on the cutter's designation WLB-407);


"RONC Brrrr"


"White Whale"


"RONC Rock 'n Roll"


"Yoc"; "The Mighty Yoc"; "Yokle Dokle"; "YO-KO, NO-GO MARU" (Due to her limited cruising speed and frequent cargo assignments); "Yo Mama" (Painted on her transom by the crew of the Planetree while in Seward during Exxon Valdez clean up ops. in 1989.  [It wasn't] noticed by Yoc for several days.)

Last Modified 1/12/2016