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Daphne, WPC-106
Radio Call Sign: NRGD

The cutter Daphne was named for the nymph in Greek mythology with whom Apollo fell in unrequited love.  Running away from the god Daphne cried for her father, the river god Peneus, who turned her into a laurel tree to save her from the ravages of Apollo.  Apollo then made it his sacred tree, and winners at the games of his sanctuary Delphi were crowned with laurel wreaths.

Builder: Bath Iron Works, Bath, Maine

Launched: 27 January 1932

Commissioned: 5 October 1934

Decommissioned: 29 November 1946 (In reserve)

Disposition: Sold on 7 December 1954

Displacement: 1933: 337 tons full load
                          1945: 350 tons full load

                       Length: 165' oa
                       Beam: 25' 3"
                       Draft: 7' 8" (1933); 10' (1945)

Machinery: 2 x Winton Model 158 6-cylinder diesels; 1,340 bhp

Propellers: twin, 3-bladed

Performance: Maximum speed: 16.0 knots
                        Maximum sustained: 14.0 knots for 1,750 statute miles
                        Cruising: 11.0 knots for 3,000 statute miles
                        Economic: 6.0 knots for 6,417 statute miles

Complement: 1933: 5 officers, 39 men
                        1945: 7 officers, 68 men

Armament: 1933: 1 x 3"/23; 1 x 1-pounders;
                    1941: 1 x 3"/23; 1 x Y-gun; 2 x depth charge tracks;
                    1945: 2 x 3"/50 (single-mounts); 2 x 20mm/80 (single mounts); 2 x depth charge tracks; Y-gun; 2 x Mousetraps.

Electronics: 1933: none
                     1945: Radar: SF-1, BN
                                Sonar: QCO 

Cost: $258,000

Class History:

The 165-foot "B" Class cutters, sometimes referred to as the Thetis-Class, were a follow on to the 125-foot cutters.  Both types of cutters were designed for the enforcement of Prohibition, but the 165-footers primary mission was to trail the mother ships that dispensed alcohol to smaller, faster vessels well beyond the territorial waters of the U.S.  Hence these cutters had to have excellent sea-keeping qualities, good accommodations for the crew, and long range.  Although Prohibition ended soon after most entered service, their design nevertheless proved to be adaptable to the many other missions of the Coast Guard.

An article written soon after they entered service noted that: "the new cutters are low and rakish, without excessive superstructure or freeboard.  A raking stem, well flared bow and cruiser stern give the appearance of speed as well as contribute to the seaworthiness of the vessels, a quality which has been demonstrated in actual service. . .The new ships are twin-screw driven by two 670 horse power Diesel engines, furnished by the Winton Engine Co. of Cleveland, Ohio.  The shafting and propellers are arranged and supported in a novel manner.  The ship is equipped with two overhanging rudders on a line with and just aft of the propellers.  The rudders are supported by a streamline rudder post at the forward end which is bossed out for a bearing to take a stub shaft which extends through the propeller.  This method of arranging the rudders has proved remarkably successful.  At full speed, the ships turn a complete circle in two minutes and eighteen seconds, and can be docked with ease under the most difficult conditions.  On trial runs, the Atalanta averaged 16.48 knots at 468 RPM with practically no vibration and the engine under no evident strain.  Due to the arduous service for which these vessels were built, only the finest materials available were used. . .It is interesting to note that genuine wrought iron pipe was used for practically all the services where resistance to corrosion, vibration, and strain was required.  The fuel oil, lubricating oil, and water service to the main engines and auxiliaries; the fire and bilge system; and the steam heating system were all installed with genuine wrought iron pipe.  At the Lake Union plant this pipe was furnished by the Reading Iron Company through the Crane Company's Seattle office and Bowles Company of Seattle.  The new ships are a distinct contribution to modern shipbuilding and should be of great value to the Coast Guard."*

They certainly did prove to be of great value to the Coast Guard.  Most saw service as coastal convoy escorts during World War II and two, the Icarus and the Thetis, each sank a U-boat.  Many saw service well into the 1960s and some still service as tour boats in New York City with the Circle Tour Line, testament to their sturdy and well-thought out design.


CGC Daphne was built by the Bath Iron Works in Bath, Maine.  She was to be assigned originally to the Coast Guard Destroyer Force.  She was launched and accepted from the builder on 27 January 1932 and was commissioned on 12 February 1932.  She arrived at Stapleton, New York after a ten-day shakedown cruise on 26 February 1932 and was assigned to the New York Division as part of the Special Patrol Force based out of Stapleton.

She was then transferred to Oakland, California, as of 2 February 1934 where she served out the decade.  Her service included assignment to the Bering Sea Patrol in 1936.  She was assigned temporarily to Cordova Alaska from 1 January 1940 to 28 February 1940.  Her armament was increased at the Puget Sound Navy Yard beginning on 11 March 1941.  She was then assigned to Alameda and the WESTSEAFRON, and she first arrived on station there on 15 April 1941.  As of 7 December 1941, her assignment was to patrol the entrance to San Francisco Bay, a duty she carried out until the end of the war, alternating at times with the CGC Ariadne.  She was rearmed from 1 October to 1 November 1942 at the Mare Navy Yard.  

She was placed out of commission in reserve on 29 November 1946 and placed in storage at the Coast Guard Moorings in Kennydale, Washington.  She was sold to Birchfield Boiler, Inc., of Tacoma on 7 December 1954 for $9,156.00.


Cutter files, USCG Historian's Office.

Canney, Donald L. U.S. Coast Guard and Revenue Cutters, 1790-1935. (Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 1995).

*Nickum, W. C. "New 'Sisters' of the Coast Guard Patrol Go Into Service."  The Reading Puddle Ball 3, No. 11 (February 1935), pp. 6-7. 

Scheina, Robert L. U.S. Coast Guard Cutters and Craft in World War II. (Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 1982).

U.S. Coast Guard. Public Information Division. Historical Section. The Coast Guard at War: Transports and Escorts. (Vol. V, No. I). (Washington, DC: Public Information Division, U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters, 1949.

Last Modified 1/12/2016