The "Treasury" class Coast Guard cutters (sometimes referred to as the "Secretary" or 327-foot class) were all named for former secretaries of the Treasury Department. The cutter Duane was named for William John Duane, who served as the third Secretary of the Treasury to serve under President Andrew Jackson. Duane was born in Clonmel, Ireland, in 1780 and emigrated to the United States. He was originally trained as a printer but later studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1815. He became a distinguished lawyer, represented the city of Philadelphia in the Pennsylvania State Legislature, and was a trustee and subsequently a director of Girard College. Duane's father was the editor of the Philadelphia Aurora, a leading newspaper of the Democratic party. Thomas Jefferson attributed his election to the presidency in 1800 to the vigorous support of the elder Duane. President Jackson and William Duane were close friends and it was probably through this relationship that William J. Duane was appointed as the Secretary of the Treasury in May of 1833 after Secretary Louis McLane transferred to the State Department. President Jackson hoped that he could persuade Duane to withdraw the government's deposits from the Second Bank of the United States, which McLane had refused to do. Duane was opposed to the Bank in principle and felt that it was unconstitutional and monopolistic, but he recognized that the sudden removal of the government's funds from the Bank would cause a panic affecting the farmer and the common man which would "plunge the fiscal concerns of the country into chaos." Duane also maintained that he had no right to withdraw the funds without the consent of Congress, which had, in its previous session, declared the Bank safe for government deposits. Jackson enlisted the help of his Attorney General, Roger B. Taney, to present his argument for the withdrawal of funds to the entire cabinet. Duane still refused to take any action without the consent of Congress, and Jackson dismissed him after only four months of service, declaring, "He is either the weakest mortal, or the most strange composition I have ever met with."
William J. Duane died in Philadelphia on 27 September 1865.
Signal Letters: NRDD
Keel Laid: 1 May 1935
Launched: 3 June 1936
Commissioned: 1 August 1936
Decommissioned: 1 August 1985
Disposition: Sunk as an artificial reef off Key Largo, Florida, 27 November 1987
Builder: Philadelphia Navy Yard, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Displacement: 2,350 (1936)
Length: 327' 0"
Beam: 41' 0"
Draft: 12' 6" (max.)
Propulsion: 2 x Westinghouse double-reduction geared turbines; 2 x Babcock & Wilcox sectional express, air-encased, 400 psi, 200° superheat; 2 x 9' three-bladed propellers.
SHP: 6,200 (1966)
Maximum Speed: 20.5 knots
Economical Cruising: 11.0 knots (8,000 nautical miles)
Fuel Oil Capacity: 135,180 gallons (547 tons)
Complement: 1937: 12 officers, 4 warrants, 107 enlisted;
1941: 16 officers, 5 warrants, 202 enlisted;
1966: 10 officers, 3 warrants, 134 enlisted.
HF/DF: (1942) DAR (converted British FH3?)
Radar: (1945) SC-3, SGa; (1966) AN/SPS-29D, AN/SPA-52.
Fire Control Radar: (1945) Mk-26; (1966) Mk-26 MOD 4
Sonar: (1945) QC series; (1966) AN/SQS-11
Radio Call Sign: NRDD
1936: 2 x 5"/51 (single mount); 2 x 6-pounders.; 1 x 1-pounder.
1941: 3 x 5"/51 (single mount); 3 x 3"/50 (single mount); 4 x .50 caliber Browning MG; 2 x depth charge racks; 1 x "Y" gun depth charge projector.
1943: 2 x 5"/51 (single mount); 4 x 3"/50 (single mount); 2 x 20mm/80 (single mount); 1 x Hedgehog; 6 x "K" gun depth charge projectors; 2 x depth charge racks.
1945: 2 x 5"/38 (single mount); 3 x 40mm/60 (twin mount); 4 x 20mm/80 (single mount).
1946: 1 x 5"/38 (single mount); 1 x 40mm;/60 (twin mount); 8 x 20mm/80 (single mount); 1 x Hedgehog.
1966: 1 x 5"/38 MK30 Mod75 (single); MK 52 MOD 3 director; 1 x MK 10-1 Hedgehog; 2 (P&S) x Mk 32 MOD 5 TT, 4 x MK 44 MOD 1 torpedoes; 2 x .50 cal. MK-2 Browning MG, 2 x MK-13 high altitude parachute flare mortars.
Aircraft: Grumman JF-2, V148 (1938)
Curtiss SOC-4 (1941)
The 327-foot cutters were designed to meet changing missions of the service as it emerged from the Prohibition era. Because the air passenger trade was expanding both at home and overseas, the Coast Guard believed that cutter-based aircraft would be essential for future high-seas search and rescue. Also, during the mid-1930's, narcotics smuggling, mostly opium, was on the increase, and long-legged, fairly fast cutters were needed to curtail it. The 327's were an attempt to develop a 20-knot cutter capable of carrying an airplane in a hangar.
The final 327-foot design was based on the Erie-class Navy gunboats; the machinery plant and hull below the waterline were identical. This standardization saved money--always paramount in the Coast Guard's considerations--and the cutters were built in U.S. Navy shipbuilding yards. Thirty-two preliminary designs of a modified Erie-class gunboat were drawn up before one was finally selected. The healthy sheer forward and the high slope in the deck in the wardrooms was known as the "Hunnewell Hump." Commander (Constructor) F. G. Hunnewell, USCG, was the head of the Coast Guard's Construction and Repair Department at that time.
The Secretary class cutters proved to be highly dependable, versatile and long-lived warships--most served their country for over 40 years. In the words of one naval historian, John M. Waters, Jr., they were truly their nation's "maritime workhorses." Waters continued: "the 327's battled, through the 'Bloody Winter' of 1942-43 in the North Atlantic--fighting off German U-boats and rescuing survivors from torpedoed convoy ships. They went on to serve as amphibious task force flagships, as search-and-rescue (SAR) ships during the Korean War, on weather patrol, and as naval gunfire support ships during Vietnam. Most recently, these ships-that-wouldn't-die have done duty in fisheries patrol and drug interdiction. . .Built for only $2.5 million each, in terms of cost effectiveness we may never see the likes of these cutters again."
The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter William J. Duane (Builder's No. CG-67) was built at the Philadelphia Navy Yard in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She was the third cutter to bear that name. Her keel was laid on 1 May 1935 and she was launched and christened by Ms. Mai Duane on 3 June 1936. The William J. Duane entered commissioned service on 1 August 1936 and was assigned to Oakland, California. After fitting out, she departed the Philadelphia Navy Yard on 16 October 1936 and arrived at Oakland on 24 November. She was then assigned to temporary duty in Honolulu, and arrived there on 9 December 1936, to assist in the U.S. colonization efforts of the Line Islands in the Pacific. The Duane first steamed to Howland Island with supplies for the colonists on that island and also construction material to aid in the building of an emergency airfield in support of the Aviatrix Amelia Earhart's world flight, including two heavy tractors. After she anchored as close as she could, the crew, through the use of pontoons, managed to beach both tractors successfully. The cutter then steamed to Jarvis and Baker Islands before returning to Honolulu.
The Duane then returned to her permanent homeport of Oakland, arriving on 25 February 1937. For the next two years, she joined the Bering Sea Patrol Force for annual cruises of that area, continuing a Coast Guard traditional duty from the nineteenth century. In mid-1937 her name was shortened to merely "Duane." In September of 1939 she was assigned to duty with Destroyer Division 18, conducting neutrality patrols along the Grand Banks (these patrols were known as "Grand Banks Patrols"), as ordered by President Franklin Roosevelt. She departed Oakland on 7 September 1939 and arrived at her new homeport of Boston on 22 September 1939. Here she conducted four Grand Banks patrols, from October through December, 1939, completing her final patrol on 12 January 1940.
When the Grand Banks patrols were discontinued on 27 January 1940 Duane was then assigned to duty on weather patrols. These had only recently been implemented on a suggestion by then CDR Edward H. "Iceberg" Smith, LCDR George B. Gelly, and a more influential suggestion by President Franklin Roosevelt. Since the war had stopped the flow of weather data from merchant ships, the Coast Guard drew the duty of maintaining a continuous weather patrol consisting of 327-foot cutters at two stations in the mid-Atlantic located as follows: Station No. 1, 35° 38' N x 53° 21' W and Station No. 2, 37° 44' N x 41° 13' W. Here the cutters steamed continuously within a 100 square mile area from the center of the station with each patrol lasting approximately 21 days. Each cutter embarked meteorologists from the Weather Bureau who made observations with radiosondes and balloons, and the cutters provided Pan American Airways Boeing 314 flying boats: Yankee Clipper, Dixie Clipper, and American Clipper, with weather and position reports and transmitted radio signals to allow the planes to take accurate bearings. The Duane departed Boston on her first weather patrol on 31 January 1940.
At the request of the State Department, Duane departed Boston 26 July 1940, for a cruise to "Greenland waters." Once there, her aircraft surveyed Greenland's western coast. She departed Greenland and arrived back in Boston on 19 September 1940 and then sailed to the South Boston plant of the Bethlehem Steel Corporation for rearmament, which was completed on 15 November 1940. Armament added included anti-aircraft weapons as well as the addition of depth charge racks and projectors.
On 14 June 1941 she rescued 46 survivors from the torpedoed British tanker SS Tresillian. The Duane was assigned to permanent duty with the Navy on 11 September 1941, and was designated WPG-33. She continued with her weather station patrols. It was while on weather patrol on 9 February 1942 that Duane picked up a strong echo on the echo-ranging machine, about 500 yards distant on the port beam. General quarters was sounded and one embarrassing depth charge was released, set for 300 feet. The Duane made a run on the target, releasing at five second intervals seven large depth charges (600 lbs.) set to explode at 300 feet. She fired her "Y" gun with the third charge with depth setting of 200 feet. She continued to search for eight hours in the general area, when a suspicious underwater sound was again heard. She sought better contact with negative results. Sea gulls were sighted three hours later with considerable oil on their bodies.
During February of 1942 while on convoy duty in the North Atlantic, the crew of Duane suffered a harrowing "man overboard" situation. The grandson of Duane's commanding officer CAPT Albert Martinson, David Davies III, wrote an account of this remarkable event. Click here to access it. A former crewman, MM2/c Al Phaneufand, also recalled what became known as the "Miracle at Sea" or the "Goehring Incident":
The Robert W. "Goehring Incident"
I was a MM/2c assigned to the Duane from Sept.'39 to Feb '43 and was aboard during the above incident. Two other fellows, Ed Grant and Jim Entwistle served with me at the time. We visit and phone a few times a year. I called them to check my recollection of the event and we generally agreed except on a couple of minor points. We seem to think that it happened in late '42. [22 February 1942]
It was mid-afternoon on a clear sunny day. The sea was very rough with large waves. Occasionally one would slap the side of the ship and cover the quarterdeck. Located in that area was a five-inch gun which was surrounded by a heavy duty splinter shield. It was about four feet in height and had only a narrow opening for gun crew access. When the large wave slapped the side of the ship it would fill that shield with water making it resemble an above ground backyard swimming pool.
Lieutenant [Robert W.] Goehring was the ship's gunnery officer and was back within that shield doing an inspection when one of those waves hit the ship, came over the side at the same time that the bow rose on another wave further depressing the stern. Later , LT Goehring described his experience by saying, " one minute I was on a wet pitching deck the next I was under water swimming as hard as I could for the surface." Thinking he was still on the ship he was shocked on breaking above water and seeing the ship about a hundred feet from him and headed away. He yelled but wasn't heard because of the strong wind.
Two things saved LT Goehring that day. One he was wearing his lifejacket and the second and most important, was that he was spotted in the water by a lookout on the starboard side of the ship's bridge. The lookout quickly notified the OOD, who just as quickly sounded the alarm and brought the ship about in a circle (not an easy task in that rough sea). Meanwhile, the lookout managed to keep sight of Mr. Goehring. A cargo net was hung over the side in hopes that the LT would be able to grab it and be pulled aboard. At the moment the ship was eased alongside Mr. Goehring, as if on command a large wave lifted him to deck height where he was grabbed by several deckhands that had formed a human chain and they pulled him aboard wet, cold but very grateful.
The Ripley story of his being washed back aboard probably came from a stretch of the fact that that wave lifted him so he could be hauled aboard. I had transferred off the Duane by the time Mr. Goehring left so I never heard the story that Jim Iversen related about the sinking of the lifejacket. Several months after leaving the Duane, I passed and was accepted to the "Ninety Day Wonder " school in New London. Alas. I had never had trigonometry in school and that was my downfall. Guess who informed me I was being dropped from the program. Mr. Goehring.
In the late seventies, Mr. Goehring had become a Rear Admiral and commanded the Boston District. I knew this and one day while in Boston I dropped in on him and even without an appointment we visited for quite a while.
On 1 April 1942 Duane was relieved from further duty in connection with the North Atlantic Weather Patrol and directed to report to the Commander in Chief, Atlantic Fleet, for convoy escort duty. She was in drydock at the Boston Navy Yard until 8 April 1942, undergoing conversion and rearmament. Departing Boston Duane passed through the Cape Cod Canal on 10 April in a heavy snow storm. At 0529 she grounded at Hog Neck Light on the starboard edge of the channel. Attempting to back off without success, she requested aid and two hours later a tug passed her a tow line. The line parted ten minutes later and the current carried the cutter's stern downstream with the bow still grounded. When finally floated, Duane was maneuvered to the center of the turning basin and returned to Boston for repairs. No hull damage was revealed but the dome for the underwater sound projector was believed crushed and binding on the projector. A board of investigation met to inquire into the facts after the cutter had drydocked for repairs.
On 19 April 1942 Duane was joined by the cutter Bibb (WPG-31) on antisubmarine exercises. These were followed by attack teacher exercises at Halifax, where Duane arrived on the 28th, escorting a merchant vessel in company with a British escort. On 2 May 1942, the cutter was underway en route Reykjavik, Iceland, intercepting convoy SCL-81 on May 6th, the convey consisting of 18 vessels with five escorts, including the Duane, Bibb and three Navy destroyers. The trip was uneventful, the convoy arriving at Hvalfjordur, Iceland, on the 8th.
On 15 May 1942 Duane was ordered to meet convoy SC-83 and take over four vessels in it which were bound for Iceland, a Navy escort assisting. The convoy was sighted on the 17th where the cutter took over 13 vessels. On the 20th she dropped the convoy at Grotta, Iceland, the escort unit then proceeding to Hvalfjordur, where Duane remained moored until the 26th.
The Duane stood out of Reykjavik, Iceland, on 10 June 1942, escorting a 15-ship convoy ONSJ-102, with two Navy destroyers to join up with the eastbound convoy ONS-102. She took charge of the main convoy on the 16th as the cutter Campbell (WPG-32) and a British escort vessel searched for a submarine. Several hours later Duane was ordered to assist the cutter Ingham (WPG-35) in a search. Ordered to rejoin the convoy at 1900, she and Ingham were unable to find it during the night, as it had made a sharp evasive turn to shake off the U-boats. The two cutters finally sighted the convoy at 1840 on the 18th and after release from further escort duty returned to Reykjavik on the 23rd, mooring at Hvalfjordur the same evening.
On 3 July 1942 Duane proceeded to sea in company with two Navy destroyers in search formation to intercept a convoy of 13 ships on the 5th. A report had been received by radio on the "BN" broadcast that two submarines were operating in the vicinity. The submarines failed to materialize, however, and on the 9th the convoy stood up the swept channel and fjord for anchorage at Hvalfjordur.
While anchored at Hvalfjordur on 25 July 1942, Duane was ordered to proceed to 64°N x 24°W, where a plane had reported sighting a submarine. The Duane got underway immediately and after proceeding for five hours at full speed arrived at noon in the vicinity of the reported sub, with the plane nowhere in sight. She began a search on a retiring search curve. Seven hours later she sighted what appeared to be a stick of bombs on the port beam exploding on the surface at the horizon. This was repeated at intervals and Duane changed course immediately and closed in. It soon developed that the high columns of water were spouts of whales, blowing. The Duane resumed the search until 2158 when she was ordered to proceed to Reykjavik.
The next day the cutter was prepared to receive guests of honor and at 1455 ADM Ernest J. King, Commander in Chief, U.S. Fleet, his staff, ADM D. S. Beary, Commander, Task Group 24.6, his staff and Mr. Stephen Early, Secretary to the President, came on board and were received with proper honors. They weighed anchor and proceeded up Hvalfjordur Fjord on an inspection cruise of harbor defenses. The party left ship at 1628.
While moored at Hvalfjordur on 3 August 1942 Duane, on orders got underway and proceeded down the fjord to search for a submarine reported to be 20 miles southwest of Reykjavik. A British destroyer was noted standing in the same direction. The search for the submarine continued on the 4th when a dispatch corrected the position of the sighting as farther westward where a plane was sighted at 0843, circling. On nearer approach, the plane was observed to be dropping smoke bombs. The plane left on the arrival of Duane. Listening conditions were excellent and the search continued throughout the morning. At 1500 Duane proceeded to port for repairs to her steering gear which had failed left two Navy and one British destroyer to take up the search in a heavy fog that had set in during the night. The fog obscured Skagi Light and Duane proceeded by radio compass and soundings to anchor at Reykjavik at 0235 on the 5th.
On 9 August 1942, Duane stood out of Reykjavik in company with a Navy destroyer to rendezvous with an Iceland-bound convoy. On the 12th she sighted suddenly out of a rain squall the Norwegian motor vessel SS Vibran, with whom she exchanged signals and who proved to be friendly, after an exchange of messages with Commander-in-Chief, Western Approaches. She was allowed to proceed east, but was examined closely and found to have no fittings for fueling U-boats. She had clean sides, no unusual armament and a deck cargo of invasion barges. On the 13th she met a British destroyer and two other vessels searching for derelicts and survivors from the convoy. At 1445 Duane turned the convoy over to a British escort and then proceeded to intercept convoy SC-95.
While escorting Convoy SC-95 in company with the Navy destroyer USS Schenck (DD-159), Duane, early on 15 August 1942, heard two explosions, followed by white rockets and snowflakes. They observed, on closing in, the black hulk of a ship among the ships of the convoy, with no signs of activity on or about her. At first she seemed to have the outline of SS Norluna and that vessel was consequently believed to be the ship that had been torpedoed. Smoke seemed to be coming from her but no flames were visible. The Schenck rejoined the convoy but Duane remained in the vicinity a short while longer in the hope of contacting the submarine. While it was deemed advisable for Duane to pick up survivors without cover from Schenck, it was also very hazardous to leave the convoy without protection. When Schenck rejoined the convoy she reported one straggler and two ships remaining in convoy.
The Duane, by changing course, attempted to intercept the straggler, without success. Later in the morning a TBS was heard indicating that an American merchant vessel had been sighted with survivors on board. That night three submarines seemed to be following the convoy, according to signals, to the eastward. Increasing signal strength indicated that they were getting closer and ships were darkened for protection. On the 17th a dispatch received indicated that a plane had on the preceding day sighted Norluna who proved not to have been torpedoed but the straggler from the convoy with the torpedoed vessel's survivors, 30 miles north of the convoy, proceeding at 9 knots. No attempt was made to bring her back into the convoy as she was several hours ahead of the convoy, had air coverage, and would arrive at port with survivors, some of whom might require prompt medical care, before the convoy. She was believed reasonably safe as no submarines were reported in the vicinity, the convoy, it was believed, having successfully evaded those contacted on the 14th and 15th. The Duane dropped the convoy off at Grotta at 1125 on the 17th.
The Duane remained at anchor at Reykjavik through 5 September 1942, and then stood off Grotta Point with the Navy destroyer USS Leary (DD-158) for rendezvous with an outgoing convoy of four ships. On the 8th the convoy encountered a fresh gale, blowing from the east and convoy speed was reduced to 3.5 knots, one vessel suddenly dropping out of the convoy because of engine trouble. She was advised to return to Reykjavik. On the 11th Duane and Leary were relieved by a corvette and proceeded to join the Iceland-bound convoy SC-99. This convoy, which consisted of 66 ships, was intercepted on 13 September and Duane and Leary assigned stations as escorts. On the 17th, Duane made contact at close range and dropped an "E" charge in close proximity to the convoy and then proceeded through the convoy to the spot where the charge was dropped, searching astern until midnight without results. The convoy was anchored off Grotta Point, in Reykjavik's outer harbor, on the 17th without further incident.
The Duane remained moored at Reykjavik from 17 September to 4 October 1942. On October 5th she began escorting, in company with Ingham and Schenck, the outbound five-ship convoy ONSJ-136. On the 7th, the weather increased in intensity, blowing a whole gale. The convoy scattered badly, each escort remaining with a small group of ships. The Duane stayed with USS Yukon (AF-9) until about noon when contact with her was lost and the Duane began searching for other ships in the convoy. Finally the one ship was found traveling alone, while the Ingham was with another ship 6,000 yards to the west. The Ingham was instructed to bring the two convoyed ships together and the Duane continued to search for others during the afternoon, Ingham's radar being superior, the Duane took over the escort of the two ships and Ingham began to search for the others. The Schenck reported being with another ship of the convoy and sighting others to the northwest. The Schenck found and joined the latter group and knowing the course and speed of the others finally brought them all together at 2115, with three ships still missing.
What remained of the convoy was kept together with difficulty during the night, which was marked by rain and sleet squalls. At daylight on the 8th, the convoy was again badly scattered. Air coverage appeared and the plane was asked to search for the three stragglers. Difficulty was encountered with SS Peter Helms, which was repeatedly cautioned about smoke. The speed was reduced to seven knots but during the night Peter Helms left the convoy, her master thoroughly miffed about the admonitions regarding smoke, and proceeded independently. On the 9th, the main convoy was sighted and the convoy ONSJ-136 was turned over to its escort commander. The Duane, with Ingham and Schenck, then proceeded to Hvalfjordur, arriving on the 12th.
Weighing anchor on 18 October 1942 to shift anchorage, the steering gear jammed and investigation showed that a vertical shaft on the follow-up link system had been subjected to severe strain and had twisted about 25 degrees. It was noted that the cut adjusting nut on the hydraulic end was loose and the adjusting screw out of place on the starboard side. This was undoubtedly the cause of the accident to the steering gear. It was not believed possible for this to have come out of adjustment unless it had been tampered with. The steering gear had been tested before getting underway but the derangement had not been noted. Precautionary measures were taken in handling the wheel, in case sabotage was being attempted.
On 7 November 1942, Duane proceeded to Reykjavik and at 1545 began escorting eight vessels off Grotta Point in company with Bibb. On the 9th Ingham joined the escort group which proceeded eastward. On the night of the 10th, the wind increased to force 8, and the radar indicated the convoy was scattering. During the afternoon of the 11th, Duane was engaged in bringing four vessels together and escorted these until about 1600, when Bibb joined up with the remaining vessels. Again on the night of the 11th, two vessels were apparently straggling, but not seriously. Due to sea conditions no attempt was made to bring them back. They were rounded up next day, however, and the convoy proceeded intact, except for two vessels believed to be with Ingham. The weather moderated during the day but the Ingham failed to join. On the 14th Duane scouted 15 miles ahead and miles south for the main convoy but failed to sight it. The main convoy was sighted on the 15th and Duane turned her ships over to it and returned to Reykjavik.
On 25 November 1942, Duane proceeded westward and on the 29th stood in to join convoy HX-216 proceeded from Iceland, with two Navy destroyers. On December 1st they were relieved of further duty with Convoy HK-216 and proceeded to contact convoy SCL-110 proceeding toward Ireland. On the 2nd, sighted convoy SCL-110 which broke off from SC-110 and set course 350° T at seven knots with Duane in the van and the two Navy destroyers on the port and starboard beams. One contact which proved non-sub was investigated and a floating mine was sunk. On the 3rd she moored at Reykjavik and on the 4th proceeded to Hvalfjordur.
On 17 December 1942 Duane proceeded to Reykjavik and on the 26th, in standing for anchorage, collided with the Norwegian drifter Boorene, that vessel sinking about 800 yards from the Engey Light. All of the crew were taken off by another drifter and Duane saved 11 bags of mail. On the 27th the convoy ONSJ-156, with seven ships, commenced forming and proceeded out of Reykjavik, having air coverage on the 29th. At 0700 on that day Campbell augmented the escort force. On the 30th convoy ONS-156 was sighted on a converging course and Duane, maneuvering in the vicinity of the cutter Spencer (WPG-36), was assigned outer screen on the starboard bow of the main convoy.
The Duane and the Navy destroyer Schenck were proceeding from convoy ONS-156 on 1 January 1943, to intercept the eastbound convoy SC-114. At daylight Duane sighted the British SS Ingham, who proved to be a straggler from ONS-156. She was informed of the rendezvous position for stragglers for the 1st and 2nd of January and permitted to proceed. The Schenck sighted friendly aircraft at 0950 on the 2nd and asked whether SC-114 had been sighted. The plane made reconnaissance and returned with the information that the convoy was 25 miles ahead. The Duane and Schenck thereupon reported for escort duty. At 2030 on the 2nd the Navy destroyer USS Babbitt (DD-128) joined. On the 3rd the convoy SCL-114 was detached from the main convoy. It consisted of three vessels in convoy with two stragglers. On the 5th, Duane dropped the convoy off Grotta Point and proceeded to fuel in Reykjavik Harbor.
On 14 January 1943, Duane received orders to join eastbound convoy SC-116, bound for Iceland, which was threatened with a heavy sub attack. The Babbitt joined off Skagi, Iceland on the 15th and the Duane proceeded at 18 knots. The Babbitt being unable to maintain this speed, due to the heavy seas, was directed to continue at best speed. Later that evening Duane slowed to 16 knots due to heavy seas, increasing again early on the 16th to 18 knots and reached the estimated convoy position at noon. She began searching south and east, while Babbitt searched south and west. Two hours later she sighted the convoy 12 miles distant and notified Babbitt. The Duane was directed to act independently in the van of the convoy and the Babbitt joining an hour later, took station to her starboard. Eight hours later Schenck joined and was assigned a station to starboard of the Babbitt.
On the 18th the convoy had plane coverage and one of the British destroyers detached to proceed to Reykjavik with leaking fuel tanks and boiler trouble. On the 19th Babbitt detached to escort USS Polaris (AF-11) to Reykjavik while a PBY furnished air coverage for four hours. Another British destroyer departed for Reykjavik. On the 20th the Polish destroyer ORP Burza and ENS Eglantine departed for Reykjavik for fuel. The Duane sank floating mine. On the 21st machine gun fire was noted from ship #43, the reason not being determined. Another British destroyer departed for Reykjavik for fuel. On the 22nd the wind was force 10 with a heavy sea and a convoyed vessel sent an report that her stern post was being carried away. Another reported her No. 1 hatch stove in and the master injured. The Schenck returned to Reykjavik with a man who had sustained serious face injuries and a possible skull fracture due to the rough seas. The Duane was detailed to stand by a straggler reported to have dropped astern with steering trouble. On the 23rd air coverage was furnished and the Iceland group detached, with a straggler, escorted by two Navy destroyers. On the 24th Duane detached from the convoy and returned to Hvalfjordur.
The Duane was underway again on 28 January 1943, in company with two Navy destroyers as escort of the westbound convoy ONSJ-163 consisting of nine ships. Air coverage was furnished on the 29th. Stragglers from the main convoy ONS-163 were sighted on the 30th and the main convoy was joined at noon. The two Navy destroyers returned to Reykjavik and Duane was assigned to the port bow section of the main convoy. On February 2nd a U. S. bomber passed en route to base and the peaks of the mountains behind Cape Farewell, Greenland, were sighted. On 3 February 1943, Duane departed the convoy to proceed to the scene of the torpedoing of SS Dorchester at 59° 22' N x 48° 42' W, arriving at that position at 1525.
She began a diagonal search of a five mile area extending 75 miles down wind and at 2000 a rectangular search pattern around same area. Dim lights were reported early on the 4th twice on the same relative bearing. Returning to the position of the torpedoing at daylight, oil patches, empty life jackets, boats and other small wreckage was sighted. At 0937 a submarine was sighted about eight miles distant and Duane headed for it at 19 knots. The sub headed directly away after drawing right and then turned right, half an hour later it submerged at 10,500 yards range and Duane began a retiring search allowing for the sub's speed of six knots. An hour later the cutter began using target speeds of three knots for the search curve. The retiring search plan was abandoned after a 300° arc had been completed and the cutter searched six miles from the point of submersion without results. The search was continued using the D.R. plot.
At 1445 the cutter Tampa (WPG-48) arrived. The Duane passed eight bodies in life jackets, and two swamped lifeboats, one containing ten, and the other four, bodies of soldiers. On the 5th the search for survivors continued in company with Tampa. A pattern of depth charges was dropped on an underwater sound contact. At 0572 the search was abandoned and at 0900 a new search was begun to the westward on a rectangular pattern. Ordered to proceed to St. John's, Newfoundland, Duane encountered a disabled ship from convoy ONS-163 screened by a British escort early on the 7th and later two stragglers from the same convoy. She began screening the first vessel which had made repairs and was steaming at eight knots for St. John's. Five hours later she dropped a five charge pattern on a good underwater contact with no apparent results, searching the vicinity for two hours without regaining contact. On the 8th she stood through a thick fog to locate the escort task unit of convoy ONS-167, but was unable to do so and was ordered to proceed St. John's where she moored at 1625.
On 9 February 1943, Duane stood out of St. John's harbor to escort USS Orizaba (AP-24) to Boston and arrived there on the 12th. The next day she proceeded to Curtis Bay arriving on the 17th and remained there until 21 March 1943, undergoing repairs. On the 23rd of March she proceeded to Casco Bay arriving on the 27th for anti-submarine exercises, attack teacher drill, and instructions in range-finding. Returning to Boston on March 29th, she entered drydock for repairs to her QC (underwater sound apparatus) dome and was underway to Argentia on 31 March 1943.
Arriving at Argentia on 2 April 1943, Duane remained moored until 11 April when she became part of CTU 24.1.3, which included Spencer, as flagship, and four British escorts. This task unit met convoy HX-233 en route Londonderry on the 12th. On the 17th, SS Fort Rampart, a vessel in the convoy, was torpedoed and the Canadian corvette HMCS Arvida took aboard 49 survivors, three in need of medical attention. These Duane took aboard.
At 1110 Duane was ordered to take station ahead as Spencer was dropping back through the convoy following a contact on which she had already dropped two patterns of depth charges. Five minutes later the Spencer ordered Duane to close her and take over the contact. The Duane began a search on the indicated location and thirty minutes later a 740-ton German U-boat surfaced about 2,700 yards from the Duane. A minute later Spencer opened fire and Duane went ahead at full speed toward the submarine and after clearing her line of fire so as not to hit Spencer also opened fire. The submarine was now at right angles to the line of fire and several hits were obtained, one nicely centered on the submarine's conning tower. Seven minutes later, as men on deck were seen jumping overboard, Duane ceased fire.
The conning tower was smoking liberally and the submarine was moving ahead slowly, circling to the right. The Duane maneuvered to pick up survivors and by 1158 had picked up nine German enlisted men and one officer. Then she screened Spencer while that cutter sent a boat to the submarine. Twenty five minutes later the submarine, later ascertained to be the U-175, sank stern first. The Duane lowered a boat and picked up eleven more German enlisted men and one more officer. Four of the prisoners received medical attention. On the 20th Duane moored at North Gourock, Scotland, and delivered all prisoners to the custody of the British authorities and then proceeded to Londonderry arriving on 22 April 1943.
While putting clothing on the survivors, one of the prisoners from the sunken submarine, Leutnant zur See Wolfgang Verlohr, began talking freely and rather fluently in English. He had been afraid that Duane would not stop to pick up the submarine's survivors in spite of his crew's shouts and arm waving. He spoke of how cold the water was. He had jumped in soon after the submarine had surfaces. "It is not easy down there," he said. "The bombs were bad. The ship was not hurt, but inside it was all bad. Everything shaking, things fall down. It smelled bad and hurt the eyes." He commented on the excellence of the attack. "We came up and saw you in the periscope, but you saw us and we knew it was all over. Our chance to get you was gone. We don't like the bombs. It is hard when they shake the boat. We went down when you saw us and the bombs started going off, things stopped and would not work, a lot of things broke." He explained that they had raised the flippers and pumped air to try to steady the submarine. Not being able to steady her they surfaced and then our guns started and very soon after that he jumped into the water. "Did you see the other boat?" he asked. "She picked up some of your crew" he was told. Then it was realized that he meant another submarine. He had been in Barbados a year ago and up until two trips ago had been in the South Atlantic where they had sunk a six or seven thousand-ton ship full of "cement and things," bound for Moravia from Trinidad. Later he criticized his commanding officer for making a daylight attack, which he considered proper procedure only if the moon shone so brightly at night as to make attacks after dark risky for the submarine.
The Duane departed Londonderry for Moville on 29 April 1943, and on May 1st was en route Boston in company with the Spencer. Arriving at Argentia on May 5, Duane began escorting SS Sabine Sun to Boston on the 8th, and arrived there on the 12th. She was undergoing repairs until the 24th, proceeding to New York on the 25th.
Joining Task Force 69 on 28 May 1943, Duane began escorting convoy UGS-9 to Casablanca. On the 8th of June she had a bearing on a submarine and later aircraft from a carrier attacked a surfaced 17 miles from the convoy. Two destroyers were sent to attack the submarine but it submerged when they were 7 miles away. One plane returned to the carrier with an engine smoking as a result of anti-aircraft fire from the submarine. On the 10th an Army bomber over the convoy and on the 11th Army and Navy planes provided coverage. There was a collision between two convoy vessels on the 12th and on the 13th a Spanish vessel was sighted. On the 14th Duane dropped three patterns of depth charges on an underwater contact. On the 15th the task force began escorting the Casablanca section of the convoy into port where they moored the next day.
The Duane stood out of Casablanca on 21 June 1943, in company with Spencer, Campbell, and three Navy destroyers for a sweep before convoy departure and the next day joined the escort of the Casablanca section of convoy GUS-8A which they joined shortly after noon, relieving the British escort. On the 28th and 29th contacts were depth charged and investigated by escort vessels without results. While fueling at sea on July 3rd Duane suffered light damage to her propeller guard and gun platform sponson support. A sound contact was attacked by an escort destroyer. Another destroyer departed for Bermuda on the 6th to hospitalize an injured merchant vessel seaman. The New York section six ships broke off on the 8th with Duane (flag), Spencer, Campbell and a Navy destroyer as escort. The convoy anchored near Ambrose Lightship late on the 10th in a thick fog, moving into the harbor on the 12th of July, 1943.
The Duane proceeded to New London on 23 July 1943, standing out next day for training exercises and then left for Hampton Roads in company with Spencer and 3 Navy destroyers arriving on the 25th. On the 27th stood out to join Task Force 64, escorting UGS-31 to Casablanca. On August 7th, one charge was dropped on a doubtful contact classified as non-sub. Entering Casablanca on 13 August 1943, Duane moored in the inner harbor.
On 19 August 1943, Duane proceeded to Gibraltar with Task Force 64 and the next day departed as escort to convoy GUS-12. The Casablanca section escorted by Spencer and three other escorts joined later that day. Obtaining a sound contact at 2,200 yards on the 31st Duane attacked with a shallow pattern of three charges but a study of the recorder trace revealed the contact as non-sub. On September 3rd the Norfolk section departed. On the 5th, Duane detached from the New York section as it entered the swept channel of New York harbor and, along with Spencer, proceeded to Boston, mooring at the South Boston Navy Yard on the 6th.
She remained on availability from the 7th to the 23rd of September undergoing repairs and on the 24th proceeded to Casco Bay for conning, machine gun, anti-submarine and anti-aircraft practice. Proceeding to Norfolk with Campbell on 2 October 1943 she was again underway en route Casablanca on the 5th as escort for convoy UGS-20 in company with Campbell and eight Navy destroyers. On the 7th she dropped three charges and fired to "K" guns on a good contact which had no propeller beats or doppler effect. Regaining contact she dropped an eight-charge pattern but abandoned further search after two hours. Another pattern of 10 depth charges was dropped on a contact on the 12th without results. On the 20th the Casablanca section detached with Duane, Campbell and three Navy escorts and moored at Casablanca on the 21st.
On 29 October 1943 Duane, Campbell and three Navy vessels began escorting the Casablanca section of GUS-19, joining Task Force 65 with the main convoy later that day. On November 1st and 2nd men were transferred from two of the convoyed vessels to Duane for medical treatment. On the 13th the New York section broke off with Duane and four Navy vessels. On the 15th Duane practiced dropping a shallow 50-foot pattern of charges and conducted tests with a hedgehog. Later she detached from the Task Force and proceeded independently to Boston, mooring at the South Boston Navy Yard on the 16th for 10 days availability.
On November 28th the Duane stood out of Boston in company with Campbell and arrived at Guantanamo Bay on December 2nd. On the 4th she was underway with a Dutch warship and four PCs as escort for convoy GAT-103 en route Trinidad, B.W.I. On the 7th the Aruba section of five ships detached as did the Dutch warship. An SC escorted two vessels to Curacao while an unescorted ship from Curacao joined. On the 9th the convoy entered Bocas de Dragon swept channel and on the 10th moored at Trinidad.
Underway on 17 December 1943, as Commander, Task Unit 4.1.2, two sound contacts were made and lost on 19 December and a two-ship anti-submarine search plan commenced. Later an area was searched in which a plane had reported contact with a submarine. On the 20th medical aid was rendered for an Argentia vessel contacted. On the 22nd the escort vessels detached from the convoy and the Duane after refueling at Santa Lucia returned to Trinidad on the 25th. On the 30th she was underway escorting convoy TAG-106 as Commander Task Group 26.4 with four PC boats.
On 1 January 1944, Duane was underway escorting TAG-106. Three merchant vessels joined the convoy from Curacao escorted by an SC which escorted one of the convoy vessels back to that port. That evening six merchant vessels joined from Aruba escorted by two SCs, which later returned to Aruba. Early on the 4th another convoy, Trujillo-28, was diverted southward from the convoy's path. Three merchant vessels were detached at 0730 and at 0810 a Guantanamo section of three vessels proceeded independently. Later a Navy destroyer and a British escort joined the convoy as did three merchant vessels escorted by a YMS. The convoy arrived at Guantanamo at 2249 on the 4th.
On 12 January 1944, Duane was en route independently to Norfolk where she moored on the 16th at the Norfolk Navy Yard. From 17 January to 6 March 1944, she was at the Norfolk Navy Yard undergoing conversion as an ACG, a combined operations-communications headquarters ship (her designation then changed to WAGC-6). Departing the Navy Yard on the 7th she underwent a series of tests and returned to the Yard on the 19th for a period of availability until the 28th when she moved to N.O.B. Norfolk until 3 April 1944.
She departed Norfolk on 3 April as a member of convoy UGS-38, which was escorted by Task Force 66. On the 18th she reported to the Commander, Eighth Amphibious Force, Mediterranean for duty. She was detached on the 20th and proceeded under escort to Algiers. The Commander, U.S. Naval Forces, Northwest African Waters, inspected her on the 22nd. She left Algiers on the 23rd for Naples, arriving there on the 25th and the next day RADM F. J. Lowry, Commander, Eighth Amphibious Force, Mediterranean shifted his flag to Duane from USS Biscayne (AGC-18). The Duane stood out of Naples on the 28th, escorted by Biscayne and USS Seer (AM-112) and after the 29th proceeded independently to Bizerte, Tunisia. She proceeded to Palermo, Sicily on May 5th and to Naples on the 9th, returning to Bizerte on the 20th. She departed Bizerte on the 11th. Between the 14th and 21st Duane made another trip to Palermo, Salerno, and Naples, where she remained until 29 July 1944. On the 30th MAJGEN John W. O'Daniels and his staff reported on board to take part in assault practice exercises on the 31st.
The Duane remained at Naples until 9 August 1944, when MAJGEN O'Daniels and his operational staff reported on board. That afternoon Duane got underway as guide to LCT convoy SS-1. She was in radio contact with the Island of Sardinia on the 10th and on the 11th, five British minesweepers proceeded ahead of the convoy to sweep Bonifacio Strait. On the 12th the convoy stood into Ajaccio, Corsica and anchored.
On the evening of the 13th of August, she stood out of Ajaccio as guide of the LCT convoy, with its commander and Commander, Task Force 84, embarked on board. Upon reaching point "AN" on the 14th she departed the LCT convoy SS-1 to join convoy SS-1B assuming duty as guide at 1325. On the 15th she was still underway as guide of LCT convoy SS-1B. At 0451 the order "STOP" was passed to the LCT convoy on the outer transport area of Red Beach where Duane now was and the cutter was released as guide. The Duane got underway at 0506 and at 0531 stopped engines and took station on Queen Red reference vessel.
At 0600 on August 13, 1944 naval. bombardment of shore targets commenced. Fighters were circling overhead and enemy aircraft were reported 10 miles northeast. At 0617 Wave No, 1 of assault craft departed and a minute later fire was observed in the LCT convoy, astern to port, either a burning vessel or barrage balloon on fire. This was followed by a loud explosion and a column of water east of the transport area. Then came a warning that friendly bombing missions were about to arrive at five minute intervals from the southeast. Meanwhile, Wave No. 2 of assault craft departed followed at ten minute intervals by waves No. 3 and No. 4.
The air bombardment of the beach began at 0700 with 26 medium bombers and Duane, with all assault craft proceeded from the outer to the inner transport area. A P-47 fighter was observed falling and crashed into the sea, bursting into flames. The pilot, descending by parachute, was picked up by a PC boat. At 0749 wave #1 was one mile from the beach.
Wave #1 landed on Yellow Beach at 0800 and seven minutes later LCTs were proceeding toward the beach. Fifteen minutes after that, the LCI wave departed, heading for the beach. This was followed by the DUKW wave and another LCT wave. Little resistance was reported from Red and Yellow beaches at 0903 and an hour later Alpha Red Beach reported satisfactory progress. Smoke blowing from the beaches reduced visibility. MAJGEN O'Daniels and part of the operational staff (HQ Co., 3rd Infantry Division) departed Duane in an LCVP at 1044. Two hours later a smoke screen was laid down west of the Duane to prevent attack on shipping by shore batteries, followed by another screen along the western edge of the Inner Red Transport Area.
The HMS Orion, lying east of Duane, commenced a shore bombardment at 1507, firing over Duane for 23 minutes until the gun emplacements ashore which were her targets were reported knocked out. At 1612 Duane got underway and proceeded to Baie de Cavalaire, anchoring there 35 minutes later. An alert was sounded as sixteen unidentified planes approached. LSTs were observed unable to beach directly on Red Beach and a pontoon causeway being used in one case. Fires were still burning or smoldering in the hills and frequent detonations were presumed to be demolitions by Navy units. At 2046 all ships in the vicinity began operating their smoke generators.
Next morning, 16 August 1944, Duane departed for another anchorage and that evening at 2100 all batteries on board fired at a plane identified as enemy. The smoke generator was put in operation and a boat was lowered overboard to make smoke with portable smoke pots, laying a screen ahead of the ship. On the 17th the Duane again anchored in Baie de Cavalaire. VADM Hewitt, Commander Eighth U. S. Fleet came aboard to visit RADM Lowry. The Duane made smoke as various alerts were given from the 18th to the 21st with shore and ship batteries frequently firing on unidentified planes.
On the 21st of August, shortly after midnight, a report was received that German "E" boats were in the outer Alpha area and that one might have gotten through. All ships were ordered darkened for the rest of the night. On the 25th Transport Division #3 stood into the anchorage, followed on the 30th by Transport Division #1 and #5, which departed that evening.
The Duane remained anchored in Baie de Cavalaire, France, until 10 September 1944, when she stood out, stopping at Ajaccio, Corsica several hours the next day. She morred at Naples on the 12th. She remained there until the 19th, made a nine-day round trip Bizerte, after returning to Naples on the 28th she remained there until 1 October 1944, and then proceeded to Baie de Cavalaire, Toulon and Marseilles, returning to Bizerte on the 8th of October and remaining there until the 24th. Leaving for Palermo on that date she returned to Bizerte on the 29th of October and remained there until the 13th of November. Departing Bizerte on the 14th she made stops at Naples and Palermo and returned on the 20th. Another trip to Naples and Palermo was begun on the 30th of November, returning to Bizerte on 5 December 1944.
The Duane was stationed at Bizerte until June, 1945, when she departed for Charleston, via Bermuda, arriving there on 10 July 1945. She then underwent a reconversion back to her peacetime configuration, including the removal of the majority of her armament. Her superstructure was cut back to her pre-war configuration as well, all in preparation for her to undertake what would become her primary peace-time task, as well as that of her sister 327s, that of operating on ocean-weather stations, a task established during World War II. With the post-war boom in trans-Atlantic air traffic, the Coast Guard's operation of these weather stations became even more important and a number of newer stations were added further out to sea. She then returned to her earlier classification WPG-33.
Cutters, serving on these stations that consisted of a ten-square mile patch of open ocean, carried personnel from the U.S. Weather Bureau, who would make daily meteorological observations and report their findings to the U.S. Weather Bureau. They also served as a mid-ocean navigation aids, communications relay stations and as search and rescue platforms when needed. The ocean-weather station program was permanently established by multi-national agreement soon after the end of World War II. The Coast Guard was then assigned the duty of manning those stations for which the U.S. accepted responsibility. As the 327s completed conversion to ocean station vessels, each immediately deployed to their new stations.
After the completion of her reconversion in February, Duane sailed from Boston to Argentia en route to Weather Station Charlie in May 1946. For most of the next twenty years, Duane and her sisters, except Taney which was stationed in the Pacific, alternated duty between weather stations Charlie (850 miles northeast of St. Johns, Newfoundland), Bravo (250 miles northeast of Cape St. Charles, Labrador); Delta (located 650 miles southeast of Argentia); and Echo (850 miles east northeast of Bermuda). Sometime later these became known simply as "ocean stations." Although the crew probably considered these patrols boring, they were important to the continued growth and safety of international over-water commercial air flights.
The Duane served on Ocean Station Charlie from 11 May to 5 June, again from 29 September to 20 October and again 10 November to 3 December in 1946. She served on Ocean Station Charlie the following year, from 10 through 29 January 1947. From 4 to 27 April that same year she served on Ocean Station Able. From 10 through 23 May, 2 through 23 August and again from 15 to 22 October 1947 she served on Ocean Station Charlie. From 26 October to 8 November 1947 she served on Ocean Station Able. The following year, 1948, she served on Ocean Station Charlie from 17 January to 6 February, again from 29 September to 20 October and finally from 10 November to 3 December. That same year she served on Ocean Station Able from 24 March to 15 April and 17 July to 13 August. During 1949 she served on Ocean Station Charlie from 10 to 29 January, again from 10 May to 5 June, again from 2 to 23 August, again from 15 22 October, and finally from 16 November to10 December. Also that year she served on and Ocean Station Able from 6-27 April. In 1950 she served on Ocean Station How from 1 to 22 February and again from 12 December to 4 January 1951. She also served on Ocean Station Baker from 28 April to 20 May), Ocean Station Easy form 12 July to 1 August, and on Ocean Station Dog from 1 to 22 October.
From 27 February to 21 March of 1951 Duane served on Ocean Station Easy. From 18 May to 8 June of that year she served on Ocean Station Charlie. From 3 to 25 August 1951 she served on Ocean Station Baker and from 24 October to 14 November she served on Ocean Station How. From 9 to 27 January of 1952 she served on Ocean Station Easy and during that patrol the cutter was placed in quarantine at Bermuda due to medical problems among the crew. From 29 March to 19 April of 1952 she served on Ocean Station Dog and from 26 June to 11 July she served on Ocean Station Charlie. From 5 to 26 September 1952 she served on Ocean Station Bravo and from 24 November to 14 December of 1952 she served on Ocean Station Hotel.
The Duane served on Ocean Station Echo from 6 to 27 February 1953. From 8 to 30 May of the same year she served on Ocean Station Delta. From 13 July to 3 August she served on Ocean Station Hotel and from 4 to 25 September 1953 she served on Ocean Station Echo. In 1954 she served first on Ocean Station Delta, from 16 January to 6 February. She next served on Ocean Station Echo from 12 March to 3 April and then from 5 May to 18 June she served on Ocean Station Bravo. She served on Ocean Station Delta from 14 August to 4 September and from 30 October to 19 November 1954 she served on Ocean Station Echo.
From 8 to 29 April and again from 23 September to 14 October 1955 Duane served on Ocean Station Bravo. She served on Ocean Station Delta from 15 July to 5 August. She also served on Ocean Station Delta, from 15 July to 5 August of 1955. She served on Ocean Station Charlie from 18 May to 8 June 1956. From 23 July to 14 August of 1956 she served on Ocean Station Delta. In August 1956, while Duane was on Ocean Station Delta, her crew celebrated the cutter's 20th birthday with a sixty-pound cake. An article in the Coast Guard Magazine described the occasion and made some general statements about the six Secretary class cutters that were all still in service, less Alexander Hamilton, sunk in combat in January, 1942: "There's life in the old girls yet. Although their original life expectancy was set at 20 years all six of the lovely cutters have been extensively modernized during and since World War II. At the rate they are going now it's expected that they'll be around to set the pace for new and younger ships for many years to come. Don't bet against it." Her last ocean station patrol came from 1 to 22 October 1956 when she served on Ocean Station Bravo.
She served on Ocean Station Echo from 19 April to 11 May 1957 and from 9 to 29 July of the same year she served on Ocean Station Charlie. In 1958 she served on Ocean Station Charlie, from 13 January to 3 February; on Ocean Station Echo from 22 March to 11 April; on Ocean Station Bravo from 2 to 22 June; Ocean Station Bravo again from 4 to 25 August; from 12 to 20 October on Ocean Station Delta and she wrapped up the year on Ocean Station Charlie from 14 December to 4 January 1959. From 24 February to 14 March 1959 she served on Ocean Station Delta. From 6 to 26 July 1959 she served on Ocean Station Bravo. On 4 to 25 January 1960 she served on Ocean Station Echo and from 18 March to 8 April Duane served on Ocean Station Charlie. From 24 February to 14 March 1959 she served on Ocean Station Delta and from 6 to 26 July 1959 she served on Ocean Station Bravo.
On 4 through 25 January 1960 she served on Ocean Station Echo. On 18 March to 8 April 1960 she served on Ocean Station Charlie and on Ocean Station Delta from 28 May to 19 June 1960. From 19 September to 9 October she served on Ocean Station Bravo and from 4 to 25 December 1960 she once again served on Ocean Station Delta. The following year, 1961, she served on Ocean Station Charlie from 10 May to 2 June and on Ocean Station Bravo from 30 July to 22 August. She served on Ocean Station Echo from June to July of 1967.
During the time prior to her deployment to Vietnam, Duane also carried out a number of assistance and search and rescue cases. She conducted a search for survivors of SS North Voyager in October of 1950 and in November of that same year she assisted the trawler Caracara. In 1951 she assisted SS Jytte Skou and towed the disable fishing vessel Catherine Amirault to safety in September 1954 and towed SS Helga Boege to Bermuda in 1956 after that vessel became disabled. One of her more dramatic rescues occurred the following year. On 3 May 1957, Duane received word that the Finnish merchant ship Bornholm was taking on water 130 miles north of Ocean Station Charlie, which Duane was stationed on at that time. The cutter immediately sailed towards the sinking merchant ship and rendezvoused with her during the night. On the morning of May 4th, she found the merchantman with a flooded No. 1 hold and the No. 2 hold taking on water. In heavy seas and driving rain the captain of Bornholm decided to abandon his ship. The Duane put over her motor surfboat as Bornholm lowered two lifeboats with the crew of the merchantman aboard. The Duane's surfboat then shuttled the survivors from their lifeboats to safety on board the cutter. The entire crew of 28 men were taken on board Duane safely. The Bornholm sank thirty minutes after the last of her crew climbed aboard the cutter.
Another task for Duane during the 1950's and early 1960's was air-sea rescue standby. Normally while on stand-by the cutter would tie up in Bermuda while waiting for an assistance call, giving the crew time for liberty and just plain rest. Unfortunately, many of these so-called "stand-by" periods were anything but. While approaching Bermuda on 15 April 1955, Duane was diverted to SS Myrto, a freighter 175 miles southeast of Bermuda which was low on fuel and in need of assistance. The cutter Bibb was on scene but her patrol period was over. When Duane arrived that evening her sister cutter left for home. The Duane's orders were to stand by until the tanker SS White River arrived to refuel the merchantman. That same evening another request for assistance was received from SS Galloway. This vessel was also low on fuel and had a bent propeller shaft coupler. She was located another 100 miles to the southeast of Duane and Myrto.
The Galloway was making five knots toward Duane and a tug was on its way to tow the freighter, allowing the cutter to remain with Myrto until the next morning when the White River arrived on scene. The White River decided to tow Myrto instead of refueling her because the seas were too rough and worsening. Once the situation was under control, Duane se course for Galloway. For two days the cutter escorted the freighter while awaiting the arrival of the tug. On 18 April 1955 the tug Edmond J. Moran rendezvoused with the Galloway, but not before the Coast Guard received word that yet another commercial vessel was in trouble. Once the tug had a line on Galloway, Duane set course for SS Arlesiana, which had run out of fuel and needed a tow to Bermuda.
The weather was worsening, but by 1030 on 19 April 1955 Arlesiana was under tow at five knots. The next day the weather became so severe that the number three boat was torn from her cradle and had to be lashed to the deck. At 0300 that morning the towing watch reported Arlesiana was drifting up Duane's port side going downwind stern-first. A short time later the towing hawser parted and set the freighter adrift. Later that same day Edmond J. Moran reported that Galloway had also broken her tow and was adrift just 14 miles away from the cutter without any power. The Duane maintained a radar watch on both vessels while sending out security calls warning of Galloway drifting without lights. But it did not stop there. Word was received that Myrto had broken away from White River making a total of three vessels adrift with three more waiting to be able to take them under tow again.
On 22 April 1955 Duane attempted to get Arlesiana in tow but the line parted each time. During one attempt Duane's commanding officer, first lieutenant, and members of the deck force were struck by a whipping hawser. The commanding officer was hit across his right side and was knocked unconscious. The first lieutenant was struck across the stomach. The deck hand took the hawser across the face causing him to fall backwards and strike his head on a depth charge rack. Fortunately none of the injuries were serious. Finally, on 24 April, Duane successfully got Arlesiana in tow. Two days later she was relieved of the tow by the tug Dauntless. The Moran tug also succeeded in resuming her tow of Galloway and the tug Rescue arrived to tow Myrto.
A few days later Duane rendezvoused with the cutter Coos Bay (WAVP-376) and took on board eight fliers that had been forced to ditch their aircraft near the Coos Bay's ocean station. Still later in her stand-by period Duane participated in the search for a yacht that was missing southwest of Bermuda. In the end, Duane's crew only got a few days of liberty in Bermuda out of her entire stand-by period.
She continued on ocean station duty during the early 1960s, and continued her traditional Coast Guard duty of assisting those in need on the seas. On 1 May 1965 the Treasury class vessels were re-designated as High Endurance Cutters or WHEC. This designation indicated a multi-mission ship able to operate at sea for 30-45 days without support and Duane was then reclassified as WHEC-33. On 16 through 17 February 1966 Duane escorted SS American Importer from 200 miles east of St. John's, to that port [see the above narrative by Jay Schmidt for more information on this rescue].
During the months of June and July, 1967, she served on Ocean Station Echo. She then prepared for duty with the Navy in Vietnam in support of Operation Market Time. On 4 December of 1967 Duane was assigned to Coast Guard Squadron Three off the Coast of Vietnam, where she served as the flagship for Coast Guard squadron. She trained for three weeks at Fleet Training Group at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba before her deployment. Subic Bay in the Philippines served as homeport while in the Far East. The primary mission of the cutters assigned to Coast Guard Squadron Three was the interdiction of supplies and arms being smuggled to the Viet Cong and providing support to ground forces by naval gunfire. These patrols were part of Operation Market Time and involved the boarding and inspection of vessels suspected of carrying troops, arms or supplies from North Vietnam to Communist forces in South Vietnam. Patrols off the coast of Viet Nam were three weeks each, with one WHEC remaining in the Gulf of Thailand to offer support to ground troops with their long range five-inch guns. Randomly cruising 15-20 miles off the 1000-mile coastline as outer barrier ships, the WHEC’s were under the command of Coastal Surveillance Force 115. These barrier vessels were aided in the search for suspect vessels by Navy aircraft.
After arriving in theatre, Duane was called upon to carry out a naval gunfire support mission against a Viet Cong observation post on her first day on patrol. Over a thirty minute period, she fired 70 rounds of five-inch ammunition from her main battery and was credited with destroying one enemy command post, five bunkers, two tunnels, and 36 fortified foxholes. Her last patrol mission was to the Bo De River area where she fired her 1,776th round on 4 July 1968. The Duane concluded her day by firing two more rounds for a patrol-total of 1,778 rounds fired during 17 naval gunfire support missions during her four Market Time patrols. In addition, her crew boarded 32 vessels and inspected 388 steel-hulled and 5,211 wooden-hulled vessels. She acted as a replenishment vessel for Navy Swift Boats and the 82-foot cutters from Coast Guard Squadron One on a daily basis while on patrol. Her medical team treated over 300 native people from the fishing villages of Co Phu and Pho Tu. During her four Market Time patrols, she was at sea during for a total of 111 days. She also served as the Navy Station Ship for three weeks while anchored in Hong Kong in March of 1968. The Duane, serving as the flagship for Coast Guard Squadron Three, also hosted the change of command ceremonies when CAPT John E. Day was relieved as the commanding officer of Coast Guard Squadron Three by CAPT Sherman K. Frick on 6 May 1968 in Subic Bay. She then earned the sobriquet "Queen of the Squadron," echoing her nickname during the next decade of "Queen of the Fleet." The Duane permanently departed Vietnamese waters on 28 July 1968. By the time she had returned to the U.S., Duane had been underway for a total of 226 days and steamed over 68,000 miles.
Once back in the U.S., Duane returned to ocean station-duty. Her first trip was back to Ocean Station Charlie, where she served from 21 November through 13 December 1968. On 1 to 24 February 1969 she served on Ocean Station Delta. From 15 September to 8 October 1969 she was stationed on Ocean Station Charlie and while on that patrol, on 7 October 1969, she medevaced crewman from SS Trade Carrier in the mid-Atlantic. From 7 November to 20 December 1969 she served on Ocean Station Delta. From 29 June to 22 July 1970 she served on Ocean Station Echo; from 30 August to 22 September 1970 she was on Ocean Station Delta and on 14 November to 7 December 1970 she served on Ocean Station Echo. On 2 through 25 February 1971 she served on Ocean Station Charlie and from 16 April to 9 May 1971 she was stationed on Ocean Station Delta.
In May 1971 Duane provided support for an at-sea conference between an American ambassador, representatives of the local fishing industries and the commander of a Soviet Georges Banks fishing fleet, to settle disputes between U.S. and Soviet fishermen. Later that year, on 3 August 1971, Duane grounded in Hog Island Channel, causing minor damage. She then served on ocean stations Hotel (31 August to 9 September 1971); Echo (14 September to 10 October 1971); Bravo (9 February to 4 March 1972); Delta (19 April to 13 May 1972). She changed homeports to Portland, Maine, in August of 1972, where she served out of until her decommissioning in 1985.
The Duane then again returned to on ocean station duty but this task was rapidly becoming obsolete. The stations were decommissioned in the early 1970s, having been overtaken by electronic aids to navigation such as LORAN. The Duane served on the following ocean stations through the early 1970s: Bravo (8 December 1972 to 2 January 1973); Delta (17 May to 10 June 1973); Bravo (25 July to 16 August 1973); Charlie (26 November 16 December 1973); Bravo (13 March to 2 April 1974); and finished her ocean station career serving on station Hotel, serving at that station exclusively as the other stations had been decommissioned by that time, for five more patrols, from: 31 January to 17 February 1974; 25 January to 14 February 1975; 22 August to 12 September 1975; 24 October to 14 November 1975 and finally 29 February to 19 March 1976.
The mid-1970s were a period of transition for the Coast Guard with the passage of the Fisheries Conservation and Management Act and the nation's shift towards increased interdiction of narcotics smugglers. These operations called for off-shore patrols of up to three weeks. Not all of the crew were pleased with these patrols and on at least two occasions, crewmen sabotaged the cutter's engines prior to being deployed on extended patrols, once in November 1976 and again in April 1978. The latter was to be a law enforcement patrol of up to three weeks code-named "Operation Squeeze." But these were the only two recorded instances of such behavior. The Duane was always known as the "Queen of the Fleet."
After being repaired, Duane began her war on drugs on 25 May 1978 when the 55-foot sailing vessel Southern Belle was caught 95 miles off the coast of Portland, Maine with approximately nine tons of marijuana on board. Three people were arrested and the vessel and her illegal cargo were seized. Plans to then decommission Duane were postponed after Congressional concerns about Coast Guard coverage in the waters off Maine prompted the service to keep the aging cutter in service "for three to five years," according to the Duane's commanding officer at the time, CDR L. Nicholas Schowengerdt. In August, 1979, the cutter underwent a 1.5 million dollar rehabilitation at the Bethlehem Steel Shipyard in East Boston. Improvements included a $550,000 sewage holding system which could be connected when in port to a city's sewage treatment system; a $400,000 replacement of all asbestos pipe shielding with calcium silicate, resin and rubber; and more than $100,000 worth of improvements in the crew's living quarters.
She got underway for a patrol area around Florida to assist the Coast Guard's Southeast Squadron during the Cuban exodus of 1980, commonly referred to as the "Mariel Boatlift." But twenty four hours after leaving Portland, Maine, she responded to a vessel in distress. The cutter came to the rescue of a fishing vessel that was on fire 100 miles offshore. A boarding party arrived in time to assist in putting out the fire in the engine room that could have been disastrous. The disabled vessel was then towed to safety. The Duane then headed south. On 9 July 1980 she responded to another fishing vessel that reported taking on water. The cutter located the fishing vessel Julia in the Windward Passage off Haiti and a boarding party was able to stop the flooding. The Duane then towed the Julia to Guantanamo Bay for repairs.
On 13 September 1980, she was again diverted from her patrol. On this occasion the outcome was not so pleasant. The Duane was made On-Scene Commander for the search for survivors from a DC-3 crash in Bahamian waters. Unfortunately there were none, only remains and wreckage. Ending the search, Duane entered her Seventh Coast Guard District operating area on 14 September, there joining the Cuban operations. Within two days, five vessels were seized as they tried to make their way to Cuba to pick up passengers. On the 18th, Duane became flagship and command center for the entire operation. For the next two weeks her crew coordinated dozens of other units, including large cutters, Navy minesweepers, Coast Guard and Navy patrol boats, and Coast Guard and Navy aircraft. There were many fascinating occurrences. Some Cubans were found trying to make their way to Florida on wooden rafts and inner tubes. The Duane cut off and stopped a Cuban tug which was towing an American pleasure craft to Cuban waters. Forcing the tug to stop, Duane took the tow a mere 15.5 nautical miles from Cuba.
The next day Cuba's dictatorial head-of-state, Fidel Castro, closed the port of Mariel to the boats attempting to transport Cubans to Florida. The Duane ended her Cuban operations on 2 October 1980 and made for Florida's west coast to conduct a five-day law enforcement patrol. Two days later a boarding party seized the fishing vessel Bounty after discovering sixteen tons of marijuana. The boarding party seized the vessel, its cargo, and arrested her five-man crew.
One month after returning from this patrol Duane was off again. This time for Training Availability and Refresher Training in Guantanamo Bay where her crew earned several "Es". All of this from a forty four year old cutter. The summer of 1981 was a yard period in Baltimore for routine repairs and upkeep. The Duane eased her spare parts shortage by stripping her sister cutter Spencer, which had been decommissioned earlier. Later in the fall of that year Duane was back on patrol, aiding a sailing yacht in forty foot beam seas off Bermuda. During a 1982 Cadet Training Cruise Duane made two large drug busts, netting nearly fifty tons of marijuana. On 28 May 1982, the Panamanian coastal tanker BP-25 was seized with thirty tons of contraband and sixteen smugglers. One month later, a boarding party seized the Venezuelan fishing vessel Ricardo with twenty tons of marijuana and 12 crewmen.
After her sister Treasury-class cutter Campbell was decommissioned on 1 April 1982, Duane became the oldest cutter on active duty in the Coast Guard fleet. Following a service tradition, Duane's hull numbers were then painted in gold, signifying her new and honored status in the fleet.
Two patrols later, in November, 1982, Duane seized the Panamanian ship Biscayne Freeze and its twenty-four man crew arrested after first firing a shot across her bow when she refused to stop and be boarded. This 240-foot vessel was confiscated and brought into Boston with over thirty tons of marijuana on board. On Tuesday evening, 15 March 1983, Duane intercepted the 154-foot coastal freighter Civonney, 270 miles east of the Delaware Bay, after that vessel was first sighted by a Coast Guard HC-130. The Civonney claimed Honduran registry and denied a consensual boarding, so Duane began diplomatic communications with Washington. At 0700 the next morning the crew of Civonney set their ship afire as well as opened her sea cocks in an attempt to scuttle her. The freighter's crew then abandoned their vessel in a lifeboat and a fire-fighting team from Duane went aboard. For over two hours Duane's crew fought the blaze while trying to contend with the flooding. The Duane could not save the ship from sinking but did retrieve 52 bales of marijuana for evidence. The 21-man crew of Civonney were arrested and deposited at Cape May, New Jersey. The Civonney was estimated to have 60 tons of marijuana on board.
She finished her Coast Guard career carrying out what the Coast Guard does best: saving lives. On 24 April 1984 she towed the disabled sailboat Sandpiper 400 miles east of Montauk Point to safety and in March of 1985 she medevaced a crewman from the Greek merchant vessel Buena Vista, 400 miles off Cape Cod. She then sailed to within helicopter range. LTJG Joseph Ryan, a Duane crewman, said of the rescue, after a Coast Guard helicopter arrived to take the ill seaman to shore: "The copter only had five minutes on-scene time. We don't have a flight deck, so they had to do a vertical rescue. It was 9:30 at night. I'd done several during the day, but never at night. We had to rig red and white lights. They hovered off the fantail, and I vectored him in with wands. They lowered the basket, put in him and his luggage, and they took off. It took less than 2 minutes, 10 seconds. I was never so scared in my life."
But Duane's age was showing, replacement parts were nonexistent, and the Coast Guard decided that it was no longer cost effective to put money into the forty-nine year old cutter and so ordered her to be decommissioned. At that time she was the oldest U.S. warship on the active roles, truly the "Queen of the Fleet." After participating in the "Harborfest" activities in Boston, and despite some Congressional pressure to keep her in service and in Portlant, the cutter's crew prepared her for decommissioning. The Duane left Coast Guard service on 1 August 1985 and was laid up in Boston for a number of years. She was later sunk as an artificial reef along with her sister cutter Bibb off Key Largo.
Presidential Unit Citation
American Campaign Medal
World War II Victory Medal
China Service Medal
National Defense Service Medal w/ one battle star
Philippine Presidential Unit Citation
Vietnam Service Medal w/ two battle stars
Republic of Vietnam Armed ForcesVietnam Campaign
American Defense Service Medal
European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal w/ four battle stars
Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal w/ four battle stars
Navy Occupation Service Medal
Philippine Liberation Ribbon w/ two battle stars
Meritorious Unit Citation w/ Gallantry Cross w/ Palm
CDR P. F. Roach, 1936-1938
CDR J. H. Cornell, Nov 1938-Sep 1939
LCDR Carl E. Guisness, Sep 1939-Dec 1939
CDR Albert M. Martinson, Dec 1939
CDR Albert M. Martinson, Dec 1941 - Jan 1943
CAPT Harold G. Bradbury, Jan 1943 - Jul 1943
CAPT Robert C. Jewell, Jul 1943 - May 1945
CDR John A. Dirks, May 1945 - Dec 1945
CAPT P.V. Colmar, -1952
CDR S. M. Hay, 1952
CAPT Richard C. Foutter, 1952-1954
CAPT Victor F. Tydlacka, 1954-1956
CAPT Preston B. Mavor, 1956-1957
CAPT Glenn L. Rollins, 1957-1959
LCDR Richard E. Hoover, 1959
CAPT Paul E. Trimble, -1961
CAPT Henry P. Kniskern, Jr., 1961-1963
CAPT Helmer S. Pearson, 1963-1965
CDR Winford W. Barrow, 1965
CAPT Albert Frost, 1965-1967
CAPT John W. Hume, 1967-1969
CAPT Roger F. Erdmann, 1969-1971
CDR John C. Wirtz, 1971
CDR Robert B. Bacon, 1971-1973
CDR Richard B. Wise, 1973-1975
CDR Roger P. Hartgen, 1975-1977
CDR L. Nicholas Schowengerdt, Jr., 1978
CDR Charles Stanley Mincks, 1979-1981
CDR Leonard V. Dorrian, 1981-1983
CDR Laurence J. Murphy, Jr. 1983-1985
CDR Harold C. Moore, ?
CDR G. N. Bernier, ?
Duane Cutter File, US Coast Guard Historian's Office.
The Coast Guard at War V: Transports and Escorts. Part I [Escorts]. Washington, DC: U.S. Coast Guard, 1 March 1949.
Robert Scheina. U.S. Coast Guard Cutters & Craft of World War II. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 1982.
Robert Scheina. U.S. Coast Guard Cutters & Craft, 1946-1990. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 1990.
33: Coast Guard Cutter Duane: Queen of the Seas: 1 August 1936 - 1 August 1985. Portland, Maine: United States Coast Guard Cutter Duane, 1985. (Official cutter history published for her decommissioning.)
USCGC Duane In Vietnam, 1967-1968. Atlanta, Georgia: Turner Publishing, 1968. (Duane's Vietnam Deployment Cruisebook)