East Breeze, 1944
WIX; ex-SNS Externsteine; later-USS Callao
Builder: P. Smit Jr. Shipyard, Rotterdam, Holland
Beam: 30' 10"
Draft: 13' 11"
Displacement: 1,015 tons (fl)
Commissioned: 1944 (German Navy); 15 October 1944 (USCG prize); 24 January 1945 (USN)
Decommissioned: Turned over to USN in October, 1944
Machinery: 1 vertical triple-expansion steam engine with 1 Scotch boiler; 750 SHP; single propeller
Armament: Assorted German anti-aircraft weaponry
The German Navy's auxiliary vessel Externsteine was built by the P. Smit Jr. Shipyard in Rotterdam, Holland and entered service in 1944. She was designed as a modified trawler capable of operations in ice and was to be used for establishing and supplying weather stations in the northern latitudes, especially Greenland. She had berths for up to 62 men in addition to her 16-man crew.
She was captured intact by USCGC Eastwind (USCGC Southwind in support) on 15 October 1944 off the coast of Greenland. Click here for a narrative account of the capture. Her captors renamed her USCGC East Breeze and a prize crew sailed her to Boston. On 30 November 1944 she collided with the cutter Travis while en route to Boston. Once in Boston she was turned over to the U.S. Navy, who commissioned her as USS Callao on 24 January 1945.
Cutter History File. USCG Historian's Office, USCG HQ, Washington, D.C.
Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. Washington, DC: USGPO.
Robert Scheina. U.S. Coast Guard Cutters & Craft of World War II. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 1982.