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Coast Guard History

Frequently Asked Questions


What was the first commissioned cutter of the U.S. Revenue Cutter Service?

The Revenue Cutter Vigilant was the first cutter to be launched; she entered the waters of New York harbor sometime in March 1791.  But records concerning when she actually entered service were lost in the fire at the Treasury Department in 1833.

Tradition has it that the cutter Massachusetts, launched in July 1791, was the first to actually enter service as a commissioned vessel of the U.S. government.

Last Modified 1/12/2016