Campbell

Historic Photo Gallery


A photo of the cutter Campbell

"General View of C. G. Cutters #56 to 68. Phila., Navy Yard."; 3 June 1936; Photo No. 304-36; photographer unknown.

The George W. Campbell is in the foreground, right.  The numbers referred to in the caption are the builder's numbers.  The George W. Campbell (Builder's No. 65), along with William J. Duane (Builder's No. 67), Samuel D. Ingham (Builder's No. 66), and Roger B. Taney (Builder's No. 68) were all constructed at the Philadelphia Navy Yard.

The names of each Secretary Class cutter were shortened to surnames only in May/June of 1937.

A photo of the cutter Campbell

"U.S. Coast Guard Cutter George W. Campbell on Return From Standardization Run., Navy Yard, Phila."; 21 August 1936; Photo No. 432-36; photographer unknown.

The Secretary Class cutters' peace-time armament consisted of two 5-inch 51 caliber and two 6-pound signal guns, all mounted forward.  The Hamilton, Bibb, Duane, Spencer and Taney originally carried a seaplane and associated derricks on the after deck.  Once they were assigned as convoy escorts the amphibians were removed to make room for depth charge tracks, "Y" guns, and an additional 5-inch 51 caliber gun.  Apparently Campbell and Ingham did not carry aircraft.

A photo of the cutter Campbell

No caption/photo number; at the New York Navy Yard, May, 1940; photographer unknown.

Here Campbell is tied up at the New York Navy Yard in May 1940 after workers added three 3-inch 51 caliber guns in-line, aft.  Her two signal guns that were directly forward of the bridge were replaced with a single 3-inch 50 caliber gun.  Her two 5-inch 51 caliber main batteries remained unchanged.  Note the mid-aft 3-inch on a raised platform.  Her armament was increased prior to her sailing for duty in Portugal.  Campbell was the first Secretary Class cutter to transfer for duty with the Navy (on 1 July 1941) and the first to sail on escort of convoy duties when she escorted Convoy HX-159 which sailed on 10 November 1941.

A photo of the cutter Campbells mascot, Sinbad

"Leonard Webb, Pho.M. 1/c, shooting movies of Sinbad at sea.  Stl. Louis area shipmates are around him on board the U.S.S. Cambpell."; no photo number, date/photographer unknown.

Here is the most famous Coast Guard mascot that ever sailed the seas.  Sinbad, a mixed-breed puppy, joined the crew in 1938, and he stayed on board, minus a few AWOL incidents, until 1949, when he retired to a shore station. 

A photo of the cutter Campbell

No caption/date/photo number; photographer unknown.

The Campbell tied up in Argentia, Newfoundland, sometime in late-1942 or early 1943.  Note the HF/DF mast on her poop deck.  The Campbell, along with Spencer, were the first US warships equipped with this important device, pioneered by the Royal Navy for the fight against Hitler's U-boat fleet.  The escort commander somehow obtained two modified FH3 HF/DF sets, named "Type DAR", from the British and had them mounted on Campbell and Spencer.  The success of this equipment, and its pioneering use by the Coast Guard, in defeating the U-boats cannot be overestimated. They were also fitted out with radar and in combination with huff-duff these escorts began to shift momentum of the convoy battles in their favor.

A photo of the cutter Campbell

No caption/date/photo number; photographer unknown.

The Campbell's most famous action during the North Atlantic convoy battles came while she was escorting Convoy ON-166 in February of 1943.  After attacking and damaging two U-boats, she spotted the U-606 on her radar and closed to attack.  The Campbell's gunners opened fire on the target as they closed and dropped depth charges near the surfaced U-boat, damaging it further.  The two warships then collided, and the Campbell hull was ripped open, flooding her engine room and killing all power in the cutter.  The U-boat, however, was doomed and sank soon thereafter.

A photo of the cutter Campbell

No caption/date/photo number; photographer unknown.

Here the Campbell's crew attempts to place a collision mat over the gash in her hull well below the waterline caused by the collision with the U-606 during a night convoy battle (Convoy ON-166) on 22 February 1943.  The Campbell's performance earned her commanding officer, CAPT James Hirschfield, the Navy Cross. That voyage was immortalized by artist Anton Otto Fisher, a Coast Guard Reserve officer serving on board Campbell.  He painted a series of riveting scenes of what transpired, and prints of his paintings appeared in the 5 July 1943 issue of Life Magazine.  

A photo of the cutter Campbell

"CAMPBELL'S WOUNDED SKIPPER HONORED: Vice Admiral Russell R. Waesche, U.S. Coast Guard Commandant, Right, personally bestows the Order of the Purple Hear upon Commander James A. Hirschfield of San Antonio, Texas, left, at Coast Guard Headquarters, Washington, D.C.  Commander Hirshfield, skipper of the Coast Guard cutter CAMPBELL, was wounded by a piece of ricocheting metal in action with a Nazi U-Boat which his ship rammed and sunk.  The action climaxed a 12-hour period during which five other U-Boats were depth charged."; no date; Photo No. 1418; photographer unknown.

CDR Hirschfield was also awarded the Navy Cross for his actions, one of only four such awards given to Coast Guardsmen during the war.

A photo of the cutter Campbell

"Atlantic, near Block Island: Coast Guardsmen at their battle stations send a salvo of lead to a target while on a practice gunnery mission.  20 millimeter in foreground and 3 inch aft are firing simultaneously.  The projectile from the 3 inch gun can be seen in the circle indicated on the enclosed print--note--picture taken at 1/1000 second."; 18 April 1944; Photo No. CA. A-7; photo by PM 3/c L. A. Webb.

A photo of the cutter Campbell

"CG 32."; 16 March 1945; Photo No. 1490-45 NYBos.; photographer unknown.

With the decrease in the threat by U-boats by 1944 and the increase in the number of available Allied escort vessels, the Navy determined that the 327s would better serve the national security needs of the nation as command and control vessels [known as AGCs] for amphibious landings.  The conversion to AGCs consisted of the removal of most of their heavy armament, the addition of more anti-aircraft weaponry, and the construction of enclosed rooms for the addition of 35 radio receivers and 25 radio transmitters.  

A photo of the cutter Campbell

No caption/date/photo number; photographer unknown.

After conversion to an AGC, done in the Boston Navy Yard between 4 January and 28 March 1945, Campbell was assigned to duty in the Pacific.  She sailed from Pearl Harbor for Saipan and arrived there on 3 August 1945.  She then sailed for Manila on 10 August and arrived five days later.  She proceeded to Leyte on the 19th and arrived on the 22nd.  On 1 October 1945 she was anchored at Wakanoura Wan, Honshu, Japan as the flagship for Communications Service Division 103.  On 30 October she sailed to Sasebo and arrived on 1 November.  She stayed there until 30 November when she was ordered back to the U.S.

A photo of the cutter Campbell

"THE CAMPBELL: These are the latest photos of the Coast Guard cutter CAMPBELL taken at the Naval Operating Base, Argentia, Newfoundland, upon returning from her first post-war assignment--North Atlantic Weather and Rescue Patrol.  The crew on this cutter were for the most part just out of 'Boot Camp', but they did an outstanding job of helping to reconvert their ship for its present work.  Also commendable, is their performance while on duty, which is to be envied by all other Coast Guard vessels.  It was the CAMPBELL'S job to make weather and meteorological observations, serve as a radio beacon guide for transoceanic aircraft, and be prepared to perform search and rescue duties for vessels and aircraft in distress."; 29 August 1946; Photo No. 82946 (2); photographer unknown.

A photo of the cutter Campbell

No caption/date/photo number; photographer unknown

A photo of the cutter Campbell

"Ambrose Channel: USCG Cutter CAMPBELL."; 25 May 1954; Photo No. 52554 (4); photographer unknown.

A photo of the cutter Campbell

"New York Bay: U.S. Coast Guard cutter Campbell (WPG-32) underway."; 20 August 1963; no photo number; photo by PHC Borzage.

A photo of the cutter Campbell

"GUNFIRE SUPPORT"; no date/photo number; photographer unknown; taken from the USCGC Campbell's Cruise Book, Vietnam, 1967-1968 (U.S. Coast Guard, 1968), page 55.

The Campbell, as did many high endurance cutters, served a tour of duty with Coast Guard Squadron Three in Vietnam, in support of the Navy's Operation Market Time interdiction efforts.

A photo of the cutter Campbell

No caption/date/photo number; photographer unknown

A photo of the cutter Campbell

No caption/date/photo number; photographer unknown

 

A photo of the Campbell in 1982

No caption/date/photo number; photographer unknown. [Copy made by Spectrum Studio and Color Lab, Oregon City, OR]

The Campbell underway up the Columbia River on her way to participate in the 1975 Portland Rose Festival.  The photo was received courtesy of CDR James MacDonald who had received it from Campbell's last commanding officer, CDR R. W. Wright.  CDR MacDonald noted: "Note the absence of torpedo tubes and air search radar.  Both torpedo tubes and air search radar were prominent features of the 327 class (indeed all HEC's of the era) from the mid-1960s through the" [mid-1970s.]

A photo of the cutter Campbell

No caption/date/photo number; photographer unknown.

After Campbell had been decommissioned, she was turned over to the US Navy for use as a target.  The Navy's Naval Air Warfare Command sank her on 30 November 1984 off Guadaloupe Island with a Harpoon missile during a fleet readiness exercise.  The old warrior transmitted a final radio message as she slid beneath the waves:

"UNCLAS  //N05752//
SUBJ: FINAL FAREWELL
1.  I SERVED WITH HONOR FOR ALMOST FORTY-SIX YEARS, IN WAR AND PEACE, IN THE ATLANTIC AND PACIFIC. WITH DUTY AS DIVERSE AS SAVING LIVES TO SINKING U-BOATS, OCEAN STATIONS TO FISHERIES ENFORCEMENT, AND FROM TRAINING CADETS TO BEING YOUR FLAGSHIP. I HAVE BEEN ALWAYS READ TO SERVE.
2.  TODAY WAS MY FINAL DUTY. I WAS A TARGET FOR A MISSILE TEST. ITS SUCCESS WAS YOUR LOSS AND MY DEMISE. NOW KING NEPTUNE HAS CALLED ME TO MY FINAL REST IN 2,600 FATHOMS AT 22-48N 160-06W.  
3.  MOURN NOT, ALL WHO HAVE SAILED WITH ME. A NEW CUTTER CAMPBELL BEARING MY NAME, WMEC-909, WILL SOON CONTINUE THE HERITAGE. I BID ADIEU. THE QUEEN IS DEAD. LONG LIVE THE QUEEN."


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Last Modified 1/26/2012