CAPE FOX, 1955

WPB 95316

Type B


Builder:  Coast Guard Yard, Curtis Bay, MD 

Commissioned:  22 August 1955 

Decommissioned:  30 June 1989 

Disposition:  Transferred to the Bahamas, 30 June 1989 

Length:  95’ oa; 90’ wl 

Navigation Draft:  6’5”  

Beam:  20’ max. 

Displacement (tons):  105 fl (B) 

Main Engines:   4 Cummins VT-600 diesels; 2 Detroit 16V149 diesels (renovated) 

BHP:  2,200; 2,470 (renovated) 

Performance, Max. Speed:  20 kts.; 24 kts. (renovated)
Performance, Cruising:        12 kts., 1,700-mi radius (1961) 

Fuel Capacity:  3,114 gallons 

Complement:  15 (1961) 

Electronics:

Radar:  SPS-64 (1987)

Sonar: retractable type 

Armament:  2 mousetraps, 2 depth charge racks, 1 40mm, 2 .50-cal. machine guns (as completed). 2 12.7mm mg, 2  40mm Mk64 grenade launchers (1987)


Class history—The 95-foot or Cape class was an outgrowth of a need for shallow-draft anti-submarine-warfare (ASW) craft brought on by the increasing tensions during the years immediately following World War II.    During the period of construction, three distinctive sub-classes evolved as the Coast Guard’s mission emphasis shifted from ASW to search and rescue (SAR), The A Type 95-footer was outfitted primarily for ASW. The B Type differed by mounting a 40 mm vice 20 mm gun and being fitted with scramble nets, a towing bit, and a large searchlight – all important SAR tools. The C Type units were constructed  without the heavy armament and for economy some of the SAR equipment was also deleted. However, the Coast Guard added these SAR items to both the As and Cs during various refits. A renovation program began in the mid-1970s but was ended, due to increasing expenses and a shortage of funds, after 16 boats had been overhauled.

The 95-footers were designed by the Coast Guard and built at the Coast Guard Yard.  Their hulls were made of steel while their superstructures were made of aluminum.  This proved to be problematic throughout their service lives due to electrolysis between the dissimilar metals.

These cutters remained unnamed until January of 1964.


Ship's history:

From 1955 to 1964, Cape Fox was stationed at New London, CT. She was used for law enforcement (LE) and SAR. She was stationed at Riviera, FL, from 1965 to 1979 for LE and SAR. On 12 February 1966, she rescued five crew members from the Panamanian M/V Padre Island aground 45 miles east of Miami, FL. On 12 January 1969, she towed a disabled yacht 30 miles northeast of Miami to West Palm Beach. On 8 March 1969, she rescued the tug of houseboat Stand Pat. The line parted in heavy seas and the boast sank. Two on board were rescued by a fishing vessel. On 25 December 1977, she seized Iris Marie off Miami carrying 4 tons of marijuana. One day later, she seized Miss Connie and Ecopesca IV off Great Bahama Bank carrying 35 tons of marijuana. On 30 December 1977, she helped seize vessel Dona Petra carrying contraband. On 27 March 1978, she seized Lyniv IV off Stuart, FL, carrying 28 tons of marijuana. On 8 June 1978, she seized a pleasure craft off Little Bahama Bank carrying 28 tons of marijuana. On 28 July, she seized another pleasure craft in the same area carrying 200 lbs. of marijuana. On 4 August 1978, she seized My Lady off Miami carrying 2 tons of marijuana. On 29 August 1978, she seized Mabell off Great Bahama Bank carrying 20 tons of marijuana. On 17 November 1978, she seized M/V Faruk off Little Bahama Bank carrying 37 tons of marijuana. She underwent major renovation in 1980. From 1982 to 1989, she was stationed at Key West, FL, and was used for LE and SAR. From December 1983 to February 1984, she conducted surveillance from St. Georges, Grenada. On 21 March 1984, she assisted in the rescue of 15 from the Panamanian M/V Panky 150 southwest of Tampa, FL. On 6 April 1984, she removed stowaway from M/V Gargoyle. On 3 August 1984, she seized a fishing vessel inside protected waters, 25 miles north of Key West, for operating illegally. On 15 December 1984, she seized F/V Captain David 3 miles off Lode Key, FL, carrying marijuana residue. On 25 May 1985, she seized F/Vs Angelita, carrying 10 tons of marijuana, and Ocean Lady, also carrying 10 tons of marijuana, off Keys. On 5 March 1986, she helped fight fire on tug Navigator 18 miles southwest of Key West. On 6-7 April 1986, she chased the abandoned pleasure craft Profiteer 75 miles northwest of Dry Tortuga carrying 8 tons of marijuana. The Profiteer sank after a collision with the cutter Sea Hawk.


Sources:

Cutter History File.  USCG Historian's Office, USCG HQ, Washington, D.C.

Robert Scheina.  U.S. Coast Guard Cutters & Craft, 1946-1990.  Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 1990.


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Last Modified 1/26/2012