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CAPE UPRIGHT, 1953

WPB 95303

Type A


Builder:  Coast Guard Yard, Curtis Bay, MD 

Commissioned:  2 July 1953 

Decommissioned:  6 January 1989 

Disposition:  Transferred to Bahamas, 10 June 1989 

Length:  95’ oa; 90’ wl 

Navigation Draft:  6’4”  

Beam:  20’ max. 

Displacement (tons):  102 fl (A) 

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., 1,418-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, 2 20mm (twin), 2 .50-cal. machine guns (as completed). 2 12.7mm mg, 2  40mm Mk 64 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:

The Cape Upright was stationed at Norfolk, VA, from 1953 to 1960 and was used for law enforcement (LE) and SAR. From 1961 to 1969, she was stationed at Southport, NC, and was used for LE and SAR. On 29 April 1969, she medevaced a crewman from F/V Thalia. On 28 July 1969, she towed the disabled schooner Chauve Souris 19 miles west of Frying Pan Light Tower to Southport, NC. On 24 December 1969, she towed the disabled F/V Dream One 45 miles east of Wrightsville Beach, NC. From 1970 to 1973, she was stationed at Wrightsville Beach, NC, and was used for LE and SAR. On 31 July 1970, she towed the disabled sailboat Pandora 35 miles southeast of Cape Fear to Wrightsville Beach. From 1974 to 1976, she was held for transfer to Lebanon under the Military Assistance Program. She then underwent major renovation at the Coast Guard Yard, Curtis Bay, MD, in 1976 and 1977. From 1978 to 1989, she was stationed at Savannah, GA, and was used for LE and SAR. On 10 September 1982, she helped seize M/V Mont Boron, which was suspected of drug smuggling off Florida. On 28 November 1982, she seized the Cayman Island vessel Largo Izabel carrying 30 t of marijuana after stopping her with gunfire. On 18 November 1986, she seized a speedboat in the Straits of Florida with marijuana on board. On 21 November 1986, she seized M/V Don Yeyo 120 miles east of Miami, FL, carrying 12 tons of marijuana.


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.


Last Modified 11/17/2014