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Portsmouth, Virginia

History of Cutter "FORWARD"

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The roots of the U. S. Coast Guard lie in the U. S. Treasury formed by Alexander Hamilton, when our nation was in its infancy. Walter Forward was Secretary of Treasury under President John Tyler from 1841 to 1843. Each FORWARD has been named after him.

The first FORWARD (1845 - 1865) was a schooner built in Georgetown, District of Columbia. During the Mexican-American War, the U. S. Navy was very short of shallow draft vessels, and the Revenue Cutters were used to supplement the fleet. FORWARD was the most active cutter, having participating in Tabasco assault and attacks on Alvarado and Frintera. During the Civil War, FORWARD was used as a dispatch boat.

The second FORWARD (1882 - 1912) was a cruising cutter, which operated in the Gulf of Mexico for most of its career. FORWARD patrolled for and interdicted filibusters, citizens from the United States engaging in private military actions in a foreign country.

The third FORWARD (1925 - 1947) led a varied career, which began as a 100-foot patrol boat designed to combat smuggling during the prohibition. FORWARD served in both the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico. In March of 1933, she seized the Honduran freighter Auros with 502 sacks of liquor aboard. In 1938 FORWARD was converted to a buoy tender. On February 19, 1942 FORWARD assisted in the rescue of 18 persons from the torpedoed gasoline tanker, Pan Massachusetts.

The current USCGC FORWARD (WMEC 911) was built by Derecktor Shipyard, Middletown, Rhode Island. The keel was laid July 11, 1986, and the ship commissioned August 4, 1990.

Former Commanding Officers

CDR P. M. Stillman    1989 – 1991
CDR J. H.  Morton      1991 – 1993
CDR R. J. Papp, Jr     1993 – 1995
CDR T. E. Tilghman    1995 – 1996
CDR F. X. O’Bryne, Jr 1996 – 1998
CDR M. J. Sikorski     1998 – 2000
CDR D. R. MacLeod   2000 – 2002
CDR F. M. Midgette   2002 – 2004
CDR G. J.  Sanial      2004 – 2006
CDR M. W. Sibley     2006 – 2008
CDR D. W. Durham   2008 – 2010
CDR M. S. Stewart    2010 – 2012

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Last Modified 9/19/2013