Coast Guard Cutter MORGENTHAU is named for Henry Morgenthau, Jr., Secretary of the Treasury from 1934 to 1945 under President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Henry Morgenthau was born in New York City in 1891, the son of a German immigrant. Named by President Roosevelt to serve as Acting Secretary of the Treasury in 1933, Mr. Morgenthau was appointed Secretary one year later. As head of the Treasury Department, he supervised the financing of both President Roosevelt’s New Deal and the United States’ participation in World War II. During his eleven-year tenure, he was responsible for spending more than three times as much as his fifty predecessors combined. He resigned his post following President Roosevelt’s death in 1945. He died in 1967.
Coast Guard Cutter MORGENTHAU (WHEC 722), commissioned on March 10, 1969, was the eighth of twelve 378-foot “Hamilton” class High Endurance Cutters (WHECs) built by Avondale Shipyards in New Orleans, Louisiana. First homeported at Governors Island, New York, MORGENTHAU was active in the Vietnam War, conducting underway replenishment, naval gunfire support, and patrol duties off the coast of Vietnam until relieved by a 311' cutter in 1971. In 1977, MORGENTHAU became the first cutter to have women permanently assigned, followed shortly thereafter by USCGC GALLATIN. Currently homeported at Coast Guard Island in Alameda, California, her Pacific coast activities have included drug interdiction and seizures, foreign and domestic fisheries enforcement, search and rescue, and alien migrant interdiction. In 1989, MORGENTHAU was decommissioned to undergo a major mid-life renovation to upgrade berthing and living spaces, rejuvenate engineering systems, and modernize her major weapons and sensors. Upon recommissioning in 1991, MORGENTHAU resumed her missions in the Pacific Ocean. In the fall of 1996, MORGENTHAU was the first U.S. Coast Guard Cutter to deploy to the Arabian Gulf. Participating in Operation Vigilant Sentinel, MORGENTHAU enforced Iraq’s compliance with United Nations sanctions.
After returning from the Gulf, MORGENTHAU continued her Pacific duties, often deploying to the Maritime Boundary Line in the Bering Straits to monitor Alaska’s valuable fisheries and environmental resources, as well as continued alien migrant and drug interdiction efforts off the coasts of Guam and Central and South America. During a drug interdiction patrol off the coast of Mexico in early 2001, MORGENTHAU seized $32 million worth of cocaine. Also in 2001, during a fisheries patrol, MORGENTHAU discovered a Russian vessel fishing in U.S. waters. When the vessel refused to heave to and allow a Coast Guard law enforcement team aboard, MORGENTHAU pursued the vessel across the Bering Sea and up to Russian territorial seas. This resulted in a joint US-Russian law enforcement action, which further cemented cooperative law enforcement actions between the two nations.
Later in 2001, during an extensive dry-dock period, MORGENTHAU was the first 378-foot cutter to install a stern flap, improving her fuel efficiency and ride quality. After the terrorist attacks on September 11th, MORGENTHAU participated in Operation Noble Eagle to safeguard America’s prominent port cities through closer scrutiny of maritime traffic. In 2002 and 2008, MORGENTHAU traveled to Southeast Asia to assist, train, and teach law enforcement techniques to naval forces of several nations in the East Asian littoral. Today, MORGENTHAU continues to set the standard in accomplishment of both the Coast Guard’s traditional missions as well as those that have gained new significance in the wake of the September 11th attacks. In late 2012, MORGENTHAU was transferred from Alameda, CA to Honolulu, HI as her new homeport.
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