In April 1790, Secretary of the Treasury Alexander
Hamilton asked Congress to create a Revenue Marine service with a fleet
of ten small cutters. On 4 August 1790, Congress passed Hamilton's
Revenue Cutter Bill, which provided for construction of the ten armed
cutters, ACTIVE being one of them.
The first ACTIVE was a 50 ton schooner, operating until
1798 and was stationed in Baltimore. The second ACTIVE sailed between
1812 and 1817. She was one of 16 cutters cooperating with the U. S. Navy
during the War of 1812, assisting the Navy Flotilla operating out of New
London, Connecticut, now home of the U. S. Coast Guard Academy.
Following the war of 1812, the cutter engaged pirate and slave ships.
The third ACTIVE was quite true to her name, being extremely active in the capture of a number of privateer in
Chesapeake Bay between 1866 and 1875. The fourth ACTIVE was stationed in
New York between 1866 and 1875. Used briefly during the First World War,
the former pleasure craft Elizabeth became the fifth cutter ACTIVE. The
sixth ACTIVE was a 125 foot cutter built during the Prohibition to
combat rumrunners. She served as a convoy escort in the Caribbean and on the Greenland
Iceland patrols throughout World War II. She was
decommissioned in Alameda, California in 1962.
The current Coast Guard Cutter ACTIVE is the seventh Coast Guard vessel to bear its proud name. She was launched at Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin on July 31, 1965 and officially Commissioned as a Coast Guard Cutter on September 1, 1966. ACTIVE is 210 feet long, has a 34 foot beam, displaces 1000 tons, and draws 10 feet of water. She is powered by two diesel engines, combined for a total of 5,000 HP. Quarters are provided for up to 12 officers and 70 enlisted members. ACTIVE's cruising range is 5,000 miles at 15 knots, designed with an operating endurance of about 30 days. At top speed of 18 knots, ACTIVE has an approximate range of 2,200 miles. ACTIVE's armament consists of a single 25 mm gun on the forecastle. 50 caliber machine guns can also be mounted on the forecastle. bridge or fantail. The ACTIVE has a flight deck which allows for the deployment of a Coast Guard HH-65 Dolphin or MH-65 HITRON Helicopter.
USCGC ACTIVE has received several awards in past years for its outstanding service to the nation and the maritime community, including oil spill clean ups in Prince William Sound, Alaska during the EXXON VALDEZ oil spill, migrant interdiction, and counter drug operations.