US Coast Guard retires final Hamilton-class cutter

The US Coast Guard cutter Douglas Munro is moored at its homeport of Kodiak, Alaska, displayed in full dress colours prior to its decommissioning ceremony on April, 24, 2021. (Photo: US Coast Guard/Chief Petty Officer Matt Masaschi)

The US Coast Guard’s final Hamilton-class high-endurance cutter was decommissioned in a ceremony at Kodiak, Alaska, on Saturday, April 24.

The 378-foot (115-metre) USCGC Douglas Munro and its Hamilton-class sisters are being replaced by the 418-foot (127-metre) Legend-class national security cutters, which serve as the coast guard’s primary long-range assets.

Commissioned in 1971, Douglas Munro was the tenth of twelve high-endurance cutters built for long-range, high-endurance missions, including maritime security roles, drug interdiction, illegal migrant interception, and fisheries patrols. The cutter was named after Signalman 1st Class Douglas Albert Munro, who was awarded the Medal of Honor for acts of extraordinary heroism during World War II.

Douglas Munro‘s notable deployments included providing humanitarian relief to countries affected by the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami and its rescue of 20 survivors from the fish factory vessel Alaska Ranger, which sank in the frigid waters of the Bering Sea on March 23, 2008.

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