On Saturday 24th April, 2021 after 49 years of service the United States Coast Guard (USCG) Hamilton Class Cutter WHEC 724 USCGC DOUGLAS MUNRO was decommissioned at Kodiak Coast Guard Base, Alaska marking the end of an era.
The first ship in the 12 Hamilton Class Cutter was commissioned in March 1967; her keel was laid in February 1970, and she was commissioned on 27th September 1971. DOUGLAS MUNRO, named for the Coast Guard’s only Medal of Honor recipient, Signalman First Class Douglas Munro, was first homeported in Boston. She moved to her final homeport in Kodiak, Alaska in 2007.
Above image is of the Hamilton Class Cutter WHEC 719 USCGC BOUTWELL entering Grand Harbour, Malta back to 29th May, 2003.
USCGC DOUGLAS MUNRO’s accomplishments over the years include the search and recovery efforts for the passengers of Korean Airlines Flight 007, shot down by a Soviet aircraft in 1983; the rescue of all 27 crewmembers of the container ship HYUNDAI SEATTLE while she lost power and caught fire in heavy seas in December 1994; and the interception and seizure of dozens of vessels conducting illegal fishing and smuggling drugs and migrants.
In one of her highest-profile rescues, USCGC DOUGLAS MUNRO responded to the sinking of the factory fishing vessel ALASKA RANGER on Easter Sunday 2008. The ship, 100 nautical miles from the cutter’s position, had 47 crew members on board, caught fire and was taking on water. In a heroic effort, the cutter’s crew of 171, most of whom were in their first enlistment, rescued 45 of those 47 crew members from heavy seas and 32-degree water.
Above images are of the Hamilton Class Cutter WHEC 716 USCGC DALLAS leaving Grand Harbour, Malta back to 16th August, 2008.
All Hamilton Class cutters were transferred to further service to other countries – Philippine Navy (3); Nigerian Navy (2); Bangladesh Navy (2); Sri Lanka Navy (1); Vietnam Coast Guard (1 + 2).
The cutter USCGC DOUGLAS MUNRO is earmarked for transferring to the Vietnam Coast Guard but nothing confirmed yet.
Vietnam Coast Guard SAR 411 leaving Grand Harbour, Malta during her delivery voyage back to 30th March, 2004.
Watermarked Photos are by Capt. Lawrence Dalli. NO PHOTOS can be used or manipulated without our permission. © All rights reserved. Malta Ship Photos & Action Photos – www.maltashipphotos.com
Published – Wednesday 5th May, 2021.