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Spencer during WWII
USCGC Spencer during WWII
Career (US)
Name: USCGC Spencer
Builder: New York Navy Yard
Laid down: 11 September 1935
Launched: 6 January 1937
Commissioned: 1 March 1937
Decommissioned: 23 January 1974
Fate: Sold for scrapping on 8 October 1981 to North American Smelting Co.
General characteristics
Class & type: Treasury-class cutter
Displacement: 2,216 long tons (2,252 t; 2,482 short tons)
Length: 327 ft (99.67 m)o/a
Beam: 41 ft (12.50 m)
Draught: 12.5 ft (3.81 m)
Propulsion:
  • 2 oil-fueled Babcock & Wilcox boilers
  • 2 shafts
  • Westinghouse geared turbines
  • 6,200 ihp (4,600 kW)
Speed: 20.5 knots (38.0 km/h)
Range: 12,300 nautical miles (22,780 km) at 11 knots (20.4 km/h)
Capacity: 135,180 US gallons (511,712 L)
Complement:
  • 1937: 12 officers, 4 warrants, 107 enlisted
  • 1941: 16 officers, 5 warrants, 202 enlisted
  • 1966: 10 officers, 3 warrants, 134 enlisted
Sensors and
processing systems:
  • 1940s:
  • HF/DF: DAR (converted British FH3)
  • Radar: SC-4, SGa
  • Fire Control Radar: Mk-26
  • Sonar: QC series
  • 1960s:
  • Radar: AN/SPS-29D; AN/SPA-52
  • Fire Control Radar: Mk-26 MOD 4
  • Sonar: AN/SQS-11
Armament:
  • 1936:
  • 3 x 5"/51 cal
  • 2 x 6 pounders
  • 1 x 1 pounder
  • 1941:
  • 3 x 5"/51 cal
  • 3 x 3"/50 cal
  • 4 x 50cal Browning MG2
  • 2 x depth charge racks
  • 1 x "Y" gun depth charge projector
  • 1943:
  • 2 x 5"/51 cal
  • 4 x 3"/50 cal
  • 2 x 20mm/80cal
  • 1 x Hedgehog
  • 6 x "K" gun depth charge projectors
  • 2 x depth charge racks
  • 1945:
  • 2 x 5"/38 cal
  • 3 x 40mm/60 cal (twin mount)
  • 4 x 20mm/80 cal
  • 1946:
  • 1 x 5"/38 cal
  • 1 x 40mm/60 cal (twin mount)
  • 2 x 20mm/80 cal
  • 1 x Hedgehog
  • 1966:
  • 1 x 5"/38 Mk30 MOD75
  • 1 x Mk52 MOD3 Director
  • 1 x Mk10-1 Hedgehog
  • 2 (P&S) x Mk32 MOD5TT
  • 4 x MK44 MOD1 torpedoes
  • 2 x 50cal MK2 Browning MG
  • 2 x MK13 high altitude parachute flare mortars
Aircraft carried: 1 Grumman JF-2 Duck or Curtiss SOC-4

USCGC Spencer (WPG-36) was a Treasury-class cutter of the United States Coast Guard that served during World War II.[1]

Early career and World War II[edit]

Commissioned in 1937, she was first used as a search and rescue unit off Alaska's fishing grounds. When the United States entered World War II the Coast Guard temporarily became part of the United States Navy. Spencer saw service in the Pacific War. During the Battle of Atlantic she acted as a convoy escort, hunting German U-boats, and was responsible for sinking U-175 in 1943.

Convoys escorted[edit]

Convoy Escort Group Dates Notes
ON 67 26-28 Feb 1942[2] from Iceland to Newfoundland
HX 178 MOEF group A3 6-16 March 1942[3] from Newfoundland to Iceland
ON 79 24-31 March 1942[2] Iceland shuttle
HX 185 MOEF group A3 18-26 April 1942[3] from Newfoundland to Northern Ireland
ON 92 MOEF group A3 7-18 May 1942[2] from Northern Ireland to Newfoundland
HX 196 MOEF group A3 2-10 July 1942[3] from Newfoundland to Northern Ireland
ON 114 MOEF group A3 20-30 July 1942[2] from Northern Ireland to Newfoundland
SC 95 MOEF group A3 8-18 Aug 1942[4] from Newfoundland to Northern Ireland
ON 125 MOEF group A3 29 Aug-7 Sept 1942[2] from Northern Ireland to Newfoundland
SC 100 MOEF group A3 16-27 Sept 1942[4] from Newfoundland to Northern Ireland
ON 135 MOEF group A3 3-14 Oct 1942[2] from Northern Ireland to Newfoundland
SC 111 MOEF group A3 1-16 Dec 1942[4] from Newfoundland to Northern Ireland
ON 156 MOEF group A3 24 Dec 1942-8 Jan 1943[4] from Northern Ireland to Newfoundland
HX 223 MOEF group A3 19-late Jan 1943[3] from Newfoundland to Northern Ireland
ON 166 MOEF group A3 12-25 Feb 1943[2] from Northern Ireland to Newfoundland
SC 121 MOEF group A3 3-12 March 1943[2] from Northern Ireland to Newfoundland
ON 175 MOEF group A3 25 March-7 April 1943[4] from Northern Ireland to Newfoundland
HX 233 MOEF group A3 12-20 April 1943[3] from Newfoundland to Northern Ireland

Spencer was assigned to the US Navy's Seventh Fleet, in the Pacific in late 1944, where she served as a Communications Command Ship. There she was credited with taking part in numerous amphibious assaults including Luzon and Palawan in the Philippines Campaign.

Post-war career[edit]

After the war Spencer returned to her Coast Guard duties, serving in the Atlantic Ocean. Here she provided navigational assistance for the fledgling Trans-Atlantic air industry and acted as a search and rescue platform both ships and aeroplanes. She returned to combat duty off the Vietnam coast in January 1969. For ten months she carried out surveillance to prevent troops and supplies from getting into South Vietnam. Spencer returned to the United States in November 1969 and continued her peace-time mission of ocean station keeping. The Spencer served for over 37 years and when decommissioned in 1974 she was the most decorated cutter in the Coast Guard's fleet. Her last voyage was from New York City to the United States Coast Guard Yard, Curtis Bay on 15 January 1974. Onboard her for this voyage were 24 of her World War II crew. She was decommissioned on 23 January 1974. She served as an engineering training ship with students using her steam propulsion plant until 15 December 1980. She was then sold to the North American Smelting Company and scrapped.

Awards[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "USCG Spencer". U.S. Coast Guard Cutter History. United States CoastGuard. Retrieved 2012-12-12. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h "ON convoys". Andrew Hague Convoy Database. Retrieved 2011-06-19. 
  3. ^ a b c d e "HX convoys". Andrew Hague Convoy Database. Retrieved 2011-06-19. 
  4. ^ a b c d e "SC convoys". Andrew Hague Convoy Database. Retrieved 2011-06-21. 
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