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SomemuttupNorth

That Time the US Coast Guard operated Destroyers

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Surprisingly enough, I'm not talking about WWII. 

See, after the 18th Amendment banned alcohol creation, sales, and consumption in the United States, the Prohibition Era kicked off. Now, just because booze was illegal, doesn't mean people didn't want it anymore. So they went to great lengths to smuggle it in, especially from overseas.

The US Coast Guard wasn't in a position to counter the "rumrunners" on its own, so the Navy provided some "help".

Help in the form of ex-WW1 destroyers

Rum Patrol ships Tucker and Cassin.jpg

All in all, the US Coast Guard operated 25 destroyers from 1920-1933 as part of the "Rum Patrol" (lasting until the 21st Amendment cancelled the 18th and allows me to drink a beer by my computer today)

A full list of ships and classes can be found here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rum_Patrol

Yet of special note is the fact that 3 destroyers were of the Sampson-class (the in-game Tier II USN destroyer), and 6 were the Clemson-class (the Tier IV USN gunboat).

These ships were supposed to be cheaper alternatives to building new fast cutters for the USCG. Instead, they proved to be bigger hassles, commonly taking up to a year just to make seaworthy. Yet despite their age, disrepair, and not to mention the inexperience of the crews in handling such large ships, the Rum Patrol DDs had a fairly lively career. Once the USCG no longer needed them, they were returned to the Navy and either scrapped, or continued their service past WWII. 

For some more stories about the Rum Patrol, you can also look here: http://www.dieselpunks.org/profiles/blogs/rum-patrol-vs-rum-runners

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Great stuff, thanks for bringing it up.  I knew the CG patrolled for rum-runners but had no idea they actually had some Navy DDs.

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Good!  Did they ever catch a Joe Kennedy boat?  JFK's daddy?  Heh. He also made a TON in the stock market that added to his rum running gig. :Smile_popcorn:

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That is very cool! "Ain't nobody drowning on our watch!" :Smile_teethhappy:

It would have been very strange to see them floating around so casually! 

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It’s been fairly common for the USCG to operate old DDs DEs and later old FFGs

Had at least 4 edsall class DEs in the 40s-50s

Edited by JohnPJones

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The treasury class was based on the Navy’s Erie class

And the Indian tribal class cutters

i think show an interesting shift between old CG and modern CG.

back in the day (pre1980s) it seems like cutter design was still intended to perform in actual combat roles. The Owasco and the tribal class were originally armed comprable to many contemporary DDs having 2 dual 5” guns, 2 quad 40mm, hedgehog launchers, k-guns, and depth charges. It would have been capable of actually fighting a warship of similar displacement.

 

now we have the legend class...frigate displacement, OPV level armament at best...

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@JohnPJones It's definitely interesting seeing what kind of ships the US Coast Guard have operated and manned, and they've got decorated history in World War II, Korea, Vietnam and most other postwar conflicts.

That being said, the "Rum Patrol" destroyers were the only actual destroyers registered and operated by the US Coast Guard. All other vessels are designated under the "cutter" classification.

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Just now, SomemuttupNorth said:

@JohnPJones It's definitely interesting seeing what kind of ships the US Coast Guard have operated and manned, and they've got decorated history in World War II, Korea, Vietnam and most other postwar conflicts.

That being said, the "Rum Patrol" destroyers were the only actual destroyers registered and operated by the US Coast Guard. All other vessels are designated under the "cutter" classification.

They kept their DD designation during coastie service? Didn’t know that.

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On 2/10/2018 at 7:50 PM, Fletcher7_1944 said:

  Submarine chasers saw plenty of use in this regard, too.

Yeah looked up the cargo ships sunk as well as U-Boats sunk off the gulf and East Coasts, U-Boats certainly were busy so Coast Guard would needed to have been busy hunting those Subs.

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The Rum patrol. Haha such a cool name! I never knew this about the Coast Guard. You truly do learn something new every day. Thanks for sharing, SomemuttupNorth.

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