|Builder:||Iowa Iron Works, Dubuque, Iowa|
|Acquired:||11 May 1896|
|Commissioned:||30 June 1896|
|Decommissioned:||31 July 1930|
|Renamed:||Comanche, 13 December 1915|
|Fate:||Sold, 13 November 1930|
|Displacement:||535 long tons (544 t)|
|Length:||170 ft 8 in (52.02 m)|
|Beam:||27 ft (8.2 m)|
|Draft:||8 ft 3 in (2.51 m)|
|Propulsion:||2 × 800 hp (597 kW) inverted cylinder, triple-expansion, direct acting steam engines, 2 shafts|
|Speed:||15 knots (28 km/h; 17 mph)|
USRC Windom (later Comanche) was a revenue cutter of the United States Revenue Cutter Service and United States Coast Guard that served from 1896 to 1930. She was named for William Windom, the 33rd and 39th United States Secretary of the Treasury. She served during the Spanish–American War with the United States Navy. Windom was recommissioned as USCGC Comanche in 1915 and again served with the Navy as USS Comanche during World War I.
Windom was completed in 1896 at the Iowa Iron Works in Dubuque, Iowa and was accepted by the Treasury Department on 11 May 1896. Partially incomplete, she was moved from Dubuque—via Cairo, Illinois, and New Orleans, Louisiana—to Baltimore, Maryland, where she was completed and placed in commission on 30 June 1896. For the next 17 months, she operated out of Baltimore making an annual winter cruise of the fishing grounds between the Virginia Capes and Cape Hatteras.
In March 1898, with war against Spain looming just over the horizon, President William McKinley began the process of preparing for the fight. On the 24th, he issued the executive order instructing the Revenue Cutter Service to cooperate with the Navy for the duration of the crisis. Two days later, she received orders to report at Norfolk, Virginia, and there she found herself on 25 April when Congress passed the resolution recognizing that a state of war existed between the United States and Spain.
Five days later, Windom departed Hampton Roads on her way to the blockade off Cuba. She stopped at Key West, Florida, for four days and arrived off the Cuban coast on 8 May. She patrolled the southern coast of Cuba near Cienfuegos until the 13th. During that time, she cut the Cienfuegos cable, the Spanish colonial government's only link with the outside world; and, on 12 May, she helped to cover the withdrawal of a Navy boat expedition. At a critical point in that action, the cutter closed the enemy shore and silenced the Spanish battery and briefly dispersed their infantry allowing the harassed boats to reach safety. The following day, she withdrew from the area to return to Key West—probably for fuel and provisions. She again got underway for the combat zone on 27 May and took up station off Havana on the 28th. For the remainder of the Spanish–American War, Windom participated in the blockade of Havana, returning to Key West on two occasions—once during the last two weeks of June and again during the first week in August.
Hostilities ended on 13 August; Windom reverted to Treasury Department control on the 17th; and she returned to Norfolk on the 22nd. She remained there until 3 October at which time she headed for New York City where she transferred most of her armament to Gresham before resuming duty at Baltimore with the Revenue Cutter Service on the 13th. From the fall of 1898 to the summer of 1906, Windom operated out of Baltimore, cruising the waters of the Chesapeake Bay and occasionally venturing out into the Atlantic in the vicinity of the Virginia Capes. On 13 July 1906, the cutter departed Arundel Cove, Maryland, to sail—via Key West, and Mobile, Alabama—to her new base of operations, Galveston, Texas. She arrived there on 6 August and began duty patrolling the gulf coast of the United States. That assignment lasted for five years.
On 1 August 1911, she left Galveston to return to Arundel Cove. She arrived at the station on the shores of the Chesapeake on 1 September and was placed out of commission on the 12th. Her retirement, however, was only a brief one, for she returned to full commission on 1 November. She served at Washington, D.C., from mid-November 1911 until early May 1912. On 7 May, she headed back to the Gulf of Mexico. Initially, she assisted in flood relief at New Orleans; but, in June, she resumed her coastal patrols out of Galveston. She cruised the entire gulf coast from Texas to Key West over the next 18 months. After war broke out in Europe in August 1914, the cutter took on the added responsibility of enforcing America's neutrality laws.
In November 1914, Windom headed back to Arundel Cove to be decommissioned again. She arrived at the depot on 3 December but made a short voyage to Washington before going out of service. She returned to Arundel Cove on 13 January 1915; and, on the 15th, she was placed out of commission. On 13 December 1915, near the end of a year of inactivity, Windom was renamed Comanche. Less than a month later, on 8 January 1916, the cutter went back into service under her new name. On 19 January, she departed the Chesapeake Bay area to return to her old patrol area in the Gulf of Mexico. She arrived at Galveston on 2 February and resumed her old routine.
The United States' declaration of war on the Central Powers once again brought the cutter under Navy Department control on 6 April 1917. Comanche continued to patrol the gulf coast even in naval service. Her second period of service with the Navy lasted over two years until 28 August 1919 at which time she was returned to the jurisdiction of the Treasury Department.
She continued her patrols of the gulf for another seven months and then headed for Key West where she was decommissioned on 17 April 1920 for repairs. Recommissioned in July, the ship relieved cutter Tallapoosa at Mobile and rejoined the Gulf Division. Serving successively at Mobile, Key West, and Galveston, she patrolled coastal waters constantly until June 1930. During that period, she left the Gulf of Mexico only once, in 1923, for repairs at Baltimore and Norfolk. On 2 June 1930, she was detached from the Gulf Division and was ordered back to Arundel Cove.
She arrived at her destination on 1 July and was placed out of commission on 31 July 1930. She was sold to Weiss Motor Lines, of Baltimore, on 13 November 1930 for US$4,501.
This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships .The entries can be found here and here.
The United States Revenue Cutter Service was established by an act of Congress on 4 August 1790 as the Revenue-Marine upon the recommendation of Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton to serve as an armed customs enforcement service. As time passed, the service gradually gained missions either voluntarily or by legislation, including those of a military nature. It was generally referred to as the Revenue-Marine until 31 July 1894, when it was officially renamed the Revenue Cutter Service. The Revenue Cutter Service operated under the authority of the U.S. Department of the Treasury. On 28 January 1915, the service was merged by an act of Congress with the United States Life-Saving Service to form the United States Coast Guard.
Washington was a revenue cutter that served in the United States Revenue Cutter Service and in the United States Navy. She discovered, boarded and captured La Amistad after the slaves onboard had seized control of that schooner in an 1839 mutiny.
USRC Hudson, known for her service during the Battle of Cárdenas, was the United States Revenue Cutter Service's first vessel to have a steel hull and triple-expansion steam engine.
USS Delaware (1861) was a steamer acquired by the Union Navy for use during the American Civil War. She had a very active naval career as a gunboat for over three years, and after the war served as a revenue cutter for over 37 years. The steamer was sold to the private sector in 1909, and disappeared from shipping registers in 1919.
The United States Revenue Cutter Jackson was one of 13 cutters of the Morris-Taney Class to be launched. Named after Secretaries of the Treasury and Presidents of the United States, these cutters were the backbone of the Revenue Cutter Service for more than a decade. Samuel Humphreys designed these cutters for roles as diverse as fighting pirates, privateers, combating smugglers and operating with naval forces. He designed the vessels on a naval schooner concept. They had Baltimore Clipper lines. The vessels built by Webb and Allen, designed by Isaac Webb, resembled Humphreys' but had one less port.
USRC Walter Forward was a schooner constructed for service with the United States Revenue Marine. She was more commonly known as USRC Forward. Forward served with the U.S. Army and U.S. Navy in Mexican waters during the Mexican–American War and was commended for her actions during the Tabasco River landings by Commodore Matthew C. Perry, U.S. Navy. After the war, she was transferred to the U.S. Coast Survey for a short time as USCS Walter Forward before being returned to the Revenue Marine for service during the 1850s and the American Civil War.
USCGC Tallapoosa (WPG-52) was a United States Coast Guard cutter of the Tallapoosa-class and was designed to replace the revenue cutter Winona. Her hull was reinforced for light icebreaking. She was initially stationed at Mobile, Alabama, with cruising grounds to Lake Pontchartrain, Louisiana and Fowey Rocks, Florida. During World War I she escorted convoys out of Halifax, Nova Scotia. After the war she served with the Bering Sea Patrol before returning to Savannah, Georgia before World War II. During the war Tallapoosa assisted with convoy escort duty and anti-submarine patrols.
USRC Seminole was a 188 ft (57 m), 845-ton United States Revenue Cutter Service steamer constructed by the Columbian Iron Works in Baltimore, Maryland for $141,000. She was commissioned in 1900 and saw service through 1934, when she was transferred to the Federal Emergency Relief Administration.
Worth G. Ross is known as the third Commandant of the Coast Guard, although he was never formally appointed to that position. Joining the United States Revenue Cutter Service in 1877, he graduated from the Revenue Cutter Service School of Instruction's first class in 1879. He held a variety of appointments during the late 19th century before being appointed Captain-Commandant of the service in 1905. In this capacity he commanded a number of cutters on the United States Gulf Coast and was responsible for moving the School of Instruction to Fort Trumbull, Connecticut. He was a relation of Brevet Brigadier General Samuel Ross (1822-1880), who commanded the 20th Connecticut Infantry during the American Civil War.
USCGC Tampa (ex-Miami) was a Miami-class cutter that initially served in the U.S. Revenue Cutter Service, followed by service in the U.S. Coast Guard and the U.S. Navy. Tampa was used extensively on the International Ice Patrol and also during the Gasparilla Carnival at Tampa, Florida and other regattas as a patrol vessel. It was sunk with the highest American naval combat casualty loss in World War I.
USRC Manning was a revenue cutter of the United States Revenue Cutter Service that served from 1898 to 1930, and saw service in the U.S. Navy in the Spanish–American War and World War I.
USRC Onondaga was an Algonquin-class cutter built for the U.S. Revenue Cutter Service for service on the Great Lakes. Because of the Spanish–American War, she was cut in half shortly before completion and transported to Ogdensburg, New York for service on the Atlantic coast although the war ended before she could be put into service. After the formation of the United States Coast Guard in 1915 she became USCGC Onondaga. She served as a patrol vessel at various Atlantic coast ports before World War I and unlike most Coast Guard cutters during World War I, she remained under the control of the Commandant of the Coast Guard. After the war she patrolled for a brief time based at New London, Connecticut before being decommissioned in 1923.
USRC Mohawk, was a steel steam powered revenue cutter built for the U.S. Revenue Cutter Service by William R. Trigg Company at Richmond, Virginia. Her primary duties in the Revenue Cutter Service and Coast Guard were assisting vessels in distress and enforcing navigational laws as well as a derelict destroyer. Mohawk was sunk after a collision with another vessel in October 1917.
USRC Dexter was a Dexter-class cutter of the United States Revenue Cutter Service in commission from 1874 to 1908. She was the second ship of the Revenue Cutter Service to bear the name. The other Dexter-class cutters, all commissioned in 1874, were Dallas and Rush. Dexter was built by the Atlantic Works Company at Boston, Massachusetts. Captain John A. Henriques accepted her for service on 6 June 1874, and she was commissioned into the Revenue Cutter Service on 18 June 1874. Her role in the rescue of passengers from a sinking passenger ship under winter gale winds brought her nationwide popular acclaim.
The second USS Apache was a United States Coast Guard cutter that served in the United States Navy as a patrol vessel from 1917-1919.
Acushnet — a steel-hulled revenue cutter — was launched on 16 May 1908 at Newport News, Virginia, by the Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock Co.; sponsored by Miss Alayce Duff; and commissioned at Baltimore on 6 November 1908. She saw service as a United States Revenue Cutter Service cutter, a U.S. Navy fleet tug, and as a U.S. Coast Guard cutter. She was taken out of service 8 January 1946.
USCGC Unalga (WPG-53) was a Miami-class cutter that served in the United States Revenue Cutter Service and later the U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Navy. The early part of her career was spent patrolling the Pacific coast of the United States and the Bering Sea. After 1931 she did patrol work off Florida and in the Caribbean. After Unalga was sold in 1946, she was renamed after Jewish Agency leader Haim Arlosoroff and used for six months for moving Jewish refugees from Europe to Palestine before being forced to run aground by British Navy ships near Haifa.
The United States Revenue Cutter Morrill was built at Wilmington, Delaware, and commissioned in October 1889 under the official name Lot M. Morrill. She served off Florida and in the Spanish–American War. She then served on the Great Lakes. After the United States entered into World War I in 1917, she came under the operational control of the United States Navy. She rendered particular assistance in the aftermath of the December 1917 Halifax Explosion. Following the war Morrill again served on the Great Lakes. She was decommissioned in October 1928.
USRCSurveyor was a ship of the United States Revenue Marine captured by the United Kingdom during the War of 1812. Despite the vessel's loss, the "gallant and desperate" defense of her crew against a superior force of the Royal Navy and the Corps of Royal Marines is commemorated by the United States Coast Guard. Along with the Royal Navy frigate which bested her in battle, HMS Narcissus, Surveyor is among six legendary ships memorialized in the lyrics of the Coast Guard march "Semper Paratus".
USRC George S. Boutwell was a revenue cutter of the United States Revenue Cutter Service that served from 1873 to 1907 designed for cruising the southern coasts. She was named for George S. Boutwell, the 28th United States Secretary of the Treasury.