WWII Era Coast Guard Cutter Being Restored

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Press Release #1 for 83527 Restoration

Contact: Dan Withers/(360) 437-0125
Chuck Fowler/ (360) 943-2858

World War II Era Coast Guard Patrol Boat Being Restored
as Active Maritime History Exhibit, Education Resource
One of the legendary United States Coast Guard patrol boats that was built and served during World War II is being restored to operating condition for use as a floating historical exhibit and education classroom.   
More than 40 years after it was decommissioned, plans call for the 83-foot CG-83527 to be renovated and returned to its original active duty area in the Pacific Northwest and Puget Sound. Built on the Atlantic Coast in 1944, the example of the last type of wooden Coast Guard patrol boat in service was sent to the Pacific and served in Tacoma, Washington for 17 years, from 1945 to 1962.   
Now owned by Combatant Craft of America (CCoA), a nonprofit military heritage group, once renovated the 83527 will be crewed by trained volunteers. On an unofficial support basis, it will be used throughout the region to help increase public awareness of the Coast Guard’s more than 200-year-old history of providing homeland security, search and rescue and marine safety services during times of both peace and war. Education programs conducted aboard the venerable vessel will also provide sea-going learning opportunities for youth groups, families and interested individuals.   
“We intend to return the CG-83527 to Puget Sound to continue its proud active duty service,” said Dan Withers, a Navy Vietnam veteran and CCoA president, ”but this time in a new role as a publically-accessible historical exhibit and educational resource. It will be an active, hands-on historical tribute to all those who served aboard these and other Coast Guard patrol boats in peace and war.” The former Tacoma-based vessel is the CCoA’s first heritage patrol boat acquisition, restoration and exhibit project. Withers noted that it is appropriate that the group’s initial project is to preserve one of the Coast Guard’s most widely-known WWII and post-war era vessels. The rugged boats were used extensively to support the D-Day invasion at Normandy, and for anti-submarine, convoy escort and other patrol duties in both the Atlantic and Pacific. A total of 230 were built for the Coast Guard between 1941 and 1944 by Wheeler Shipbuilding, Inc. in New York City.
Following its launching and outfitting, the 83527 was sent first to Miami, Florida and assigned briefly to anti-submarine patrol duties. The boat then transited from the Atlantic to the Pacific through the Panama Canal, calling at San Pedro, California before reaching its permanent duty station at Tacoma in 1945. A familiar sight in central and south Puget Sound for the next 17 years, the 83-foot boat performed patrol, search and rescue and marine safety duties.   
Once back in the Pacific Northwest and its final renovation completed, the 83527 will participate as an operating and dockside exhibit at selected maritime heritage festivals, community patriotic celebrations and similar events. One of the boat’s future appearance possibilities may be to escort the anticipated fleet of 40 major nation and regional tall ships scheduled to visit the Pacific Northwest during the summer of 2005.Tacoma and  Anacortes, along with Victoria and Port Alberni in British Columbia will be host ports for the American Sail Training Association’s Tall Ships Challenge 2005 race and festival series on the Pacific Coast. 
Volunteers, especially those Coast Guard veterans and career retirees who served aboard patrol boats, are invited to join the CG-83527 restoration and exhibit project.
To sign aboard as a member, contact Combatant Craft of America through their website, www.warboats.org  and click on the World War II or CG-83527 project sections. For more information and to make financial, in-kind service and equipment and other donations to the project see the web site, write the CCoA at 1400 East Ludlow Ridge Road, Port Ludlow WA 98365 or phone (360) 437-0125.
Recollections, photos and other materials about the 83527 and those who served
aboard her from 1945 to 1962 are especially welcome. They will be used to develop
a comprehensive history of the boat and its service, and also dockside and on-board exhibitry for its public appearances.
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