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Coast Guard accepts 46th fast response cutter


The 46th fast response cutter (FRC), John Scheuerman, was delivered to the Coast Guard Oct. 21, 2021, in Key West, Florida. It is the fifth of six FRCs that will be stationed in Manama, Bahrain. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

The Coast Guard accepted delivery of the 46th fast response cutter (FRC), John Scheuerman, Oct. 21 in Key West, Florida.

John Scheuerman is the fifth of six FRCs that will be stationed in Manama, Bahrain. Stationing FRCs in Bahrain supports Patrol Forces Southwest Asia (PATFORSWA), the Coast Guard’s largest unit outside of the U.S., and its mission to train, organize, equip, support and deploy combat-ready Coast Guard forces in support of U.S. Central Command and national security objectives.

PATFORSWA works with Central Command in conducting maritime operations to forward U.S. interests, deter and counter disruptive countries, defeat violent extremism and strengthen partner nations’ maritime capabilities in order to secure the maritime environment in the Central Command area of responsibility.

The cutter will be named after John Scheuerman, who enlisted in the Coast Guard in October 1942. Following basic training, he was assigned to Galveston, Texas, to be part of the commissioning crew of Landing Craft Infantry (Large)-319, also known as USS LCI-319. In March 1943, after crewmembers completed amphibious assault training, LCI-319 was one of several Coast Guard-manned ships that departed Norfolk, Virginia, on the way to the Mediterranean combat theater as part of Flotilla #4. Upon arrival in the region, Scheuerman was tasked with manning a 20 mm automatic cannon that was mounted on an exposed station located aft of the ship’s pilothouse. Scheuerman was recognized by his command as an excellent anti-aircraft gunner and was repeatedly called into action in early September 1943 during the Allied invasion of Italy.

On the morning of Sept. 9, LCI-319 was operating in the Gulf of Salerno preparing for the amphibious assault on the German-held Italian shoreline. The Allied landings at Salerno were met with fierce resistance from German shore forces and fighter aircraft. Under enemy fire, Scheuerman and the other men in the deck division worked topside handling tow lines and cables and dropping the anchors. LCI-319 crew supported tank landing ships and were later called to set battle stations on a number of occasions as enemy aircraft approached.

Scheuerman, manning a 20mm gun, was preparing to engage one aircraft when it was hit by Allied anti-aircraft fire. As it crashed into the water, the aircraft sprayed LCI-319 with cannon and machine-gun fire. Six crewmen were wounded, but only two men received lethal wounds. Scheuerman, who had faced down the aircraft as it fired upon LCI-319, was severely wounded in the chest. He was transferred to a nearby field hospital, but his wounds were too severe and he later died.

For his valor in combat, he was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart Medal and Silver Star Medal.

The Coast Guard has ordered 60 FRCs to date. 45 are in service: 12 in Florida; seven in Puerto Rico; four in California; three each in Guam, Hawaii, Texas and New Jersey; and two each in Alaska, Mississippi, North Carolina and Bahrain. Glen Harris and Emlen Tunnell will sail to Bahrain later this year. Future FRC homeports include Astoria, Oregon; Boston; St. Petersburg, Florida; and Kodiak, Seward and Sitka, Alaska.

For more information: Fast Response Cutter Program page