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Coast Guard accepts 51st fast response cutter


The Coast Guard accepted delivery of the 51st fast response cutter (FRC), Warren Deyampert, Dec. 22 in Key West, Florida. Warren Deyampert will be the second FRC to be homeported in Boston.

The cutter’s namesake was born in Alabama and enlisted with the Coast Guard at age 19. He was assigned in August 1941 to Coast Guard Cutter Escanaba. Deyampert was a Black American, so the prevailing attitudes of the era resulted in limited military career opportunities for him and other service members of color. Despite those obstacles, Deyampert excelled in his duties and trained as a rescue swimmer with his shipmates. In February 1943, Escanaba was part of a six-vessel convoy that included the U.S. Army transport ship SS Dorchester. In the early morning hours of Feb. 3, Dorchester was torpedoed by a German U-boat. Escanaba steamed to the rapidly sinking Dorchester and Deyampert and others plunged into the frigid North Atlantic waters to bring survivors to safety. He spent an estimated four hours in the frigid, oily water and contributed to the rescue of 145 survivors.

On June 13, 1943, Escanaba sank within minutes of an explosion that is believed to have been caused by the vessel hitting a naval mine. Deyampert was among those lost in the incident. He was posthumously awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Medal for gallant and voluntary action in the Dorchester rescues, as well as the Purple Heart Medal.

The Coast Guard has ordered 65 FRCs to date. Fifty are in service: 13 in Florida; seven in Puerto Rico; six in Bahrain; four in California; three each in Alaska, Guam, Hawaii, Texas and New Jersey; two each in Mississippi and North Carolina; and one in Massachusetts. Future FRC homeports include Astoria, Oregon, and Kodiak and Seward, Alaska.

For more information: Fast Response Cutter Program page