March 3, 2023 —
The 52nd fast response cutter, Maurice Jester, was delivered to the Coast Guard March 2, 2023, in Key West, Florida. It will be homeported in Boston. U.S. Coast Guard photo.
The Coast Guard accepted delivery of the 52nd fast response cutter (FRC), Maurice Jester, March 2 in Key West, Florida. Maurice Jester will be the third FRC to be homeported in Boston.
The cutter’s namesake was born in Virginia in 1889 and enlisted with the Coast Guard in 1917 as a surfman. By 1936, he had achieved the rank of chief boatswain’s mate. After the U.S. entered World War II, Jester was commissioned as lieutenant and assigned command of Coast Guard Cutter Icarus. In 1942, Jester commanded the Icarus during the sinking of the German U-boat U-352 off the coast of North Carolina. Icarus deployed depth charges after detecting the U-boat on sonar, hitting the vessel and causing it to surface. U-352’s crew abandoned ship after reaching the surface and Icarus engaged the stricken vessel, sinking it completely. Icarus then rescued 33 U-boat crewmembers from the water, including the commanding officer, and delivered them to Charleston, South Carolina, as prisoners of war. Jester was awarded the Navy Cross and promoted to lieutenant commander following the incident. Jester was one of only six Coast Guardsmen to be awarded the Navy Cross during World War II.
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