June 5, 2023 —
Coast Guard Cutter Maurice Jester (WPC 1152) sits moored during its commissioning ceremony in Newport, Rhode Island, on June 2, 2023. U.S. Coast Guard photo.
The Coast Guard commissioned the 52nd fast response cutter (FRC), Maurice Jester, June 2 in Newport, Rhode Island. Maurice Jester is the third of six FRCs to be stationed 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 a lieutenant and assigned command of Coast Guard Cutter Icarus. In 1942, Icarus encountered and sunk 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 Sentinel-class FRCs feature advanced command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance equipment; over-the-horizon cutter boat deployment to reach vessels of interest; and improved habitability and seakeeping. The cutters are designed for multiple missions including search and rescue; national defense; ports, waterways and coastal security; drug and migrant interdiction; and fisheries patrols.
The Coast Guard has ordered 65 FRCs to date. With this commissioning, 52 are in service: 13 in Florida; seven in Puerto Rico; six in Bahrain; four in California; three each in Alaska, Guam, Hawaii, Texas, New Jersey and Massachusetts; and two each in Mississippi and North Carolina. Future FRC homeports include Astoria, Oregon, and Kodiak and Seward, Alaska.
The crew of Coast Guard Cutter Maurice Jester stands at attention during the commissioning ceremony in Newport, Rhode Island, June 2, 2023. The ship is the third Sentinel-class fast response cutter assigned to Boston. U.S. Coast Guard photo.
Celebrating the commissioning of Coast Guard Cutter Maurice Jester June 2, 2023, are (from left): back row – Vice Adm. Kevin E. Lunday, commander of the Atlantic Area and Defense Forces East; Chris Slack, auxiliary chaplain; Petty Officer 1st Class Carl K. R. Jester, retired; Lt. j.g. Edward Carroll, executive officer; and Rear Adm. John Mauger, commander of the First Coast Guard District. Front row – Lt. Terry Netusil, commanding officer; and Carolyn Jester Graebener. U.S. Coast Guard photo.
For more information: Fast Response Cutter Program page