May 10, 2019






USCGC Cape Henlopen, WPB 95328, was a 95 foot, type C, Cape class cutter

built at Curtis Bay Coast Guard Yard in 1958 to be used as a law enforcement and search and rescue patrol boat.. Cape Class cutters were built for shallow draft anti submarine warfare craft for use in the Cold War.


She was never fitted for anti submarine warfare because the need decreased. Her

hull was steel and superstructure aluminum, powered with four Cummings VT600 diesel

engines, later refitted with two 16V149 Detroit diesels.


The Cape class cutter replaced the old WW II wooden 83 foot search and rescue

patrol boats in 1952. In the 1980's the Cape class cutters were replaced with by 110

foot Island class cutters. Many Cape class cutter were transferred to the Coast Guard's

of Caribbean and South America.


From 1959 to 1966, Cape Henlopen was stationed at Coast Guard Air Station

Port Angeles, Washington where she was used for on board fire fighting and escorting

ships in distress on the west coast of Washington and Oregon.


From 1969 to 1981 the Henlopen was stationed at Petersburg, Alaska as a rescue

craft and assisted fishing vessels when needed. In 1980 to 1982 she underwent major

repair and renovation and 1983 to 1989 she was stationed at Woods Hole, Massachussetts

as a rescue ship.


Decommissioned in 1989 Cape Henlopen was transferred to Costa Rica Coast

Guard, recommissioned as Astronauta Franklin Chang Diaz until 2006 when she ws relieved of service and sunk in the Gulf of Nicoya as an artificial reef.


Her class was Type C, Cape class Cutter, 98 ton displacement, 95 foot long, 20 foot beam, draft 6 ft 2 in. speed 28 knot, 3560 mile range, 15 crew, with armament of one

20 mm gun, two M1 rifles. One M1919 pistol, two M2 Browning machine guns , two

40 mm MK 64 grenade launchers.