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 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 diesel engines.

The Cape class cutter replaced the old WW II wooden 83-foot search and rescue patrol boats in 1952. In the 1980s the Cape class cutters were replaced with by 110 foot Island class cutters. Many Cape class cutter was transferred to the Coast Guards of the 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 onboard 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, Massachusetts as a rescue ship.

Decommissioned in 1989 Cape Henlopen was transferred to Costa Rica Coast Guard, recommissioned as Astronaut Franklin Chang Diaz until 2006 when she was 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 an armament of one 20 mm gun, two M1 rifles. One M1919 pistol, two M2 Browning machine guns, two 40 mm MK 64 grenade launchers.



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