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USCGC Bibb WPG-31.jpg
USCGC Bibb (WPG-31)
United States
NamesakeGeorge M. Bibb
BuilderCharleston Navy Yard
Laid down15 August 1935
Launched14 January 1937
Commissioned10 March 1937
Decommissioned30 September 1985
FateSunk as an artificial reef off the Florida Keys on 28 November 1987
General characteristics
Class and typeTreasury Class cutter
Displacement2,350 (1936)
Length327' 0"
Beam41' 0"
Draft12' 6" (max.)
Propulsion2 x Westinghouse double-reduction geared turbines; 2 x Babcock & Wilcox sectional express, air-encased, 400 psi, 200° superheat 5,250 (total shaft horse power)
Speed19.5 knots (36.1 km/h)
Range13.0 knots, 7,000 mi (11,000 km) range
  • 1937: 12 officers, 4 warrants, 107 enlisted
  • 1941: 16 officers, 5 warrants, 202 enlisted
  • 1966: 10 officers, 3 warrants, 133 enlisted.
Sensors and
processing systems
  • Radar: (1945) SK, SG-1; (1966) AN/SPS-29D, AN/SPA-52.
  • Fire Control Radar: (1945) Mk-26; (1966) Mk-26 MOD 4
  • Sonar: (1945) QC series; (1966) SQS-11
Electronic warfare
& decoys
HF/DF: (1943)
Aircraft carried
  • Curtiss SOC-4, USCG No. V172 (1937-1938)
  • Grumman JF-2, USCG No. V146 (1939-)

The USCGC Bibb (WPG-31) was a 327-foot (100 m) Secretary-Class (also known as "Treasury Class") Coast Guard ship commissioned in 1936. Seven similar "combat cutters" were built and named for secretaries of the United States Treasury. Bibb was named for U.S. Secretary of the Treasury (July 4, 1844 – March 7, 1845) George M. Bibb.


Bibb saw service in World War II. The ship fought in the Battle of the Atlantic serving as a convoy escort. In February 1943, the convoy came under attack and the SS Henry R. Mallory was torpedoed. Capt. Raney ignored the order to leave the survivors and went back and rescued 202 men from the icy waters. In 1944 Bibb provided convoy escort between the United States and North Africa — mainly to Bizerte in Tunisia. In January 1945 Bibb left Charleston, South Carolina for service in the Pacific theater where, as an AGC, she served temporarily as the flagship for Commander, Mine Craft, Pacific Fleet. Bibb is credited with destroying one Japanese kamikaze aircraft in action at Karema Retto.

In peacetime the Bibb spent time on ocean station providing weather information and beacons to trans-Atlantic traffic. While on ocean station, the Bibb came to the rescue of the airliner, the Bermuda Sky Queen. In the Vietnam War, the Bibb transported John Kerry after he was shot on his Swift boat.


Bibb was decommissioned in 1985 and remained docked until it was transported to the Florida Keys for use as an artificial reef. The ship was sunk in November 1987 just outside the coral reef tract, about six miles (10 km) offshore of the island of Key Largo. It lies on its side at a depth of about 130 feet (40 m). Nearby, a second Treasury-Class ship, the USCGC Duane (WPG-33) was also sunk as an artificial reef.

The Bibb rests at 24°59.71′N 80°22.77′W / 24.99517°N 80.37950°W / 24.99517; -80.37950Coordinates: 24°59.71′N 80°22.77′W / 24.99517°N 80.37950°W / 24.99517; -80.37950.

Noteworthy crewmembers[edit]

Among those serving on Bibb was James A. Watson, a rear admiral who was the onsite ranking officer in the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Watson was an Engineering Officer/Student Engineer (1978-1980).[1][2]

World War II convoys escorted[edit]

Convoy Escort Group Dates Notes
SC 81 5 May 1942[3] Iceland shuttle
ON 97 13–16 May 1942[4] Iceland shuttle
SC 84 17 May 1942[3] Iceland shuttle
SC 85 6 June 1942[3] Iceland shuttle
ON 106 24–27 June 1942[4] Iceland shuttle
ON 110 7–11 July 1942[4] Iceland shuttle
ON 124 24-27 Aug 1942[4] Iceland shuttle
SC 97 29 Aug-1 Sept 1942[3] Iceland shuttle
ON 132 21-24 Sept 1942[4] Iceland shuttle
SC 101 28-30 Sept 1942[3] Iceland shuttle
ON 140 19-24 Oct 1942[4] Iceland shuttle
SC 105 25-26 Oct 1942[3] Iceland shuttle
Convoy SC 107 5-7 Nov 1942[3] Iceland shuttle
ON 144 8-15 Nov 1942[4] Iceland shuttle
ON 148 25-28 Nov 1942[4] Iceland shuttle
Convoy SC 118 1-9 Feb 1943[3] Iceland shuttle
HX 226 19-20 Feb 1943[5] Iceland shuttle
ON 169 25-27 Feb 1943[4] Iceland shuttle
HX 227 1–3 March 1943[5] Iceland shuttle
Convoy SC 121 9–10 March 1943[3] Iceland shuttle
Convoys HX 229/SC 122 21–23 March 1943[5] Iceland shuttle
ON 173 31 March-3 April 1943[4] Iceland shuttle

In popular culture[edit]

The USCGC Bibb appeared in the 1952 film "Walk East on Beacon" at the film's climactic end.


  1. ^ "USCG: Flag/SES Bios - Commander Coast Guard Atlantic Area". 2010-05-26. Archived from the original on 2010-03-26. Retrieved 2010-06-12.
  2. ^ "USCG Bibb". U.S. Coast Guard Cutter History. United States CoastGuard. Archived from the original on 2017-04-30. Retrieved 2012-12-12.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i "SC convoys". Andrew Hague Convoy Database. Archived from the original on 2011-05-20. Retrieved 2011-06-21.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "ON convoys". Andrew Hague Convoy Database. Archived from the original on 2011-09-29. Retrieved 2011-06-19.
  5. ^ a b c "HX convoys". Andrew Hague Convoy Database. Archived from the original on 2011-05-20. Retrieved 2011-06-19.

External links[edit]