User:Cuprum17/USRC Cutters

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United States
Name: USRC Gresham
Namesake: Walter Q. Gresham, 35th United States Secretary of the Treasury
  • U.S. Revenue Cutter Service (1897–1915)
  • U.S. Coast Guard (1915–35),(1943–1944)
Awarded: 27 June 1895[1]
Builder: Globe Iron Works, Cleveland, Ohio,[1]
Cost: US$147,800 [1]
Launched: 12 September 1896[2]
Acquired: 10 February 1897[1]
Commissioned: 30 May 1897[1]
Decommissioned: 19 January 1935[3]
General characteristics [2]
Type: Revenue cutter
Displacement: 1,090 tons
Length: 205 ft 6 in (62.64 m)
Beam: 32 ft 0 in (9.75 m)
Draft: 12 ft 0 in (3.66 m)
Installed power: Triple-expansion steam engine, 25 in (0.64 m), 37.5 in (0.95 m), 56.25 in (1.429 m) diameter X 30 in (0.76 m) stroke. 2,181 shp, single screw
Sail plan: originally brigantine
Speed: 14.5 knots (cruising)
Complement: 9 officers, 63 enlisted
  • (1897) Bow torpedo tube
  • (1918) 4 × 3-inch guns
  • (1930) 1 × 1-pounder, 2 × 6-pounders, 3 × .50 cal. Machine guns
  • (1943) 2 × 3"/50 guns, 2 × 20mm/80 (single), 2 × "K" guns, 2 × stern depth charge racks, 2 × mousetraps[3]

USRC Gresham was a revenue cutter of the United States Revenue Cutter Service that served from 1897 to 1935 and again in 1943–44, and saw service in the U.S. Navy during World War I and briefly in World War II.


In 1896, the Revenue Cutter Service (RCS) started designing the first steel hulled cutters utilizing the service's own team of naval architects and engineers.[4] Gresham was one of several steel-hulled cutters that were put into service before 1900 that featured characteristics more closely in line with U.S. Navy's designs of the same time period.[2] A US$ 147,800 contract was awarded to Globe Iron Works of Cleveland, Ohio on 27 June 1895 for the construction of Gresham. Her design was very similar to near-sisters Manning, McCulloch, Algonquin, and Onondaga, which were built during the same period. She featured electrical generators, which was a new innovation for the Revenue Cutter Service, to power lights and call bells. The triple-expansion steam engine powered a single screw that propelled the cutter along at a top speed of 18 knots. An unusual feature for a revenue cutter was the bow torpedo tube designed for wartime operations. As Gresham's intended patrol area was the Great Lakes, this feature caused concern by Canadian officials because it was a direct violation of the Webster-Ashburton Treaty with Canada which limited naval strength on the lakes.[2][3] The RCS accepted the completed cutter on 10 February 1897 and she was commissioned 30 May at Cleveland. Her patrol area was Lake Michigan "and adjacent waters" and she was home-ported at Milwaukee, Wisconsin.[3]


In December 1897, Gresham was laid up for winter quarters at Milwaukee and the following spring was still at winter quarters when the United states declared war with Spain. The RCS was directed by executive order to serve with the U.S. Navy and Gresham was cut in half and shipped to Ogdensburg, New York because she was too long for the canal locks leading to the Atlantic Ocean. She was reassembled at Ogdensburg but not in time for the ending of the Spanish–American War. She was refit at Portsmouth Navy Yard during July 1898 and returned to Treasury Department control by executive order on 17 August.[3][5] After a patrol to Puerto Rico during November and December Gresham was assigned a winter patrolling area from New York to Delaware and was assigned a home-port at New York City. Summer patrols included the same areas as winter patrols but the additional duty of patrolling the Harvard–Yale Regatta each year from 1902 to 1907. 1903 included a yard availability for painting and overhaul during May which was completed in time for the annual regatta patrol.[1] During December 1904 Gresham temporarily assumed the patrol duties for Algonquin in the Boston area and after the temporary duty she was assigned a new home-port at New London, Connecticut.[6]

When the Revenue Cutter Service and the United States Lifesaving Service combined in 1915 to form the United States Coast Guard, Gresham became part of the new service and was thereafter known as USCGC Gresham.[7]

World War I[edit]

Post-War service[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Record of Movements, p 354
  2. ^ a b c d Canney, p 55
  3. ^ a b c d e Gresham, 1897, Cutters, Craft & U.S. Coast Guard Manned Army & Navy Vessels, U.S. Coast Guard Historian's Office
  4. ^ Canney, p 53
  5. ^ Cite error: The named reference Rom354 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  6. ^ Record of Movements, p 355
  7. ^ "U.S. Coast Guard General Order No.1", Historic Documents & Publications, U.S. Coast Guard Historian's Office
References used