WHEC Disposals

The Morgenthau has just been transferred to Vietnam’s Coast Guard.

This leaves us four remaining 378 foot WHECs. According to a MARAD report, “Office of Ship Disposal Programs Annual Report for FY2016” dated December 2016, page 43, Annex J, USCGC Sherman (WHEC-720) will be decommissioned in FY2018, Midgett (WHEC-726) in FY2019, Mellon (WHEC-717) in FY2020.

Decommissioning for USCGC Douglas Munro (WHEC-724) (note the full name–the Coast Guard has two USCGC Munros now, both in the Pacific, hope there is no confusion) was listed as, to be determined (TBD). FY2021 seems likely, but they may be holding off until they get an Offshore Patrol Cutter to take her place in Kodiak.

Thanks to Edrick Masangkay for bringing this to my attention.

13 thoughts on “WHEC Disposals

    • Even better looking before the FRAM, but yes, they will be missed. Nice to see them living on in other Navies. Looking forward to seeing one in Vietnamese CG colors. Ought to look great.

      • Hamilton class, 3,250 tons, twelve ships commissioned between 1967 and 1972.

        Knox class, 4,260 tons, 46 ships commissioned 1969 to 1974

        The Knox were about 1,000 tons larger and had about 100 more crew members.

        The 378s were not as well equipped as the Knox class, The Knox class had
        –a lower frequency, longer ranged, bow mounted active sonar (AN/SQS-26 vs AN/SQS-38),
        –an AN//SQR-18 towed array passive sonar,
        –an eight cell ASROC launcher (which also became their Harpoon launcher),
        –could support the LAMPS I helicopter (H-2), and they had
        –Prairie-Masker a system to minimize self noise.
        http://ussbadger-1071.org/menus/prairie-masker.php, more here

        There were earlier Navy DEs that were closer in size to the 378s.

        The Garcia (DE/FF-1040) /Brooke (DEG/FFG-1) class 17 ships, commissioned 1964-68.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Garcia-class_frigate / https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brooke-class_frigate

        The Bronstein (DE/FF-1038) class, two ship commissioned in 1963 which were very nearly the same size as the 378s.

        All these were decommissioned 1990 or earlier and all had AN/SQS-26 sonar and ASROC.

        Notably these earlier ships were also built with better air-search radars than the 378s.

        You have to go back to the Dealey class (commissioned 1954-57) to find Navy frigates (then destroyer escorts) that were comparably equipped. They were all decommissioned as the Knox class came on line. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dealey-class_destroyer_escort

        The 378’s as built ASW suite was a modest improvement over that fitted on that of the cutters that had preceeded them. I don’t think the leadership understood how far behind we were. We had 36 ASW equipped cutters at one time. Then 12 378s. Now none.

        The 378s were a bit faster, more maneuverable, and had longer range than the Navy DEs. FRAM gave the 378s the ability to hangar and support LAMPS I helicopters, but by then the Navy also had LAMPS III. The FRAM 378s potentially could carry more Harpoon missiles than the Navy frigates.

      • Note how quickly the Navy DE/FFs were replaced, because they were primary ASW ships their capability had to be kept up to date.

      • The 78 Gearing class FRAM I conversions of the late ’50s/early “60s, were also more capable than the as built 378s. Their AN/SQS-23 sonar was not as good as the 26 but longer ranged than the 38. They also had ASROC. They also had DASH (drone Anti-Submarine Helicopter) which was deemed a failure but only because their peacetime loss rate was too high. In wartime the accidental loss rate would have been acceptible. The Japanese used them long after the USN abandoned them.

  1. That will be a big ship for Vietnam. That means that the Vietnamese Coast Guard will have a larger ship than the Vietnamese Navy. Interesting.

  2. My father, Ret. CWO2 Robert Kassela, passed away in 2016. Toward the end of his career he was a inspector for the USCG at Avondale Shipyards. I believe it was WHEC-723 or WHEC-724 (1969 or 1970 ?). He was very proud of the work he did. A my mother’s house his plank owner certificate is still on the wall.

    • You are correct. CWO2 Kasella was the Main Propulsion Assistant at the time Munro was placed in commission, 27 September 1971. He was a plank owner. I no longer have my certificate, but I was one, too.

      • have my plank owners certificate from cgc matinicus she has been decommissioned. of the 4 ships I served on, navy and cg, only cgc campbell remains in commission. at the rate of the opc program, campbell may outlive me.

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