Names for FRCs #55 through 64

The crew of USCGC Joseph Gerczak (WPC 1126) prepare to moor at the port of Pago Pago, American Samoa, Aug. 3, 2019. They will conduct a joint fisheries patrol with NOAA Fisheries and American Samoa Marine Police members. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Chief Petty Officer Sara Muir/Released)

Below is an ALCOAST providing the names planned for Webber class “Fast Response Cutters” #55 through 64. This seems to show considerable confidence in Congress since only FRCs #55 and 56 have been funded, only #57 and 58 are in the FY2020 budget request, and administration’s plans for out years include no additional FRCs. This confidence appears justified in that Congress has consistently funded more FRCs that requested on an annual basis. 

united states coast guard

R 231327 OCT 19
FM COMDT COGARD WASHINGTON DC//CG-092//
TO ALCOAST
UNCLAS//N05700//
ALCOAST 328/19
COMDTNOTE 5700
SUBJ:  NEW FAST RESPONSE CUTTERS NAMED FOR COAST GUARD HEROES
1. The Sentinel Class Fast Response Cutters (FRC), the Coast Guard’s fleet of multi-mission
ships that perform drug and migrant interdiction; ports, waterways and coastal security;
fishery patrols; search and rescue; and national defense, efficiently and proudly complete
domestic and international operations on a daily basis.
2. Continuing the Sentinel Class’ tradition of honoring women and men who distinguished
themselves while serving as enlisted Coast Guard members throughout the history of the Service,
FRCs 55–64 bear the names of leaders, trailblazers and heroes of the Coast Guard and its
forbearers. These namesakes include recipients of the Gold Lifesaving Medal, Silver Star Medal,
Good Conduct Medal, and Medal of Freedom. These new cutters are scheduled for delivery
starting in 2023 and will be named for the following people:
    a. FRC 55 – Master Chief Radioman Melvin Bell. A Pacific-Island American, Master Chief
Bell broke many barriers in the Service. He mentored numerous others during his career and
embodied the Coast Guard’s Core Values.
    b. FRC 56 – Master Chief Boatswain’s Mate David Duren. Master Chief Duren was a Coast
Guard legend who was cited multiple times for heroism and received the nickname “Big Wave
Dave” for his bravery in small boat operations.
    c. FRC 57 – Seaman First Class Florence Finch. Serving under dire conditions in enemy-
occupied Philippines, Seaman Finch provided much needed medicines and supplies to American
POWs.  Seaman Finch later suffered torture and privation before eventually enlisting in the
Coast Guard. She received the Medal of Freedom for her heroism.
    d. FRC 58 – Captain John Witherspoon. An African American member with a career in both
the enlisted and officer ranks, Captain Witherspoon upheld the highest traditions of the
Coast Guard as an inspirational role model and mentor for Coast Guard men and women.
    e. FRC 59 – Boatswain’s Mate Second Class Earl Cunningham. Petty Officer Cunningham
sacrificed his own life so that others might live. His devotion to duty endures as a role
model for the men and women of the Coast Guard.
    f. FRC 60 – Chief Warrant Officer Frederick Mann. A Silver Star Medal recipient, Chief
Warrant Officer Mann saved the lives of a number of his shipmates when he oversaw firefighting
efforts aboard his burning transport during the Guadalcanal landings. He served out a
distinguished career and retired as a Warrant Officer.
    g. FRC 61 – Seaman Second Class Olivia Hooker. The first African American woman to wear
a Coast Guard uniform, Seaman Hooker enlisted later in life out of a sense of patriotism in
the face of discrimination. She served her country with distinction then returned to civilian
life to continue mentoring others.
    h. FRC 62 – Port Security Specialist Second Class Vincent Danz. Petty Officer Danz ran to
the scene of the 9/11 attacks, aiding victims and saving lives, before he lost his life when
the World Trade Center collapsed.
    i. FRC 63 – Machinery Technician First Class Jeffrey Palazzo. A member of the New York
Fire Department, Petty Officer Palazzo was one of the first responders to the World Trade
Center attacks and lost his life while heroically trying to rescue others.
    j. FRC 64 – Boatswain’s Mate Second Class Marvin Perrett. A veteran of World War II, Petty
Officer Perrett served as a landing craft coxswain in both the European and Pacific Theaters
and actively promoted the Coast Guard throughout his life.
3. Thirty-four FRCs are currently in service, with two in Ketchikan, Alaska; four in San Pedro,
California; six in Key West, Florida; six in Miami Beach, Florida; three in Honolulu, Hawaii;
two in Pascagoula, Mississippi; two in Cape May, New Jersey; two in Atlantic Beach, North
Carolina; and seven in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
4. The Fast Response Cutters are the mainstay of the Coast Guard’s coastal patrol fleet,
providing multi-mission capabilities and interagency interoperability. The FRCs feature
advanced command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and
reconnaissance equipment; over-the-horizon cutter boat deployment to reach vessels of
interest; and improved habitability and sea-keeping. They are replacing the 1980s-era Island
Class 110-foot patrol boats. For more information, visit the Coast Guard Acquisition
Directorate’s FRC page at: http://www.dcms.uscg.mil/Our-Organization/Assistant-Commandant-
for-Acquisitions-CG-9/Programs/Surface-Programs/Fast-Response-Cutters/.
5. RADM Melissa Bert, Director of Governmental and Public Affairs, sends.
6. Internet release is authorized.

9 thoughts on “Names for FRCs #55 through 64

    • I expect 64. There are 58 in the Program of Record, but that does not include replacements for the six 110s in PATRONSWA based in Bahrain. Four PATFORSWA cutters have already been ordered. 56 total have been ordered through FY2019, so we need eight more in FY 2020 and 2021.

  1. If I could, I would nominate the late CAPT Bill Bickford for his rescue of multiple passengers from Alaska Airlines crash in Ketchikan on 4/5/76.

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