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Coast Guard retires oldest vessel


FEB. 26 — The Coast Guard’s oldest vessel, the 64-year-old cutter Storis, was decommissioned earlier this month during a ceremony in Alaska.

Nearly 300 people and crewmembers turned out for the ceremony, held at the Coast Guard base in Kodiak, the agency says in a news release. Taps was played, and a bell was rung eight times to honor the vessel.

“In a world where the average naval vessel is considered old at 10 to 15 years of service, the Storis has lived five or six lifetimes,” Coast Guard Commander Arthur E. Brooks said at the ceremony.

Construction of Storis — referred to as the “Queen of the Fleet” — began in 1941 and was completed after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, according to a news report in the Kodiak Daily Mirror. During World War II Storis helped patrol the North Atlantic to prevent Nazi forces from establishing weather stations in Greenland, the agency says. Storis was transferred to Juneau, Alaska, in 1948 to supply medical treatment to native villages and survey uncharted waters.

The Storis completed her final patrol in the Gulf of Alaska and Bering Sea in early December, the agency says. The 63-year-old cutter Acushnet now is the Coast Guard’s oldest vessel, according to the news report.

Jason Fell