US seized Kriegsmarine Sail Training Ship Horst Wessel As a Prize of War
“The Coast Guard Cutter Eagle laying at a shipyard in Bremerhaven, Germany being rigged and outfitted for her voyage to the United States. The square-rigged sailing vessel was the former German Training ship ‘Horst Wessel’. The bombed buildings of Bremerhaven are in the background.” Photo dated 16 April 1946. (Official USCG photo)
USCGC Eagle under sail in 2015
derelict sail training ship which was to become USCGC Eagle in Bremerhaven immediately after World War Two.
Horst Wessel was a Nazi thug and a pimp who supposedly was killed in a street fight with Communists in Berlin prior to the Nazi seizure of power. He made his living as a pimp and there is evidence to suggest he was murdered by the brother of one of his prostitutes. The ship is has a steel hull and was outfitted as a barque which is a sailing ship with three masts in which the foremast and mainmast are square-rigged and the mizzenmast is rigged fore-and-aft.
Horst Wessel about to be launched. The original ship was built by the German shipbuilder Blohm and Voss, who also built the Bismarck. You have to give it to them: they certainly built strong ships.
Sailing barque Horst Wessel:
Laid down: 15 February 1936
Launched: 13 June 1936
Commissioned: 17 September 1936
Captured: April 1945
Horst Wessel in front of German Naval Academy Mürwik in Flensburg in 1937.
The construction of the German naval academy began in 1910. The buildings weren’t badly damaged in World War Two and became the last headquarters of the Nazi government under Admiral Doenitz. Repairs were made in the years after the war and the academy reopened in the mid-1950s when West Germany was permitted to begin rearmament.
The Naval Academy Mürwik with the Gorch Fock (sister ship of the USCG Eagle) on the Flensburg Firth, the Northernmost part of Germany.
Like many businesses, the luxury passenger liner business needed a little bit of help from the government. So lucrative contracts to carry mail were given to the fastest passenger steamers which helped them make a profit. Hence a ship contracted to carry the Royal Mail was known as a “Royal Mail Steamer” abbreviated as “RMS”.
Ned Parfett, best known as the “Titanic paperboy”, holding a large banner about the sinking outside the White Star Line offices in London, April 16, 1912.
The last lifeboat successfully launched from the Titanic photographed from the Cunard Liner RMS Carpathia, on April 15, 1912. (Records of District Courts of the United States, RG 21)
RMS Titanic leaving Belfast for her sea trials on 2 April 1912
RMS Titanic during sea trials
Titanic at Southampton docks, prior to departure
Third Class ticker or steerage class, the cheapest ticket you could buy. Had you been on the Titanic you would have had a much better chance of surviving if you had a First Class Ticket. 61%of First Class passengers survived while only 24% of Third Class or steerage passengers survived. I’m sure this is a quirk and has nothing to do with the First Class passengers being wealthy. J. Bruce Ismay was the managing director of the line and was aboard the Titanic. He pulled rank to get into a lifeboat. Upon returning to England he resigned his posts and lived in seclusion in his castle in Ireland for the rest of his life.
From Titanic Facts Net:
“Are any Titanic survivors alive today?”
“No. The last living survivor died on 31 May 2009. Elizabeth Gladys ‘Millvina’ Dean, who sailed with her parents as a third-class passenger, was just 8 weeks old when Titanic sailed. Shed died, aged 97, at a nursing home in Hampshire, England. Millvina Dean had become the last living survivor on 16 October 2007, when Barbara West Dainton died, aged 96.”
The RMS Titanic in Southampton after almost colliding with the SS New York. April 10th 1912
The first International Conference on the Safety of Life at Sea, which was convened in London on November 12, 1913, legally established the International Ice Patrol. Since that time, the patrol has been conducted solely by the United States with other nations paying their share to the US Government on an annual basis.
According to the website of the US Coast Guard: uscg.mil/history/articles/
“Beginning in February of 1914, February 7, 1914….. the International Ice Observation and Ice Patrol Service. Each year since then, with exception of the wartime years, a patrol has been maintained by the U.S. Coast Guard.
That the Ice Patrol has maintained broad-based international support for over seven decades despite changing operational and technological factors is a tribute to the soundness of the basic concept. As of 1993 the governments contributing to the Ice Patrol included Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Norway, Panama, Poland, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom, and United States of America.”
“the Jaws of Death”
Omaha beach, early morning of June 6th 1941. D-Day.
“The Jaws of Death.”
US Coast Guard-manned LCVP from the U.S.S. Samuel Chase lands troops of the U.S. Army’s First Division on Omaha Beach, morning of June 6, 1944 (D-Day). Official Coast Guard Photo #2343 by CPHOM Robert F. Sargent. This photo is in the public domain and cannot be copyrighted.
Many websites place their copyright on US Government photographs which is against the policy of the Federal Government.
LCVP was an acronym for”landing craft, vehicle, personal.”
The parent ship of the landing craft pictured above was the USS Samuel Chase, was a specially designed attack troop transport ship. During World War Two, the ship was manned by the US Coast Guard. The ship was named for Samuel Chase, a signatory to the Declaration of Independence. Held in the US Navy’s reserve fleet for decades, the Samuel Chase was sold for scrap in 1973. US Coast Guard manned attack transport USS Samuel Chase circa 1941. Official US Coast Guard photo in the public domain.
While not well-known today, the officers and men of the US Coast Guard performed heroic actions in World War Two. Their history gets subsumed into the history of the US Navy because the President of the United States has the authority to place the US Coast Guard under the command of the navy in time of war. This happened in both world wars although the USCG retained its status as an independent service.
American reinforcement troops arriving at Normandy coast, France, in 1944. Official US Coast Guard photo in the public domain.
A LCT (Landing Craft, Tank) and an US Coast Guard-manned boat operating off Normandy, France, June 1944; note jeep vehicles on board the LCT. (photo courtesy of the US National Archives and in the public domain)
Many landing craft and small boats were manned by US Coast Guardsmen both in the European Theater and the Pacific Theater.
“From Coast Guard-manned “sea-horse” landing craft, American troops leap forward to storm a North African beach during final amphibious maneuvers.” James D. Rose, Jr., ca. 1944. 26-G-2326. National Archives Identifier: 513171. Official US Coast Guard photo in the public domain.
World War Two: US Marines show their appreciation to the Coast Guard during the invasion of Guam 21 July 1944 – 10 August 1944. Guam is part of the Marianas islands which lie to the east of the Philippines and to the south-south-east of Japan. The United States Navy captured Guam from the Kingdom of Spain on 21 June 1898 during the Spanish–American War. Official US Coast Guard photo in the public domain.
Crewmembers aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Eagle turn the helm Tuesday, June 21, 2011 while in London. The Eagle is underway for the 2011 Summer Training Cruise, which commemorates the 75th anniversary of the 295-foot barque. (US Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class NyxoLyno Cangemi)
[Image courtesy of United States Coast Guard Website.]