January 28, 2004
Acushnet was originally commissioned as the salvage ship USS SHACKLE (ARS 9) for the U.S. Navy Feb. 5, 1944. On August 23, 1946, Acushnet was commissioned as a Diver Class Cutter in the US Coast Guard. That same year, two other vessels of the same class: the Escape (ex-ARS 6) and Yokona (ex-SEIZE ARS 26) also joined the Coast Guard fleet as Diver Class Cutters.
Acushnet is designated as a tug (WAT), an oceanographic vessel (WAGO), and a medium endurance cutter (WMEC). It is the second Coast Guard cutter to bear the name Acushnet and is the second oldest medium endurance cutter still in operation, the oldest being the Storis (61 years of service) in Kodiak, Alaska.
Courtesy U.S. Coast Guard
Acushnet's operational history as USS Shackle includes participation in the salvage efforts at Pearl Harbor, Midway Island, Eniwetok, Guam, Saipan, and Japan. The salvage ship also played active roles in the battles over Iwo Jima and Okinawa. During WWII it earned three battle stars.
Acushnet's first homeport as
a Coast Guard tug was Portland, Maine, where its crew earned
a valiant reputation as a dependable friend to fishermen and
boaters in distress. From 1968 to 1978,
Official U.S. Coast Guard file photo
Nicknamed "The 'A' Team in Alaskan Fisheries," Acushnet is credited with handling the Alaskan environment more effectively than most other cutters even though it lacks a flight deck and modern weapons systems. Its current missions consist of homeland defense, search and rescue, and law enforcement.
During the course of 60 years of service, Acushnet crews have received the following awards for exemplary service: World War II Victory Medal, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, American Campaign Medal, 2 Coast Guard Unit Commendations, 5 Coast Guard Meritorious Unit Commendations, 7 Coast Guard "E" Ribbons, Navy Occupation Service Medal, 3 National Defense Service Medals, 2 Humanitarian Service Medals, and 2 Coast Guard Special Operation Ribbons.
Acushnet and its crew will be on patrol Feb. 5th, so the crew will celebrate the cutter's 60 years of service Jan. 29th as it continues to serve the nation.