Sunday, April 27, 2014

The History of STORIS: A legendary cutter - Part 1

As one of the most accomplished cutters ever to serve the U.S. Coast Guard, STORIS had considerable historic significance to justify museum status. The only example of her class, the 230-foot STORIS was commissioned on September 30, 1942. She saw considerable action during World War II in the North Atlantic and waters around Greenland, guarding critical mineral mines and U.S. Army air bases on the island. STORIS participated in convoy duty and was instrumental in searching for and eradicating German meteorological stations around Greenland.

In 1948, the Coast Guard transferred STORIS to Juneau, Alaska. 

In summer 1957, STORIS served as flagship in convoy with the smaller cutters BRAMBLE and SPAR. Together these ships became the first U.S.-flagged vessels to transit the Northwest Passage from west to east through the icy Canadian Arctic. Upon completing the transit and based on her early voyages near Greenland, STORIS became the first American-flagged vessel to circumnavigate North America.

Following the historic transit, STORIS returned to Alaska and transferred to her new homeport at Kodiak, Alaska, in late 1957. For fifty years while based in Kodiak, STORIS participated in numerous search and rescue operations, enforced fisheries laws and delivered needed provisions, law enforcement services and medical care to remote Alaskan villages as a member of the official Bering Sea Patrol. In October 1991, STORIS assumed the title of “Queen of the Fleet,” the oldest commissioned cutter in the Coast Guard, an honor that she would hold for over 15 years. In recognition of the honor, STORIS’ hull numbers were painted gold.

On February 8, 2007, STORIS was decommissioned and moved to California where the vessel was put into custody storage with the U.S. Maritime Administration National Defense Reserve Fleet in Suisun Bay near Benicia. 

The National Park Service recognized STORIS as historically significant on a national level with her listing on the National Register of Historic Places on December 31, 2012.

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