UPDATED: First Sentinel Class cutter named for CG hero Webber

The 153-foot long Sentinel-class patrol boat is capable of speeds of 28 plus knots. It is armed with one stabilized, remotely-operated 25mm chain gun and four crew-served .50 caliber machine guns. It has a crew capacity of 22 people and is able to perform independently for a minimum of five days at sea and be underway for 2,500 hours per year.(Illustration courtesy of Bollinger Shipyards)

The 153-foot long Sentinel-class patrol boat is capable of speeds of 28 plus knots. It is armed with one stabilized, remotely-operated 25mm chain gun and four crew-served .50 caliber machine guns. It has a crew capacity of 22 people and is able to perform independently for a minimum of five days at sea and be underway for 2,500 hours per year.(Illustration courtesy of Bollinger Shipyards)

Admiral Thad Allen, Commandant of the Coast Guard, announced today the first of the Coast Guard’s new Sentinel class cutters will bear the name of enlisted hero Bernard  C. Webber.

Following the commissioning of CGC Bernard C. Webber, all of the anticipated 58 fast response cutters in the Sentinel class will bear the names of Coast Guard heroes who served in the enlisted ranks.

"Formal portrait of Boatswain's Mate First Class Bernard Webber in 1952." (Official USCG Photo.)

"Formal portrait of Boatswain's Mate First Class Bernard Webber in 1952." (Official USCG Photo.)

“Naming the Sentinel-class cutters after Guardians who started out in the enlisted ranks highlights our heritage, ties our future to our past and ensures that these often unsung heroes are remembered,” said Charles “Skip” Bowen, Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard. “In February 1952, then Petty Officer 1st Class Bernie Webber drove the 36500 through 60-foot seas to rescue 32 men off the stern of the tanker Pendleton to effect what is arguably the greatest rescue ever undertaken by the Coast Guard. I can’t think of any other Coast Guardsman who deserves the honor of having the first Sentinel-class cutter named after him or her more than Bernie.”

Admiral Allen invoked the memory of Alexander Hamilton in announcing the naming decision.

“Alexander Hamilton envisioned, “A few armed vessels judiciously stationed at the entrance to our ports, might be useful sentinels of the law.” The Bernard C. Webber and all of the Sentinel class cutters will continue to fulfill the vision that Hamilton saw for our service over 200 years ago.” (Click here to read the rest of Admiral Allen’s ALCOAST message on the naming of CGC Bernard C. Webber.)

The keel laying ceremony, the first major milestone in a ship’s journey towards commissioning, is scheduled for April 9, 2010. Webber’s daughter, Patricia, will serve as the cutter’s sponsor.

UPDATE: Yesterday was the keel laying ceremony for CGC Bernard C. Webber. Read more about the event, incuding Admiral Allen’s thoughts, at iCommandant by clicking here.

Ms. Pattie Hamilton stamps the keel of the first U.S. Coast Guard Sentinel Class Fast Response Cutter during a keel laying ceremony. The first FRC is named after Ms. Hamilton's father, Petty Officer 1st Class Bernard C. Webber, who executed one of the most famous rescues in Coast Guard history. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Thomas M. Blue.)

Ms. Pattie Hamilton stamps the keel of the first U.S. Coast Guard Sentinel Class Fast Response Cutter during a keel laying ceremony. The first FRC is named after Ms. Hamilton's father, Petty Officer 1st Class Bernard C. Webber, who executed one of the most famous rescues in Coast Guard history. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Thomas M. Blue.)

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