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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  • Patricia Webber Hamilton

    I am so proud of my dad. This, to me, is amazing! My dad loved his service in the Coast Guard, he never thought he was hero but I always knew he was. He’s upstairs looking down upon this, scratching his head, wondering why. What an honor…we are SO proud.

  • Damien Glidden-Renzi

    Mrs. Webber-Hamilton,

    My first unit was a small boat station in Freeport, TX. My Commanding Officer told me the story of that rescue and it will stick with me for the rest of my life. Thank you for your Father’s service. He is truly a Coast Guard hero and I strive to be like him.

    Sincerely,
    ME3 Damien Glidden-Renzi

  • Wayne V. Iacono

    I first learned of this rescue while in boot camp (Cape May)and it has always been with me. My first year at C.G.Base Woods Hole was Bernie’s last year of service. I never really new him. However the BM-1 I worked for Jerimiah O’niel, was Bernie’s excec.in Viet-Nam. Later on while a BM-3 I had the honor of being Coxswain of the 36500 during its last year of service. I will never forget that experience. I attended Bernie’s Memorial Service last May and will never forget that moving experience either. Although he would have thought this Cutter a little too ” fancy “, I think it a fitting tribute to a great Coast Guard Hero. Thankyou. Wayne V. Iacono ex-BM-1.

  • http://none Mike L. Beyer

    I am a recipient of the 1998 Association for Rescue at Sea (AFRAS) award. It is very exciting to see an new and technologically advanced cutter in the fleet. I am retired, but seeing pictures and reading about BM1 Bernard Webber’s rescue and heroic actions, makes me very proud of the men and woman that serve and has served in this amazing Coast Guard organization.

  • Christinagulledge

    I am Bernard C Webber Oldest grandchildren. I just found them and found out all this info. I am so proud of what he did in his life. I wish I could have known him . But I can know what he did.

  • Seamond Roberts

    Patty: I am a very old (in age and time) friend of your father’s. My father was a lighthouse keeper on Martha’s Vineyard and I was a child at the time of THE rescue. We listened to it on radio and when he got back in with all those saved, my father said, “Oh, it’s Webber. No one else could have done it but him,” and as usual my father was right. I am so happy the Coast Guard did this wonderful thing for him. You know he was my childhood hero and my adult friend also. We kept in touch all the time and I cherish the autographed book he gave me. My best wishes to your whole family. Seamond (Ponsart) Roberts

  • Martin Krzywicki

    Patricia,

    As Founder of The U.S.C.G. Lightship Sailors Association I had the honor of being with Bernie on a number of occasions at our Lightship Sailors reunions.

    He was quiet, humble, matter of fact, and sported, a great sense of humor!

  • tara

    bless his heart patricia