Coast Guard cutter to be named for Joshua James

Joshua James is one of the service's most celebrated lifesavers credited with saving hundreds of lives from the age of 15 when he first joined the Massachusetts Humane Society until his death at the age of 75 while on duty with the U.S. Life-Saving Service.  He was honored with the highest medals of the Humane Society, the United States, and many other organizations.  His father, mother, brother, wife, and son were also heroic lifesavers. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

Joshua James is one of the service’s most celebrated lifesavers credited with saving hundreds of lives from the age of 15 when he first joined the Massachusetts Humane Society until his death at the age of 75 while on duty with the U.S. Life-Saving Service. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

Last week, the Coast Guard announced that the fifth of eight planned national security cutters would be built and named in honor of service legend Joshua James – credited with saving more than 600 souls along the New England coastline over a nearly 60-year career in the U.S. Life-Saving Service.

“Our new national security cutters are being named after legends who define the 221-year legacy of our service,” said Rear Adm. John Korn, assistant commandant for acquisition. “It seems only fitting for a cutter that will protect the lives of millions of Americans to bear the name James.”

The 418-foot national security cutter is the newest addition to the Coast Guard fleet with an operational range of 12,000 nautical miles, a top speed of 28 knots and capable of extended 90-day patrols at sea.

“With their unmatched combination of range, speed and ability to operate in extreme weather conditions, the case for the national security cutter is simple – we are a safer and more secure nation when they are patrolling the high seas,” said Korn. “From South America to the Bering Sea on missions ranging from counter-drug and homeland security operations to search and rescue, these cutters do what no other ships in America’s fleets can.”

Two national security cutters, Bertholf and Waesche, are currently commissioned Coast Guard cutters. Stratton, currently in the hands of the crew, will be the third NSC commissioned in Spring 2012 with Hamilton entering the fabrication stage in Pascagoula, Miss., last month.

Click here to learn more about the national security cutter.

Coast Guard Cutters Bertholf and Waesche steaming together off the coast of southern California. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Jetta H. Disco.

Coast Guard Cutters Bertholf and Waesche steaming together off the coast of southern California. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Jetta H. Disco.

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  • Robert Moore

    I am a distant relative of Joshua James. My Great Grandfather was Eugene Mitchell and the Mitchells and James were related by marriage.
    Each year for the past few years on Coast Guard Day, my daugther and I place the Coast Guard flags on the graves of Joshua James and the Mitchell families at the Hull Village cemetary.
    I would like more information on the new ship being built and to be named after Joshua James…as a decendant I would like to see the launching. Where can I get more information? Thank you.

  • LT Stephanie Young

    Mr. Moore,

    Thanks so much for leaving a comment! You have an incredible family history and I am glad you reached out to us. I will send an email to the Coast Guard community relations team and they should be contacting you shortly.

    Thanks for reading the Coast Guard Compass!

    Very Respectfully,
    Lt. Stephanie Young
    Coast Guard Public Affairs

  • Debra Pummill

    As a great great granddaughter of Joshua James and growing up in his home on Spring Street it is an honor to see his name on this Cutter. Seeing his medals as a child and honoring him when the new USCG Station Pt Allerton was dedicated years ago, this too is another proud moment. His closest living relative (great-grand daughter)is Hil Means now 99 years old. Thank you for keeping his memory and bravery preserved.

  • Paul Christian

    For me this is a honor to bestore to this man. I had the great fortune of being stationed at the 2nd point Allerton Station,(1975-1978) under the Command of CWO4 Robert A. Buotte. Captain Joshua James was the original Surfman and Station keeper for the 1st Point Allerton Station on Nantasket Ave. From the 1st P.A. you had a great view of Boston Light. This is a website depicting the “Old” Point Allerton Station.

  • Jeff

    Much appreciated for the information and share!

  • jerry carney

    It’s great to hear that  one of the Coast Guard’s newest Cutters will be names after joshua james I had been assigned to Station pt. allerton  which he was the first keeper..

  • Lisa Griffin

    This is fantastic! I am a descendant of Joshua James as well as some of Hull, Massachusetts greatest lifesavers from the Massachusetts Humane Society(MHS). I just participated in a ceremony at his grave on July 27th in Hull. The Hull Lifesaving Museum, former Lifesaving station and later, USCG station Point Allerton (until the late ’60′s), devotes a lot of exhibits to James and the MHS. My dad is a USCG vet, and I am in the Navy Reserves. We would love to attend the commissioning ceremony. It would be a wonderful thing if she was commissioned in Hull or Boston.

  • Lisa Griffin

    I am a descendant of Joshua James, and just participated in a graveside service at his grave in Hull, Mass. This ceremony is hosted by the Hull Lifesaving Museum, which, notably, is the former Lifesaving station manned by James and his crew of the Massachusetts Humane Society (MHS). The ceremony honors the members of the USLSS, the MHS and the USCG. Many of my ancestors were a part of the MHS. It is a tremendous honor to be a part of this ceremony, and now to find out that the USCG is commissioning a ship in James’ memory is just incredible. My dad is a USCG veteran, and I am in the Navy reserves, and we would love to be present when she is commissioned. I hope that you will be able to commission her at Boston or Hull.

  • Sheila Kowalewski

    Hi Lisa, I work at Ingalls Shipbuilding, where we are beginning preparations for the Christening of James. Can you please contact me at ?
    Thanks!
    Sheila Kowalewski
    Special Events, Social Media & Web
    Ingalls Shipbuilding