Coast Guard Cutter Jarvis: The last cruise

After more than 40 years of service to our nation, Coast Guard Cutter Jarvis has just completed their final patrol. As Jarvis prepares to be removed from active service next week, the captain took a moment to reflect on the ship’s remarkable missions and dedicated crew.

The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Jarvis returns to Honolulu from their final patrol aboard the 40-year-old vessel Sept. 15, 2012. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Eric J. Chandler.

The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Jarvis returns to Honolulu from their final patrol aboard the 40-year-old vessel Sept. 15, 2012. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Eric J. Chandler.

Written by Capt. Richard Mourey, commanding officer of Coast Guard Cutter Jarvis.

We have a proud crew. You can tell by the way they pitch in together to get things done. You can see it when they hustle to man their stations. You can hear it in the positive pitch of their responses to the most technical or the simplest of questions. I could tell within days of reporting aboard in late June that this would be a great tour.

Capt. Richard Mourey, commanding officer of Coast Guard Cutter Jarvis.

Capt. Richard Mourey, commanding officer of Coast Guard Cutter Jarvis.

A ship can accomplish anything with a proud crew. The spirit of all ships resides in the hearts of the crew, no matter where they go. With this in mind, we decided to focus on what we will be keeping with us instead of what we will be losing. Soon we will be leaving Jarvis behind for another ship, the Morgenthau. Yet, we will remain the same capable, hard charging crew.

Even knowing the ship is not long for service, the crew continues to demonstrate their pride in Jarvis in every way. The condition of a ship is a reflection of how the crew feels about themselves. The magic that has kept these ships deploying through four decades of service is that there is no magic at all. The successful deployments can be measured in the sweat pouring forth from hard working crews. Jarvis is no exception and the crew worked hard to prepare for her final cruise to work for the 14th Coast Guard District to protect our home waters, the Hawaiian Islands.

Jarvis’ final patrol was, by operational standards, an average patrol. We did what Coast Guard Cutters do, day in and day out… We stood the watch. We helped our shipmates become proficient in their jobs, we challenged ourselves with drills to ensure we remained ‘Always Ready’ and we took pride in the care and maintenance of our beloved Jarvis. But to me and my crew, this was anything but an average patrol, it was our tribute to all those who sailed on Jarvis. It is not the operational statistics that we will take with us when we say goodbye to Jarvis, it is the spirit of the crew.

Again and again, I witnessed the crew’s pride and determination. Demonstrating amazing tenacity and technical proficiency, the engineers repaired the evaporator in grueling conditions at sea to allow the ship to remain on deployment. The operations specialists used satellite and radar systems to guide us directly to each and every targeted fishing vessel allowing our teams to enforce fisheries regulations and ensure each vessel was being operated safely.

Coast Guard Cutter Jarvis holds the distinction of being the first Coast Guard cutter to be commissioned in Hawaii, and has called Honolulu home since being commissioned Aug. 4, 1972.  U.S. Coast Guard photo.

Coast Guard Cutter Jarvis holds the distinction of being the first Coast Guard cutter to be commissioned in Hawaii and has called Honolulu home since being commissioned Aug. 4, 1972. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

On occasion, when they did a great job, the crew cheered. They cheered when they formed a cohesive team to maneuver the ship and launch the boat to recover a simulated man overboard in under seven minutes in the dark. They cheered when never before tested break-in watchstanders fixed the ship’s position as a navigation team without having to rely on GPS. These small victories motivated the crew to cheer…themselves. And on the last night, they gave it all they had, safely conducting one of the most dangerous evolutions Coast Guard cutters do, night helicopter landings and launches. Demonstrating true grit, they assessed the risk associated with equipment malfunctions on both the helicopter and the ship, and pushed through it all to demonstrate to themselves that they could do it. They knew they’d done well and this made their time at sea meaningful.

As we prepare to retire the Jarvis, I have had a wonderful opportunity to communicate with former crewmembers. They are chomping at the bit to come back and see the ship, to tell their stories, to demonstrate their pride in their time aboard. It is no wonder that today’s Jarvis crew has such an indomitable spirit. The spirit is the most important ingredient to success passed down from crew to crew. Because Coast Guard crews have invested so much pride in her, it will be sad to see Jarvis go. Yet, the spirit of Jarvis will live on, as we bring our crew back to Hawaii aboard Morgenthau to continue in the great tradition of mission success set forth by this crew and those who served before us. It is an honor and privilege to represent the long line of Jarvis crewmembers as the final commanding officer.



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18 Responses

  1. Randolph Kerr says:

    Thanks Captain. As one of Jarvis’ original plankowners it is great to see the spirit that drove us forward has never dimmed. While it is sad to think of her no longer in the brilliant white she wore so proudly, I’m sure she will serve her new crew just as ably. Looking forward to a last look at the decommissioning.

  2. NavyRulesDDG17 says:

    Thanks for your service USCGC Jarvis. But I got a message for ya, NAVY RULES!

  3. Ed - 95/96 says:

    It is sad to see the Jarvis go! I had some great times on board, some good friends and a lot of memories. She will be missed. Fair winds and following seeing to the last crew of this great ship!

  4. Matthew Terry says:

    I only spent a year aboard the Jarvis 01-02 but it was a great experience. Two amazing patrols and a dry dock experience that I will remember for a lifetime. Thanks for the memories Jarvis!

  5. Retired Coastie 77 says:

    She was a great ship in the mid 80′s when I was aboard her and she still looks just as grand. I spent many Alaskan patrols aboard the Jarvis. Our crews were tight and we accoplished alot out there. I can say for my experience, the tax payers got their money’s worth from the Jarvis and her crews.

  6. Doug Hone says:

    Farewell to the Jarvis. Thanks to all the crew members over the years who have upheld the highest traditions of the U.S. Coast Guards Hamilton class of cutters. Semper Paratus!

  7. Andrea Beach says:

    Was stationed at ISC Honolulu and provided a lot of support to all the cutters that are stationed there. The Cutter Jarvis was no exception. As it is a bitter sweet moment to see that she is leaving our fleet, I know that she will be in good hands. Captain thank you for making this last time getting underway a special one for all the members of the Jarvis family and to those whose support the mission.

  8. Peggy Hones Morisen says:

    Fair Winds and following seas. I knew someone who sailed on her in the sixties.

  9. aeronautic1 says:

    Fair winds Jarvis. From a former Mellon (Hawaii) neighbor.

  10. Tony Klemen says:

    Thanks for protecting me from getting swept overboard while on lookout on the flying bridge during heavy seas in Alaska (1978-79). Thanks for the memories… From catching king crab off the docks in Kodiak to fighting a bully on the stern while underway in the Bearing Sea and being awe-struck by the Northern Lights. Farewell. – Dancing Bear

  11. tim scott says:

    1975 to 1977 she was my first ship,jarvis crew and capt trained me well ,a young man from alabama the jarvis changed my life all the patrols in alaska and the great things we as a crew did.i loved alaska so much i worked 30+ years on the sea and today iv retired as a happy old salty dog .capt tim scott

  12. ron_matuska says:

    As a plankowner, I will hate to see her go. Many memories of OLE, Ocean Station November, and ALPATs.

  13. zaman says:

    She will be on active duty in Bangladesh Navy,will be commissioned as BNS SAMODRA JAY(Conqueror of Sea).

  14. Joel Cortez says:

    I am also a plankowner. SN Joel Cortez. Looking for the crew of the same, original crew starting, I met everyone at New Orleans and on ward to Hawaii The Captain was Captain Wooley, XO K E White. Please respond.

  15. Leo Griffin says:


  16. David says:

    my father was an original plankowner. His name is James C Herman he is deceased now though. Was such a touching moment to see all of his Jarvis brothers come see him for the last time

  17. Neil says:

    On occasion, I served on the Jarvis under Captain Scotty Merril as an 04 USCG AUX back in the mid 1990s Up in the con most of the time because I didn’t have my coxswains qualification yet. The patrol area in Dist 14 covered the Hawaiian Islands (along with the rest of the North Pacific, about 1,500,000sq mi). I’ve always cherished my time aboard, and boy when Scotty lit of the those gas turbines we’d leave a 40 foot rooster tail off the stern. What a rip snorter she was. I’m sad to see her go.

  18. Don Jones says:

    I served aboard the Cutter Jarvis from Dec. 1975 to May 1978, and must say that it was truly the most memorable and enjoyable period in my life. I was fortunate to have served with some really great guys, and endured some interesting experiences. Our ALPAT trips were never without incident, especially when we run aground in Dutch Harbor, or smash the dock in Cold Bay. The battles we had with our brothers of another service were always fun and worth looking forward to. Over the years, I’ve reconnected with some, and still keep in contact with others. Both of which has helped in keeping the memories alive. Good luck to everyone that served aboard her, and may we always keep fond memories.