Honor, Respect, Devotion to Duty: Blackthorn

Honor, Respect, Devotion to Duty: QM2 Gary Crumly and QM3 Richard Gauld

“The charge to all of us that these men left behind is summed up in four simple words: Honor, Remember, Service, Sacrifice.”


A member of the Coast Guard Cutter William Flores crew salutes the Cutter Blackthorn Memorial. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Patrick Kelley.

Remembering Blackthorn

Commissioned in 1944, Blackthorn began her service as a seagoing buoy tender, served as a Great Lakes ice breaker, and soon afterwards patrolled the warmer waters off California, eventually serving Gulf ports in Galveston, Texas, and Mobile, Ala. Refurbishment brought the ship to Tampa Bay for her final, fateful voyage. Today, Blackthorn’s legacy lives on.


Salute aboard Flores

Fulfilling a promise: The commissioning of Coast Guard Cutter William Flores

Written by Chief Petty Officer Judy L. Silverstein, 7th Coast Guard District Public Affairs. A gleaming white cutter, the William Flores sat at berth as crewmembers stood solemnly at their stations. The commissioning ceremony had just begun and it was […]


The manners of our profession: remembering lives that ended tragically and too soon

Yesterday marked 32 years since the sinking of Coast Guard Cutter Blackthorn. Twenty-three of the Blackthorn’s 50 crewmembers lost their lives during the Coast Guard’s worst peacetime disaster, and a memorial inscribed with the names of the crewmembers that perished […]


Third fast response cutter launched

The U.S. Coast Guard’s third 154-foot fast response cutter, the William Flores, was launched at Bollinger Shipyards in Lockport, La., today. The launch of William Flores into the waters of Bayou Lafourche marks a major milestone as the fast response […]


William Ray Flores

Coast Guard Heroes: William Ray Flores

This Compass series chronicles the first 14 heroes the Sentinel-class Fast Response Cutters have been named for. These men and women, who stood the watch before us, lived extraordinary lives as they lit the way for sailors in times past, […]