Headstone of William Flores at his final resting place in Benbrook, Texas. Photo courtesy of Find-a-Grave.

The Long Blue Line: Coast Guard hero and FRC namesake William Flores

On Jan. 28, 1980, the Coast Guard Cutter Blackthorn and tanker S.S. Capricorn collided while outbound from Tampa Bay. Seaman Apprentice William Flores sacrificed his life to save the lives of his shipmates. In the years after the sinking, surviving crew members who had witnessed Flores’s bravery, lobbied the service to recognize and honor their fallen shipmate. In 2012, the Coast Guard commissioned the Fast Response Cutter William Flores homeported in Miami.


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 […]