A Song from "1966"
The U.S.Coast Guard Cutter Spar WLB
- 403 / Her and her crew in 1966 cruise.
This will give the average person an idea what the North Atantic Ocean can throw at you.
Click onto picture below for a short video.
Click onto dot to go to the Spar's watery grave.
John Hagerty spent almost his whole tour of duty on the Spar wlb-403
John Hagerty, served on the Spar from 1978 to 1981,
without his help I wouldn't have this web site today. As a matter of fact he has shown me a lot on how to work with
computers. Hes a good Man. Visit John's web site ( The spar
Museum ) Click onto the SPAR museum picture below. I am still in the process of building
this site. On Sunday 11/29/2009. I had pushed some wrong keys, and I completely lost home page, now this site was
unserviceable, even for me to edit. I sent 5 long E-Mails to John asking for his help.
Only for him to come into work on Monday morning to find this mess that I left for him, what he had to
do to undo the mess I made. I'll never know, but he got me up and running again.For That, I Thank Him.
Click onto photo below to see John Hagerty's
dive to reunite with his
ship the SPAR WLB-403. He spent his whole tour of duty on the Spar, four years,
1974 thru 1978. 34 years have passed
since he last seen her, well he is seeing her again today, but in a different way, a man made reef.
John Hagerty also has the web site, The SPAR Museum.
Click onto the diver below to go there.
Posted on 2 / 15 / 2013
These are a few still shots of John's Diving the Spar above.
Click onto pictures below to enlarge.
John Hagerty's Spar Dive.
She Could Steal any
Click onto postcard for info.
One of my original patches from my dress blues.
Click onto below for Coast Guard Clothing.
Click Below For An Aerial View Of Norway,Tromso still looks the same as it did in 1966.
Norway by helicopter - see what you miss by Ship or boat.
A history of buoys and tenders, Click on link below- by Amy K. Marshall.
More Informatiom about the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Spar wlb-403.
Many cutters given
the name of previous cutters have a history
of several successive cutters. SPAR is unique in that it is named for two previous Coast Guard entities serving at the same
time, the women's reserve and a cutter.
SPAR's second namesake is the Coast
Guard Cutter SPAR WLB-403. Most of SPAR's story is made up of meeting the day-to-day challenges of the Coast Guard's operational
missions. But in more than fifty years of seagoing life, SPAR did have a number of moments that have enriched our service's
history. They have also provided a heritage for those who will serve aboard her namesake, the cutter that we will launch today.
The original CGC SPAR - 403 was named after the women's reserve and launched at the Marine Iron and Ship building
Company in Duluth, Minnesota on November 21, 1943. She was commissioned on June 12, 1944, and stationed in Boston, Massachusetts.
SPAR was quickly directed to assist in the war effort. She participated in convoy duty in support of anti-submarine warfare
off the coast of Brazil.
At the close of the war, SPAR returned to New England. In December of 1946, she changed her home
port to Wood's Hole, Massachusetts. SPAR served 11 years there before changing homeports to Bristol, Rhode Island
in June 1953.
That year, SPAR conducted operations throughout the Northwest Passage in company with the cutters
STORIS and BRAMBLE In "1957". When she returned to her home port in Bristol, RI, she was the first vessel to circumnavigate
the North American continent. President Eisenhower sent his personal congratulations for this accomplishment.
With most of the Western Hemisphere transits already made,
SPAR crossed the Atlantic in 1966. Her destination was Spitsbergen Germany, through the Keil canal, Norway where she
was called upon to measure the ocean topography in the Jan Mayen Fracture Zone area. During this voyage, she logged more than
17,000 miles while visiting ports in Iceland, Tromso Norway, Denmark Copenhan, Spitsbergen Germany, and Belfast Ireland,
Jan Mayen Island.
So far for this web site 5 of the original crew members from
the trek in 1966 of been in touch with each other, Tom, Kyle Dave,Rich,& Jim Malone. In April of
1967, SPAR changed home ports once again and return ed to Boston, Massachusetts. Once there, the captains and crews of SPAR
and CACTUS traded cutters. SPAR remained in Boston until March 1973, when she was reassigned to her last home port in Portland,
During the 1970's, the Coast Guard's mission profile changed, and SPAR kept pace with the new operations. She played
a key role in the massive oil spill cleanup operations after the tanker ARGO MERCHANT ran aground off Cape Cod in 1976, acting
as the test platform for various attempts to clean up the spill. SPAR received a Letter of Commendation from the Commandant
of the Coast Guard.
In 1981, SPAR set the record for a buoy tender by receiving the highest mark ever attained at Refresher
Training at Little Creek, VA. She returned to Little Creek in 1983, 1985, 1987, 1989, 1992, and 1995, and continued to receive
outstanding marks, proudly displaying the Gold "E" with three service stripes for nine consecutive overall excellent scores
in operations and seamanship training.
These historical events notwithstanding, SPAR was a working ship, a Class "C" Seagoing
Buoy Tender. Her overall length was 180 feet, with a beam of 37 feet. She had an ice reinforced steel hull with a displacement
of 1025 tons. She was powered by a diesel-electric propulsion plant driving a single propeller with a total of 1200 horsepower.
She could reach a maximum speed of twelve knots. Her working operations area was servicing aids to navigation from Ports mouth,
New Hampshire to the northeastern tip of Maine, a distance of more than 227 miles. Most of her time was dedicated to servicing
about 200 floating aids, as well as providing logistical support to seven lighthouses. In the winter she carried out ice breaking
operations in Cape Cod Canal, Buzzard's Bay, and performed an annual lighthouse maintenance project for her operational area.
She attended Refresher Training in Little Creek, VA every eighteen to twenty-four months, and spent time at the CG Yard biannually.
Her normal complement of personnel was seven officers and fifty-five enlisted.
her home port in South Portland, Maine, SPAR serviced an operational area that includes some of the most scenic coastline
in the country. She worked among hundreds of islands, mostly uninhabited, that are scattered along the coast of Maine. The
treacherous shoals, ledges, and currents, as well as the ever-changing weather, made for challenging navigation and piloting
to ensure that the all-important buoys were always on station and working properly. The SPAR
was decommissioned on February 28, 1997.
"The Warrior Song" ( Click Below ).
Somewhere in the North Atlantic,
port side of the Spar.
Jan Mayen Island, overhead shot of
the 17 man loran station.
Jan Mayen Island seen though a pair
of Binoculars, stick the camera on one side and look through the other.
Didn't know if it would work, we had to wait till we were home to get them developed.
Jan Mayen Island, overhead shot of
the 17 man loran station, Click pic for info.
The 8 pictures below are actually
individual cells from Kyle Chapman's 8 MM film from what I used to make the Spar Video. Its better then nothing,
capturing a moment in time."1966" Gangplank abroad, Loading small boat starboard side. On Jan Mayen island, departing
small boat, @ the helm & tired, Coming into Bristol RI.
Mooring the Spar wlb-403 in Oct. 6th 1966.
Click onto to any cell to watch a 30 second video clip of the small boat
leaving the Spar to go to Jan Mayen island, "1966"
How many crew members on the Spar
Another story, when we were on the Spar - 403, there was a 102 crew members, and 12 Officers, plus the 10 Oceanographers
on board ,In the crews quarters we were stacked 3
high I was In the middle, when I wanted to turn over on my back, I had to get out and climb back in again, that's tight as I'm typing this I'm thinking of when John Hagerty was on the Spar some ten years
later, I heard the crew count was 45. It sounds like they had a lot more room then we did. Now picture living like this with all hatches buttoned up, you are now in a very limited space out at Sea in
swells that made you feel like your knees would snap and then as light a feather. That was from what is called "pitching" Would I Do It Again ? Yeah !!
Back in 1966
all we had were your typical camera and the majority of the crew members didn't even have one, just a few of us did. The camera
I had I borrowed from my Mom, it was a wind up camera high tech back then, it was like winding your watch. And you really
had to plan what you wanted a picture of when all I had was a few rolls of ( 12 shots ) film.
The pictures below was Spar's bow going under in the North Atlantic ocean,
and I could have taken many more, it was mesmerizing to me. I can only imagine with today's cameras, a 16 GB of memory being
able to shoot thousands of images and not to worry what you had left. I feel that these pictures alone are among the only
ones in existence right now, I know of no other pictures of the Spar's trip back in "1966". the picture on top left is one
of Tromso Norway's docks as we were leaving.
Where The Spar Was Moored When Abroard, Denmark.
Click onto map.
below, FOR BUOY IDENTIFICATION.
1. A Can Buoy marks the RIGHT side of
the channel leaving a harbor. It will be GREEN and have odd numbers on it.
Green Daymarkers are often used in shallow areas for the same purpose.
3. If the green marker has several pilings
supporting it, it will be called a Dolphin.
4. Green Lighted buoys with lights will usually be found in deeper water.
The light will be green. Larger buoys may also have bells or other sound producing devices attached. More inside.
Coast Guard Top 10
rescue Videos click onto link below.
This Turtle was painted on the boom shack of the Spar wlb-403, it is not the one that Rich
Notestine had painted, Im looking for his version.
"Depend on me".
Posted on 12_31_2012
The trade for Rich Notestine and Jim Malone from the Spar to the Cactus
The caption on this press photo reads: BOSTON,
MASS., March 21, 1967 ...
In an unusual move the first week in April, two Coast Guard vessels
will trade both crews and home ports. They are the USCGC
CACTUS (WLB-270) of Boston,
and the USCGC SPAR (WLB-403) of Bristol, R.I.
Click onto photo to enlarge.
SPAR July 17, 1987
This is the end ( stern ) of the Spar's Journeys.
One of the best under water video of the Spar wlb-403 since she went down to her new home.
Diving the Spar
2 years ago 2
years ago: Fri, Jul 3, 2009 1:56pm EST (Eastern Standard Time)
Click onto picture below to see the Spar-403 like never before
in her new environment, on Vimeo.
Posted on 1 / 15 / 2012
One more video of the Spar from divers taking pictures of her in her
final resting place. Great video guys.
Guardians In Action 2010. On board the Eagle,
See more on the woman in the US Coast Guard.
Click Onto Pic To Enlarge.
Click onto photos to enlarge
Posted on the 4th of July 2012.
Official Blog of the 8th Coast Guard
A follow up on seaman Hannah Amos, Click onto photo of her below to see her
achievements. She should feel proud which I'm sure she is. Good luck to her.
Posted on 4 / 5 / 2012
Wow! That is one good looking vessel.
You see Tom, you find all this good stuff and send it along to people like me who have very little time to find this kind
of information. Thank you so much. l would love to see this ship in person. Chances are that will never
happen unless l get some time to visit my inlaws in Rhode lsland. l still keep in touch with may sister-in-law and used
to call her a couple of times a month. Now that l use the internet, l very seldom call.
Did you notice the anchor on the bow of the ship? lts a mushroom
anchor. l had not thought of that term for over 40 years or so. lt reminds me of some of the classroom sessions
we attended in boot camp. Does that ever seem like ancient history, ancient history with great memories.
l do not remember the guy who refurbished the ship, but he did a beautiful
job. l have thought about some things to put on your web site, its just a matter of getting my thoughts together and
getting them along to you. This will be a busy weekend with Easter and all, but l will do my best to get in contact
with you on the phone as soon as l can. l still have not ever called Richard. l cant believe it. That is
on my list of things to do also.
Love you brother, your friend, Jim Spar '66.
to tie knots , just CLICK below for the KNOTBOARD.
" THE EAGLE'S HISTORY "
"CLICK here for complete "EAGLE" HISTORY" or click onto picture below.
January 6, 2011 will begin what will be a year-long observation of
the 75th Anniversary of Eagle.
Built at the Blohm and Voss Shipyard in Hamburg, Germany in 1936, and commissioned as Horst Wessel, it is one of three sail-training ships operated by the pre-World War II German
Navy. At the close of the war, the ship was taken as a war reparation by the U.S., re-commissioned as the U.S. Coast
Guard Cutter Eagle and sailed to New London, Connecticut, which has been its homeport ever since.
onto picture below for information ont the Academy.
Dave's article posted on 4 / 12 / 2012
COAST GUARD STATION INDIAN RIVER INLET
Rehoboth Beach, Delaware
Dave Milanak on Erie trip onboard a Coast
Guard 47 foot utilty boat # 47246
Jan. 3rd. 2006
Click onto pictures to enlarge
The 47' motor lifeboat is designed
as a first response rescue resource in high seas, surf & heavy weather environments. They are built to withstand the most
severe conditions at sea and are capable of effecting a rescue at sea even under the most difficult circumstances. They are
self-bailing, self-righting, almost unsinkable, and have a long cruising radius for their size. It is the replacement for
the aging 44' MLB fleet.
There are (presently) 117 operational, being added to monthly. The total (to
be delivered over 5 years) will be about 200.
Click onto picture to see larger Image.
"Click Onto Poster To See Many Links to brouse through"
DC Buchanan on U.S.C.G.C. Polar Star WAGB - 10
Additional informative links:
Eternal Peace Posted on 4 / 5 / 2012
Remembering the Pacific
is a video podcast series that presents the personal stories behind World War II's Pacific Theater. Hear American and Japanese
servicemen tell their war stories from December 7, 1941 through the war to the ongoing reconciliation between the two countries.
Witness the effects on the home front as American and Japanese civilians recount the emotions of the war years and come to
terms with loved ones lost, sacrifices made and recognition of civil rights. Hear about the personal importance of the memorials
and the lasting impacts of the Pacific War.
"Click onto picture below, this is something not to many people know of"
The Ship You Want.
Some Of These Ships Below Can Be Seen
On Page# 6, On You-Tube
Welcome to Captain Tom's U.S.C.G. Web Site.
7 / 8 / 2011.
To Passenger Vessels
To USCG Vessels
To Merchant Vessels
To More Photos
To Sandur Loran Station
To MittensTo Captain Chuck's Page
To Vessel Management
To Main Page
Click onto picture below to see Ken Long's Model of the USCGC Iris.
There are some outstanding examples
of modeling a 180-foot USCG buoy tender on the internet. In fact 180 Veterans member Ken Long has modeled the IRIS which
has been featured in national publications. I know some of our members are in the process of building a 180 model.
I hope you will share photos of your model with us as it progresses and takes shape.
USCG Firebush WLB-393
by Robert Rodriguez
Click below to see more of the great models of the US Coast Guard Buoy
A Coast Guard crew aboard Station Chatham's 42-foot Special
Purpose Craft - Near Shore Lifeboat crashes through the surf of the Merrimack River bar during surf training,
March 1 - 2, 2012. In addition to training, Petty Officer 1st Class Joshua Perkins also received a check ride to certify him
as an SPC-NLB surfman. Surfmen are the service's most highly trained boat handlers. Over the course of the two days, the crews
dealt with 6-15 foot breaking surf, winds of 15-35 knots, temperatures in the low 20's, freezing spray and icing conditions
with intermittent snow. U.S. Coast Guard video.
Click onto pic below
|Page No. 2 Boot Camp & Spar Trip and photos.
|Page No. 3 - Rich Notestine, Jim Malone, Dave Milanak & Kyle Chapman. Spar Trip 1966 .
|Page No. 4 , Spar Trip 1966 / Guardians
|Page No. 5, Spar Trip , 1966 / Guardians / All 39 Buoy Tenders & Storis-38
|Page No.6 Spar trip & pictures.
|Page No. 7 - Tom's You Tubes.
|Page No. 8 - Some of Tom's You Tubes.
|Page No. 8/A - Spars in my day , Guardians now. A Great Asset to this Web Site.
|Page No. 8/B - Some of Tom's You Tubes.
|Page No.8/C - War in Afghanistan / Tom's Slide Shows / Korengal Valley, Afghanistan. Restrepo
|Page No. 9 , Spar Trip in "1966".
|Page No. 9/A - Spar - 403 , 1966 Trip.
|Page No. 9/B - Spar Trip in 1966 & Claire Wineland is a Coastie for a day. "Get Well John" .
|Page No.10 - Spar trip pictures / Guardians.
|Page No.10/A - The Sinking Of The "SPAR wlb-403"
|Page No. 11 Storis-38 / Northwest Passage You Tubes / Spar & Bramble.
|Page No. 12 - All Links Page.
|Page No. 13_ My Grandfather was on the" Carpathia" enroute to "Titanic's" aid.
|Page No.14 , A Little Bit About Me.
|Page No. 14 / A - Pat , Anna & Tom's Photos / Peggy Britton, William Tate.
|Page No. 14 / B - The STORIS-38 - Northwest Passage / Photos by Dick Juge & Richard Woods
|Page No. 14 / C - Northwest Passage , Bernie Merrifield's great photographs.
|Page No. 15 - Records from my own collection of 45s & index of my complete Web Site..
|Page No. 15/ A - You Tube Viewing Page ,USCGC Spar.
|Page No. 16 / Stories and conversations - Spar Trip 1966 / Guardians /
|Page No. 17 - Coast Guard Boot Camp Page, Packing List and much more.
|Page No.18 -A Coast Guard Response To 9/11. 10 Years Later.
|Page No. 19 - USCG Helicopters and Misc.
|Page No. 20 SparWLB- 403 - Welcomes the Spar WLB- 206
|Page No. 21 - Coast Guard Alaska. ( Coast Gurd TV ) always live.
|Music Page No. 22 / Songs of our era, back in "1966"
|The Movie Page, No. 23 ( Tom's You Tubes )
|U.S. Coast Guard Video Page No. 24.
|All of my you tubes page, No. 25
|Page No. 26 Celebrities
|Page No. 27 "Alan Meeker" Retired Coastie, Enjoy his pictures & stories.
|The Coast Guard We Once Knew, Band Of Brother's Day.Page No. 28
|This page is for future use.
|Read Alan's Story, No. 1
|Alan Meeker's Story, No. 2, & No. 3