Following the commissioning of CGC Bernard C. Webber, all of the anticipated 58 fast response cutters in the Sentinel class will bear the names of Coast Guard heroes who served in the enlisted ranks.
“Naming the Sentinel-class cutters after Guardians who started out in the enlisted ranks highlights our heritage, ties our future to our past and ensures that these often unsung heroes are remembered,” said Charles “Skip” Bowen, Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard. “In February 1952, then Petty Officer 1st Class Bernie Webber drove the 36500 through 60-foot seas to rescue 32 men off the stern of the tanker Pendleton to effect what is arguably the greatest rescue ever undertaken by the Coast Guard. I can’t think of any other Coast Guardsman who deserves the honor of having the first Sentinel-class cutter named after him or her more than Bernie.”
Admiral Allen invoked the memory of Alexander Hamilton in announcing the naming decision.
“Alexander Hamilton envisioned, “A few armed vessels judiciously stationed at the entrance to our ports, might be useful sentinels of the law.” The Bernard C. Webber and all of the Sentinel class cutters will continue to fulfill the vision that Hamilton saw for our service over 200 years ago.” (Click here to read the rest of Admiral Allen’s ALCOAST message on the naming of CGC Bernard C. Webber.)
The keel laying ceremony, the first major milestone in a ship’s journey towards commissioning, is scheduled for April 9, 2010. Webber’s daughter, Patricia, will serve as the cutter’s sponsor.
UPDATE: Yesterday was the keel laying ceremony for CGC Bernard C. Webber. Read more about the event, incuding Admiral Allen’s thoughts, at iCommandant by clicking here.