The Coast Guard At War

Transports and Escorts

Historical Section, Public Information Division
U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters
May 1, 1949

CGC Bedloe (WSC-128)

Commissioning and Description

The Coast Guard Cutter Bedloe (ex-Antietam) was built at Camden, N.J. in 1926. Her first station was Stapleton, Staten Island. She was 125 ft. long, 23 ft. 6 in. molded beam and had a maximum draft of 9 ft. With a steel hull she displaced 220 tons and had a speed of 11 knots, developed by a 350 HP diesel twin screw engine.

Coastal Escort

The Bedloe was attached to the Eastern Sea Frontier and was engaged in coastal escort duty early in the war. She was operating between Cape Lookout and Norfolk in June 1944. Her commanding officer was Lt. A.S. Hess, USCG. In July she escorted two small vessels from Cape May to New York. Later, she escorted the ,Charles Fort, carrying high explosives from Cape Lookout to New York. Returning to Cape Lookout she became part of Task Group 02.5 on escort duty to New York. She returned to Norfolk 9 August 1944, and was assigned to assistance work out of Norfolk.

Sunk in Hurricane

On 14 September 1944, the Bedloe had gone to the assistance of a Liberty ship which had been torpedoed off the North Carolina coast and almost driven ashore in a later hurricane, but had weathered the blows and had been towed to Norfolk with no casualties to her crew, and only slight damage to her cargo. Soon, the Bedloe found herself in extremely heavy seas. Struck four times by the towering waves, the Bedloe tossed like a matchstick in the ocean before going down. All officers and crew, 38 in all, safely abandoned ship, and at least 30 men were able to obtain a hold on liferafts. However, the strain of fighting the hurricane aboard, plus the ordeal of hanging to liferafts for 51 hours before help came, proved too much for most of them. Only 12 were rescued.

Transcribed and formatted for HTML by Patrick Clancey