Owasco class cutter

Owasco Class Cutter

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Owasco class cutter

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Description:
The Owasco Class Cutter' was a cutter class operated by the United States Coast Guard. A total of thirteen cutters in the class were built, all named after lakes. Eleven were constructed by the Western Pipe & Steel Company at San Pedro, California, while the remaining two—Mendota and Pontchartrain—were constructed by the Coast Guard Yard at Curtis Bay, Maryland. Initially heavily armed for World War II service and designated patrol gunboats (WPG) under the Navy designation system, the vessels were stripped of much of their armament shortly after the war, and in 1965 were redesignated high endurance cutters (WHEC) after the Coast Guard adopted its own designation system.United States Coast Guard. .

Design

Rationale

Myths have long shadowed the design history of the class. These cutters were to have been much larger ships, and two theories persist as to why they were shortened. The first is that they were built to replace the ships given to Great Britain under lend-lease, and Congress stipulated that the Coast Guard had to build these replacement cutters to the same size and character as those provided to the British. The second is that their length was determined by the maximum length that could pass through the locks of the Welland Canal from the Great Lakes to the St. Lawrence River. The Great Lakes shipbuilding industry brought pressure on Congress to ensure that it had the potential to bid on the contract. The first theory seems to be...
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