“I am sending some pics of the final patrol that the USCGC Dallas just got done with. Which, as it turns out will be the last patrol this ship will ever do as a cutter with the US Coast Guard. Originally commissioned in 1967 at Avondale Shipyard in New Orleans the ship on 30 March 2012 it will be decommissioned and sold the Pilipino Navy. Here are some of the achievements that the ship has in its 45 year life.
Over the course of seven combat patrols off the coast of Vietnam, Cutter Dallas engaged in161 Naval gunfire support missions, firing nearly 8,000 rounds of 5-inch ammunition. Gunners aboard the ship destroyed 58 sampans and 29 supply routes, bases, camps, or rest areas were taken out.
The cutter’s first drug bust came in 1979 when a crew from the ship boarded the fishing vessel Foxy Lady and discovered more than 30,000 lbs. of marijuana. (one of the pictures i sent is of the ship) Drug interdiction eventually became a central focus of the Dallas’ mission set, and the ship and crew received many awards for successful counter-drug operations over the years.
In 1980 the ship served as on scene command for the historic Mariel Boatlift, during which an estimated 125,000 Cuban refugees set sail for the shores of Florida. At the time, it was the largest humanitarian operation ever undertaken by the Coast Guard.
In 1986 the ship was involved in the search for survivors of the tragic Shuttle Challenger explosion. None of the astronauts lived, but the Dallas helped prevent further similar catastrophes by recovering portions of the wrecked shuttle that were studied by NASA engineers to determine the cause of the incident. Dallas crews also found the Kermit the Frog stuffed-toy teacher Christi McCauliffe had taken with her to remind her of her daughter.
During the Haitian migrant crisis of 1991 and 1992, Dallas was the flagship of a flotilla of more than 25 Coast Guard cutters whose crews rescued 35,000 migrants from hundreds of overcrowded, unseaworthy vessels.
After Russian forces engaged in hostilities against the tiny Republic of Georgia in 2008, Cutter Dallas participated in Operation Assured Delivery and was loaded with 76,000 lbs. of humanitarian relief supplies. Soap, shampoo, toothbrushes, baby wipes, toilet paper and other necessities were provided to the Georgian people.
The men and women of the USCGC Dallas have worked hard to get the cutter where it is today.”