The Coast Guard commissioned three new fast response cutters on July 29 at Coast Guard Forces Micronesia Sector Guam. Admiral Karl Schultz, Commandant of the Coast Guard, was present to preside over the ceremony and welcome the cutters into the fleet.
The Coast Guard Cutters Myrtle Hazard, Oliver Henry, and Frederick Hatch will support Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, and international partners throughout Oceania.
“The triple commissioning signals our dedication to regional partners and the growing maritime demand in the region,” said Capt. Nick Simmons, commander, Coast Guard Forces Micronesia Sector Guam. “It was an honor to celebrate this historic event with the crews, families, and sponsors of each cutters’ namesakes.”
As is our tradition, the Coast Guard Foundation presented a morale gift to each new cutter so crew members can maintain their physical and mental wellness while at sea.
“We are truly honored to support the health and well-being of these three crews,” said Susan Ludwig, Coast Guard Foundation President. “It’s my hope that they feel the full support of the Coast Guard Foundation as they execute the Coast Guard’s important work in the region.”
Fast Response Cutters honor enlisted Coast Guard heroes, and the Coast Guard Foundation joins the Coast Guard in acknowledging their namesakes’ service.
Electrician’s Mate 1st Class Myrtle Hazard was the first active-duty woman to serve in the Coast Guard. She enlisted in the Coast Guard in 1918 to contribute to the country’s war effort and served until the end of 1919. Hazard’s service as an electrician’s mate was remarkable at the time as many women served in administrative positions. In 1950 she was interviewed by the Coast Guard Bulletin, where she remarked, “I like to think I helped prove that women can contribute more to national defense than just waiting for the war to end.”
Chief Warrant Officer Oliver T. Henry was one of the first Black petty officers and machinist mates in the Coast Guard, achieving the rank and rating well before the full integration of the Armed Forces. Henry’s rise started while serving aboard Coast Guard Cutter Northland during World War II, when he transitioned from the wardroom, where he served as a steward, to the engine room as a motor machinist mate. He was also one of the service’s first minority warrant officers and served over 15 years of his 26-year career (1940-1966) as a chief warrant officer.
Frederick Hatch, the only two-time recipient of the Gold Lifesaving Medal, was awarded his first medal for his actions as a surfman at the Cleveland Life-Saving Station for rescuing those on board the schooner Sophia Minch during strong winds in December 1884. He requested a new assignment after deciding a surfman’s job was too dangerous. He received a second gold medal while serving as the keeper of the Cleveland Breakwater Lighthouse for rescuing those on board the schooner Wahnapitae after it wrecked in 1891.