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The Finest Hours, CG36500

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On February 18, 1952, during a severe "Nor'easter" off Cape Cod, the tankers FORT MERCER and PENDELTON broke in half. While FORT MERCER radioed for help, the PENDELTON was unable to make a distress call; the tanker was later discovered on radar by Coast Guard Station Chatham during the search for FORT MERCER.

Despite unprecedented sea conditions and impossible challenges, the crew of Station Chatham's motor lifeboat CG-36500 rescued 32 members off the PENDELTON. Each of the four Coast-guardsman that manned the CG-36500 that fateful night were awarded the Gold Lifesaving Medal for their heroic actions. CG cutters from Boston rescued 38 of the FORT MERCER's crew.

These events have been recorded and remembered as the Coast Guard's "finest hours", in book form and a movie of the same title. I had the good fortune to meet and shake hands with the former crew of the 36500 at a reunion dinner in Boston in 2002. They were very ordinary guys to talk with, but their rescue efforts that night were far from ordinary!

I scratch built this model in 1986, using plans obtained from a friend at Coast Guard Headquarters. It measures 28" and is constructed of plywood frames and balsa wood planking. It's powered by a 6 volt electric motor and controlled by a two channel radio.

It's "sailing days" are over and is now on display at the Coast Guard Heritage Museum in Barnstable, Massachusetts.

The brick building photo is the museum and the red/yellow 36' motor lifeboat is the Canadian CG version I built five years ago. It too is powered and radio controlled(but it's not displayed at the museum)! I just wanted to compare the size and paint differences, the Canadian CG built this type of boat under license, all are out of service.
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About the Author

About Mike Maynard (superchief)
FROM: RHODE ISLAND, UNITED STATES

Retired Coast Guard, ship model builder, former train nut, lost in New England.


Comments

Well done! Some fine work on this museum piece Mike! I will have to make a point to stop in next time I make it on Cape!
APR 13, 2016 - 07:27 AM
Mike, NICE work!
APR 14, 2016 - 06:54 PM
Thanks for the nice comments, gents!
APR 17, 2016 - 01:25 AM
Mike, Drop me an email at Harbormaster@ptboatworld.com, OK? Oh, and ... by the way? YOU - of all people - might be interested in this: LINK If you would email me your address, I could mail you a copy. Tim
APR 20, 2016 - 12:37 AM
Mike, superb motor lifeboat. Thank you for your service and modeling. The station is enriched with your model.
APR 28, 2016 - 06:51 AM
Mike, your 36-footer looks great! I built a 1/48th scale plastic version many years ago... I wish I had had your model pictures then for reference; great job on this!
APR 13, 2017 - 08:36 PM