Plank Owners (1945 - San Pedro, California)

Ships Officers

Cdr Evor S. Kerr, Jr., USCG; CO
Lt Stanley J. Ellis, USCG; XO
LCdr Sylvan G. Gillway, USCGR; EO
Lt Bainbridge B. Leland, USCG
Lt John L. Haney, USCG
Lt Clifford E Pace, USCGR
Lt Ernest L. Stockton, USCGR
LtJG George A. Sturgis, USCGR
LtJG Robert R. Roberts, USCGR
LtJG Maurice E. Rucker, USCGR
LtJG Joseph Lipshie, USCGR
LtJG Leroy Teele, USCG
LtJG Frederick J. Hancox, USCG
LtJG Bruce Starker, USCGR
LtJG Ethan K. McCabe, USCG
Ens Edward A. Erwin, USCG
Ens Ralph A. Hannmann, USCGR
Ens Glenn C. Bartoo USCG

Machinist Emil Litvak, USCG
Pay Clerk James W. Freeman, USCG
Surgeon Joseph Zinkin, USPHS

Chief Petty Officers

Beal, Ira A., Jr.
Chick, Robert E.
Cope, David H.
Davis, Alred E.
Fillinger, Lawrence R.
Fuchs, Edward J.
Grant, Alvadore
Hedden, Lawrence N.
Kurth, Donald J.
MacCrae, Donald P.
Mackey, Arthur J.
Osbeck, Stanley L. BTC
Riggs, Richard W. CCM
Sigfridson, Richard MMC
Suchocki, Victor J. CBM
Werthmann, Leonard A.

Petty Officers, First Class

Bachelder, Kenneth B.
Bresnyan, Charles M.
Bruehl, John A.
Collins, Paul F. SK1
Days, Ernest W.
Dirmeyer, Robert P.
Discher, Frank M.
Fry, Melvin E., Jr.
Hoover, Albert J.
Kelly, Walter J. SK1
Landaker, Melvin W.
Linden, Earl V.
McHugh, Michael J.
Mellillo, Thomas, Jr
Olson, Keith M.
Shubin, John W.
Stan, Louis, Jr.
White, Patrick
White, Raymond B. BM1

Petty Officers, Second Class

Albright, Harry E.
Allen, Staley E.
Artinger, William J.
Baker, Orion S., Jr.
Bell, Thomas E.
Canada, John I.
Carson, James H.
Crocker, Dean M.
Dendy, Claude L. MM2
Dobson, Edwin D., Jr.
Dudek, Edward R.
Elliott, James R.
Friedman, Alvin M. WT2
Gibson, Thomas J.
Hasler, Johnie E.
Hatzenbuehler, Harold A.
Hemeke, Jack H.
Henrickson, Robert W.
Karl, Ervin A.
Kelly, John T.
Ketchum, Northop H.
Knipper, Harold F.
Kulha, Edward T.
Lyon, Thomas W. MM2
Merkowich, Sylvester N.
Muldowney, Patrick J.
Rainey, Ford
Res, Ford
Russell, Clarence A.
Shirk, Russell O.
Smith, Edmund L.
Veale, Clinton J. CM2
Wanstrath, William J. SM2
Wright, Robert A.

Petty Officers, Third Class

Acrey, Milford D.
Bates, Thomas G.
Boesch, Eugene
Cardinalli, John B.
Carey, Thomas P., Jr.
Ches, Gordon E.
Clausen, George R.
Colhoun, Allen S.
Condre, Irvin F.
Connors, James E.
Coughlin, G. W.
Donovan, William B.
Dott, Eugene J.
Eberle, Harry W., Jr.
Eggeman, Harold E. SO3
English, Ralph W.
Erdie John S. SO3
Guinan, Burrows M.
Harper, Charles R.
Holcomb, Lester
Kelly, John B.
McBride, James L.
McGraw, James E.
McIntyre, John M.
McKinnon, Eugene T.
Nudson, Kenneth H.
Richards, John M.
Richardson, Ross F.
Sanchez, Robert R.
Sanderson, Lester S. BM3
Shannon, Edward
Stark, William E.
Taylor, James D.
Trosper, Charles E.
Weininger, Robert S.
Wilson, Robert J.
Zajk, Walter S. SK3

Non-Rated, First Class

Anger, Howard J.
Asay, John L., Jr.
Ascolillo, Joseph W.
Bjorlin, Ronald D.
Boone, David G.
Boyer, Earl N.
Brittingham, Martin T.
Chappius, Harry J.
Clark, Wylie
Clensay, Arthur A.
Cloonan, James P.
Corcoran, William F.
Cremeens, Harry M.
Deason, Robert L.
Dodrill, Gerald S.
Donais, Adelard
Dudus, Bruno
Eaton, Dennis V.
Engle, John
Evans, Thomas J.
Faust, William A.
Feye, Francis P.
Fountain, Ernest E.
Carell, Leighton E.
Garraway, Edumnd G.
Grothues, Arthur A.
Guidry, Willie J.
Hanrahan, Thomas R.
Hermida, Danie J., Jr.
Ingram, James R.
Jacquest, Thad L.
Jewell, William c.
Kachelmeyer, Robert E.
Kersey, Coy Y.
King, John W.
Klewiec, Joseph P.
Klimes, George T.
Kocol, Leo
Lawler, William J.
Lehrer, Benjamin J.
Linch J R
Lindy, John W.
Lowenberg, Gerald
McCaffrey, Bernard D.
MClellan, Albert R.
McCormick, Edward J.
McGhee, Roy L., Jr.
McNally, William P.
McQuilken, Clifford A.
Mackey, R. L.
Medeiros, Joseph C.
Miller, Warren
Nascimento, John
Nix, Chester D.
Norlin, Rueben A.
Parsons, David L.
Radliffe, Eric J.
Reagan, James
Reese, Charles H.
Rooney, Robert E.
Segal, Jules
Slack, Billy R.
Steigleiter, Carl W.
Stormes, Albert D.
Valentine, Louis M.
Van Vlack, Edward E.
Vaughn, Charlews R.
Vavra, Louis J.
Villazante, Francisco P.
Wallace, Ralph H.
Warren, William
Weaver, Clarence L.
Webb, Alfred B.
Williams, Henry S.
Zieniewicz, A. P.

Non-Rated, Second Class

Adams, John J., Jr.
Adell, Robert G.
Anderson, Donald O.
Anderson, Harold D.
Ash, Charles R.
Belanger, Robert H.
Bitterman, Richard W.
Bradley, D. W.
Camero, S.
Carney, Boyd M.
Cody, Donald L.
Crossland, ellis D.
Daniel, Ervin F.
DeCresce, Lawrence V.
Esparza, Oscar
Fico, John A.
Forsyth, William J.
Frasier, Paul J.
Hansen, Robert 'L'
Harris, Bobbie E.
Holdren, Dean L.
Holman, Gerald R.
Irwin, John F.
Juarros, Orestes
Kassak, Frank J.
Kluge, John H.
Lathrom, Richard B.
Lewis, William H.
Logan, Jack L.
Lotz, Elsworth
McCarney, Leo C.
Mecho, Louis W.
Meredith, William D.
Miller, Melvin L.
Murphy, John r.
Marks, Albert L.
Ness, Edward L.
O'Malley, James V.
Organ, Lawrence E.
Payton, Theodore J. (ENCS)
Pellegrin, Lawrence J.
Powell, Charles F.
Price, Billy J.
Pyke, Donald R.
Rogers, James W.
Scambellone, Dominick Jr.
Scott, John R., Jr.
Shane, John W.
Sheenan, John J.
Shields, Irving W.
Shipa, Bobby E.
Shook, Roy D.
Smith, Spencer E.
Snow, Chester 'K'
Stuck, Aldro Jr.
Stradley, Charles R.
Thomas, Clyde C., Jr.
Valdez, Alonzo R.
Van Allsburg, Lawrence, A.
Van Camp, Lyle G.
Weston, Wayne L.
Williams, Ramon 'R'
Wyland, Alvin D.
Zentz, Alfred R

Non-Rated, Third Class

Houston, Ruben H.
Lange, Norman E.
Long, Allen F.
Love, Howard L.
Phillips, Robert M.
Scarpelli, Peter I.
Stanley, Maitland C.

'Seabag' - K9 Mascot

Commissioned September 20, 1945

Thanks to shipmates and Plank Owners, Lester Sanderson and Paul Collins, Sebago Sailors now has a complete roster of the men that were aboard when the commissioning pennant broke open from the mast. This page is dedicated to those 273 crewmen. And we won't forget 'Seabag', a non-rated sailor for certain, but he was a faithful member of the crew. Look for him in the first row, he's the four legged guy lying near the EO - he's got his best jumper on.

Plank Owners Booklet
Click on the photo to see an underway, pre-commissioning photo, of Sebago. The sharp eyed sailor will notice several things immediately. The 1945 Sebago had a crows nest! What a throwback to the days of 'The Old Guard'. Those of us aboard in the final decades of Sebago remember a huge radar antenna rotating up there.

Also, there is no American ensign, commissioning pennant, or Coast Guard ensign evident. The ships number is not yet painted on the hull. If you look very closely you will see many of the crew standing under the starboard flying bridge as if the Captain and OD can't see them. I would venture a guess that it's a generic class photo and could be any of the cutter of the class.

Printed on the flyleaf of the Plank Owners booklet is the following information;

The United States Coast Guard Cutter

'The SEBAGO, the fourth of the 'Lake Class' Cutters, derives its name from Lake Sebago in the State of Maine.

This is the second Coast Guard vessel so named. The first, also a 'Lake Class' Cutter, was built on the west coast and officially entered the Service in 1930. New York City was her first home port and from that station the ship engaged in North Atlantic patrols and special missions as training vessel for Cadets of the Coast Guard ACADEMY. In this capacity, the first SEBAGO made four cruises to northern and southern Europe, Africa, South America and Caribbean ports. She was one of the first Coast Guard Vessels to cross the Equator and enter the realm of King Neptune.

The first SEBAGO started her war career in 1940, when she was transferred to the British and named the H.M.S. WALNEY. During the landings on the North African coast, this vessel, manned by a mixed force of American and British ratings and American assault troops, 'crashed' the log boom protecting the harbor of Oran and made possible effective invasion landings on both sides of the port. The vessel was lost in this action due to heavy gun fire from French forts.

With the present world conflict at an end, the new SEBAGO will 'carry on' and be available for her dual purpose as a man-o-war or as a protector of life and property on the high seas; a ship dedicated to the service of her country and the United States Coast Guard.

Keel Laid . . . . . . . 7 January 1944
Vessell Launched . . 28 May 1944
Sponsor . . . . . . Mrs. Margaret Steinmetz

The rear cover of the booklet shows an artist rendering of the first Sebago, a scene that depicts it offshore from a North Atlantic coastline with ice floating around it. Also there is one stanza of a great old poem about our Cutters;


When the old storm signal's flyin',
Every vessel seeks a lee,
'Cept the Cutter, which ups anchor
And goes poughing out to sea;
When the hurricane's a-blowin'
From the Banks to old Cape Cod,
Oh, the Cutter, with her searchlight,
Seems a messenger of God.

- Arthur Somers Roche

Personally, I am struck by the first stanza of this same poem;

Oh, she ain't packed down with cannon,
She's got no torpedo tube;
And promises no glory
To attract the country rube.
For her crew don't brag of killin',
nor the joys of bloody strife;
For they're tendin' to their business,
Which is savin' human life.

Twenty four years after Sebago was commissioned one of her sailors wrote in his journal of the mood aboard the ship. It had just been learned that their gunfire support mission off the coast of VietNam had been successful - some buildings ashore had been destroyed and some suspected VietCong were killed. This young Sebago sailor wrote, "THIS is not what I joined the Coast Guard to do. . . "

Underway from San Pedro, 1945
Yet, that was what Sebago was built for as we see from this underway photo from 1945. Two twin 5-inch mounts, and gun turrets wherever they could be practically placed gave WPG-42 some sharp teeth. The ships compliment of 270 attests to the fact that the wartime Coast Guard was prepared to fight and that the life saving component of her later mission wasn't even a secondary issue.

As time allows this section will grow and will eventually be the first section of a complete history of Sebago and the crew that sailed aboard. As Woody Guthrie wrote in his song about the USS Ruben James, Sebago was 'manned by hard fightin' men of the Land of The Free!' The last crews may not have realized what she was all about, but these first men - they were a salty bunch that had seen combat at the shores from Normady, Guadalcanal, Guam. Some of them had survived the sinkings of Cutters that went down because of torpedoes and mines. They were Cuttermen and Surfmen. Need I say any more?

BM3 Sanderson
All of the materials on this page have come from the collections of Lester Sanderson and Paul Collins. Sanderson points out with pride that he is a Plank Owner and has the certificate to prove it. At 88 years old he is still spry and alert, living in his old hometown of Taylor, Minnesota. There probably are a few others remaining from the first crew, but I've yet to find one. I did get a chance to speak with the widow of Ensign Glenn Bartoo, but other than these two men I've not found anybody else that goes this far back, to the origins of Sebago.

This page is a large part of the reason I started this site. It begins to fulfill the goal of putting us all in contact with all of the men that served aboard Sebago, either as a WPG or WHEC designated Cutter. Because of the reunion activity Lester contacted me and I was able to gather up his materials that are of little interest to anyone but a Sebago Sailor. Please, look around your attics, in the basement, storage closets; anywhere that you might have photos or artifacts about your time aboard.

Dean Kratchmer contacted me the other day and he says he has a thousand or more slides from the VietNam cruise. That will be one of the final 'chapters' of this chronicle and I'm sure all of us look forward to what Dean has.

Until we have the chance to meet again, Liberty is granted for all sections. Muster on the fantail when you return . . . when you return is up to you. If there are more Plank Owner Certificates out there .. send them to me.

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