USCGC Active (WPC-125)

USCGC Active (WPC-125), later WSC-125, was a United States Coast Guard patrol boat in commission from 1926 to 1947 and from 1951 to 1962. She was the first vessel of the Coast Guard and the seventh of the United States Revenue Cutter Service or Coast Guard to bear the name Active.

Active class patrol boat, 1962
United States
Name: USCGC Active
Namesake: In action; moving; causing action or change
Builder: American Brown Boveri Electric Corporation, Camden, New Jersey
Cost: $63,163 USD
Commissioned: 30 November 1926
Decommissioned: 1947
Recommissioned: 1951
Decommissioned: 2 April 1962
Fate: Sold 6 September 1963
General characteristics
Class and type: Active-class patrol boat
Displacement: 232 tons (trial)
Length: 125 ft (38 m)
Beam: 23 ft 6 in (7.16 m)
Draft: 7 ft 6 in (2.29 m)
Installed power: After 1938 re-engining: 1,200 brake horsepower (0.9 megawatt)
  • As built: 10 knots
  • In 1945: 13 knots (maximum); 8 knots (economical)
Range: In 1945: 2,500 nautical miles (4,630 kilometers) at 13 knots; 3,500 nautical miles (6,482 kilometers) at 8 knots
Complement: 20 (3 officers, 17 enlisted men)

Construction and commissioning

Active was built by American Brown Boveri Electric Corporation at Camden, New Jersey. She was commissioned as USCGC Active (WPC-125) on 30 November 1926. She was the lead ship of the Active-class patrol boats, which were designed for trailing the "mother ships" that supported the smuggling boats of "rum-runners" during Prohibition.

United States Coast Guard service 1926-1962

In 1938, Active was re-engined, her original 6-cylinder diesel engines being replaced by significantly more powerful 8-cylinder units that used the original engine beds and gave her an additional 3 knots of speed.

World War II service

In September 1941 to May 1942, during World War II, Active was stationed at Stapleton on Staten Island, New York, and this was her base when the United States entered World War II on 7 December 1941. During the war, she was reclassified as a submarine chaser and redesignated WSC-125. She operated out of Stapleton until May 1942.

In June 1942, her home port changed to Boston, Massachusetts, and she was assigned to operate under the control of the United States Navy's Commander-in-Chief Atlantic and to work under Destroyers Atlantic. She operated out of Boston until mid-1944, also operating out of Gronnedal, Greenland, while serving on the Greenland Patrol. She later patrolled Ocean Station Able in the Atlantic Ocean from July 1943 to the summer of 1944.

In mid-1944, Active was transferred to Miami, Florida, from which she provided escort services in the Caribbean until 1945.

Post-World War II Atlantic service and lay up

In 1946, Active was stationed in Boston again, but was inactive there due to a shortage of personnel. From 1947 to 1950 she was laid up in Cleveland, Ohio.

Pacific service

Reactivated in 1951, Active was stationed at Monterey, California until 1962, providing aid to navigation and performing law-enforcement duties.

Decommissioning and disposal

After a long and active life, Active was decommissioned at Monterey on 2 April 1962. She was sold on 6 September 1963.


  • Flynn, Jim; Lortz, Ed; Lukas, Holger (March 2018). "Answer 39/48". Warship International. LV (January 2018): 23–25. ISSN 0043-0374.
  • United States Coast Guard Historian's Office: Active (WSC-125)
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