USCGC Iroquois (WHEC-43)

USCGC Iroquois (WHEC-43) was an Owasco class high-endurance cutter built for World War II service with the United States Coast Guard. The war ended before the ship was completed and consequently she never saw wartime service.

USCGC Iriquois (WHEC-43), 1949
United States
Builder: Western Pipe & Steel
Laid down: Unknown
Launched: Unknown
Christened: Iriquois
Commissioned: 9 February 1946
Decommissioned: 13 January 1965
Reclassified: WPG-43 to WHEC-43
Fate: Scrapped
Notes: WPS Hull No. 149.
General characteristics
Type: Owasco-class cutter
Displacement: 1,342 light (1966), 1,978 fully loaded (1966)
Length: 254 ft
Beam: 43 ft 1 in
Draft: 17 ft 3" (1966)
Propulsion: 1 x Westinghouse electric motor driven by a turbine, shaft horsepower 4,000 (1945)
Speed: 17 knots
Range: 6,157-mile radius @17 knots, 10,376 mile radius @10 knots (1966)
Complement: Crew: 10 officers, 3 warrants, 130 men (1966)
Armament: 1960s: 1 × 5 in (130 mm)/38; Hedgehog; 2 × Mk 32 ASW TT

Iroquois was built by Western Pipe & Steel at the company's San Pedro shipyard. Named after Lake Iroquois (Vermont), she was commissioned as a patrol gunboat with ID number WPG-43 on 9 February 1946. Her ID was later changed to WHEC-43 (HEC for "High Endurance Cutter" - the "W" signifies a Coast Guard vessel).

Operational history

Iroquois was assigned to Honolulu, Hawaii. In February 1951 she served on Ocean Station Nan; July through August 1951 she served on Ocean Station Uncle; October–November 1951 she served on Ocean Station Victor; in January 1952 she served on Ocean Station Uncle; June 1952 she served on Ocean Station Queen; From December 1952 through January 1953 she served on Ocean Station Victor; In February 1953 on Ocean Station Sugar; in June–July 1953 on Ocean Station Queen; in August 1953 she served on Ocean Station Queen.

Run aground with major damage

While departing Midway on 29 June 1954 Iriquois ran aground on a reef. She was refloated on 1 July but had sustained major damage to her hull. She was towed to the Coast Guard Yard, decommissioned and stored through 13 January 1965. Both of her boiler burners were removed and installed on board her sister cutter, Escanaba. Iroquois was eventually sold for scrap.


  • Iriquois WHEC-43, United States' Coast Guard website.
  • Scheina, Robert L.: U.S. Coast Guard Cutters & Craft of World War II Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 1981, pp. 1–3.
  • Scheina, Robert L.: U.S. Coast Guard Cutters & Craft, 1946-1990 Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 1990, pp. 18–26.
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