(BOSTON) — The U.S. Coast Guard’s newest cutter, Maurice Jester (WPC 1152), was commissioned Friday at Fort Adams State Park in Rhode Island.
Lt. Terry Netusil assumed command of the cutter during a ceremony presided over by Vice Adm. Kevin Lunday, the Coast Guard Atlantic Area commander. Maurice Jester is the third of six fast response cutters (FRCs) that will be home-ported in Boston, serving the 1st Coast Guard District.
The Sentinel-class FRC from Bollinger Shipyards is designed for multiple missions, including drug and migrant interdiction; ports, waterways and coastal security; fishery patrols; search and rescue; and national defense. The Coast Guard has ordered 65 FRCs to replace the 1980s-era Island-class 110-foot patrol boats.
The FRCs feature advanced command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance equipment; over-the-horizon cutter boat deployment to reach vessels of interest; and improved habitability and seakeeping.
Born in Chincoteague, Va., Lt. Cmdr. Maurice Jester enlisted in the Coast Guard in 1917, rising to the rank of chief petty officer boatswains mate by 1936. As the United States entered World War II in 1941, Jester was promoted to lieutenant and given command of USCGC Icarus (WPC 110).
One year later, Jester and his crew became the first on a U.S. ship to capture the crew of a German U-boat after its sinking. For his heroics in the sinking and rescue of the German sailors aboard U-352, Jester was awarded the Navy Cross and promoted to lieutenant commander for his leadership.
– U.S. Coast Guard