As mentioned in the previous post, we visited the U.S.C.G. Cutter Ingham Maritime Museum while we were in Key West. The Ingham is the most decorated vessel in the Coast Guard fleet and was the only cutter to ever be awarded two Presidential Unit Citations. The Ingham is located in Old Town Key West in the historic Truman Annex Waterfront at the foot of Southard Street.
We set off on foot from the marina and arrived there in about 15 minutes. It cost us $10 each (for adult) and they didn’t charge us for Corey even though they did have a $5 child rate entry fee. We were told the cutter was preserved to have the same furniture, interior details etc. as it did in it’s day. There was signage directing us through each section of the ship and was clearly labeled at what each section contained. It was pretty cool to get to tour the ship and imagine it full of sailors each with their individual jobs.
A few facts about the Ingham:
- She was built in 1936 and launched at the Philidelphia Naval Shipyard
- 1940 — She was assigned to the Neutrality Patrol in the Atlantic
- 1941 — She performed 31 Convoys in the North Atlantic and sank U-Boat 626, later performing convoys to the Mediterranean and Africa
- 1944 — She was reassigned to the Pacific and served as a command ship in the 7th fleet
- After WWII she later served in Vietnam earning her 2 Presidential Unit Citations
- 1985 — The Ingham became the oldest Active Duty and most decorated Naval vessel serving the U.S.
- 1988 — She was decommissioned after 52 years of service
USCGC INGHAM SECRETARY CLASS CUTTER
Philadelphia Navy Yard (Philadelphia, PA)
1 May 1935
3 June 1936
12 September 1936
12 May 1988
327 feet (100 meters)
41 feet, 2 inches
15 feet, 3 inches
2 Babcock & Wilcox boilers
2 Westinghouse double reduction geared steam turbine engines
6,200 hp (4.6 MW)
Range w/o Refuel
8,270 nautical miles (15,000 km)
1937: 12 officers, 4 warrants, 107 enlisted
1941: 16 officers, 5 warrants, 202 enlisted
1966: 10 officers, 3 warrants, 134 enlisted.
(depending on time period)
1 to 4 × 5″ (127 mm)/38 guns
2 × 5″ (127 mm)/51 gun
2 × 6 lb (2.7 kg) saluting guns
varying numbers of .50 cal. (12.7 mm) machine guns
One 5-inch/38 caliber gun
1 Grumman seaplane (removed after WWII)
If you find yourself in Key West, definitely check this out. It was definitely worth it. On note though: it isn’t air conditioned (it wasn’t back in the 1940’s either) so it may be best to wait until the cooler months to see it. If you do go on a very hot day (like we did), make sure to walk next door and check out the Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center which is air conditioned and FREE admission. It’s a great way to cool off and learn about the environment in the Keys.