USCG Cutter 37

Pier 5
Today’s Hours: 10:00AM–4:30PM

The U.S Coast Guard Cutter (USCGC) 37 is one of the famed Secretary of the Treasury Class Coast Guard cutters built in the mid-1930's. Commissioned in 1936 as USCGC TANEY, Cutter 37 was designed for law enforcement missions, search and rescue, and maritime patrol. She was decommissioned in 1986 and designated as a National Historic Landmark in 1988 after contributing to more than 50 years of continuous service.

Video Tour
A Look Through USCG Cutter 37

Plan a Visit
Activities & Artifacts

The USCGC Cutter 37 resides on Pier 5 along with the Seven Foot Knoll Lighthouse in the Inner Harbor. Additionally, Cutter 37 participates in educational and overnight programs for all ages.

While Cutter 37 was decommissioned from the Coast Guard in 1986, her original appearance remains. Hop aboard the Cutter 37 to view the deck to the bridge, as well as below the decks to the berthing areas, mess deck, the wardroom (officer's quarters) and back onto the fantail.

A new collection of artifacts, donated by former crew member Dennis Brennon, in now on display in crew’s berthing. A new interactive experience that allows you to walk in the paw prints of Soogie, the ship’s mascot dog during World War II, is now available. The ship’s lathe in the machine shop has been restored and a new interpretive program focusing on its use is currently under development.

Our artifact collections consist of approximately 50,000 objects, photographs and documents across all of our exhibits. These artifacts tell the stories not only of the ships and lighthouse, but of the thousands of brave sailors for whom these historic sites were a duty post, a home, and a way of life. New items, often donated by former crew members and their descendants, are rotated into exhibits so there are opportunities to see something new in future visits. If you are interested in donating an an object, photograph, or document related to one of the sites that the Historic Ships operates, we would love to hear from you.

Learn About:
Cutter 37 History

Cutter 37's keel was laid on May 1st, 1935 at the Philadelphia Navy Yard alongside her sister ships: Campbell, Duane, and Ingham. She was built to be 327 feet long with a beam of 41 feet, and originally displaced 2000 tons. Her original armament consisted of two 5”/51 caliber deck guns and two 6-pounder saluting guns. Cutter 37 was also originally equipped to carry a Grumman JF-2 “Duck” float plane. She has seen extensive service in both war and peace for over half a century, and is often referred to as "The Last Survivor of Pearl Harbor." Read about her history, including:

1935-1941: Pre-War Preparation

Commissioned on October 24, 1936, Cutter 37 was first home ported in Honolulu, Hawaii, where, until the outbreak of World War II, she interdicted opium smugglers and carried out search and rescue duties from the Hawaiian Islands through the central Pacific Ocean. During her pre-war years, Cutter 37 also made regular voyages to the equatorial Line Islands, roughly 1500 miles southwest of Oahu, to re-supply and support to American colonists there.

In 1940 and 1941, Cutter 37 received successive armament upgrades in anticipation of war. The upgrades included an additional 5”/51 caliber gun on the fantail where her float plane once stood, three 3”/50 caliber dual purpose guns (capable of shooting at both surface and airborne targets), additional .50 caliber machine guns, depth charge racks and throwers, and sonar for locating submarines.

1941-1946: World War II

On the eve of Pearl Harbor, Cutter 37 was officially assigned to the U.S. Navy's Destroyer Division 80 even though she retained her Coast Guard crew. When the Japanese aircraft fleet attacked Pearl Harbor in Hawaii on December 7, 1941, Cutter 37 was tied up at Pier 6, Honolulu, where she was able to repeatedly engage Japanese planes which over flew the city. When the attack subsided, she immediately commenced in anti-submarine patrol duties off-shore at Pearl Harbor.

1946-1969: Post World War II and the Korean War

After World War II, Cutter 37 was reconfigured for peacetime duties and through 1946 to 1972, she was home ported in Alameda, California. Known as “The Queen of the Pacific,” Cutter 37 carried out virtually every peacetime Coast Guard duty. This includes decades of Ocean Weather Patrol throughout the Pacific, fisheries patrols in the Bearing Sea and countless search and rescue missions.

During the Korean War, Cutter 37 received additional anti-submarine weapons and frequently carried out plane-guard duties off Midway Island and Adak, Alaska. In April 1960, Cutter 37 additionally had the honor to host French President Charles DeGaulle on a VIP tour of San Francisco harbor.

1969-1977: Vietnam War and Coast Guard Patrol

By the late 1960's, Cutter 37 become the last United States vessel still in commission that had seen action during the Pearl Harbor attack on December 7, 1941. From that time on, she was often referred to as “The Last Survivor of Pearl Harbor.”

During the Vietnam War in 1969-1970, USCG Cutter 37 participated in “Operation Market Time” in the South China Sea. As a unit of Coast Guard Squadron III, Cutter 37 interdicted illegal arms and supplies along the coast of South Vietnam, fired over 3,400 rounds of 5”/38 ammunition in support of American and South Vietnamese troops, and provided medical assistance to more than 5,000 Vietnamese civilians.

In February 1972, Cutter 37 was reassigned from the 12th Coast Guard District in San Francisco to the 5th Coast Guard District in Virginia. From 1973 to 1977, Cutter 37 carried out the Ocean Weather Patrol at Weather Station Hotel, which is roughly 200 miles off the coast of New Jersey. She also participated in “hurricane hunting” after receiving a special Doppler weather radar installation atop her pilot house. In September 1977, Cutter 37 had the distinction of completing the Coast Guard's last ocean weather patrol when she closed out of the Ocean Weather Station Hotel.

1977-1986: Peaceful Duties and Decommissioning

From 1977 until 1986, Cutter 37 carried out search and rescue duties, fisheries patrols in the North Atlantic, drug interdiction patrols in the Caribbean, and summer training cruises for the Coast Guard Academy. During this period, she made 11 major seizures of illegal drugs. Most notably, Cutter 37 was involved in an illegal drug bust in 1985, which netted 160 tons of marijuana – the largest in U.S. history.

After more than 50 years of continuous service, Cutter 37 was decommissioned on December 7, 1986 at Portsmouth, Virginia, and donated to the City of Baltimore to serve as a memorial and museum.