SEEN OFF WEST SEATTLE: Historic former Coast Guard Cutter Comanche

Thanks to Gary Jones for the photo! The historic former Coast Guard Cutter Comanche passed West Seattle today, northbound from its home in Tacoma, headed for South Lake Union, where it’s scheduled for an open house at Lake Union Park. It’s owned by a foundation that’s been raising money to restore it; the ship’s history is on this website – it’s 80 years old and served as a tug after its decommissioning in 1980.

10 Replies to "SEEN OFF WEST SEATTLE: Historic former Coast Guard Cutter Comanche"

  • Rhonda May 25, 2024 (2:54 pm)

    That’s sexy.

  • Curious George May 25, 2024 (7:07 pm)

    So could someone explain to this non- artistic two dimensional thinker what the graphics/paint on the side are????

    • Question Authority May 25, 2024 (9:34 pm)

      Patterns such as that were common during wartime to break up the visual sight line of ship silhouettes, it’s basically a maritime version of camouflage.

      • Pelicans May 26, 2024 (8:10 am)

        That’s correct!  The patterns were called Dazzle.  A coworker I spoke with knows the skipper and the boat.  He said the other side of the ship (port) is painted in a normal Coast Guard solid color.

  • Dan May 25, 2024 (8:25 pm)

    Any information about the open house? Didn’t see anything on their website.

  • Jim May 26, 2024 (8:04 am)

    The camouflage configuration was called “Dazzle” and led to some very strange and visually confusing results. 

    • Alfred Somerville May 26, 2024 (5:09 pm)

      I suspect the paint scheme was designed to produce “strange and visually confusing results ” on the part of enemy submarines or surface craft. First employed in WWI in response to the Uboat threat in the Atlantic. 

    • stephen May 26, 2024 (9:43 pm)

      derivative of the Latin word….”bedazzle”

  • Dave May 28, 2024 (6:56 am)

    Before it became a Coast Guard cutter, the Commanche (and her sister, the Modoc) were both US Navy ocean-going tugboats during World War 2. So it is interesting that she returned to being a tugboat after serving as a USCG cutter.The Modoc is now owned by an oceanographic research/conservation organization. She was berthed in the Gig Harbor area the last I heard. After she was retired from the US Coast Guard, she was converted to an excursion yacht before being bought as a research organization.

  • Joe June 2, 2024 (8:32 pm)

    Comanche was built by the USN in 1944, served as a fleet tug ATA 202 (Auxiliary Tug, Auxiliary – some times called an “attack tug” by the USN). She received a Battle Star for combat. In 1959 she became a search and rescue tug in the Coast Guard serving mostly in California until 1980. After 10 years in retirement she became an oceans going tug in the Pacific berthed in Seattle and Tacoma. In 2007 she became a museum ship and made her home port in Tacoma cruising the Puget Sound in the summers. She is in Seattle for the next few weeks. It’s an all volunteer crew. Many days she is open for tours.

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