Category:687 Red Birch (ship, 1965)

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Type Coastal buoy tender (add this type to the list)
Designer Coast Guard
Built by Coast Guard Yard, Curtis Bay, Maryland for $2,181,506
Keel laid
Launch date
Completion date
Length overall 47.9 m (52.3 yd)
Beam 9.4 m (10.2 yd)
Draft 2.1 m (82.6 ″)
Displacement 525 t (1,165,815.00 lb)
Main engine 2 Caterpillar diesels; 1,800 BHP; twin controllable-pitch propellers and a bow thruster unit
Speed 13 knots


  • 1965-02-19 Named: RED BIRCH by her sponsor, Mrs. William S. Mailliard, the wife of Congressman William S. Mailliard of California. Flag: United States
  • 1965-06-07 Placed in commission-special status under the command of LT Eugene E. E. O'Donnell, USCG. Assigned to San Francisco, where she replaced the decommissioned tender Columbine.
  • 1965-06-11 Departed Curtis Bay
  • 1965-07-26 Arrived at San Francisco after sailing through the Panama Canal.
  • 1965-09-17 Placed in commission. Her assigned area of responsibility included San Francisco, San Pablo, Suisun Bay and the San Joaquin River areas.
  • 1965-10 Escorted the Japanese motor vessel Louisiana Maru and the U.S. tug Las Plumas to port following a collision off Yerba Buena Island.
  • 1970-04-30 Recovered a downed Army helicopter five miles west of the Golden Gate Bridge.
  • 1976-06-01 Transferred to Baltimore, Maryland and was placed under the operational control of the Fifth Coast Guard District.
  • 1976-07-12 Arrived at the Coast Guard Yard after a cruise through the Panama Canal. Her area of responsibility included the shallow estuaries and tributaries of the Chesapeake Bay from Hooper's Straits northward to Baltimore. Secondary missions of the Red Birch included search and rescue, military readiness, maritime law enforcement and marine environmental protection. In addition, during the winter months, Red Birch was tasked with keeping the Chesapeake's shipping lanes from being closed by ice. By this time the crew had come up with the cutter's motto: 'Illuminamous Via', "We Light The Way." She was awarded the Coast Guard Meritorious Unit Commendation for her icebreaking activities and her emergency servicing of aids to navigation that were damaged from ice from 1 January 1977 to 4 March 1977. Her citation stated, in part: "Over a 7 day period of intense operations, USCGC RED BIRCH escorted 35 barges through the ice to deliver 10 million gallons of fuel oil, which alleviated a fuel crisis in the area."
  • 1998-06-12 Decommissioned and transferred to Argentina. Renamed: PUNTA ALTA (Q-63) Flag: Argentina
  • 2006 Part of the amphibious phase of combined exercise Fraternal , along with units of the Brazilian Navy.
  • 2011-12 Anti-Aircraft Battalion staff Marines fired from a missile unit RBS-70 as part of their training.

Media in category "687 Red Birch (ship, 1965)"

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