Can You Name All of These Coast Guard Cutters from a Photo?

Can You Name All of These Coast Guard Cutters from a Photo?
Image: m.czosnek/E+/Getty Images

About This Quiz

Semper Paratus- Always Ready!- is the motto of the US Coast Guard, and fewer organizations follow those words more closely. Seas and waterways can be  terrifying places, filled with danger both to commerce and peoples' very lives. The United States has an unimaginably vast series of waters to navigate, from the enormous Atlantic and Pacific coasts to the myriad rivers that snake down its inland regions. It is the United States Coast Guard that takes responsibility for safeguarding these waters, a staggering and often thankless task that stretches its manpower and technology to the very limit. 

The Coast Guard is responsible for halting smuggling and human trafficking before it can reach the shores, for rescuing the sick and wounded from endangered vessels, for aiding in the navigation of nautical hazards and even for protecting the environment from pollution and degradation. With a fleet of nearly 250 so-called "cutters" and other vessels, the US Coast Guard by itself is the 12th largest navy on Earth! These vessels are enormously flexible and more than capable of performing the many different missions that the service is called upon to do as part of its day-to-day labors. 

How well do you know the cutters of the US Coast Guard? Prove your nautical prowess by clicking on this link and showing you have what it takes to run with the best!


1 Kankakee class river buoy tender (WLR) Which cutter is this?
Inland construction tender (WLIC)
USCG Seagoing Buoy Tenders
Kankakee class river buoy tender (WLR)
The Kankakee class river buoy tender (WLR) is simply a river-based boat which bears river buoys for easy deployment and replacement. Not a glamorous job, but someone's got to do it!
Alamosa class Cutter (WAK)

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2 Red class Coastal Buoy Tender (WLM) Can you identify this cutter?
USCG Seagoing Buoy Tenders
Inland Construction Tender (WLIC)
Medium Endurance Cutter (WMEC)
Red class Coastal Buoy Tender (WLM)
The Red series were a series of 5 Coastal Buoy Tender vessels that each started their names with the word Red. Examples were the Red Beech and the Red Wood.

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3 Thetis class Patrol Boat (WPC) What is the name of this cutter?
Lakes class Cutter
Magnolia class Bay and Sound Tender (WAGL)
Thetis class Patrol Boat (WPC)
The Thetis class patrol boat is also known as the Stanflex 3000. It is designed to be an ocean cutter, also deployable in an icebreaker role. It is used by the Danish Navy as the well as the US Coast Guard.
Eagle class

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4 Icebreaker (WAGB) Which cutter do you see here?
Medium Endurance Cutter (WMEC)
Point class patrol boat (WPB)
Icebreaker (WAGB)
The Healy Icebreaker is the Coast Guard's most sophisticated icebreaker, and its largest overall vessel. She's designed to break channels in ice for safe navigation.
Inland construction tender (WLIC)

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5 Class B (Mesquite) What type of ship is this?
Eagle class
Class B (Mesquite)
The Mesquite Class buoy tender is a seagoing vessel designed to replace the buoys used as naval "landmarks" and warning signs. As one might imagine, it is mostly comprised of cargo space!
Arundel class harbor tug (WYTM/WYT)
Auxiliary Tug (WAT)

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6 Manitou class harbor tug (WYTM WYT) Which cutter is shown here?
Class A (Cactus)
Manitou class harbor tug (WYTM/WYT)
The Manitou class harbor tug (WYTM/WYT) is meant to work, you guessed it, out of harbors, and is used to help pull barges and smaller vessels into and out of port. The Manitou's sister vessel is the Kaw.
Hydrofoil (WPGH)
Seagoing Buoy Tender Breaker (WLBB)

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7 Edsall Class (WDE) Can you identify this cutter?
Edsall Class (WDE)
The Edsall class was actually originally designed as a Destroyer escort in WW2. After the war, they were repurposed to serve in the Coast Guard due to their smaller size.
Inland buoy tender (WLI)
Medium Endurance Cutter (WMEC)
Icebreaker (WAGB)

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8 Treasury class Cutter (WPG) Which cutter is shown here?
Edsall Class (WDE)
Keeper class Coastal Buoy Tender (WLM)
Treasury class Cutter (WPG)
The Treasury class Cutter (WPG) is actually called that because each of the seven extant vessels was named after a Secretary of the Treasury. They were versatile, multipurpose ships, designed to be workhorses for the fleet.
Bay class Icebreaking Tug (WTGB)

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9 Inland buoy tender (WLI) Do you know which cutter is shown here?
Seagoing Buoy Tender Breaker (WLBB)
Inland buoy tender (WLI)
The Inland buoy tender fulfills the Coast Guard's mission to maintain waterway obstacle warnings in the nation's inland rivers and other waterways. There are currently four such vessels.
Inland buoy tender (WLI)
Patrol Boat (WPB)

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10 Owasco class Cutter (WPG WHEC) Which cutter is in this image?
Inland construction tender (WLIC)
Legend class National Security Cutter, Large (WMSL)
High Endurance Cutter (WHEC)
Owasco class Cutter (WPG/WHEC)
The Owasco class Cutters were post WW2 vessels which were reassigned to the Coast Guard due to their endurance. They were named after various lakes, and had to have their substantial wartime armaments reduced.

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11 Medium Great Lakes Icebreaker (WAGB) Can you identify this cutter?
Medium Endurance Cutter (WMEC)
Medium Great Lakes Icebreaker (WAGB)
The Mackinaw is the solitary example of the Medium Great Lakes Icebreaker class. It is designed to do just what the name says- 290 feet long and purpose-built to shatter ice on the Great Lakes of the US.
Alamosa class Cutter (WAK)
Cherokee/Navajo class Auxiliary Tug (WAT)

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12 Training Barque Eagle (WIX) Which cutter is shown here?
USCG Seagoing Buoy Tenders
Lakes class Cutter
Training Barque Eagle (WIX)
A unique vessel, the Eagle is actually a sailing ship used for training officers! It also performs a public relations role, and has been sent to foreign ports as a goodwill ambassador.
Medium Endurance Cutter (WMEC)

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13 Gasconade Class River Buoy Tender (WLR) Do you know which cutter is in this picture?
Red class Coastal Buoy Tender (WLM)
Gasconade class river buoy tender (WLR)
The Gasconade class river buoy tender is designed to roam the rivers, replacing and maintaining river buoys. The Gasconade herself was created in St Louis, and was originally based from there.
Manitou class harbor tug (WYTM/WYT)
Auxiliary Tug (WATA)

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14 Sentinel class Fast Response Cutter (WPC) Which cutter is here?
Angle class patrol boat (WPB)
Icebreaker (WAGB)
Sentinel class Fast Response Cutter (WPC)
The Sentinel-class Fast Response Cutter is a patrol vessel designed to operate in oceanic waters. It is armed with a 5 mm Bushmaster autocannon, as well as 4 heavy machine guns, and is well suited for defense and maritime law enforcement.
Auxiliary Tug (WATA)

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15 Sycamore Class (WAGL) Do you know the name of this cutter?
Point class patrol boat (WPB)
Kalamazoo class river buoy tender (WLR)
Class C (Barbie)
Sycamore Class (WAGL)
An older variant of buoy tender, Sycamore Class vessels were used around the time of WW2. Besides tending buoys, they were also used to inspect pleasure vessels.

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16 Apalachee class harbor tug (WYT) Identify this cutter!
Apalachee class harbor tug (WYT)
Another older WW2 and prior vessel, the Apalachee class harbor tug does what the name says, aiding as a tug for vessels and barges in harbors. It could also be used as a firefighter and for criminal investigations.
Oneida class Cutter (WPG/WHEC)
Comanche class (WYT)
Island class patrol boat (WPB)

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17 Bay class Icebreaking Tug (WTGB) Do you recognize this ship?
Dallas class Cutter
Edsall Class (WDE)
Bay class Icebreaking Tug (WTGB)
The Bay class Icebreaking Tug acts a standard tugboat, but also can be used as an icebreaker, shattering fresh water ice up to 20 inches thick. It is a comparatively younger vessel, the class coming about in 1979.
Ripper Icebreaker (WAGB)

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18 Medium Endurance Cutter (WMEC) Which cutter is pictured?
Mellon class Coastal Buoy Tender (WLM)
Medium Endurance Cutter (WMEC)
Medium Endurance Cutters constitute two classes in the Coast Guard, the Reliance and the Famous class. They are unusual in that they are not merely work vessels but have sufficient quarters for the crew to remain on board. They have armaments along the lines of Mark 75, 76 mm/62 caliber gun mounts.
White class Coastal Buoy Tender (WAGL/WLM)
Salt Lakes class Cutter

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19 Cape-class cutter Do you know which cutter is shown here?
Cape-class cutter
The Cape-class cutter was originally a WW2-era anti-submarine warfare boat, but after the war it was converted into a search and rescue and general patrol vessel. When they became obsolete, they were sold or otherwise transferred to Caribbean and South American navies.
Condor class
Juniper class USCG Seagoing Buoy Tenders (WLB)
Active class Patrol Boat (WSC)

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20 Island class patrol boat (WPB) Which cutter is in this image?
Class D (Blossom)
Auxiliary Tug (WATA)
Island class patrol boat (WPB)
Replacing the Cape class cutter in the 1980s, the Island class patrol boats are used for drug enforcement, coastal defense and search and rescue purposes. Several dozen of them are in active service today!
Arundel class harbor tug (WYTM/WYT)

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21 Seagoing Buoy Tender Breaker (WLBB) Do you know which cutter this is?
Seagoing Buoy Tender Breaker (WLBB)
Not actually sweet at all, the Seagoing Buoy Tender Breaker, known as the USCGC Mackinaw (WLBB-30), is a buoy tender that is also designed to be a heavy icebreaker. It is assigned to do its work on the Great Lakes.
Eagle class
Calumet class harbor tug (WYTM/WYT)
Hydros class harbor tug (WYT)

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22 Surface effect ship (WSES) Which Coast Guard vessel is this?
Class F (Rose)
Auxiliary Tug (WAT)
Surface effect ship (WSES)
Surface effect ships are a form of hovercraft, propelled along the water atop a cushioned, inflatable surface. It also has twin hulls, similar in effect to a catamaran.
Willow Class (WAGL)

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23 Tampa class Cutter Can you recognize this vessel?
Active class Patrol Boat (WSC)
Inland buoy tender (WLI)
Light Endurance Cutter (WMEC)
Tampa class Cutter
An archaic series of vessels from the '20s, the Tampa class was actually assigned the job of scouting out icebergs, which were seen as a menace to transatlantic shipping. They were typically repurposed for military usage come the Second World War.

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24 Keeper class Coastal Buoy Tender (WLM) Which vessel is in this image?
Wind class Icebreaker (WAGB)
Polar Class Icebreaker (WAGB)
Keeper class Coastal Buoy Tender (WLM)
The Keeper class Coastal Buoy Tender (WLM) is a modern series of vessels, having been commissioned in the 1990s. Besides buoy tending, it also aids navigation, engages in light icebreaking, and helps with naval resource management and protection.
Auxiliary Tug (WAT)

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25 High Endurance Cutter (WHEC) Which cutter is shown?
Auxiliary Tug (WAT)
Gasconade class river buoy tender (WLR)
High Endurance Cutter (WHEC)
High Endurance Cutters are some of the largest-ever Coast Guard vessels. An example of this would be the new Legend class of cutter, capable of ocean operations and in addition to normal Coast Guard duties, is also capable of serving in an anti-terrorism role.
Honeysuckle class Bay and Sound Tender (WAGL)

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26 Auxiliary Tug (WATA) Which cutter is shown in this image?
White class Coastal Buoy Tender (WAGL/WLM)
Auxiliary Tug (WATA)
The auxiliary tug (WATA) class was used as a rescue tug vessel for ships in trouble at sea, as well as normal tug duties in ports. An example of this class would be the USS Bagaduce (ATA-194).
Buoy Tender Hollyhock Class (WLM)
USCG Seagoing Buoy Tenders

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27 Calumet class harbor tug (WYTM WYT) Can you identify the cutter in this picture?
Medium Endurance Cutter (WMEC)
Marine Protector Class coastal patrol boat (WPB)
Oceanographic Vessel (WAGO)
Calumet class harbor tug (WYTM/WYT)
The Calumet class harbor tug (WYTM/WYT) was an older form of harbor tug. It performed well in all the roles it was supposed to- aiding crippled vessels or barges- but was not equipped with firefighting equipment to help fight dockside fires.

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28 Legend class National Security Cutter, Large (WMSL) Which Coast Guard vessel is shown here?
Inland construction tender (WLIC)
Inland Construction Tender (WLIC)
Legend class National Security Cutter, Large (WMSL)
Created as part of the Integrated Deepwater System Program, the Legend is a sophisticated, modern vessel. It is even equipped to function as an anti-air platform, thanks to its use of the Phalanx defense system.
USCG Seagoing Buoy Tenders

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29 Patrol Boat (WPB) Which Coast Guard ship is this?
Class C (Iris)
Patrol Boat (WPB)
The Patrol Boat (WPB) is actually an American variant on a British design. It can be used for all of the modern tasks the Coast Guard requires, from criminal interdiction to environmental conservation.
Inland construction tender (WLIC)
Hydrofoil (WPGH)

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30 Wind class Icebreaker (WAGB) Which ship is shown in this picture?
Archipelago class patrol boat (WPB)
Active class Patrol Boat (WSC)
Wind class Icebreaker (WAGB)
The Wind class Icebreakers were the first purpose-built icebreakers constructed and used by the US Coast Guard. Produced in 1944, they ran on diesel electric and were armed with a substantial weapon system, complete with rudimentary AA and depth charge capability, as befitting a wartime vessel.
Tampa class Cutter

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31 Point class patrol boat (WPB) Which coast guard cutter is pictured?
Surface effect ship (WSES)
High Endurance Cutter (WHEC)
Class A (Cactus)
Point class patrol boat (WPB)
The Point class patrol boat (WPB) was created in the '60s to replace the elder WW2-era patrol boats. 26 of them actually served as patrol vessels in Vietnam during the American intervention there.

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32Class C (Iris) Which cutter is in this photo?
Class C (Iris)
The Class C (Iris) was a 180-foot vessel built to deploy and replace navigational aids. Most of the Iris class were later succeeded by Juniper class vessels. The class was decommissioned in 2006.
Calumet class harbor tug (WYTM/WYT)
USCG Seagoing Buoy Tenders
Island class patrol boat (WPB)

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33 Class A (Cactus) Do you recognize this ship?
White class Coastal Buoy Tender (WAGL/WLM)
Thetis class Patrol Boat (WPC)
Class A (Cactus)
The Class A (Cactus) is another class designated to replace and deploy buoys so as to aid in navigation. Like many such craft, it was pressed into military service in the Second World War.
Edsall Class (WDE)

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34 Algonquin class Patrol Boat (WPG) Which ship is shown here?
Medium Great Lakes Icebreaker (WAGB)
Algonquin class Patrol Boat (WPG)
The Algonquin class Patrol Boat (WPG) is a now out of service 165-foot patrol boat. Like its namesake indicates, it was used for patrolling waters and dealing with naval threats, smuggling, and search and rescue missions.
Gasconade class river buoy tender (WLR)
Bay class Icebreaking Tug (WTGB)

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35 Polar Class Icebreaker (WAGB) Which vessel is this a photo of?
Island class patrol boat (WPB)
Polar Class Icebreaker (WAGB)
The Polar Class Icebreaker (WAGB) is a heavy icebreaker designed to work in arctic and antarctic environs. In the past it has been used to clear the path to McMurdo station, the antarctic research base.
Surface effect ship (WSES)
Keeper class Coastal Buoy Tender (WLM)

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36 Magnolia class Bay and Sound boat What is the designation of this ship?
Legend class National Security Cutter, Large (WMSL)
Class B (Mesquite)
Magnolia class Bay and Sound Tender (WAGL)
The Magnolia class Bay and Sound Tender (WAGL) was a ship class that only had two members, created around the turn of the 20th century. The Magnolia itself was destroyed in WW2, rammed by a submarine.
Auxiliary Tug (WATA)

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37 Active class Patrol Boat (WSC) Can you identify this ship class?
High Endurance Cutter (WHEC)
Point class patrol boat (WPB)
Algonquin class Patrol Boat (WPG)
Active class Patrol Boat (WSC)
The Active class Patrol Boat (WSC) was perhaps the longest lived class of Coast Guard cutters. The eldest of the line, which began in the '20s, was still in service as late as 1978!

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38 White class Coastal Buoy Tender (WAGL WLM) Which ship class is shown here?
White class Coastal Buoy Tender (WAGL/WLM)
The White class Coastal Buoy Tender (WAGL/WLM) was a group of WW2 and post-WW2-era buoy tenders. Being designed during that war, it was actually originally designed to use to transport ammunition and supplies to and from docked vessels.
Sentinel class Fast Response Cutter (WPC)
Medium Endurance Cutter (WMEC)
Surface effect ship (WSES)

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39 Oceanographic Vessel (WAGO) Do you know the name of this ship?
Keeper class Coastal Buoy Tender (WLM)
Wind class Icebreaker (WAGB)
Oceanographic Vessel (WAGO)
The Oceanographic Vessel (WAGO) was originally simply the USCGC Evergreen. It was the first oceanographic ship to have a computer installed in it, and was used to chart the depths of the ocean.
Juniper class USCG Seagoing Buoy Tenders (WLB)

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