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Press Release | Oct. 16, 2023

CORRECTED MEDIA AVAILABILITY: Fifth New England-based Fast Response Cutter to be commissioned in New Castle

Editors' Note: This correction notes updated time for the ceremony and arrival, as well as ship information.
Media interested in attending the ship’s commissioning ceremony are requested to RSVP with no later than 4 p.m. Wednesday, October 18th. Media are requested to arrive by 10:30 a.m. to clear security and be escorted to the event, and must provide media credentials and government-issued photo ID.

WHO: Lt. Jacklyn Kokomoor, commanding officer of Coast Guard Cutter William Sparling (WPC-1154), Caroline S. Sparling, the cutter’s sponsor, along with additional Sparling family members

WHAT: Commissioning ceremony for the Coast Guard Cutter William Sparling

WHEN: Thursday, October 19th, at 11 a.m.

WHERE: 25 Wentworth Rd New Castle, NH 03854

BOSTON — The Coast Guard Cutter William Sparling (WPC-1154) is scheduled to be commissioned during a ceremony Thursday at 11 a.m.

The Coast Guard's newest cutter was accepted by the Coast Guard on July 20, 2023 and will be the fifth of six Fast Response Cutters homeported in Boston.

The Sentinel-class fast response cutter (FRC) is designed for multiple missions, including drug and migrant interdiction; ports, waterways and coastal security; fishery patrols; search and rescue; and national defense. The Coast Guard has ordered a total of 65 FRCs to replace the 1980s-era Island-class 110-foot patrol boats. The FRCs feature advanced command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance equipment; over-the-horizon cutter boat deployment to reach vessels of interest; and improved habitability and seakeeping.

William Sparling was one of the first Coast Guard enlisted members to be awarded the Silver Star Medal, one of the nation’s highest military awards for valor in combat. Sparling served as a landing craft coxswain during the Battle of Tulagi, a strategically important island in the Pacific theater, during World War II. The island was captured by enemy forces in May 1942, and Allied forces were concerned that the occupation of Tulagi would be used to threaten Allied units and supply routes in the region. Allied forces arrived at Tulagi on August 7, 1942, to reestablish control of the island.

The amphibious assault, supported by the landing craft piloted by Sparling and other coxswains, was the first U.S. offensive of World War II and was one of the first in a series of battles that defined the Guadalcanal campaign. During the invasion, Sparling and other coxswains landed the first wave of U.S. Marines from USS McKean on the beaches of Tulagi. Over the next three days of fighting, Sparling and others made repeated trips between the Navy destroyer and Tulagi to deliver equipment, ammunition and other supplies to Marines as they engaged a determined occupying force of 800 troops. On August 9, the remaining enemy forces surrendered, and the Allies successfully secured Tulagi.