Pensacola monument honors Sebago crews

150919-G-TM873-199- Coast Guard Cutter Sebago Plaque dedication
Coast Guard retirees gathered in a white tent on the lawn of Plaza De Luna in downtown Pensacola, Florida for a dedication ceremony honoring their old ship, the Coast Guard Cutter Sebago.

The cutter Sebago was a 254-foot Owasco class high endurance cutter, commissioned in 1945. It was originally intended for World War II service and was not commissioned until a month after the end of hostilities and served in the Vietnam War more than 20 years later. 150919-G-TM873-088- Coast Guard Cutter Sebago Plaque dedication

More than 50 Sebago crewmen and their families arrived in Pensacola for the dedication of a plaque marking the place their cutter was stationed from July 1964 until its decommissioning on Feb. 29, 1972.

Rear Adm. David R. Callahan, commander, 8th Coast Guard District, presided over the ceremony to honor the Sebago crews who served before him. Also honoring the service of the Sebago crews was U.S. Rep. Jeff Miller of Florida.

“Giants in our service laid our foundation, that foundation goes back 225 years and somewhere in the annals of Coast Guard history from 1790 to 2015 are the crews who commissioned, served and sailed the mighty Sebago,” said Callahan. “The ship and crew had an amazing career performing many of the same missions we still perform today. Like true Coasties they took on every task they were assigned and they excelled. Those many crews of the Sebago served valiantly both domestically and abroad, in times of war and times of peace.”

150919-G-TM873-255- Coast Guard Cutter Sebago Plaque dedication
Some of the former crewmen were gathering together for the first time in 50 years. Some crewmen shed tears as the cloth covering the plaque was removed marking the spot where they had all once come ashore on liberty from the cutter.

Before the ceremony ended, the veterans gathered around the plaque and bell honoring their old cutter. To surprise them all, one last gift was bestowed upon them to honor their time at sea. Each former member of the cutter Sebago crew was given the Coast Guard Sea Service ribbon.

“This marker that we will unveil today will serve as a reminder to not only those of you who were so closely connected to the Sebago but also the thousands upon thousands of families who come to this point in Pensacola to honor those who served aboard the cutter,” said Miller.

150919-G-TM873-175- Coast Guard Cutter Sebago Plaque dedication