Shipwrecks and the Coast Guard / The Escanaba

Registered Site L1831

Shipwrecks and the Coast Guard

In Autumn 1929 raging storms sank four ships on Lake Michigan between Grand Haven and Milwaukee. Two went down with all hands - a total of seventy-seven men. The cargo ship Andaste departed Grand Haven for Chicago on September 9 and sank with her twenty-five man crew south of Holland. The car ferry Milwaukee sank enroute to Grand Haven on October 22 with a crew of fifty-two. Coast Guard personnel station in Grand Haven were hampered in search and rescue attempts by vessels unable to travel in heavy seas and the absence of ship-to-shore radios on the foundering ships. As a result, the U.S. Congress funded six additional Great Lakes Coast Guard cutters. Grand Haven became the home port of the Escanaba in December 1932.
photo of Shipwrecks and the Coast Guard

The Escanaba

On December 9, 1932, the 165-foot Coast Guard Cutter Escanaba arrived in Grand Haven, her home port until she was called to duty in World War II. On June 13, 1943, while escorting a convoy from Greenland to Newfoundland, the Escanaba was destroyed by an enemy submarine and sank in the North Atlantic. Only two crewmen survived. Grief-stricken, the citizens of Grand Haven organized a war bond campaign and raised over one million dollars in three months to pay for a "second Escanaba." Escanaba II was commissioned in 1946, but never visited Grand Haven. Escanaba III was commissioned in Grand Haven; she is now stationed in Boston. Each August, Grand Haven celebrates its relationship with the Coast Guard by hosting a festival that commemorates the founding of the United States Revenue Marine on August 4, 1790.

Erected 1991

Location: Harbor Dr.
Grand Haven, Ottawa County

World War II

Latitude: 43.0615198, Longitude: -86.2367534

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