Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Historic USCG Tug Comanche Seeks Input

COMANCHE CREW AND FANS:  We would like your input on an important decision for 2015. 
The attached recent photo of COMANCHE moored at Tyee Marina east of down town Tacoma is by Sean Birch, son-in-law of our chief engineer and Foundation co-founder Tom Payne. 
Please note the small section of white paint amidships on the starboard hull.  What do you think? 
   Shall we continue with white down to that level all around or paint it back to black?  (Our eventual idea is doing the whole hull back to Coast Guard white but that takes a lot of volunteer work.)
    2015 is the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II and Comanche as USN ATA 202 was there in the Pacific receiving a Battle Star for its participation in the invasion of Okinawa.  Thus, we have thought about painting some haze gray on her, too.  (We have a lot of haze gray paint!  Re-gifted to us by another historic naval ship.)
   2015 is also the 225th birthday of the U. S. Coast Guard.  For that we have thought about putting the COAST GUARD back on the sides but with a twist.  (We cannot put the world “Coast Guard” on the hull by itself.)  So, maybe this: 1790 COAST GUARD 225th ?
Comments welcome… as are donation$ and volunteers to help get her ready for an important year.  Thanks!

Right now the electrical crew, Chief Electrician Darren Micili (USN ret) and Dan Hallenback, with help from Comanche Youth Volunteers, are rewiring the port side regulator to the main control console in the engine room.  As soon as they are done and the weather warms up we’ll start some deck work and interior painting as well as hopefully laying tile on the mess deck.  (Anyone with experience in leveling a deck?)

The museum space aboard the ship (the ward room, berth deck and radio room) will be set up to celebrate the end of World War II and the 225th Anniversary of the U. S. Coast Guard.  Our plan is to cruise to a few ports in the Puget Sound so people can visit and see the exhibits.   If all goes well, we hope to cruise to Seattle in early May for their Maritime Days and Tug Parade (no race this year) at South Lake Union Museum of Industry dock and possibly stay at the seaport thru Armed Forces Day, open to the public each day for free.  If you are a resident of the Seattle area come and explore the COMANCHE!  We’ll need volunteers while there, too.  Help stand watch as visitors come aboard, …you can tell sea-stories.

After Armed Forces Day we will return to our great home port of Bremerton in time for the Kitsap Harbor Fest over Memorial Day weekend.  As the summer moves on we are looking forward to visiting Port Townsend, Everett and making the tug gathering at Olympia’s Harbor Days over Labor Day Weekend before returning to Bremerton for the winter.

Riders are welcome on the cruises.  As with all visitors, riders come along for free (no set charge but donations are not refused!)  Please let us know if you are coming for a ride.  Keep in mind most cruises are one way and riders are responsible for getting their own way home.

COMANCHE appreciates the donations that have come her way this winter.  It’s a tough time financially for the old Cutter.  So far we have made the basic minimum payments from month to month and appreciate your continued support.  There is no income from visitors during the winter months but insurance bill, etc. continues.  And we need to get some reserve funds together for this summer.  If you can contribute to the continued survival of the COMANCHE please do.  Make checks to COMANCHE 202 FOUNDATION (an IRS recognized non-profit) and send to 403 Garfield Street S., Tacoma, WA 98444.  Donations can also be made by credit card via PayPal.  Our budget shortfall for February will be about $400.00 at this point.  March budget needs are $1,600.  Thanks so much!  Joe Peterson, Director of Operations  (WMEC 194 Modoc 1966-69)  (253) 227-9678

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