USCGC Oliver Henry (WPC-1140)

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Guam’s Second Fast Response Cutter arrives in Apra Harbor 201130-G-GO214-1001.jpg

USCGC Oliver Henry (WPC-1140) is the United States Coast Guard's 40th Sentinel class cutter.[1] Her homeport is Apra Harbor, Guam.


Like her sister ships, Oliver Henry is designed to perform search and rescue missions, port security, and the interception of smugglers.[2] She is armed with a remotely-controlled, gyro-stabilized 25 mm autocannon, four crew served M2 Browning machine guns, and light arms. She is equipped with a stern launching ramp, that allows her to launch or retrieve a water-jet propelled high-speed auxiliary boat, without first coming to a stop. Her high-speed boat has over-the-horizon capability, and is useful for inspecting other vessels, and deploying boarding parties.

The crew's drinking water needs are met through a desalination unit.[3] The crew mess is equipped with a television with satellite reception.

Operational career

The Oliver Henry left Guam, in the summer of 2022, to visit various Pacific Island countries, and to operate fishing patrols and joint operations with the marine forces of those countries.

The Oliver Henry schedule had it stopping in the Solomon Islands to refuel and resupply with food.[4] However, when the request permission to enter port Solomon Islands officials refused entry to the vessel, and to HMS Spey a Royal Navy vessel also participating in those joint exercises. Observers attributed the refusal to China's negotiations with the Solomon Islands. The Solomon Islands had been one of the few remaining nations that recognized Taiwan as a sovereign country. The Solomon Islands had dropped recognition of Taiwan, had negotiated a trade deals, and some observers suspected it had agreed, or was on the brink of agreeing to allow China to build a Chinese Naval Base in the Solomon Islands.

On August 31, 2022, the Oliver Henry arrived in Cairns, Australia, a port on Australia's norther coast, near the Torres Strait, which is homeport to vessels of the Australian Navy and patrol vessels of its Border Control agency.[5]


In 2010, Charles "Skip" W. Bowen, who was then the United States Coast Guard's most senior non-commissioned officer, proposed that all 58 cutters in the Sentinel class should be named after enlisted sailors in the Coast Guard, or one of its precursor services, who were recognized for their heroism.[6][7] The Coast Guard chose Oliver Henry as the namesake of the 40th cutter.[8] Henry joined the Coast Guard when it was racially segregrated, like the rest of the United States Armed Forces.[9] In 1942 he was the first African-American sailor, in the Coast Guard, to break the color barrier, and be transferred from serving as a Mess Steward to the Engineering Division, as a Machinist Mate. His skills quickly earned him promotion, and he reached the rank of Chief Petty Officer by 1943. In 1950 he was promoted to Warrant Officer.


  1. Bollinger Shipyards delivers USCGC OLIVER HENRY Sentinel-class cutter to US Coast Guard, Navy Recognition, August 2020. Retrieved on 2022-08-28.
  2. FRC Plan B: The Sentinel Class, Defense Industry Daily, May 2, 2014. Retrieved on 2014-04-03. “All of these boats will be named after enlisted Coast Guard heroes, who distinguished themselves in USCG or military service. The first 25 have been named, but only 8 have been commissioned...”
  3. Jacqueline L. Urgo. Coast Guard to get 'game changer' cutter to save lives and catch criminals, Philadelphia Inquirer, November 19, 2016. Retrieved on 2016-11-19. “Although the cutter is far from luxurious, its crew quarters provide slightly more room and comfort than earlier models, with larger staterooms, more toilets and sinks, greater storage space, and DirecTV access in the mess areas.”
  4. Rod McGuirk. Solomon Islands asks navies not to send ships pending review, Military Times, 2022-08-31. Retrieved on 2022-09-03.
  5. Sara Muir. U.S. Coast Guard Arrives for Planned Port Visit in Cairns, Australia, Pacific Command, 2022-09-01. Retrieved on 2022-09-03.
  6. Susan Schept. Enlisted heroes honored, United States Coast Guard, March 22, 2010. Retrieved on 2013-02-01. “After the passing of several well-known Coast Guard heroes last year, Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard Charles "Skip" Bowen mentioned in his blog that the Coast Guard does not do enough to honor its fallen heroes.”
  7. U.S. Coast Guard announces name for first Sentinel-class cutter, March 22, 2010. Retrieved on 2013-02-01. “Previously designated to be named the Coast Guard Cutter Sentinel, the cutter Bernard C. Webber will be the first of the service's new 153-foot patrol cutters. Coast Guard Commandant Admiral Thad Allen approved the change of the cutter's name to allow this class of vessels to be named after outstanding enlisted members who demonstrated exceptional heroism in the line of duty. This will be the first class of cutters to be named exclusively for enlisted members of the Coast Guard and its predecessor services.”
  8. Coast Guard Aligns Names with Hull Numbers for its Sentinel-class FRCs, Seapower magazine, 2017-12-12. Retrieved on 2017-12-09. “The U.S. Coast Guard has announced the names and corresponding hull numbers for its next 20 Sentinel-class Fast Response Cutters (FRCs), each vessel being named for a deceased leader, trailblazer or hero of the Coast Guard and its predecessor services of the U.S. Revenue Cutter Service, the U.S. Lifesaving Service and the U.S. Lighthouse Service, according to a Dec. 12 Coast Guard release.”
  9. William Theissen. Oliver Henry - Warrior, Leader, Trailblazer, Maritime Executive.