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"Finest Hours" Resources

                 Pendleton - Ft. Mercer Rescue Feb 18-19, 1952

The film Finest Hours, based on the best selling book of the same name by Michael Tougias & Casey Sherman will be released on January 29, 2016.  The story of this heroic rescue may not be well known outside of the Coast Guard Family.  This page is a collection of resources related to the Pendleton-Mercer Rescue for those wishing to learn more about the events of Feb 18-19, 1952.

SS Pendleton Survivors disembark from CG36500

                              "The lifeboat was secured to the pier and the survivors lined up along the side
                              of the boat and climbed ashore for transportation to the Coast Guard Station."
                              Photo by Richard C. Kelsey, Chatham, Mass.

Coast Guard Official Resources:

The Rescue:

The Pendleton-Fort Mercer Rescue

The Pendleton Rescue - Article by Captain W. Russell Webster, USCG

Historic Photo Gallery

The Fort Mercer and Pendleton Rescues

Coast Guard Times Article, Feb. 2012

Coast Guard Compass- Official Blog - 60th Anniversary of the Pendleton Rescue by RADM Daniel Neptune  http://coastguard.dodlive.mil/2012/02/the-60th-anniversary-of-the-pendleton-rescue/

USCG Top Ten Rescues

Coast Guard Announces 1,109,310 Lives Saved since 1790 - Aug. 4, 2007  www.uscg.mil/hq/cg5/cg534/News/RescuesOneMillion.doc

The People:

                          "The Gold Medal crew relaxed at the station with coffee and doughnuts after a
                           wild night at sea.  Left to right: BM1 Bernard Webber, EN3 Andrew Fitzgerald,
                           SN Richard Livesey and SN Irving Maske."
                           Photo by Richard C. Kelsey, Chatham, Mass.

Gold Lifesaving Medal Citation for Bernard C. Webber, Andrew J. Fitzgerald, Richard P. Livesey & Ervin E. Maske  http://www.uscg.mil/history/awards/GoldLSM/18Feb1952.asp

Bernie Webber Biography

Bernie Webber CWO (ret) Obituary

Memorial service for Coast Guardsman Bernard Webber - USCG D1 PA  YouTube Video

Coast Guard Compass- Official Blog - Coast Guard Heroes: BM1 Bernard Webber

Lifesaving Medal Citation for William R. Kiely, Jr.(USCGC Yakutat)

Press Release -Awards for 21 Coast Guardsmen, May 14, 1952

Coast Guard Moments: SS Pendleton & Ft. Mercer - Coast Guard Channel YouTube Video


                        "The Rescue Boat CG36500 returned to the Chatham Fish Pier with 32 survivors
                        of the tanker PENDLETON after the rescue at sea.  EN3 Andrew Fitzgerald was
                        on the bow ready to handle the tie up at the pier.  The other three men were
                        PENDLETON survivors."
                        Photo by Richard C. Kelsey, Chatham, Mass.

36 Ft Motor Life Boat info  http://www.uscg.mil/history/cutters/boats/docs/36FootMLBTypeTRS.pdf

USCGC Acushnet http://www.uscg.mil/history/webcutters/Acushnet1946.pdf

USCGC Eastwind http://www.uscg.mil/history/webcutters/Eastwind_1944.asp

USCGC McCulloch http://www.uscg.mil/history/webcutters/McCulloch1946.pdf

USCGC Umimak http://www.uscg.mil/tcyorktown/info/History/Cutters/unimak.asp

USCGC Yakotat http://www.uscg.mil/history/webcutters/Yakutat1948.pdf

USCG Air Station Salem http://www.uscg.mil/history/stations/airsta_salem.asp


Coast Guard Cutter Bernard C. Webber:






              Coast Guard Cutter Webber, the service's first fast response cutter, arrives
              at Coast Guard Sector Miami.            U.S. Coast Guard photo illustration.

Coast Guard Compass- Official Blog - USCG Cutter Bernard C. Webber

Commissioning of USCGC Bernie Webber - Remarks by ADM Papp, Commandant USCG

Non-Government Resources:

Non-Profit Organizations:

Orleans Historical Society (restored and maintains CG36500)

CG36500 2009 Restoration - Orleans Historical Society - YouTube Video

Historic Lifeboat CG36500 - Cape Cod Chronicle - YouTube Video

Historic CG36500 boat used in Pendleton rescue - Cape Cod Times  YouTube Video

Coast Guard Lightship Sailors Association


Books in Print:

Michael J. Tougias & Casey Sherman. The Finest Hours: The True Story of the U.S. Coast Guard's Most Daring Sea Rescue. New York: Scribner, 2009.

Theresa M. Barbo, Captain W. Russell Webster (Ret.).  The Pendleton Disaster Off Cape Cod: the Greatest Small Boat Rescue in Coast Guard History. Foreword by Admiral Thad Allen (Ret.).  Third Edition, 2010.  The History Press (historypress.net).

Bernard C. Webber.  Chatham, "the lifeboatmen".  Lower Cape Publishing. 1985

Robert R. Frump. Two Tankers Down: The Greatest Small-Boat Rescue in U.S. Coast Guard History. Lyons Press, 2008.  This book chronicles the SS Pendleton and SS Fort Mercer rescues off Chatham, MA, in 1952.

Theresa M. Barbo, Captain W. Russell Webster. Julia Marshall. The Daring Coast Guard Rescue of the Pendleton Crew. 2013 The History Press (historypress.net). (Children 8-12 yrs)

News Stories:

Newspaper Archives, Orleans Historical Society

Military.com - Chatham Readies for Filming of Dramatic 1952 Pendleton Rescue

Boston Globe - Coast Guard Hero Watches 1952 Rescue made into a movie 11/14/2014

"The Finest Hours" tells story of Wrentham manís role in historic sea rescue,  Wrentham Times 1/23/2016  http://www.wrenthamtimes.com/wrentham/2016/01/the-finest-hours-mel-gouthro.html

CBS-News - Unbelievable Coast Guard Rescue 10/17/2015 YouTube Video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HEjBgx6rY9A


This page was last updated on  01/24/2016 16:30


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