Source: United States Coast Guard
U.S. Coast Guard 5th District Mid-Atlantic
Coast Guard holds commemoration ceremony for Queen of the Fleet
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FORT MACON, N.C. — The Coast Guard held a commemoration ceremony Friday morning in Fort Macon.
The ceremony was attended by Rear Adm. Keith Smith, Fifth District Commander, who commemorated the Coast Guard Cutter Smilax’s crews and recognized the 75 years of service the Smilax has given to the Coast Guard and its missions.
During the commemoration, speeches were given by Rear Adm. Smith and Chief Warrant Officer Jacob Carrrawan, the current commanding officer of the Coast Guard Cutter Smilax. The present crew along with past crewmembers also attended, as well as the Coast Guard’s Silver Ancient Mariner and Gold Ancient Mariner.
Smilax is the “Queen of the Fleet”, a title held only by the oldest commissioned cutter in the Coast Guard in active service. The Coast Guard Cutter Smilax is a 100-foot construction tender with an attached 86-foot barge. Commissioned November 1, 1944, five months after Allied forces had landed on the beaches of Normandy, the Smilax has been instrumental in many of the Coast Guard’s missions over the years, including several notable search and rescue cases.
Homeported in Atlantic Beach, North Carolina, Smilax is responsible for 1,325 fixed and 26 floating aids to navigations. These aids mark the waterways around the shores on the North Carolina outer banks, ensuring that vessel traffic can safely navigate the constantly shifting shoals of the areas Smilax maintains.