US Coast Guard christens National Security Cutter Midgett (WMSL 757)

The US Coast Guard christened its eighth Legend-class National Security Cutter Midgett (WMSL 757) during a ceremony in Pascagoula, Mississippi, on December 9.

Jazania O’Neal, granddaughter of Midgett’s namesake, is the ship’s sponsor. She christened the ship by breaking a bottle of sparkling wine across its bow.

The christening ceremony follows the cutter’s launch at Huntington Ingalls Industries’ Ingalls Shipbuilding yard on November 22.

“We often speak of our service as a family, our Coast Guard family,” said Adm. Charles Michel, vice commandant of the US Coast Guard, who was the ceremony’s keynote speaker. “The Midgett name takes that seriously with a family legacy unprecedented in the armed services, a family that is all about service before self. Such a special name deserves to be emblazoned on a special platform.”

The ship is named to honor John Allen Midgett, who was awarded the Silver Cup by the UK Board of Trade in 1918 for the renowned rescue of 42 British sailors aboard the British tanker Mirlo after it was torpedoed by a German U-boat off the coast of North Carolina. He was also awarded the Gold Lifesaving Medal by the U.S. Coast Guard in 1924.

Midgett was a senior enlisted member of the US Lifesaving Service when it merged with the US Lighthouse Service and US Revenue Cutter Service to become today’s US Coast Guard.

“Midgett is the eighth ship we have built in this class,” said Ingalls Shipbuilding president Brian Cuccias. “And with her, we’ve proven once again that American workers, Ingalls shipbuilders, can take on some of the most challenging manufacturing projects in the world.”

Ingalls is the sole builder of Legend-class NSCs and has delivered six to the Coast Guard.

NSCs are designed to be the flagships of the Coast Guard’s fleet, capable of executing the most challenging national security missions, including support to US combatant commanders. NSCs are 418 feet in length, 54 feet in beam and 4,600 long tons in displacement. They have a top speed in excess of 28 knots, a range of 12,000 nautical miles, endurance of up to 90 days and can hold a crew of up to 150. These new cutters are replacing the aging High Endurance Hamilton class cutters (378 feet) that have been in service since the 1960s.