Blue Turtle Cruising

Tour the U.S.C.G. Cutter Ingham, Key West

As mentioned in the previous post, we visited the U.S.C.G. Cutter Ingham Maritime Museum while we were in Key West. The Ingham is the most decorated vessel in the Coast Guard fleet and was the only cutter to ever be awarded two Presidential Unit Citations. The Ingham is located in Old Town Key West in the historic Truman Annex Waterfront at the foot of Southard Street.

Image credit: Wikipedia
U.S.C.G Cutter Ingham.  Image credit: Wikipedia

We set off on foot from the marina and arrived there in about 15 minutes. It cost us $10 each (for adult) and they didn’t charge us for Corey even though they did have a $5 child rate entry fee. We were told the cutter was preserved to have the same furniture, interior details etc. as it did in it’s day. There was signage directing us through each section of the ship and was clearly labeled at what each section contained. It was pretty cool to get to tour the ship and imagine it full of sailors each with their individual jobs.

Start of the tour at the stern
Start of the tour at the stern
Inside the cutter
Inside the cutter
G.P.O. Quarters
G.P.O. Quarters

A few facts about the Ingham:

  • She was built in 1936 and launched at the Philidelphia Naval Shipyard
  • 1940 — She was assigned to the Neutrality Patrol in the Atlantic
  • 1941 — She performed 31 Convoys in the North Atlantic and sank U-Boat 626, later performing convoys to the Mediterranean and Africa
  • 1944 — She was reassigned to the Pacific and served as a command ship in the 7th fleet
  • After WWII she later served in Vietnam earning her 2 Presidential Unit Citations
  • 1985 — The Ingham became the oldest Active Duty and most decorated Naval vessel serving the U.S.
  • 1988 — She was decommissioned after 52 years of service
Officers table
Officers table
Galley for Officers eating quarters
Galley for Officers eating quarters
Lounge area
Lounge area



Philadelphia Navy Yard (Philadelphia, PA)

Keel Laid

1 May 1935


3 June 1936


12 September 1936




12 May 1988


2,656 tons


327 feet (100 meters)


41 feet, 2 inches


15 feet, 3 inches

Steam Generation

2 Babcock & Wilcox boilers


2 Westinghouse double reduction geared steam turbine engines

Shaft Horsepower

6,200 hp (4.6 MW)

Maximum Speed

21 knots

Range w/o Refuel

8,270 nautical miles (15,000 km)

Personnel Complement

1937: 12 officers, 4 warrants, 107 enlisted

1941: 16 officers, 5 warrants, 202 enlisted

1966: 10 officers, 3 warrants, 134 enlisted.


(depending on time period)

1 to 4 × 5″ (127 mm)/38 guns

2 × 5″ (127 mm)/51 gun

2 × 6 lb (2.7 kg) saluting guns

varying numbers of .50 cal. (12.7 mm) machine guns

One 5-inch/38 caliber gun


1 Grumman seaplane (removed after WWII)

If you find yourself in Key West, definitely check this out. It was definitely worth it. On note though: it isn’t air conditioned (it wasn’t back in the 1940’s either) so it may be best to wait until the cooler months to see it. If you do go on a very hot day (like we did), make sure to walk next door and check out the Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center which is air conditioned and FREE admission. It’s a great way to cool off and learn about the environment in the Keys.

Main cafeteria serving area
Main cafeteria serving area
Main cafeteria serving area
Main cafeteria serving area
Sleeping bunks
Sleeping bunks
Ships bow
Ships bow
Randy and Corey on deck
Randy and Corey on deck
Corey aims at the enemy
Corey aims at the enemy

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