Built by the Philadelphia Navy Yard of Philadelphia and named after the 11th Secretary of the Treasury, William J. Duane, the USCGC Duane was commissioned on 1 August 1936.

On 17 April 1943, the Duane helped locate the German submarine U-175, forcing it to the surface with depth charges, and then sank it with its deck guns. The Duane then rescued 20 survivors, later turning them over to British authorities. After World War II, the Duane was extensively modified, essentially taking on her present appearance. Once modified, she assumed her duties as an ocean station vessel on weather patrol operating out of Boston, Massachusetts. Cutters on weather patrol provided an additional measure of security for the rapidly growing trans-oceanic air traffic, as well as the normal marine traffic. A prime example was when the cutter rescued all 27 crewmen of the Finnish merchant ship Bornholm that sank on 4 May 1957 in heavy seas.

In December of 1967, the Duane became a member of Coast Guard Squadron Three on Operation Market Time Patrols off the coast of South Vietnam. Patrolling the 1,000 miles of coastline for six months, she played an active role in the boarding and inspection of vessels in an attempt to prevent the infiltration of enemy supplies and personnel into South Vietnam. She was also called in to lend gunfire support to friendly forces on the shore. The Duane established a commendable record for damaging and destroying countless enemy positions.

The decommissioning ceremony for the USCGC Duane took place off the cost of Florida in August of 1985. She was sunk in her final resting place on 26 November 1987 to be used as an artificial reef off the coast of Key Largo. The Duane currently sits upright in 125 feet of water on a sandy bottom with scattered sponges. Her main deck level is at about 100 feet with the top of the crow’s nest reaching to within 50 feet of the surface.

Read an article about diving the Duane at this site.


Lat: 24 59.388 N

Long: 80 22.888 W

Depth of wreck

125 feet

Size of wreck

Length: 327 feet

Beam: 41 feet