, Newburyport, MA


April 11, 2013

Two USS Newburyports, but neither saw action


However, the mayor was eventually informed by Vice Adm. W.D. Shields that names of cities was not one of the categories from which names were used to name its ships.

Then in 1972 state Rep. George E. Twomey endeavored to have the Coast Guard name a new 400-foot icebreaker under construction in Seattle, Wash., after the City of Newburyport. Twomey’s efforts led to strong support from Sens. Edward M. Kennedy and Edward W. Brooke, U.S. Secretary of Transportation John Volpe and Congressman Michael J. Harrington and many others.

It was pointed out that the Coast Guard had other icebreakers with geographical names such as the Staten Island and the Burton Island and that naming the new ship after Newburyprt would be in line with past practices.

After about six months of the usual political wrangling back and forth, Twomey was notified by Adm. Chester R. Bender that despite the Coast Guard’s close historical relationship with the home of its birthplace, the new icebreaker was to be named the Polar Star.

Makes one wonder if after 40 years one more try might be worth the effort.


Joe Callahan is a former fire chief of Salisbury who is interested in historical accounts of the area.

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