united states coast guard

R 051543 AUG 19
UNCLAS //N05700//
ALCOAST 256/19
1. On 6 June 2019, while commemorating the 75th anniversary of the invasion of Normandy, Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer announced Arleigh Burke-class Destroyer DDG-132 was to carry the name of Coast Guard veteran
and Navy Cross recipient Quentin Walsh. Speaking aboard the Coast Guard Cutter EAGLE, in Cherbourg, France,
Secretary Spencer stated, “Captain Walsh was a hero whose efforts during World War II continue to inspire.” While
naming a naval warship to honor a member of the Coast Guard is not new, it is an extremely rare occurrence. Those
previously honored include Captain Charles Satterlee, Medal of Honor recipient Douglas A. Munro, and Revenue
Cutter Service Commodore Frank Newcomb, a hero of the Spanish-American War. “Capt. Walsh was a hero whose
efforts during World War II continue to inspire, and his leadership in securing the French port of Cherbourg had a
profound effect on the success of the amphibious operations associated with Operation Overlord,” Spencer said.
“For over two centuries, the Navy and Marine Corps team and the Coast Guard have sailed side by side, in peacetime
and war, fair weather or foul. I am honored the future USS QUENTN WALSH will carry Capt. Walsh’s legacy of
strength and service throughout the world, and I am proud that for decades to come, this ship will remind friends and
adversaries alike of the proud history of our services and the skill and professionalism of all those who stand the
watch today.”
2. A graduate of the Coast Guard Academy, Captain Walsh participated in “The Rum Wars,” serving aboard Coast
Guard Destroyer HERNDON and patrolling between the Gulf of Maine and Cape Hatteras. After subsequent service
aboard CGC YAMACRAW, Captain Walsh was assigned as a Coast Guard inspector in charge of enforcing whaling
treaty regulations. His first-hand knowledge of whaling practices profoundly impacted the formation of U.S. policy
against commercial whaling. Assigned to the CGC CAMPBELL as navigator and gunnery officer, Walsh participated
in convoy duty across the North Atlantic as part of the American Neutrality Patrols. He then transferred to the Coast
Guard manned troop transport USS JOSEPH T.DICKMAN.
3. In late November 1943, Captain Walsh received orders to report to Commander, U.S. Naval Forces in Europe. As
a member of that staff, Captain Walsh gained full knowledge of the amphibious operation associated with the invasion
of Europe, and was responsible for formulating plans to restore operations in liberated French port cities. He formed
Task Force Unit 127.2.8 with 52 men from the Navy’s Construction Battalion Units (Seabees).
4. On 26 June 1944, Captain Walsh and his men entered the enemy-held port of Cherbourg. Under fire from German
machine guns, and meeting pockets of enemy resistance, Walsh’s unit fought their way to the harbor despite taking
heavy casualties. By the end of the action, Task Unit 127.2.8 secured the naval arsenal and accepted the surrender
of 400 German troops.
5. Captain Walsh then learned that 52 American paratroopers were being held in the German stronghold of Fort du
Homet. Led across a minefield by a captured German officer, Captain Walsh entered under a flag of truce and
convinced the Germans that the city had fallen and surrender was the only recourse. Captain Walsh accepted the
unconditional surrender of another 350 enemy soldiers and freed the Americans. He was soon designated as
Cherbourg’s assistant port director and later led a reconnaissance unit that opened the ports of Brest and Le Havre.
He was subsequently awarded the Navy Cross for “aggressive leadership and outstanding heroism” during the
capture of Cherbourg.
6. The naming of the USS QUENTIN WALSH reflects the interwoven legacies of the US Navy and Coast Guard, and
honors all those who served during Operation Overlord, and participated in the invasion of Normandy. Arleigh
Burke-class destroyers are highly capable and versatile warships and can conduct a variety of operations, including
peacetime presence and crisis response to sea control and power projection.  Impressively armed with a combination
of offensive and defensive weapons, including integrated air and missile defense and vertical launch capabilities,
they are capable of simultaneously fighting air, surface and subsurface battles. The USS QUENTIN WALSH will stand
“Semper Fortis – Always Courageous” and “Semper Paratus - Always Ready” as she sails the world’s oceans protecting
our national interests.
7. For more information on the career of Captain Quentin Walsh, please see the Coast Guard Historian’s Office website
at Information on those
previously honored by the Navy can be found at the following links:
8. ADM Karl L. Schultz, Commandant, sends.
9. Internet release authorized.