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Ingalls delivers ninth National Security Cutter to the Coast Guard

National Security Cutter Stone sails in the Gulf of Mexico during builder’s sea trials earlier this year.

LANCE DAVIS/HUNTINGTON INGALLS

By WARREN KULO | al.com | Published: November 13, 2020

PASCAGOULA, Miss. (Tribune News Service) — Ingalls Shipbuilding has delivered National Security Cutter Stone (WMSL 758) to the U.S. Coast Guard — the ninth NSC built at the Pascagoula shipyard.

The official documents transferring custody of the ship from Ingalls to the Coast Guard were signed during a ceremony Monday. Stone will remain at Ingalls until the end of the year, when it will depart for its homeport in Charleston, S.C.

“We could not be prouder to deliver our ninth national security cutter to the Coast Guard,” said Ingalls president Brian Cuccias. “Ending the year with this significant achievement is a true testament to the perseverance of our shipbuilders.

"Stone is a powerful ship that will have great opportunities to demonstrate the value of its multi-mission capabilities for many years to come.”

Stone is named in honor of U.S. Coast Guard Commander Elmer “Archie” Fowler Stone, USCG aviator number one, who made history in 1919 as one of two Coast Guard pilots in a four-man air crew who completed the first trans-Atlantic flight in a Navy seaplane.

For the achievement, Stone was made a knight of the Order of the Tower and Sword by the Portuguese government, was awarded the British Air Force Cross by the British government and received a promotion to the temporary rank of captain.

In November 1029, Stone was awarded the Navy Cross and Congressional Medal of Achievement for “distinguished service in making the first successful trans-Atlantic flight."

Stone would go on to assist in the development of the catapults and arrested gear for new aircraft carriers USS Lexington and USS Saratoga — equipment still in use on aircraft carriers today. He would also work with the Curtiss Aeroplane and Motor Company to develop airborne “motor lifeboats” for use in lifesaving missions and would also command a former Navy destroyer turned over to the Coast Guard for use during the enforcement of Prohibition.

Stone also served as the commanding officer of the USCG Aviation Unit at Cape May, N.J. and in 1934 broke the world seaplane speed record — 191 miles per hour over a 3 kilometer course. His last duty was a commanding officer of the Air Patrol Detachment in San Diego, Calif.

Stone died of a heart attack while on duty in 1936 in San Diego. He is interred in Arlington National Cemetery.

The Legend-class NSC is the most technologically-advanced ship in the Coast Guard fleet, capable of a wide variety of operations, including homeland security, law enforcement, marine safety, environmental protection and national defense missions.

NSCs are 418 feet long, with a top speed of 28 knots, range of 12,000 miles, an endurance of 60 days and a crew of 120.

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