In 1943 the War Shipping Administration secured the Agnes Sterling from R.D. Taylor for war time duties.
In 1946 she was returned to R.D. Taylor
Franklin (Leroy) Cox served aboard her while in the Coast Guard
The following letter from Franklin (Leroy) Cox who served aboard the Agnes Sterling while in the Coast Guard from 1943 - 1946. Leroy was able to go aboard the Agnes Sterling March 9th 2013. We enjoyed the afternoon going over his tour of duty during the war years. My thanks to Leroy for helping me complete a part of PropWash history. Now I need to find some pictures of her painted red with Coast Guard numbers on her. I ask Leroy if he has any pictures of her and his reply was he was 21 and had other thing on his mind being a young sailor.
Agnes Sterling - 1943 to 1946
Letter from Franklin (Leroy) Cox.
History of Agnes Sterling 1943 – 1946
In 1943, the War Shipping Administration secured The AGNES STERLING, an oyster boat, from R.D. Taylor. The next few months was a rebuilding period for her as she was converted from and oyster boat to a fire boat and subsequently turned over to The United States Coast Guard. After the war was over, she was returned to the original owner, R.D. Taylor, sometime in 1946.
I joined the United States Coast Guard in July 1942. After a number of different assignments, I was sent to Number 3 Fire Station in Norfolk, Va. for training. For about eight months, three other Coast Guard men and I trained under Captain Bill Baxter. We were there about eight months. From the fire station, I was transferred to Pinners Point in Portsmouth, Va. That’s where I met The AGNES STERLING, tied up at the docks, decked out in all of her fire-fighting equipment. I served onboard her for about 3 years while she was at Pinners Point.
In front of the pilot was the hose rack. There were 6 Chrysler pumps secured to the deck forward of the hose rack. We had two nozzles on a platform over the pilot house that were very effective on large or small fires. There was a small fleet of such boats stationed in the Tidewater area. Once, we were called on a fire when the Ballards Oyster plant burned. Ironically, I found out that she had worked out of there in her earlier years. After the war, I was discharged and returned home. I lost touch with THE AGNES STERLING and received no new about her over the years. This is what I recall from 70 years ago and my perspective of being a 21 year old going aboard the AGNES STERLING for the first time.
I understand that THE AGNES STERLING is now privately owned and renamed PROPWASH. I have many memories of time aboard THE AGNES STERLING and hope to make a trip to see her again soon
Franklin (Leroy) Cox
5433 Princess Anne Rd
Va Beach, Va 23462