Home | Back to USCGC Courier

USCGC Courier Photos: Dave Newell, President of the USCGC Courier Association, has sent along some wonderful photos of the USCGC Courier, WAGR-410. Dave was on the Courier during the period 1958-59. He says that they had two Collins 207B transmitters on board coupled to the folded Discone antennas, up front at starboard a higher frequency MW antenna and at port a lower frequency MW antenna. They also had an RCA MW transmitter with 150 kw. output. The modulator and final 9C21s were cooled with a distilled water system. The Collins transmitters were air cooled and had 35 kw. output. There were also three 500 kw. three-phase generators, two of which could, at full power, run all the equipment.

For the first year or so the main antenna was carried aloft by a barrage balloon. The ballooon was lost a couple of times, and it ended up in Turkey. Finally a VOA engineer, Ivan Boor, designed a delta antenna to go between the masts. There was a very large impedance matching device under the flight deck.

Dave also sends these comments on one of the photos (shown at right) from Fred Haney, who was a VOA engineer aboard the ship: "This is one of the nicest pictures of the USCGC Courier (Vagabond Able) after it was painted white in Rhodes, Greece. It was formerly standard 'haze gray.' The Courier was an international broadcasting ship for Voice of America multi-language programs, manned by Coast Guard and Foreign Service personnel. The upside down 'Trylons' on the foredeck are shortwave antennas. The mediumwave antenna was flown from the flightdeck midships, held up by an aerostat 'mini-blimp.' This was replaced later with an inverted delta antenna between the two masts. The funny looking fence astern was an unsuccessful attempt to shield receiving equipment from extreme RF radiation voltage from the big on-board transmitters. Current affairs in the Middle East brought back memories of broadcasting from the Courier in the early sixties."

Dave Newell was discharged in September 1960 and returned home to Peperell, Massachusetts, where he still summers. Otherwise he can be found in Punta Gorda, Florida. Many thanks, Dave.