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Book Review
Sub Busters
US Coast Guard 83-Foot Patrol Cutters In World War II - Sub Busters
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by: Todd Michalak [ TRM5150 ]

Originally published on:
Model Shipwrights

US Coast Guard 83-Foot Patrol Cutters In World War II - Sub Busters

By T. Garth Connelly
Published by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
ISBN – 9781530876709
MSRP - $18.00

Naval Historian and accomplished author. T. Garth Connelly adds to the growing list of books focused on various small attack boats of the Second World War. Mr. Connelly's revious releases include PT BOATS IN ACTION, VOSPER MTBs IN ACTION, and a co-authoring of SCHNELLBOOT IN ACTION. This time, Mr. Connelly takes an in depth look at the Wheeler 83-foot cutters used in WWII with SUB BUSTERS: US Coast Guard 83-Foot Patrol Cutters In World War II.

US Coast Guard 83-Foot Patrol Cutters In World War II - Sub Busters is an 80-page soft cover book published by CreateSpace Independent Publishing. The 83-foot Cutter’s has its origins beginning back in 1940 with a proposed design for an entirely new type of cutter. Wheeler Shipyards was awarded the bid and soon began production in what would end up becoming four build groups spanning between 1941 and 1944. The 83-foot cutter, more affectionately known as “Sub Busters”, served across on a number of fronts during the Second World War. Most commonly known for its anti-submarine roll as coastal patrol convoy escorts off the Eastern seaboard and Great Lakes in the United States, sixty of these cutters were sent to Europe and took part in the landings at Normandy. Towards the end of the war, a few cutters even ended up on the Pacific Front. In addition to the original four productions of the 83-foot patrol cutters, a supplemental order was made; these boats were distributed to other nations.

The author begins this book with a brief history of these cutters giving us a little insight to the origins of these patrol boats along with a complete listing of each the over two hundred boats made outlined by hull number, theater of operation and fate after service. The author provides a detailed description along with several scans of general plans to define the base construction of these boats from the oak framing and planking to a detailed look at the variety of power plants used to run these sub-busters.

Towards the middle of the book, the author shows us and excitingly comprehensive look at the armament these boats carried. The Wheeler cutter was fit out with a Pratt and Whitney one-pounder gun as a primary weapon platform; this would later change to the Browning .50 cal. machine gun and in some cases, the 20mm Oerlikon. Secondary armament consisted of two .30 cal. Lewis guns followed by provisions for launching the Mark VI depth charges. This section of Connelly's book contains numerous detailed photographs of these weapon along with schematics of the Mark VI depth charges and racks used on the boats.

In the fourth section, we get an in depth look at the SO Radar used on these vessels. The author also provides us with charts listing the individual electronic components used including the sonar units along with several photographs to give us a better understanding of these systems.

In the fifth section of the book, we are shown a complete listing of the operation history of 83-foot cutters as seen in World War II. The author provides a table outlining the stations of operations for each boat listed in order by hull number. There is a brief accounting of the US coastal services including the landings in Normandy as well as service in the Pacific Theater of Operations described within this section.

In the Epilogue, the author discusses one boat in particular, which also happens to be one of the only surviving examples of these types of boats still around today. The cutter CG-83527 was originally slated to serve in the Pacific Theater, but the war would end before the boat was delivered. She would make its way to Oregon and serve with SAR (Search and Rescue) until the end of 1964, where the boat was eventually sold to a private owner.


T. Garth Connelly has done a fine job in bringing to light the often unnoticed history of one of the Coast Guard’s valuable defense assets of the Second World War with his latest book; US Coast Guard 83-Foot Patrol Cutters In World War II – Sub Busters. The book is packed with a detailed accounting of the construction of these boats along with a listing and description of the armament and deployment history behind these mighty warriors of the coast. The book is filled with amazing photographs, some in color, of these boats along with several finely detailed line drawings from the builder’s specifications. The book is well-written and informative along with being presented nicely in this soft-cover format. The book is a must have for anyone interested in Coast Guard naval history and the small military craft enthusiasts. The detailed descriptions, photographs and drawings are essential assets to any modeler that has one of these 83-foot cutters in their sights to build!

Highs: Well-written with a fair amount of detailed information covering the boat's construction, armament and electronic equipment.
Lows: None
Verdict: An very informative book about the 83-foot cutters of the US Coast Guard in WWII. Great book for the naval enthusiast and modelers of the subject.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: N/A
  Mfg. ID: ISBN – 9781530876709
  Suggested Retail: $18.00 US
  Related Link: 
  PUBLISHED: May 16, 2016
  NATIONALITY: United States

Our Thanks to T. Garth Connelly!
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About Todd Michalak (TRM5150)

I am building what I like, when I like and how I like it; having fun doing it. I have been building and finishing models on and off my whole life but the past ten years things really exploded. Just about anything goes when it comes to hitting the bench, but wrecked armor, rusted hulks, ships or ...

Copyright ©2021 text by Todd Michalak [ TRM5150 ]. All rights reserved.


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