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After her role as home to the Voice of America off Greece the Courier was decommissioned on 25th August 1964 when she returned to Yorktown, Virginia and joined the Coast Guard Reserve Training Center, being given "out of commission, in reserve" status.

From 1st July 1965 the Courier provided dockside training in merchant marine safety and dangerous cargo handling for the next year.

The Courier was re-commissioned into the Coast Guard at Yorktown, Virginia on 30th April 1966 with a mission to serve as a mobile operational training platform , giving guidance during operational Port Security training at various sites along the East Coast of the United States, the Gulf of Mexico, and the Great Lakes.

The Courier's homeport remained the Reserve Training Center in Yorktown and she finished her Coast Guard career as a training vessel for reservists. Her small boats were used to train reservists in harbour patrols while her cargo handling equipment was employed to train reservists in handling dangerous cargoes.

Courier was decommissioned from the US Coast Guard service in 1972.


Originally launched in 1945 as the M/V Coastal Messenger, the ship was to be originally named Doddridge but was changed prior to acceptance by the Maritime Administration.

The ship was originally designed as an inter-island shuttle for military and naval cargoes, designed to receive cargo from much larger Victory and Liberty ships and deliver it to U.S. forces on small outlying islands. However, she was never used for this purpose due to the end of World War II.

In the late-1940s, the Coastal Messenger was operated by both the Standard Fruit and Steamship Company and Grace Line, Inc., primarily along the coasts to northern South America. She was then mothballed with the reserve fleet and transferred to the control of the Department of State in 1952.

The Coastal Messenger was renamed United States Coast Guard Cutter Courier and was acquired as part of a joint operation between the United States Department of State and the United States Coast Guard to become a mobile transmitting facility for the U.S. Information Agency's "Voice of America" radio service, beaming programmes to countries behind the 'Iron Curtain'.


Former Name(s)

Doddridge,  Coastal Messenger (1945)


Originally designed to be an inter-island shuttle for military and naval cargoes, but was never used for that purpose due to the end of World War II.

In the late-1940s, the Coastal Messenger was operated as a commercial coaster.


338’ (103 m )


5,650 tons


1945 by Froeming Brothers Inc, Milwaukee, USA

Flag state(s)

United States of America

Stations Housed

Voice of America

(7th September 1952 - May 1964)

Ultimate fate

USCG Courier

USCG Courier

Above right: Courier returning to her home port August 1964

Bottom right: Courier on patrol in the Florida Straits, February 1967

Courier on day of commissioning, February 1952 Courier returning to home port  August 1964 Courier on patrol February 1967

Above: the Courier at her commissioning ceremony in February 1952.

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Thanks to Martin van der Ven for allowing us to use some additional information from the Broadcasting Fleet section of the Offshore Radio Guide  in this Gallery

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Ships - The Main Fleet

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