October 2, 1930
USCGC Saranac, one of the Lake-class cutters of the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG), was officially commissioned as a vessel of that military branch. This cutter had been launched in April of that year at the yards of the General Engineering and Drydock Company in Oakland, California. USCG Captain John Boedker oversaw the construction of USCGC Saranac, and it was his wife who christened the vessel as part of the launching ceremony. After being commissioned, USCGC Saranac was homeported in Galveston, Texas. She was used for regular patrols in that region for more than a decade.
In 1941, USCGC Saranac was handed over to England for service in the Royal Navy during World War II. This transfer took place as part of the Lend-Lease policy, a program under which the United States provided England and other Allied nations with vessels, planes, and other resources for use in the fight against the Axis powers.
After being commissioned into the Royal Navy, USCGC Saranac was renamed HMS Banff. She was extensively deployed as an escort for convoys across the globe. A notable milestone of HMS Banff’s wartime activities occurred after the Norwegian tanker Mirlo was torpedoed and sunk in the Atlantic Ocean by the German submarine U-130 in 1942. The crew of HMS Banff rescued 18 people from that tanker.
Following the end of World War II, HMS Banff was returned to the USCG and renamed USCGC Sebec. Just before being recommissioned in 1947, however, her name was changed to USCGC Tampa. She remained in service until being decommissioned in 1954. Five years later, the vessel first known as USCGC Saranac was scrapped.
For more information on the vessel originally named USCGC Saranac, please check out https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USCGC_Saranac_(1930)
Additional information on the U.S. Coast Guard’s Lake-class cutters is available at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Banff-class_sloop