The newest fast response cutter, the Kathleen Moore, will be commissioned in Key West this Saturday, May 10. The Coast Guard Foundation is supporting the crew of the Kathleen Moore with a $5,000 gift to its morale fund. The fast response cutters are all named for enlisted Coast Guard heroes and Kathleen Moore stands among the greatest Coast Guardsmen to serve.
From the Coast Guard Compass:
Kathleen “Kate” Moore devoted her entire life to those at sea as the keeper of the Black Rock Harbor Light on Fayerweather Island, a small seaside community south of Bridgeport, Connecticut.
Moore first stood the watch at the age of 12, when her father began tending the light in 1817 after a shipboard injury prevented him from going to sea. As Moore grew older, and her father’s health worsened, she took on most of the duties herself, although she was not officially appointed as head keeper until 1871.
She served at the station for an astounding 72 years where she continually braved the harsh storms of Long Island Sound to save those in peril. As keeper, her light was literally the difference between a successful journey or catastrophe for the more than two hundred vessels sailing the sound nightly.
In 2010, then Vice-Commandant VADM Sally Brice-O’Hara reflected on Kathleen Moore’s service and her impact and legacy for those serving today. “It was a lifetime of service…” said VADM Brice-O’Hara. “She proved that women performed with distinction – whether the job at hand was harrowing or dutifully and diligently routine. The crew of the Kathleen Moore will have high standards to uphold in honoring the legacy of this remarkable Keeper.”
New Headstone for Kathleen Moore
Upon research, it was discovered that Kathleen Moore did not have a proper headstone at the Mountain Grove Cemetery in Bridgeport where she was laid to rest more than 100 years ago.
Representatives from Bollinger Shipyards – the company that built the cutter Kathleen Moore and paid for the new headstone – MCPOCG Skip Bowen, USCG (Ret) and Marc Stanley – participated in a graveside service on May 8 to pay tribute and dedicate the new memorial, with CAPT Ed Cubanski, Sector Commander Long Island Sound, Mrs. Cathy Malloy, First Lady of Connecticut, and Mayor Bill Finch of Bridgeport. The Coast Guard Sector Long Island Sound Color Guard also participated in the ceremony.
Moore is officially credited with saving 21 lives. When she retired from service and was asked about her saves, Moore said, "I wish it had been double that number."