Freedom Heritage Fleet

 

Introduction to the Freedom Heritage Fleet.

During the past dozen years, independently three groups of Coast Guard, Air Force and Navy veterans and other volunteers have restored to operating condition on the West Coast three types of World War II era patrol and rescue boats.   Specifically these historic boats are the 83-foot Coast Guard cutter CG-83527, 85-foot Army Air Force crash rescue boat P-520 and the Navy patrol torpedo boat PT 658.   Together they are truly a “Freedom Heritage Fleet” and the sole survivors of these proud military craft in near original condition and still operating.                                                    

More than $ 2.5 million in total resources have been invested by the dedicated individuals and groups who have restored these military maritime treasures.   Now it is time to repay these dedicated veterans and others by determining how these historic boats can be preserved, interpreted and exhibited as part of a lasting legacy heritage and education program for future generations.

On Wednesday, February 14, 2007 a Freedom Heritage Fleet Summit Meeting was held on the Washington State Capital Campus in Olympia, WA and associated activities later in Seattle to consider this worthy challenge.  This meeting was sponsored by Combatant Craft of America, a federally recognized nonprofit military maritime heritage organization, and hosted by the Office of the Governor of Washington and co-hosted by the State Department of Veterans Affairs. The attendees at the Summit were from a cross section of interested groups that could contribute to the future of these boats.

Chuck Fowler, the meeting facilitator started the meeting with introductions by the attendees and launched into a PowerPoint slide show about the FHF concept.