As one of the most efficient icebreakers of its size in the world, the USCGC Penobscot Bay and her crew are dedicated to clearing and safeguarding the Northeastern waterways of the United States. In the unforgiving winter seasons, the image of this Coast Guard cutter and her crew crushing a path through the waters of the frozen Hudson River is a welcome sight for the people and organizations that rely on the water as a lifeline for trade and business.
Commissioned on January 4, 1985, the USCGC Penobscot Bay is the seventh of nine ships in the U.S. Coast Guard's class of small icebreakers. Taking its name from a body of water located on a rugged stretch of coast near Bangor, Maine, the ship's crucial mission includes keeping the waters of the Hudson River, a waterway that moves over 20 million tons of goods a year, open to ships and other maritime craft during the winter months. Performing under harsh weather conditions, the ship's proud crew of 3 officers and 14 enlisted personnel steer the 140 foot craft and clear a path that allows the region's vessels to deliver their cargo safely.
The USCGC Penobscot has an operating range of 4,000 nautical miles and possesses a unique hull design that lets the cutter break solid freshwater ice up to 30 inches thick. Apart from the ship's vital winter time duties, its warm weather missions include law enforcement, search and rescue, cadet training and port, waterway and coastal security.
The coin's obverse depicts the proud ship in front of the Statue of Liberty. The ship's motto "Performance, Prowess and Pride" is set above the ship in the water. Minted in a brass alloy, this coin contains rich enamel accents on both its obverse and reverse sides.