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    Sunday, May 26, 2024

    U.S. Coast Guard barque Eagle returns to New London

    Spectators gather along Shore Avenue in Groton to watch and take photos Thursday, July 25, 2019, as the U.S. Coast Guard barque Eagle enters New London Harbor just as the sun sets. Eagle has been across the Atlantic training Coast Guard Academy cadets all summer and is back in its home port of New London to exchange third-class cadets for swabs before it departs again to finish out the summer training schedule. Eagle has been homeported at the Coast Guard yard in Baltimore for the last five years undergoing extensive overhauls to extend the ship's life but will return to New London as its homeport this fall. A welcome home ceremony is scheduled for Friday afternoon at City Pier in New London. (Sean D. Elliot/The Day)
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    New London — “America’s Tall Ship,” the U.S. Coast Guard barque Eagle, returned to its home port at City Pier on Thursday evening and will be officially welcomed with a ceremony on Friday hosted by the National Coast Guard Museum Association.

    The Eagle has been homeported in New London since 1946 but since 2014 has been at the Coast Guard Yard in Baltimore, Md., undergoing an extensive refurbishment. The most recent period of refurbishment marks only the second time in the intervening 73 years in which the ship was not in its home port.

    Former Eagle skipper and current president of the National Coast Guard Museum Association, Captain Wes Pulver, USCG (ret.), said the historic tall ship has more than a significant past in New London, but holds important value for the region today and into the future.

    “The newly restored cutter will be a focal point of the New London waterfront for decades to come — including serving as the pierside exhibit for the future National Coast Guard Museum,” Pulver said in a statement.

    Eagle has been in service for the U.S. since 1946, when CDR McGowan led a small crew which refurbished the barque in post-War Germany and sailed it to New London.

    “EAGLE is critical to the Coast Guard’s mission as the vessel has been home to training for over 10,000 Coast Guard Academy Cadets and over 2,000 Officer Candidates,” Pulver said. “And it’s not just the Coast Guard. In her history of service, EAGLE has hosted Tall Ships America crews, New London JROTC, international maritime students, the crew of the USS Constitution, and Midshipmen from the Naval Academy in Annapolis Midshipmen.”

    Friday’s ceremony starts at 5 p.m. at City Pier. It is open to the public.

    The U.S. Coast Guard barque Eagle passes New London Ledge Light on Thursday, July 25, 2019, as it enters New London Harbor. (Sean D. Elliot/The Day)
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    The U.S. Coast Guard barque Eagle enters New London Harbor on Thursday, July 25, 2019, just before sunset. (Sean D. Elliot/The Day)
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    Spectators gather along Shore Avenue in Groton to watch and take photographs Thursday, July 25, 2019, as the U.S. Coast Guard barque Eagle enters New London Harbor just as the sun sets. (Sean D. Elliot/The Day)
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    Escorted by the Thames Towboat Co. tug John Paul, the U.S. Coast Guard barque Eagle enters New London Harbor on Thursday, July 25, 2019, just before sunset. (Sean D. Elliot/The Day)
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    The U.S. Coast Guard barque Eagle approaches City Pier in New London on Thursday, July 25, 2019, just after sunset. (Sean D. Elliot/The Day)
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    A small gathering on City Pier in New London greets the U.S. Coast Guard barque Eagle on Thursday, July 25, 2019, just after sunset. (Sean D. Elliot/The Day)
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    Juliette Tuttle, 4, stands on City Pier holding a welcome home sign Thursday, July 25, 2019, for her father, U.S. Coast Guard Lt. Collin Tuttle, on board the U.S. Coast Guard barque Eagle. Lt. Tuttle, a science instructor at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, has been away from home for over two months teaching on board Eagle. (Sean D. Elliot/The Day)
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