SHIPS CALLED INGHAM
We are "Semper Paratus"
The name "INGHAM" for many reasons, brings with it a great deal of history and responsibility as it relates to the United States Coast Guard. What makes the name "INGHAM" have such a historic place in Coast Guard History, started with an event that took place on June 14, 1835, and then continued into World War II.
The first ship named INGHAM, (pictured above) was a Morris-Taney Class Cutter, a schooner with a length of 73.4 feet and a beam of 20.6 feet, with only wind propulsion. The Revenue Cutter Ingham was laid down in 1830 and was launched and commissioned in 1832 and sent to New Orleans. She was named in 1830 for the Secretary of the Treasury at that time, Samuel D. Ingham appointed by President Andrew Jackson on March 6, 1829, and he served until June 21, 1831.
The revenue cutters in New Orleans were increasingly monitoring the situation in Texas because settlers and merchant traffic between the United States and the Mexican province of Texas mostly traveled by sea and usually through New Orleans. Starting in 1835, the central Mexican government attempted to collect excise taxes and disrupt trafficking of slaves into Texas.
This led to seizures of Texan-owned and American-owned and flagged vessels, the most famous being the American merchant ship Martha. She was seized on 7 May 1835, by the Mexican schooner, Montezuma and the Americans on-board were held as prisoners. This caused the Ingham Incident, or the Montezuma Affair, which was a battle fought in 1835, the first between Mexico and the United States.
USRC Ingham Lithograph
The Mexican warship Montezuma patrolled the coast of Texas to prevent the smuggling of contraband into the territory. The revenue cutters in New Orleans were increasingly attempted to collect excise taxes from the merchant ships. This led to seizures of Texan monitoring the situation in Texas because settlers and merchant traffic between the United States and the Mexican province of Texas mostly traveled by sea and usually through New Orleans. Starting in 1835, the central Mexican government-owned and American-owned and flagged vessels, being the American merchant ship Martha. She was seized on 7 May 1835, by the Mexican schooner, Montezuma and the Americans on-board were held as prisoners.
The Ingham, under Captain Ezekiel Jones, was dispatched to the Texas coast to monitor the situation and on 14 June, near Brazos Santiago, Montezuma fired on Ingham and the fire was returned. There is some discrepancy as to whether the Mexican warship was trying to evade battle once she realized the identity of the ship she had fired on, but Captain Jones did not allow Montezuma to evade the battle. Eventually, the Mexican schooner ran aground and Ingham broke off the battle, having fired 13 guns. These became the first conflict between Mexican and United States forces and are considered by some historians as the first broadside of the Texas Revolution. The following day General Martin Cos ordered the release of Martha's passengers.
In January 1836, the Ingham was sold to the Republic of Texas for $1,710 and Captain Jones was duly transferred to another command within the Revenue Service. The newspaper, the New Orleans Bee wrote about Jones, "his prompt and efficient action in the affair of the Montezuma, has taught a neighboring state a valuable lesson of respect for our flag..." and concerning the Ingham, the paper wrote, "the vessel is entitled to bear the best motto for a military public servant—SEMPER PARATUS." The United States Coast Guard would adopt Semper Paratus as their motto in 1896. Semper Paratus is the Latin phrase for "Always Ready." A 1928 song of the same name is used as the official U.S. Coast Guard March. (Source)
The INGHAM built in 1936 (CGC 35-WHEC 35) continued in the tradition of the 1830's ship, as our ship received 19 ribbons and 15 Battle Stars and in 1985 was the most decorated active duty ship in the U. S. service and received a thank you letter from President Reagan. She received two Presidential Unit Citations from President Nixon for service in Viet-Nam having performed over 88 gunfire support missions with a 92% accuracy.
The INGHAM also saved many lives on the oceans during WWII than during the Cuban Mariel Boat Lift and thus became the most decorated cutter in Coast Guard History.
The current INGHAM's outstanding service in times of war in a similar fashion to the first INGHAM's service keeps the name INGHAM as the most prominent in all of Coast Guard history! We are the namesake for "Semper Paratus".