Baton Rouge in East Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana — The American South (West South Central)
USCGC White Alder
Louisiana Memorial Plaza
— USS KIDD Veterans Memorial and Museum —
7 December 1968
In memory and honor
of those shipmates who loyally served
the United States Coast Guard
on board the CGC WHITE ALDER.
They gave the ultimate sacrifice.
On December 7, 1968, the USCGC WHITE ALDER, a
132 foot buoy tender, had finished a long, hard day’s
work by successfully decommissioning 22 low water buoys.
At 6:29 pm, bound for her homeport of New Orleans with
a mere 14 hours to go, the WHITE ALDER tragically
collided with the upbound Steam Ship Helena, a 455 foot
Taiwanese freighter. With barely enough time to sound
her danger signal, the WHITE ALDER was hit broadside
to starboard sustaining such severe damage that she sank
immediately in 75 feet of water, sending 17 of her 20
crewmembers to an early grave.
Coast Guard and Navy master divers attempted recovery operations but were only able to recover 2 members due to the immediate silting over of the ship.
The Coast Guard elected to leave the remaining 15
crewmembers entombed on the cutter which
day remains buried at the bottom of the Mississippi
River at MM 195.3 near White Castle, Louisiana.
CWO Samuel Brown, Jr. – Commanding Officer
ENC William Vitt
EN1 John Rollinson
CS2 Charles Morrison
QM2 John Cooper
YN2 Joseph Morin
BM3 Guy Wood
EN3 Walton O’Quinn
SN Frank Compisano
SN Richard Duncan
SN Roger Jacks
SN Steven Lundquist
EN Maurice Cason
SA Walter Abbott
SA Larry Fregia
SA Ramon Gutierrez
Crewmembers That Survived
BMC Richard Batista (on leave)
BM2 Richard Kraus
FN Bruce Kopowaki
SA Lawrence Miller
“Mourn not for him,
he sails with one more divine.”
Erected by U.S. Coast Guard.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Disasters • Industry & Commerce • Waterways & Vessels.
Location. 30° 26.632′ N, 91° 11.423′ W. Marker is in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, in East Baton Rouge Parish. Marker can be reached from South River Road north of Government Street. Marker is in the Louisiana Memorial Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 305 South River Road, Baton Rouge LA 70802, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Louisiana Vietnam War Memorial (a few steps from this marker); A-7E Corsair II (a few steps from this marker); Korean War Memorial (a few steps from this marker); John Archer Lejeune (a few steps from this marker); USS Kidd Veterans Museum & Ship (a few steps from this marker); Purple Heart Ship (within shouting distance of this marker); USS KIDD - "DD 661" (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Flying Tiger (about 300 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Baton Rouge.
More about this marker. Panel 1 displays a rendering of the USCGC WHITE ALDER. Panel 2 displays the seal of USCGC WHITE ALDER/WLM-541.
Related marker. Click here for another marker that is related to this marker. White Alder Memorial Light near White Castle, La.
Also see . . .
1. USS KIDD and Veterans Memorial, Baton Rouge, LA. (Submitted on March 19, 2011, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland.)
2. Coast Guard Honors CGC White Alder Crew. (Submitted on April 14, 2018.)
Additional keywords. "Coast Guard Cutter"; shipwreck; USS KIDD Veterans Memorial; Semper Paratus
Credits. This page was last revised on December 3, 2018. It was originally submitted on March 19, 2011, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. This page has been viewed 2,101 times since then and 38 times this year. Last updated on November 30, 2018, by Kenneth Ramagost of Unknown, Louisiana. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on March 19, 2011, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. 7. submitted on August 1, 2015, by Cajun Scrambler of Assumption, Louisiana. 8. submitted on July 30, 2015, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. 9. submitted on August 1, 2015, by Cajun Scrambler of Assumption, Louisiana. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.