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The Eagle and the Swastika

A Historical Talk by Joe Ponti
Wednesday Mary 29, 7:00 pm

Joe Ponti will have a talk on the history of the US Coast Guard Cutter EAGLE, a bark-rigged tall ship used by the Coast Guard Academy to train cadets. The EAGLE, originally launched in 1936, began its life as the HORST WESSEL, a Nazi training ship for the German navy. His talk will trace the history of these early years, along with personal experiences of having sailed on the EAGLE as a cadet from 1957 to 1961.

The lecture will be based on a recent article written by Mr. Ponti, published in the July issue of SEA CLASSICS magazine. It traces the history of the vessel from its launching in 1936 to it being awarded to the United sates as a war prize at the end of World War II and being commissioned the Coast Guard Cutter EAGLE in 1946. The talk will include showing many vintage photographs of the EAGLE and her sister ships.

Following graduation from the Coast Guard Academy, Mr. Ponti served as an officer on board the Coast Guard Cutter Casco, an ocean station vessel sailing out of Boston. He recently retired from Lucent Technologies after a 35 year career. He has written a number of articles for naval history magazines and his passion for history let him to become a docent at the Massachusetts State House where he gives historical tours of the building during the year. Mr. Ponti and his wife Louise live in Andover.

Last updated: October 01, 2012
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