The Men The Spirit The Ship The Mission

USCG CABLE SHIP PEQUOT - UNITED STATES HARBOR DEFENCES
 

OUR SAILORS' STORIES

This page tells another one the stories of  the sailors who served aboard  the U.S. Coast Guard Cable ship Pequot during World War II. The Pequot served  as a harbor defense cable-laying and repair ship under direction of the US Navy.  Her full story can be found on the Pequot Home Page. All photos courtesy of Freiermuth family unless otherwise indicated.


Paul Freiermuth’s Story


170. Paul Freiermuth

Paul Freiermuth was born and raised in Zanesville, Ohio and before the war he worked in the Purchasing Department of The Line Material Company which was a major manufacturer of electrical fuses, switches, arresters, and transformers. As Line Material geared up for war production Paul joined the Coast Guard to serve his country.
 

171. Paul and Reba in 1941 on the day he went to enlist in the Coast Guard 172.  Paul R. Freiermuth after basic training 173. Paul on the right ashore with two of his buddies

After basic training he was assigned to Coast Guard Station # 23 in Gloucester, Massachusetts where he routinely “pounded the beaches” on shore patrol as part of the intensive defenses of not only of Gloucester Harbor, but also of the Northern shipping lanes out of Boston used by the convoys heading for Europe. Paul often spoke of how miserably cold it was along those dunes and beaches in the dead of winter, and how they were “constantly on the alert to spot German U-boats off the coast” while on patrol at night.

174. Paul and the Coast Guard baseball team at Eastern Point Light Station, Mass. 175. The historic Eastern Point Coast Guard Light Station near Gloucester where Paul was stationed and patrolled that cold wind-swept coast.

 

176. A group of sailors up by the bow including McConnell, Jenkins, Cidoni and Campbell. Notice the massive main cable winch on the left. 177.  Pequot sailor Paul R. Freiermuth Seaman 1st Class.

Walking all those miles along that damp windy coast near Gloucester took it’s toll on Paul and he developed a bad case of double pneumonia. He was hospitalized and his lungs were drained. After a bad allergic reaction to some antibiotics he was moved to another hospital until he was strong enough to be sent home to recover. In New York’s Grand Central Station, while waiting for his train to Ohio, he weakened and collapsed. The MPs on duty thought he was drunk, but after they discovered his leave papers they stayed with him and got him safely on the right train home. While at home recuperating he married his girlfriend Reba Risen on March 26, 1943.

178.  Paul Freiermuth up on a watchtower while he was on Atlantic coastal defense duty out of Gloucester. 179. Paul and Reba Freiermuth during the war years.

Once fit for duty, Paul shipped out aboard the Pequot as a Seaman 1st class and was involved in all aspects of cable laying and repair operations. Like most of his Pequot shipmates when he got a weekend pass he enjoyed New England’s seaside taverns and a cold beer.

180.  Carpenters Mate Wallace Hogason aboard the Pequot ready for combat up by the cable gear. (Freiermuth family). 181.  Shipmates Bob Livingston and Roland Benoit. Note the three ammunition ready-boxes for the 20mm Oerlikon in front of them. (Freiermuth family).


After Paul was discharged when the war ended, he went back to Zanesville and joined Reba, and his son Mike who was born in 1945 while he was at sea. Once settled, he went back to work for Line Material and became their Purchasing Manager. In his spare time he loved to play cards. Paul and Reba had four children, Mike, Paula, Anne and Jan who gave them 10 Grandchildren and 13 Great Grandchildren. Paul passed away in 2007 at the age of 86.


Every effort has been made to trace and acknowledge copyright. The authors would welcome any information from people who believe their photos have been used without due credit. Some photos have been retouched to remove imperfections but otherwise they are true to the original.


FEEDBACK

If you have comments or queries specifically about the Pequot or her escort ships, please contact
 Chip Calamaio chipaz@cox.net, 938 E. San Miguel Avenue, Phoenix, 85014, Arizona, USA. (H) 602-279-4505.

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