The United States Coast Guard cutter Alex Haley (WMEC-39) is a former U.S. Navy vessel that was recommissioned for Coast Guard duty on July 10, 1999. It was first commissioned as the USS Edenton (ATS-1), an Edenton-class salvage and rescue ship on January 23, 1971. In 1995, Edenton won the Marjorie Sterrett Battleship Fund Award for the Atlantic Fleet.
The conversion from a salvage ship to a Coast Guard cutter involved the removal of the stern towing machine, forward crane, and A-frame, and the installation of a flight-deck, retractable hangar, and air-search radar. Additionally her four aging Paxman diesel engines were replaced with four 16 cylinder Caterpillars.
The cutter was named after author and journalist Alex Haley, the first chief journalist of the Coast Guard, the first black ever to reach the rank of Chief Petty Officer, and the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Roots: The Saga of an American Family. Haley served in the Coast Guard for 20 years.