USCGC Dexter (WAVP-385), originally WACG-18, later WHEC-385, was a Casco-class United States Coast Guard Cutter in service from 1946 to 1952 and from 1958 to 1968. She was the fourth ship of the United States Revenue Cutter Service or United States Coast Guard to bear the name.
Dexter was stationed at Boston, Massachusetts, which would remain her home port until December 1952, and was redesignated WAVP-385 during her time there. Her primary duty was to serve on ocean stations in the Atlantic Ocean to gather meteorological data. While on duty in one of these stations, she was required to patrol a 210-square-mile (544-square-kilometer) area for three weeks at a time, leaving the area only when physically relieved by another Coast Guard cutter or in the case of a dire emergency. While on station, she acted as an aircraft check point at the point of no return, a relay point for messages from ships and aircraft, as a source of the latest weather information for passing aircraft, as a floating oceanographic laboratory, and as a search-and-rescue ship for downed aircraft and vessels in distress, and engaged in law enforcement operations. She arrived at Boston to assume her duties on 17 October 1946.
On 30 November 1946, Dexter was at Naval Station Argentia, Newfoundland, Canada, underway to her first ocean station duty at Ocean Station Charlie. By 28 December 1946 she was back in Boston. For the next few months, she was on Ocean Station Charlie and Ocean Station Alfa, taking time out in October 1947 for underway training near Berkley Station at Norfolk, Virginia.
Dexter served on Ocean Station Able from 30 October 1947 to 10 December 1947. While on that duty, she responded to a request for assistance by the merchant ship SS Louisburg, which was flooding, on 4 November 1947. Dexter transferred a life raft and damage control timbers to Louisburg and escorted her safely to St. John's, Newfoundland. Dexter then returned to Ocean Station Able.