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U.S. Coast Guard Historian's Office
2703 Martin Luther King, Jr., Ave, SE
Washington, DC 20593-7031


U.S. Coast Guard Museum
Coast Guard Academy - Waesche Hall
15 Mohegan Ave
New London, CT 06320-8100

Contacting us:  U.S.C.G. Historian's Office

World War I Commemoration: 100 Year Anniversary

Please search the image and resource galleries at the bottom of the page for images, articles, documents and publications detailing the Coast Guard's involvement in World War I

The U. S. Coast Guard & U.S. Lighthouse Service in World War I

Crew of the USCGC TAMPA

    April 6th, 2017, marks the 100th anniversary of the Coast Guard’s entry into World War I and the Service’s important role in supporting the war effort.  It was on Friday, April 6th, 1917, the day Congress declared war on Germany, that the U.S. Navy’s communications center in Arlington, Virginia, transmitted the code words “Plan One, Acknowledge” to Coast Guard cutters, units and bases initiating the Coast Guard’s transfer from the Treasury Department to the Navy and placing the Service on a wartime footing.

     During the war’s nearly nineteen months, the Coast Guard and Lighthouse Service would lose almost two hundred men and five ships. These ships included two combat losses. On August 6th, 1918, U-140 sank the Diamond Shoals Lightship after her crew transmitted to shore the location of the marauding enemy submarine, but no lives were lost. However, on September 26th, 1918, after completing her convoy escort duty from Gibraltar to Milford Haven, England, Cutter Tampa was torpedoed by UB-91. The cutter sank killing all 131 persons on board, including four U.S. Navy men, sixteen Royal Navy personnel and 111 Coast Guard officers and men. It proved America’s greatest World War I naval loss of life due to combat.

    Nearly 9,000 Coast Guard men and women would participate in the war. This number included over 200 Coast Guard officers, many of whom served as warship commanders, troop ship captains, training camp commandants and naval air station commanders. In all, Coast Guard heroes received two Distinguished Service Medals, eight Gold Life-Saving Medals, almost a dozen foreign honors and nearly fifty Navy Cross Medals, dozens more than were awarded to Coast Guardsmen in World War II.

World War I Image Gallery
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Bishops and Clerks Lighthouse, Massachusetts
BISHOPS AND CLERKS LIGHT
Bird Island Lighthouse, Massachusetts
BIRD ISLAND LIGHT TOWER WITH THE NEW LATERN ROOM
Bird Island Lighthouse, Massachusetts
ORIGINAL BIRD ISLAND LIGHT TOWER
Bird Island Lighthouse, Massachusetts
BIRD ISLAND LIGHT TOWER WITH THE CURRENT LANTERN ROOM
Biloxi Light, Mississippi; no caption/date/photo number; photographer unknown.  Photo circa 1965.
Biloxi Light, Mississippi, architectural drawing; Caption: "Lighthouse and Dwelling [;] Front Elevation."; no date/drawing number, architect/draftsman unknown.
World War I Resources
Elmer Stone Biography
STONE, ELMER_BIOGRAPHY.PDF
Rear Admiral Robert Duncan Biography
DUNCAN, ROBERT_FLAGBIO.PDF
Native Americans in the US Coast Guard by Dennis Noble
NATIVE AMERICANS_D NOBLE.PDF
Rick Trent Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard (MCPOCG) Biography
TRENT, RICK_MCPOCG BIOGRA...
Franklin Welch Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard (MCPOCG) Biography
WELCH, FRANKLIN_MCPOCG BI...
Charles Bowen Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard (MCPOCG) Biography
BOWEN, CHARLES W_MCPOCG B...
Charles Calhoun Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard (MCPOCG) Biography
CALHOUN, CHARLES_MCPOCG B...
Carl Constantine Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard (MCPOCG) Biography
CONSTANTINE, CARL_MCPOCG ...
Jay Lloyd Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard (MCPOCG) Biography
LLOYD, JAY_MCPOCG BIOGRAP...
Vincent Patton Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard (MCPOCG) Biography
PATTON, VINCENT_MCPOCG BI...
Phillip Smith Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard (MCPOCG) Biography
SMITH, PHILLIP_MCPOCG BIO...
Hollis Stephens Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard (MCPOCG) Biography
STEPHENS, HOLLIS_MCPOCG B...
Allen Thiele Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard (MCPOCG) Biography
THIELE, ALLEN_MCPOCG BIOG...
Maryland Point Lights Station, Goby, VA 2 May 1952
MARYLAND POINT LIGHT STAT...
Biography CWO4 MICHELE ROE
CWO4 MICHELE ROE BIOGRAPH...
Oral History Bruce Jones
Hurricane Katrina
2005
JONES, BRUCE_ORAL HISTORY...
Hurricane Katrina Index
KATRINA INDEX.PDF
Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard (MCPOCG) Biography
Michael Leavitt
LEAVITTM_BIO.PDF
Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard (MCPOCG) Oral History
Charles Bowen
BOWENCHARLESMCPOCG_ORALHI...
U.S. Coast Guard Enlisted Ratings Rating Specialty Marks and Distinguished Marks 1915 - 2015 Warrant Officer and Chief Warrant Officer Specialty Devices 1898 - 2016
December 2016
Dana Lewis
FINAL CG RATING & WARRAN...