Notable People

(displayed alphabetically by last name)


LeftSeal RightSeal

Rear Admiral Russell R. Waesche, Jr.


Russell Randolph Waesche, Jr., was born on September 20, 1913, at Thurmont, Md.  After graduating from Massanutten Military Academy, Woodstock, Va., in 1930, he attended the University of Virginia, and the Columbian Prep School, Washington, D.C.

Receiving an appointment as Cadet in August 1932, he was graduated from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, New London, Conn., with a B.S. Degree and a commission of Ensign on June 8, 1936.

He served his earlier assignments afloat in Pacific and Alaskan waters on board the Coast Guard Cutters Shoshone, Haida, and Onondaga.  Detached from engineering duties aboard the Cutter Taney at Honolulu in December 1941, he served the first 18 months of World War II as assistant inspector on the construction of the Cactus, Mesquite, and Iris class of 180-ft. buoy tenders at Duluth, Minnesota.

From July 1943 to June 1944, he commanded the Cutter Mojave on the wartime Greenland Patrol.  During the remainder of the war he commanded the Destroyer Escort USS Camp (DE-251) on convoy escort missions between New York and England, later receiving a Commendation Medal for the duty.

Beginning in the fall of 1945, he served two years as Planning and Control Officer of the then existing Fourth Coast Guard District, Philadelphia, Pa.  That was followed by a tour of duty as commanding officer of the buoy tender Ivy, based at Miami, Fla.  In June 1948, he became Director of Auxiliary, Ninth Coast Guard District, Cleveland, with collateral duty as Public Information Officer of the district added a year later.

He next commanded the Cutter Casco (WAVP-370) on ocean station patrol in the north Atlantic out of Boston from April 1952 to July 1954.  During the following four years he served as Administrative Aide to the Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard in Washington, D.C.

In July 1958, Waesche reported to London, England, as Senior Coast Guard Officer, Europe.  After returning to the States in August 1960, he commanded the icebreaker Northwind, based at Seattle, on Alaskan and Arctic missions for two years.  In October 1962, he became Captain-of-the-Port in Seattle.

When he reported at the 8th Coast Guard District Office in New Orleans in July 1964, he became Chief of Operations, which post he held for a year before assignment as Chief of Staff of that district.  He reported to Coast Guard Headquarters in June 1966 as Chief, Office of Reserve, after being appointed to the rank of Rear Admiral.  He was awarded the Coast Guard Commendation Medal for that tour of duty.

In mid-March of 1968, RADM Waesche assumed the post of Commander, Second Coast Guard District, St. Louis, which was left vacant since the death of RADM Chester I. Steele, USCG in July 1967.  RADM Waesche retired from that post on July 1, 1971, with 35 years of Coast Guard service.

Later, in a civilian capacity, he was appointed a Transportation Department Secretarial Representative of the Seventh Region which includes Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska, his present occupation.

In addition to the Commendation Medal, Admiral Waesche has the following World War II campaign service medals and ribbons: Pre-Pearl Harbor Medal (sea Duty); American Area; European-African-Middle Eastern Area; World War II Victory.  He also has the National Defense Service Ribbon covering the Korean War period, and has the Expert Rifle and Expert Pistol Medals, as well as the Coast Guard Commendation Medal he received in 1968.

Following is a resume of his appointments in rank: Ensign, June 8, 1936; Lieutenant (jg), June 8, 1939; Lieutenant, May 25, 1942; Lieut. Commander, December 8, 1942; Commander, August 18, 1945; Captain, July 1, 1958; Rear Admiral, July 1, 1966.

Admiral Waesche is the son of the late Admiral Russell Randolph Waesche, USCG, who served as Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard from 1936 through 1945, the World War II period, and was the first Coast Guard officer to hold the rank of full Admiral.

Rear Admiral Waesche is married to Janet Elizabeth T. of Greenport, New York.  They have four children: Judith A., Marilla B., Russell Randolph III, and Jillian T.

Does your biography need to be corrected, updated, or added?  Please contact us at for assistance.