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.

 

Department of Homeland Security World War I Centennial Poster Series

The U.S. Coast Guard during the First World War

Department of Homeland Security and the First World War

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
Cover image of the Book of Valor

UNITED STATES COAST GUARD 
Book of Valor 
A Fact Book on Medals and Decorations 
[awarded to Coast Guardsmen for valor during World War II] 
PREPARED BY THE PUBLIC RELATIONS DIVISION, WASHINGTON , D.C. 
MAY, 1945
BOOK_OF_VALOR_WWII_COVER ...
Book of Valor
UNITED STATES COAST GUARD 
Book of Valor 
A Fact Book on Medals and Decorations 
[awarded to Coast Guardsmen for valor during World War II] 
PREPARED BY THE PUBLIC RELATIONS DIVISION, WASHINGTON , D.C. 
MAY, 1945 
The following is a publication issued by the Coast Guard's Public Affairs Division in May of 1945 that lists those Coast Guardsmen who were awarded decorations of the Air Medal or higher during World War II, along with their citations.  Additionally, there were three supplemental sections added to the publication to cover those who earned awards for the remaining months of the war and these supplements are included as well.  Supplemental List No. 3 included those individuals who were authorized to wear the Commendation Ribbon. 
Coast Guardsmen were awarded a total of 532 medals (these included the following medals: Air Medal, Bronze Star, Navy & Marine Corps Medal, Distinguished Flying Cross, Silver Star, Legion of Merit, Distinguished Service Medal, Navy Cross, and the Medal of Honor as well as awards from foreign governments).  A total of 516 Coast Guard officers and men were awarded the Commendation Ribbon while another 957 were awarded the Purple Heart. 
The publication was organized alphabetically, subdivided by the recipients' home state.  The chapter headings are as follows (click on the chapter heading to go directly to that chapter): 
Our thanks to Ms. Erma Hill for transcribing this publication.
BOOK OF VALOR_DOC.PDF
The History and legacy of the USCGC Boutwell, 1966-2016
Lt Gene F. Storer
USCGC Boutwell.PDF
report on Cuyahoga-Santa Cruz, 1978
1978 Cuyahoga-Santa Cruz ...
Ship's History
CUYAHOGA.PDF
Dallas Star Jim Davis Dies in His Sleep, newsclipping
JIM DAVIS_NEWS CLIPPING.PDF
U. S. Coast Guard 
Lighthouse Facts
H_LIGHTHOUSEFACTS.PDF
Radio & Satellite Aids to Navigation
A Historical Bibliography
ATON_RADIOBIB.PDF
General Aids to Navigation, Buoys,
ATON Equipment (other than
lighthouses, towers & lenses) ATON
Operations, Waterways Management &
Combined Studies
A Historical Bibliography
ATON_GENERALBIB.PDF
Lighthouses, Light Stations, Lamps, Lenses,
Illuminants, Engineering
& Augustin Fresnel
A Historical Bibliography of Works Published Through 2007
ATON_LIGHTHOUSEBIB.PDF
A History of Buoys and Tenders
by Amy K. Marshall
H_BUOYS.PDF
Lighthouse Keepers
A Historical Bibliography: Lighthouse Keepers, Assistants, & Other Lighthouse Employees & Their Families, Including Their Uniforms & Descriptions of Life at Light Stations
ATON_KEEPERSBIB.PDF
U. S. Coast Guard Historian's Office Archives
Lighthouse Subject Files
LIGHTHOUSE_SUBJECT_FILES.PDF
U. S. Lighthouse Board, Establishment & Service
A Historical Bibliography
ATON_USLHSBIB.PDF
U. S. Coast Guard Aids to Navigation:
A Historical Bibliography
H_LHBIB.PDF
West Coast Lighthouses of the 19th Century
Often called the Father of Motion Picture, Eadweard Muybridge (1830-1904) was an English photographer who is well known for his use of multiple cameras to capture motion. In addition to his moving picture studies he was also a talented landscape photographer. In 1871 the Lighthouse Board contracted with Muybridge’s studio Helios to photograph the lighthouses on the west coast. From March to July of that year Muybridge traveled on the Lighthouse Tender Shubrick, photographing the west coast lighthouses for the sum of $20 a day.
Six of these images were included in a traveling exhibit "Helios: Eadweard Muybridge in a Time of Change" at the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Tate Britain Museum in London, and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.
Jeffrey Bowdoin, Collections Manager, U.S. Coast Guard Historian’s Office.
19THCENTURYLIGHTS.PDF
United States Department of the Interior
National Park Service (NPS)
National Register of Historic Places Registration Form
Bloody Point
BLOODYPOINTNRHP.PDF
United States Department of the Interior
National Park Service (NPS)
National Register of Historic Places Registration Form
Wolftrap Lighthouse
WOLFTRAP_NRHP.PDF
United States Department of the Interior
National Park Service (NPS)
National Register of Historic Places Registration Form
Turkey Point Lighthouse
TURKEY_POINT_NRHP.PDF
United States Department of the Interior
National Park Service (NPS)
National Register of Historic Places Registration Form
Cape Henry
CAPE_HENRY_NRHP.PDF