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
Station Pea Island, North Carolina
USLSS Station #17, Sixth District
Coast Guard Station #177
Surfman Herbert M. Collins, USCG  
Surfman Herbert M. Collins, a member of the Pea Island Lifesaving crew who served there during World War II.
Courtesy of his daughter, Ms. Joan Collins.
Station Pea Island, North Carolina
USLSS Station #17, Sixth District
 Coast Guard Station #177
Petty Officer First Class First Class Maxie Berry, Sr., USCG
BM 1/c Maxie Berry, Sr., USCG, the Officer in Charge of the historic Pea Island Station, uses a speaking trumpet during a training exercise at Pea Island Station in the early 1940's.
No photo number/date; probably 1942.
Station Pea Island, North Carolina
USLSS Station #17, Sixth District
 Coast Guard Station #177
Original caption: "The only all-colored surf station crew in the U.S. Coast Guard.  Reading left to right, they are: Chief Boatswain's Mate George E. Pruden, in charge; Cleon C. Tillett, B.M.1c.; Maxie M. Berry, Lonnie C. Gary [sic; Gray], Norphlet P. Meekins, John A. Mackey and Maloyd L. Scarborough."  Photo  published in the U.S. Coast Guard magazine, Volume 2, No. 2, December, 1928, p. 24.
Station Pea Island, North Carolina
USLSS Station #17, Sixth District
Coast Guard Station #177
No official caption/date/photo number; photographer unknown. 
The Pea Island Station as it appeared in circa 1942.
Station Pea Island, North Carolina
USLSS Station #17, Sixth District
 Coast Guard Station #177
No official caption/date/photo number; photographer unknown. 
The Pea Island Station as it appeared in circa 1942.
Station Pea Island, North Carolina
USLSS Station #17, Sixth District
 Coast Guard Station #177
Surfman Lonnie C. Gray, USCG   
Surfman Lonnie C. Gray of the Pea Island Station pulls at an oar in the station's surfboat.
No photo number/date; probably 1942.
Station Pea Island, North Carolina
USLSS Station #17, Sixth District
Coast Guard Station #177
Coast Guard Lifeboat Station Pea Island Crew  
Official caption reads: "Coast Guard crew making ready their surfboat at the all-Negro Coast Guard Lifeboat Station at Pea Island, N.C."
No date/photo number; photographer unknown.  Probably 1942.
Station Pea Island, North Carolina
USLSS Station #17, Sixth District
 Coast Guard Station #177
Captain Richard Etheridge and his Pea Island Life-Saving Station crew in 1896.  Etheridge was the first African-American keeper of a U.S. Life-Saving Station and he commanded the only all African-American crew in the U.S.   Etheridge is on the far left.
No official caption/photo number/date; probably 1896.
Station Pea Island, North Carolina
USLSS Station #17, Sixth District
 Coast Guard Station #177
Surfman Fleetwood M. Dunston, USCG  
Surfman Fleetwood M. Dunston of the Pea Island Coast Guard Station signals "Aid is Coming" during a training exercise.
No photo number/date; probably 1942.
Station Pea Island, North Carolina
USLSS Station #17, Sixth District
 Coast Guard Station #177
Surfman Ruben Gallop, USCG  
Surfman Ruben Gallop patrols the beach at the Pea Island Lifeboat Station during World War II.  Note the flashlight he is carrying for signaling.
No photo number/date; probably 1942.
Station Pea Island, North Carolina
USLSS Station #17, Sixth District
 Coast Guard Station #177
Captain Richard Etheridge and his Pea Island Life-Saving Station crew in 1896.  Etheridge was the first African-American keeper of a U.S. Life-Saving Station and he commanded the only all African-American crew in the U.S.   Etheridge is on the far left.
No official caption/photo number/date; probably 1896.
Station Pea Island, North Carolina
USLSS Station #17, Sixth District
 Coast Guard Station #177
No official caption/date/photo number; photographer unknown. 
The Pea Island Station as it appeared in circa 1942.
Station Pea Island, North Carolina
USLSS Station #17, Sixth District
Coast Guard Station #177
Petty Officer First Class Lonnie C. Gray, USCG   
Original caption reads: "Blinking signals from the Lookout Tower at Pea Island identify friendly craft.  Lonnie C. Gray, B.M. 1c is shown on the alert."  
No photo number/date; probably 1942.
Station Pea Island, North Carolina
USLSS Station #17, Sixth District
 Coast Guard Station #177
No official caption/date/photo number; photographer unknown. 
The Pea Island Station as it appeared in circa 1942.
Life Boat Station Venice, Louisiana
CG Station Venice Moorings, no date.
Life Boat Station Venice, Louisiana
CG Station Venice Moorings, no date.
Life Boat Station Venice, Louisiana
Coast Guard Station Venice
24 September 1986, by Keith Spangler
Life Boat Station Venice, Louisiana
CG Station Venice, no date.
Life Boat Station Venice, Louisiana
Coast Guard Light Attendant Station Venice, circa 1972
Life Boat Station Venice, Louisiana
CG Station Venice, no date.
World War I Resources
Edith Munro Biography
Douglas Munro's mother
U.S. Coast Guard
MUNROEDITHBIO.PDF
Douglas Munro Index
U.S. Coast Guard
MUNRODOUGLASINDEX.PDF
Douglas Munro Medal of Honor Citation
U.S. Coast Guard
MUNRODOUGMOHCITATION.PDF
Douglas Munro Commander Dexter Letter, transcribed
U.S. Coast Guard
MURNO_DEXTER_LETTER_TRANS...
Douglas Munro Letters
U.S. Coast Guard
MUNRODOUGLETTERS.PDF
Douglas Munro Photograph gallery
U.S. Coast Guard
MUNROPHOTOGALLERY.PDF
Douglas Munro Service Record
U.S. Coast Guard
MUNRODOUGSERVICERECORD.PDF
Douglas Munro at Guadalcanal by Robert Browning
U.S. Coast Guard
MUNRO_RBROWNING.PDF
Douglas Munro Award Packet 1943
U.S. Coast Guard Historian's Office
1943_MUNRO_USN_AWARDPACKE...
USCGC Munro's Part in the Search Rescue & Salvage Operations of the Korean Airline Flight 007 (KAL-007) Shot Down on 1 September 1983 by BMCS Jack Crowley USCG Retired
U.S. Coast Guard Historian's Office Oral History Program
MUNRO_1983KAL007_SAR.PDF
Douglas Munro USN Release
U.S. Coast Guard Historian's Office
MUNRODOUGUSNRELEASE.PDF
U.S. Coast Guard & Disaster Relief in Indonesia After the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami
U.S. Coast Guard
MUNRO_2004TSUNAMI.PDF
Douglas Munro, baby photograph
U.S. Coast Guard
MUNRO_BABY, CLOSEUP_PIC.PDF
Mrs. Edith Munro Accepting Award
Douglas Munro's mother
U.S. Coast Guard
MUNRO_MRS. EDITH MUNRO, A...
Mrs. Edith Munro Accepting Award
Douglas Munro's mother
U.S. Coast Guard
MUNRO_MRS. EDITH MUNRO, A...
Douglas Munro, Portrait
U.S. Coast Guard
MUNRODOUGPORTRAIT1_PIC.PDF
Douglas Munro, wrestling photograph
U.S. Coast Guard
MUNRO_WRESTLING3_PIC.PDF
Douglas Munro Guadalcanal Painting
"Douglas A. Munro Covers the Withdrawal of the 7th Marines at Guadalcanal" Artist: Bernard D'Andrea
U.S. Coast Guard
MUNRO_PAINTING_300_PIC.PDF
Mrs. Edith Munro Portrait
Douglas Munro's mother
U.S. Coast Guard
MUNRO_MRS. EDITH MUNRO_PI...
Douglas Munro, civilian portrait
U.S. Coast Guard
MUNRO CIVILIAN PORTRAIT_I...