World War II Commemoration: 75 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 II

The U. S. Coast Guard in World War II

    As with all wars, World War II had a transformative effect on America's military services. In the years immediately preceding U.S. entry into the conflict and over the subsequent four years, eight months of fighting, the Coast Guard's responsibilities grew exponentially. To support the cause, the Coast Guard expanded to a record high of more than 170,000 men and women serving in uniform at one time, with nearly 250,000 personnel serving over the course of the war. The Coast Guard supported both combat and traditional service missions, including search and rescue, marine safety, convoy escort duty, troop transport and amphibious operations, port security, and beach patrol. By doing so, the U.S. Coast Guard proved itself Semper Paratus-"Always Ready"-to perform any maritime missions required by the war effort.

 

World War II Image Gallery
SN Larry M. McBreen (left) in a friendly discussion with QMC John Smith (right) regarding seamanship and knot tying.  Smith was a 33-year veteran of the Coast Guard.   
Both are in Class A Blues; photo dated 25 February 1959; photo number 13CGD-022059-02.
The chief petty officers of the Coast Guard-manned USS Centauraus (AKA-17), somewhere in the South Pacific, circa 1944.  "Tropical" khaki uniforms. 
Photograph donated by CGM Michael K. Opsitnik, US Coast Guard Archives
Uniform: Aviator, officer: winter working uniform.  The aviators wore standard Navy-issue forestry green Kersey coat, trousers and cap with Coast Guard distinguishing devices. 
The officer is noted Coast Guard aviator Edward Burke.
Coast Guard aviator Edward Burke, WWII
Coast Guard aviator Edward Burke, WWII
Corsair Fleet: standard Navy-issue chambray shirt and dungaree trousers, WWII
Corsair Fleet: cold weather gear, WWII.
Red Beach, Okinawa, D-Day Plus 5 April 1945
WWII

Uniform: Dungarees, the Coast Guard signalman holding the signal flag is Wilbur Selbrede.  The photo was taken on Okinawa on D-Day +5.
Dress blues with white "Dixie Cup" hat; this was a typical uniform combination worn while on liberty.  This uniform was the same as worn by Navy sailors except for the shield device, in white, on the lower right sleeve. 
The Coast Guardsman is Frank Salvucci, USCGR
Boatswain's Mate Third Class Pedro Albino, USCG, retired from the Coast Guard after 32 years of military and civilian government service.  He was stationed at six different lighthouses throughout Puerto Rico and the Caribbean during his distinguished career.  He was a champion for working and salary improvements for lighthouse keepers throughout Puerto Rico during his career.  His dedicated service contributed greatly to the success of the lighthouse service in Puerto Rico in the years prior to World War II.  He was commended for his assistance to the crew of the grounded sloop Continente in 1929. He was born in 1886, served in the U.S. Army for three years, joined the Lighthouse Service in 1916 and he retired from the Coast Guard in 1944.
Jack N. Jones was the first Asian-American and the first Chinese-American Coast Guard Academy graduate.  He was a member of the Class of 1949.
Dogs and their beach patrol handlers leap into action from a surfboat during a landing exercise along the coast of South Carolina, circa 1943.

Uniform Landing Force: undress blue with leggings
Wounded US Marines moved by the US Coast Guard sailors on landing craft on Iwo Jima
WWII

Working uniform
Coast Guard Captains Edward Fritzche (left) and Miles Imlay (right) discuss the invasion of Omaha Beach on a relief map laid out in the hold of the Samuel Chase.

Officer uniform: standard Navy-issue dress blues with Coast Guard devices on sleeves and hats.
Juan del Castillo enlisted in the Coast Guard in June 1942 after graduating from Manhattan College and, by mid-year, he had received appointment to Officer’s Candidate School at the Coast Guard Academy. He was commissioned an ensign in December of 1942, becoming the first Hispanic American to receive an officer’s commission. Castillo served on convoys in the Caribbean before receiving training at the Naval Communications School at Harvard University. The rest of the war saw him serving on board cutters in the North Pacific.  Castillo was released from active duty in 1946 and served in the Reserves for nearly forty years. During this time, he had a distinguished career with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and became famous for developing “CSM,” a high-protein food substance used in disaster relief, famines and mass feeding operations.
GM3 Neil Blumenstein, USCGR
WWII

Dress blues with white "Dixie Cup" hat; this was a typical uniform combination worn while on liberty.  This uniform was the same as worn by Navy sailors except for the shield device, in white, on the lower right sleeve.  Note the Gun Pointer First Class insignia.
Alex Haley
Coast Guard Archives
USCGC Sea Cloud 
Coast Guard Archives
SPAR recruits Julie Moselsy Pole, on the left; Winifred Byrd, on the right
SPARs women's reserve during WWII
Coast Guard Archives
Alex Haley
Coast Guard Archives
World War II Resources
Mrs. Edith Munro Accepting Award
Douglas Munro's mother
U.S. Coast Guard
MUNRO_MRS. EDITH MUNRO, A...
Douglas Munro, wrestling photograph
U.S. Coast Guard
MUNRODOUGWRESTLE2_PIC.PDF
Douglas Munro, wrestling photograph
U.S. Coast Guard
MUNRO_WRESTLING2_PIC.PDF
Douglas Munro, wrestling photograph
U.S. Coast Guard
MUNRODOUGWRESTLE1_PIC.PDF
Douglas Munro, sidearm photograph
U.S. Coast Guard
MUNRODOUGSIDEARM_PIC.PDF
Mrs. Edith Munro
Douglas Munro's mother
U.S. Coast Guard
MUNROEDITHPORTRAIT1_PIC.PDF
Douglas Munro Medal of Honor
U.S. Coast Guard
MUNRODOUGMOHR_PIC.PDF
Douglas Munro Medal of Honor
U.S. Coast Guard
MUNRODOUGMOHFRONT_PIC.PDF
Douglas Munro, newspaper clipping, scan
U.S. Coast Guard
NEWSPAPER CLIPPING_INITIA...
Douglas Munro Memorial Point Cruz
U.S. Coast Guard
MUNROMEMORIALPOINTCRUZ_PI...
Douglas Munro, portrait
U.S. Coast Guard
MUNRO_PORTRAIT, HIGH RES_...
Douglas Munro, wrestling photograph
U.S. Coast Guard
MUNRO_WRESTLING1_HIGH RES...
Douglas Munro, bugle photograph
U.S. Coast Guard
MUNRO_BUGLE_HIGH RES_PIC.PDF
Douglas Munro, climbing ladder photograph
U.S. Coast Guard
DOUGLAS MUNRO_CLIMBING LA...
Douglas Munro, sidearm photograph
U.S. Coast Guard
MUNRO_IN UNIFORM_HIGH RES...
Douglas Munro, Map, Action at Point Cruz
U.S. Coast Guard
MUNRO_MAP, ACTION AT POIN...
Douglas Munro, baby photograph
U.S. Coast Guard
MUNRO_BABY_PIC.PDF
Douglas Munro, recruitment photograph
U.S. Coast Guard
MUNRO_RECRUITMENT PHOTO_H...
The President's Committee on Equality of Treatment and Opportunity in the Armed Services Monday 25 April 1949 Appearance of Mr. Carlton Skinner Director of Information Department of the Interior
USCGC Sea Cloud
U.S. Coast Guard Historian's Office
1949_SKINNERCARLTON_TESTI...
Joseph C. Jenkins Biography
U.S. Coast Guard Historian's Office
JENKINSJOSEPH.PDF