Frequently Asked Questions

General Interest

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 When was the Coast Guard (and its forerunners) established and what is its organizational history?

The Coast Guard is an amalgamation of five formerly distinct federal services.  The following timeline reflects the establishment of those services and when they became part of what is now the United States Coast Guard as well as changes in the organizational structure of the Coast Guard itself.

  • 7 August 1789:  The service, eventually to be known as the U.S. Lighthouse Service, was established under the control of the Treasury Department (1 Stat. L., 53).
  • 1 September 1789: Navigation law administration was placed under Secretary of the Treasury by an act of 1 September 1789 (1 Stat. 55), with local enforcement by Treasury customs officials. On 22 January 1793, the Register of the Treasury became responsible for vessel documentation and for navigation and tonnage statistics. The Bureau of Statistics was established by an act of 28 July 1866 (14 Stat. 331), to collect navigation statistics, assign numbers to merchant vessels, and publish the annual list of American merchant vessels. Pursuant to acts of 26 May 1790 (1 Stat. 122) and 3 March 1797 (1 Stat. 506), district court judges submitted requests to the Secretary of the Treasury for remission of fines and penalties under the navigation laws. The Navigation Division was established in the Treasury Department in 1870 to administer the fines and penalties function.  Re-designated as the Internal Revenue and Navigation Division in 1878 it was re-designated Mercantile Marine and Internal Revenue Division in 1884.  It was abolished in 1887.  U.S. circuit courts handled disputes between seamen and masters until 7 June 1872 when judges were authorized to appoint shipping commissioners at various ports to administer navigation laws relating to merchant seamen.
  • 4 August 1790:  Congress authorized the Secretary of the Treasury, Alexander Hamilton, to create a maritime service to enforce customs laws (1 Stat. L. 145, 175).  Alternately known as the system of cutters, Revenue Service, and Revenue-Marine this service was placed under the control of the Treasury Department.
  • 7 July 1838:  Vessel inspections, first required by an act of 7 July 1838 (5 Stat. 304), were performed by engineers appointed by U.S. District Court judges. The Steamboat Act (10 Stat. 61), 30 August 1852, formally established the Steamboat Inspection Service in the Department of the Treasury and authorized the appointment of supervising steam vessel inspectors, who collectively constituted the Board of Supervising Inspectors. An act of 28 February 1871 (16 Stat. 458), authorized the appointment of a Supervising Inspector General for the Steamboat Inspection Service.  Steamboat Inspection Service was transferred to the Department of Commerce and Labor by act of 14 February 1903 (32 Stat. 825), and to the Department of Commerce by act of 4 March 1913 (37 Stat. 736).  It was combined with the Bureau of Navigation to form Bureau of Navigation and Steamboat Inspection by act of 30 June 1932 (47 Stat. 415).  It was renamed Bureau of Marine Inspection and Navigation in 1936.
  • 14 August 1848:  Congress appropriated funds to pay for life-saving equipment to be used by volunteer organizations (9 Stat. L., 321, 322).
  • 30 August 1852:  Steamboat Act established the Steamboat Inspection Service under the control of the Treasury Department (10 Stat. L. 61, 1852).
  • 9 October 1852: The Lighthouse Board, which administered the nation's lighthouse system until 1 July 1910, was organized. "This Board was composed of two officers of the Navy, two officers of the Engineer Corps, and two civilians of high scientific attainments whose services were at the disposal of the President, and an officer of the Navy and of the, Engineers as secretaries. It was empowered under the Secretary of the Treasury to "discharge all the administrative duties" relative to lighthouses and other aids to navigation. The Secretary of the Treasury was president of the Board, and it was authorized to elect a chairman and to divide the coast of the United States into twelve lighthouse districts, to each of which the President was to assign an army or navy officer as lighthouse inspector."
  • 18 June 1878:  U.S. Life-Saving Service established as a separate agency under the control of the Treasury Department (20 Stat. L., 163).
  • 5 July 1884: U.S. Bureau of Navigation was established in the Treasury Department by act of 5 July 1884 (23 Stat 118), to consolidate the administration of all navigation laws except those relating to vessel inspection, lighthouses, lifesaving, and revenue collection. Comprised of employees from the Bureau of Statistics concerned with numbering merchant vessels; the Register and Tonnage Division of the Register of the Treasury; the Internal Revenue and Navigation Division; and shipping commissioners, thereafter appointed by the Secretary of the Treasury.  It was transferred to Department of Commerce and Labor by act of 14 February 1903 (32 Stat. 825), and to the Department of Commerce by act of 4 March 1913 (37 Stat. 736). It was consolidated with Steamboat Inspection Service, effective 1 August 1932, by an appropriations act of 30 June 1932 (47 Stat. 415) to form the Bureau of Navigation and Steamboat Inspection.  It was re-designated Bureau of Marine Inspection and Navigation by Public Law 622 (49 Stat. L., 1380), 27 May 1936.
  • 14 February 1903: Congress created the Department of Commerce and Labor (32 Stat. L., Ch. 552). Bureau of Navigation, Steamship Inspection Service, and Lighthouse Service (Lighthouse Board and Lighthouse Establishment) were transferred to the new department (32 Stat. L., 825-827).
  • 17 June 1910: An Act of Congress (36 Stat. L., 534) abolished the Lighthouse Board and created the Bureau of Lighthouses to have complete charge of the Lighthouse Service (Establishment). This law constituted the organic act under which the Lighthouse Service operated thereafter.  Mr. George R. Putnam, the first Commissioner of Lighthouses, took office on 1 July 1910.  He served in that capacity until his retirement in 1935.
  • 4 March 1913: The Department of Commerce and Labor was renamed Department of Commerce. 
  • 28 January 1915:  President Woodrow Wilson signed into law the "Act to Create the Coast Guard," an act passed by Congress on 20 January, 1915 that combined the Life-Saving Service and Revenue Cutter Service to form the Coast Guard (38 Stat. L., 800).
  • 6 April 1917:  With the declaration of war against Germany the Coast Guard was transferred by Executive Order to the control of the Navy Department.
  • 28 August 1919:  Coast Guard reverted to Treasury Department after President Wilson signed Executive Order 3160.
  • 30 June 1932:  Steamboat Inspection Service and Bureau of Navigation were combined to form the Bureau of Navigation and Steamboat Inspection (47 Stat. L., 415). The new agency remained under Commerce Department control.
  • 27 May 1936:  Public Law 622 reorganized and changed the name of the Bureau of Navigation and Steamboat Inspection Service to Bureau of Marine Inspection and Navigation (49 Stat. L., 1380). The Bureau remained under Commerce Department control.
  • 1 September 1938: The U. S. Maritime Service was placed under the administration of the Coast Guard. The Coast Guard was then responsible for administering the Maritime Service's training stations.
  • 1 July 1939:  The Lighthouse Service became part of the Coast Guard (53 Stat. L., 1432).
  • 1 November 1941:  President Roosevelt’s Executive Order 8929 transferred the Coast Guard to Navy Department control.
  • 28 February 1942:  Executive Order 9083 transferred Bureau of Marine Inspection temporarily to the Coast Guard.
  • 1 September 1942: The Coast Guard's administration of Maritime Service training ended and that power was transferred to the newly established War Shipping Administration.
  • 1 January 1946:  In compliance with Executive Order 9666, the Coast Guard returned to Treasury Department control.
  • In April 1946 the Coast Guard created the Eastern, Western, and Pacific Area commands to coordinate cases that required the assets of more than one district.
  • 16 July 1946:  Pursuant to Executive Order 9083 and Reorganization Plan No. 3 the Bureau of Marine Inspection was abolished and became a permanent part of the Coast Guard under Treasury Department control.
  • 31 March 1948: The Tenth District, with headquarters at San Juan, Puerto Rico and comprising of the Panama Canal Zone, all of the island possessions of the United States pertaining to Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, and all United States reservations in the islands of the West Indies and on the north coast of South America, was abolished, and its functions, responsibilities, and facilities were transferred to and combined with the Seventh District, with headquarters at Miami, Florida.
  • 1 April 1967:  Executive Order 167-81 transferred the Coast Guard from the Treasury Department to the newly-formed Department of Transportation.
  • 1967: The Bridge Program was transferred from the Army Corp of Engineers to the U.S. Coast Guard within the Department of Transportation. The Coast Guard then became responsible for approval of the location and plans of bridges and causeways constructed across navigable waters of U.S. In addition, the Coast Guard was responsible for approval of the location and plans of international bridges and the alteration of bridges found to be unreasonable obstructions to navigation. Authority for these actions is found in the following laws: 33 U.S.C 401, 491, 494, 511-524, 525 and 535a, 535b, 535c, 535e, 535f, 535g, and 535h (Note: these are all separate sections, not subsections of 535). Section 535 and following is popularly known as the International Bridge Act of 1972. The implementing regulations are found in Title 33, Code of Federal Regulations Parts 114 through 118.
  • In January 1973, the Coast Guard renamed the Eastern and Western areas to the Atlantic and Pacific areas, respectively.
  • 30 May 1996: The Eighth and Second Districts were combined to form the new Eighth District.
  • 1 March 2003: The Coast Guard formally transferred from the Department of Transportation to the newly-created Department of Homeland Security.
  • 2004: To create unity of command in America’s ports, better align field command structures, and improve Coast Guard operational effectiveness, Sector Commands were created throughout the Coast Guard by integrating Groups, Marine Safety Offices (MSOs), Vessel Traffic Services (VTSs), and in some cases, Air Stations.  Sector Commands were established by 2006.

What wars & other conflicts did the Coast Guard participate in?

War Number Served Deaths in Action Wounded Total Casualties POWs

Quasi-War with France
unknown unknown unknown unknown 0

War of 1812
100 (?) unknown unknown unknown 86

Mexican War
71 officers unknown unknown unknown 0

Civil War
219 officers 1 unknown unknown 0

Spanish-American War
660 1 0 1 0

World War I
8,835 111 * unknown unknown 0

World War II
241,093 574 ** unknown 1,917 4

Korean War
8,500 *** 0 0 0 0

Vietnam War
8,000 7 60 67 0

Mayaguez Incident
8 **** 0 0 0 0

Grenada: Operation Urgent Fury
162 0 0 0 0

Panama: Operation Just Cause
9***** 0 0 0 0

Operations Desert Shield / Storm
400 0 0 0 0

100 0 0 0 0

Operation Enduring Freedom
27****** 0 1 1 0

Operation Iraqi Freedom
1,250 1 1 2 0

* = 81 Coast Guard deaths from other causes, i.e. crashes, accidents, disease or drowning.

** = 1,343 Coast Guard deaths from other causes, i.e. crashes, accidents, disease or drowning.

*** = Approximate number of Coast Guardsmen who were eligible for the Korean Service Medal.  

**** = Crewmen on board HC-130B CG-1339 & one Coast Guard officer participating in the USCG-USN Exchange Program on board USS Harold E. Holt (FF-1074).

***** = There were six personnel from Group Miami LEDET who were stationed aboard the USS Vreeland (FF-1068) which was conducting CN operations when the ship was diverted for Operation Just Cause.  Three others were assigned permanently to Panama and were also involved in the conflict.  No casualties were incurred.

****** = These figures are currently being updated: There are at least 22 people on the USCG RAID Team and this team renews annually.  In addition there was at least 3 NSA SIGINT USCG members [deployed] in the past year, there are two USCG SEALs (now Navy) who served in AFG twice.  One of the USCG SEALs received a Purple Heart for being wounded by a RPG in 2012.  He received the Bronze Star Medal with a "V" for Valor for his actions as well.


So you would like to be a lighthouse keeper or buy a lighthouse?

  • How do I buy a lighthouse? Where can I buy a lighthouse?

The best sources of information to purchase a lighthouse are the regional offices of the General Services Administration (GSA). A link to the GSA regional offices is provided. However, lighthouse properties can leave Federal government ownership in several ways. The GSA is the Federal government's real estate broker and normally processes most of the lighthouse sales. Usually, GSA will first offer the lighthouse property to the state or a non-profit historic preservation group. Then, the property may be auctioned to the highest bidder. However, some Federal agencies have the authority to directly dispose of their properties. The Congress of the United States may also enact special laws requiring that one or more lighthouses be transferred to the states or to non-profit organizations. Each lighthouse property sale may have special conditions. Prospective buyers need to research each property sale, beginning with the GSA.  Check their website:  GSA Website

  • How do I become a lighthouse keeper?

The Coast Guard does not accept volunteer lighthouse keepers.  Many of the light stations that have been turned over to the National Park Service or the various states, however, do permit volunteers to staff their lighthouses.  Check with the National Park Service or with your local historical preservation society. 


What are the Coast Guard's "Core Values"?

  • Honor, Respect & Devotion to Duty


Integrity is our standard. We demonstrate uncompromising ethical conduct and moral behavior in all of our personal actions. We are loyal and accountable to the public trust.


We value our diverse work force. We treat each other with fairness, dignity, and compassion. We encourage individual opportunity and growth. We encourage creativity through empowerment. We work as a team.

Devotion to Duty

We are professionals, military and civilian, who seek responsibility, accept accountability, and are committed to the successful achievement of our organizational goals. We exist to serve. We serve with pride.


During March, 1993, those engaged in Coast Guard leadership development activities met to evaluate the Service’s Leadership Program.  During that meeting it was recognized that the absence of commonly stated core values was problematic to leadership development efforts.  Work was started to identify appropriate core values.  In October 1993, the Coast Guard Office of Personnel and Training assembled a study group to make recommendations to improve leadership development in the Service.  This group built upon the initial work from 1993 and subsequently identified and defined the Coast Guard Core Values of Honor, Respect, and Devotion to Duty. These were approved by the Commandant of the Coast Guard, Admiral Robert Kramek, and were officially promulgated in April 1994.

Further information:

CDR Patrick T. Kelly, Department of Leadership & Management, U.S. Coast Guard Academy. "Charting Progress: The Assessment of Core Values in the U.S. Coast Guard." A paper prepared for presentation to the Joint Services Conference on Professional Ethics, Washington, DC, January 28-29, 1999.


What initial instructions did Alexander Hamilton issue to the first officers of the nation's revenue cutters?


Treasury Department,

June 4th, 1791



As you are speedily to enter upon the duties of your station it becomes proper briefly to point them out to you. Accordingly I send you a copy of the Act under which you have been appointed, and which are contained your powers and the objects to which you are to attend, and I shall add such observations as appears to me requisite to guide you in fulfilling the intent of that act.


It may be observed generally that it will be in a partial manner, the province of the Revenue Cutter to guard Revenue laws from all infractions, or breaches, either upon the coasts or within the bays, or upon the rivers and other waters of the United States, previous to the anchoring of vessels within the harbors for which they are respectively destined.


Hence, it will be necessary for you from time to time to ply along the coasts in the neighborhood of your station, and to traverse the different parts of the waters which it comprehends. To fix yourself constantly or even generally at one position, would in a great measure defeat the purpose of the establishment. It would confine your vigilance to a particular spot, and allow full scope to fraudulent practices, everywhere else.


The 63d section of the act herewith transmitted, declared that the officers of the Revenue Cutters are to be deemed officers of the Customs, and enumerates certain powers with which they are to be invested. The 30th section treating of the same powers, that of demanding manifests and that of searching vessels, enters into some details concerning them. These sections require particular attention as marking the outline of authority and duty, but in the capacity of officers of the Customs you will possess some other powers, and be bound to perform some other duties which are not mentioned in those sections. You will have a right for examination, and it will be your duty to seize vessels and goods in the cases in which they are liable to seizure for breaches of the Revenue laws, when they come under your notice, but all the power you can exercise will be found in some provisions of the law and it must be a rule with you to exercise none with which you are not clearly invested. In every case of doubt you 2

will follow the advice of the officer to whom you will be referred in a separate letter. On points of importance which admit of delay you may correspond with the Secretary of the Treasury.


The 9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th sections which relate to manifests will also require your particular attention. The clear observance of the provisions of these sections is considered as of material consequences to the Secretary of the Treasury, and ample time having been allowed for them to be generally known and compiled with, it is now indispensable that they should be strictly enforced.


You will perceive that they are only required in respect to vessels belonging wholly or in part to a citizen or citizens, inhabitant or inhabitants of the United States. It is understood that by inhabitant is intended any person residing in the United States, whether citizen or foreign. The reason of the limitation is that citizens and resident foreigners are supposed to be acquainted with the laws of the country; but that foreign citizens residing in foreign countries, have not the same knowledge, and consequently ought not to be subjected to penalties in regard to a thing which they might not know to be necessary.


But since you cannot be presumed to know beforehand what vessels are owned in whole or in part by citizens or inhabitants, it will, of course, be your duty to demand the manifests of all indiscriminately, and to report those from which you do not receive them, to the Collector of the District for which they are bound, and you will at the end of every month (pursuing the division of the year by the calendar) send me an abstract of your records.


Careful attention is likewise due to the 13th and 14th sections of the act. It is of importance that vessels should not break bulk, or put out any part of their cargo even temporarily, previous to a regular entry and permission obtained, except in cases of real necessity, to be duly reported and proved. You will observe that besides the penalties on the masters and mates of the vessels from on board of which any goods shall have been illegally removed, the master or commander of the vessel or boat into which they may be received, and all persons aiding in the removal, are liable to a forfeiture of treble the value of the goods removed, and the vessel or boat into which they may be received is also subject to forfeiture. It is well known that one of the most extensive cases of illicit trade is that which is here intended to be guarded against--that of unlading goods before the arrival of a vessel into port, in coasters and other small vessels, which convey them clandestinely to land. Hence, the bare removal of goods from one vessel to another is made penal, though they may not have been landed. Nor will the pretext of their being intended to be replaced avail anything. The provisions of these sections admonish you to keep a careful eye upon the motions of coasting vessels, without, however, interrupting or embarrassing them unless where some strong ground of suspicion requires that they should be visited and examined.


The execution of the 15th section of the Act essentially depends on the Revenue Cutters. It is easy to see that it would be dangerous to the revenue for vessels to be permitted to go at pleasure from one part of the United States to another without announcing themselves to some proper officer. Hence, though each may proceed on her voyage from a more exterior to a more interior district to which she may be bound--yet none can go back from a more interior to more 3

exterior Districts, or from one part of the United States to another without first reporting himself to the Collector of the District, in order that he may come under the notice and precautions of the law. Nor can this be deemed a hardship; seeing her report will not oblige her to unlade any part of her cargo, but she may afterwards proceed with it wheresoever she pleases.


I have now noticed to you the principal parts of the law which immediately relate to the execution of your duty. It will, however, be incumbent upon you to make yourself acquainted with all the revenue laws, which concern foreign commerce, or the coasting trade--a knowledge of the whole spirit and tendency of which cannot but be a useful guide to you in your particular sphere. You will observe that the law contemplates the officers of cutters in certain cases remaining on board of vessels, until they arrive at their places of destination; and with a view to this it is that so many officers have been assigned to each cutter. It is not, however, expected that this will be done in every case, and it must be left to the discretion of the commanding officer when it shall be done--when there is a vessel, the lading of which is of very great value, or which has any considerable quantity of goods on deck, or in other situations from which they can readily be removed; or where the nature of the cargo is such as to admit more easily a clandestine landing, or from the highness of the duties to afford a more than ordinary temptation, or where a vessel is bound to a very interior district up long bays or rivers, or when any suspicious circumstances appear; in these and the like cases, it will be well to let an officer accompany the vessel to her place of destination. The want of a manifest will be a circumstance in favor of so doing. It will not, however, be advisable to make known the circumstances under which it is deemed most peculiarly proper to use these precautions; as it might sometimes unnecessarily give offense. It may be always left to be understood, that it is the practice whenever the state of the cutter renders it convenient. You are empowered, amongst other things, to affix seals on packages found in certain situations. For this purpose, proper seals will be prepared and transmitted. Till they are required, any other may be made use of. The principal design of this provision is to identify the packages found in such situations.


It will be expected that a regular journal be kept in each cutter, in the same manner, as far as circumstances are applicable, as is practiced in sea voyages, and that all occurrences, relative to the execution of the laws, and to the conduct of all vessels which come under their notice, be summarily noticed therein, and that a copy of this journal to the end of each month be regularly forwarded to the Treasury.


It has also occurred that the cutters may be rendered an instrument of useful information, concerning the coast, inlets, bays and rivers of the United States, and it will be particularly acceptable if the officers improve the opportunities they have (as far as shall be consistent with the duties they are to perform) in making such observations and experiments in respect to the objects, as may be useful in the interests of navigation, reporting the result, from time to time to the Treasury.


While I recommend in the strongest terms to the respective officers, activity, vigilance and firmness, I feel no less solicitude, that their deportment may be marked with prudence, moderation and good temper. Upon these last qualities, not less that the former, must depend 4

the success, usefulness and consequently continuance of the establishment in which they are included. They cannot be insensible that there are some prepossessions against it, that the charge with which they are intrusted [sic] is a delicate one, and that it is easy by mismanagement, to produce serious and extensive clamour, disgust and odium.


They will always keep in mind that their countrymen are freemen, and, as such, are impatient of everything that bears the least mark of a domineering spirit. They will, therefore, refrain, with the most guarded circumspection, from whatever has the semblance of haughtiness, rudeness, or insult. If obstacles occur, they will remember that they are under the particular protection of the laws and that they can meet with nothing disagreeable in the execution of their duty which these will not severely reprehend. This reflection, and a regard to the good of the service, will prevent, at all times a spirit of irritation or resentment. They will endeavor to overcome difficulties, if any are experienced, by a cool and temperate perseverance in their duty--by address and moderation, rather than by vehemence or violence. The former style of conduct will recommend them to the particular approbation of the President of the United States, while the reverse of it--even a single instance of outrage or intemperate or improper treatment of any person with whom they have anything to do, in the course of their duty, will meet with his pointed displeasure, and will be attended with correspondent consequences.


The foregoing observations are not dictated by any doubt of the prudence of any of those to whom they are addressed. These have been selected with so careful an attention to character, as to afford the strongest assurance, that their conduct will be that of good officers and good citizens. But, in an affair so delicate and important, it has been judged most advisable to listen to the suggestions of caution rather than of confidence, and to put all concerned on their guard against those sallies to which even good and prudent men are occasionally subject. It is not doubted that the instructions will be received as it ought to be, and will have its due effect. And that all may be apprized [sic] of what is expected you will communicate this part of your orders, particularly, to all your officers, and you will inculcate upon your men a correspondent disposition.


The 5th section of the Act, requires that all officers appointed pursuant to this Act, should take a certain oath therein specified. The Act of the 1st of June, 1789, requires that you should also take the oath to support the Constitution of the United States. These oaths, each of your officers must take before some Judge of the United States, if access can conveniently be had to one. If not, before some other magistrate, duly empowered to administer oaths, and a certificate from him, of the taking of it, must be transmitted to the Comptroller of the Treasury.

I am sir, your obedient servant,



Secretary of the Treasury


What is the origin of the famous Coast Guard saying "You have to go out but you don't have to come back?"

A letter to the editor of the old Coast Guard Magazine, written by CBM Clarence P. Brady, USCG (Ret.), published in the March 1954 issue (page 2), stated that the first person to make this remark was Keeper Patrick Etheridge.   Brady knew him when both were stationed at the Cape Hatteras LSS.   Brady tells the story as follows:

"A ship was stranded off Cape Hatteras on the Diamond Shoals and one of the life saving crew reported the fact that this ship had run ashore on the dangerous shoals.   The old skipper gave the command to man the lifeboat and one of the men shouted out that we might make it out to the wreck but we would never make it back.  The old skipper looked around and said, 'The Blue Book says we've got to go out and it doesn't say a damn thing about having to come back.'"

Etheridge was not exaggerating.  The Regulations of the Life-Saving Service of 1899, Article VI "Action at Wrecks," section 252, page 58, state that:

"In attempting a rescue the keeper will select either the boat, breeches buoy, or life car, as in his judgment is best suited to effectively cope with the existing conditions.  If the device first selected fails after such trial as satisfies him that no further attempt with it is feasible, he will resort to one of the others, and if that fails, then to the remaining one, and he will not desist from his efforts until by actual trial the impossibility of effecting a rescue is demonstrated.  The statement of the keeper that he did not try to use the boat because the sea or surf was too heavy will not be accepted unless attempts to launch it were actually made and failed [emphasis added], or unless the conformation of the coast--as bluffs, precipitous banks, etc.--is such as to unquestionable preclude the use of a boat."

This section of the Regulations remained in force after the creation of the Coast Guard in 1915.  The new Instructions for United States Coast Guard Stations, 1934 edition, copied Section 252 word for word as it appeared in 1899.   [1934 Instructions for United States Coast Guard Stations, Paragraph 28, page 4].


How do you obtain the service record of someone who served in the Coast Guard and its predecessors (Life-Saving Service, Revenue Cutter Service, Steamboat Inspection Service, Bureau of Navigation or the Lighthouse Service), including information about cutter assignments and medals awarded? What about records regarding former lighthouse keepers? Crew lists and muster rolls?

Military Personnel Records (U.S. Coast Guard officers separated after 1928 and enlisted personnel separated after 1914):

If you would like to obtain copies of your own or a relative's Coast Guard service record (and they served in the Coast Guard sometime between 1914 to the present if they were enlisted or 1928 if they were a commissioned officer), which contains dates of service, station and cutter assignments, as well as medals and awards earned, you will need to contact the National Personnel Records Center, Military Personnel Records (NPRC-MPR).   Please see their website at the following URL:

Or write to them directly at:

National Personnel Records Center, Military Personnel Records (NPRC-MPR)
National Archives & Records Administration
1 Archives Drive
St. Louis, MO  63138
Phone: (314) 801-0800

Civilian Personnel:

If the person you are researching served as a civilian in the Coast Guard or any of its predecessor agencies, you will need to contact the Civilian Records facility of the National Archives in St. Louis, Missouri:

National Personnel Records Center
National Archives & Records Administration
ATTN: Archival Programs
P. O. Box 38757
St. Louis, MO  63138

For more information:

Service prior to 1920:

If they served prior to 1928 or were keepers in the U.S. Lighthouse Service prior to 1919, the records will be in the headquarters branch of the National Archives.  Please visit their website for further information:

Or write to them directly at:

National Archives and Records Administration
7th & Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC  20408

Lighthouse Keepers' Documentation:

Researching the career of anyone who served with the Lighthouse Service or the Coast Guard entails accessing documentation available at a number of different locations. Our office does not have any information on individual keepers. Personnel records for those who served in lighthouses prior to the Lighthouse Service's merger with the Coast Guard in 1939 need to contact the National Archives, which is the primary repository for all records concerning the Lighthouse Establishment & Service:

Write to them for further information:

National Archives and Records Administration
Textual Records
7th & Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC 20408

Or visit their website for further information:

If the individual(s) served with the U.S. Lighthouse Service or the Coast Guard as a civilian, you will need to contact the National Archives branch in St. Louis, Missouri.  Please be advised that privacy restrictions apply to these records:

Civilian Employees (light keepers prior to 1939 were civilians, many stayed in as civilians after the Lighthouse Service merged with the Coast Guard after 1939):

National Archives & Records Administration
ATTN: Archival Programs
P.O. Box 38757
St. Louis, MO  63138

Crew Lists, Personnel Rosters & Muster Rolls:

If you would like to order copies of any station or cutter crew lists (muster rolls) and you are interested in a time period after 2005, please visit the U.S. Coast Guard Personnel Service Center Records Branch (MR) at their website's contact page here:

Records Branch: //

Include the cutter's or station's name and the month and year you are interested in. 

If you are looking for records from 1950-2005, please submit a FOIA request to the Coast Guard via:


If you are looking for records prior to 1950, please contact the National Archives:

Locating a Coast Guard Retiree:

You will need to contact the Coast Guard Pay and Personnel Center.  Due to the Privacy Act, however, they cannot provide home addresses.  Nevertheless, if you would like to contact a Coast Guard retiree, send an envelope addressed to:

U.S. Coast Guard Pay & Personnel Center
444 SE Quincy
Topeka,  KS  66683-3591

Enclose in this envelope your correspondence (your letter to the retiree you wish to contact) inside another stamped envelope with the retiree's full name on it.  The Pay and Personnel Center will look through their files, add the retiree's address, and forward your correspondence on to the retiree.  Please include a telephone number where you may be reached--since there may be more than one retiree by the name you are seeking, they may need to contact you.


Are you interested in donating artifacts, documents, publications or photos to the Coast Guard Heritage Asset, Archive, and/or Special Collections? The Historian’s Office collects materials pertaining to the modern Coast Guard and its 5 predecessor agencies (Life-Saving Service, Revenue Cutter Service, Steamboat Inspection Service, Bureau of Navigation or the Lighthouse Service) to protect, preserve, and promote the history and heritage of the Coast Guard for future generations.

Heritage Asset Collection of Art & Artifacts and Coast Guard Archives

A photo of some examples of Coast Guard artifacts and archival items


Donating Artifacts & Archival Items to the Coast Guard History Program:


Thank you for your interest in donating artifacts or archival items to the U.S. Coast Guard History & Heritage Program.  This page lays out the criteria, requirements and processes that take place for the Coast Guard to accept donations related to the history, heritage and material culture of the Coast Guard.

Are you interested in donating an artifact (three dimensional items such as uniforms, swords, personnel effects, equipment, models, etc.) to the Coast Guard Heritage Asset Collection or archival items (personal or official papers, records, reports, letters, diaries, scrapbooks and photographs, etc.) to the Coast Guard Archives?



World War II era SPAR uniform

Criteria for accepting an artifact into the Coast Guard Heritage Asset Collection:

1) Historical significance and context: The item must have a clear connection to the Coast Guard or any of its predecessor or related agencies. The item should be accompanied with supporting documentation.

2) Relevance: The item must provide historical and educational value. All items accepted should have an historical, education, exhibition, and/or programmatic use.

3) Condition and preservation needs: The object must be in fair condition. Curatorial Services must be able to store the item appropriately based on its materials, condition, and needs. If the object is in poor condition it must have significant relevance and context and must be able to be conserved as part of its long term storage plans. Curatorial Services must be able to reasonably care for the item in perpetuity.

4) Rarity and/or uniqueness: Items of a rare or unique nature that relate to the Coast Guard or any of its predecessor or related agencies should be collected to represent singular and extraordinary aspects of the agencies’ history.

5) Duplicates: Items that duplicate material already held in the Heritage Asset Collection should not be collected. They should only be considered if the historic context, background, and associated documentation make the item more relevant or rare than what is already in the collection.

6) Association or importance of artist or producer: Items associated, used, and/or created by important artistic and Coast Guard figures will be collected.

7) Format or size: Reasonable scale will be considered when assessing an item. Objects with sizes that can negatively impact the ability to provide long term care and storage must be carefully considered to ensure that their historical context and value outweigh the costs of care and housing.



Acquisition Process and Restrictions for the Coast Guard Heritage Asset Collection:

The Coast Guard may not solicit for nor expend appropriated funds to acquire artifacts.

No personnel of Coast Guard Curatorial Services or the Coast Guard may provide written or verbal appraisals of a donated item to its donor. Donors requiring appraisals of donated items must obtain such appraisals at their own expense using appraisers of their choice. Coast Guard personnel may not recommend any one appraiser, but may provide the donor with a general list of appraisers, if the donor so requests.

Donations must be made unconditionally.

All acquisitions must be approved by Commandant (CG-09231) and require ethical review via CG-094 (Legal). Authority to approve acquisitions for the Coast Guard Heritage Asset Collection valued up to $2,000.00 is delegated to the Chief Historian. All items with a value greater than $2,000.00 must go to CG-094 for gift review and CG-08 for acceptance.

No restrictive or conditional acquisitions (through donation, purchase or transfer) may be accepted for the collection, except by direction of Commandant (CG-09231).

All artifacts, when accepted by any representative of the Coast Guard, become the property of the US Coast Guard.

The Coast Guard will not accept permanent loans of historical property, except by direction of Commandant (CG-09231). The Coast Guard will only accept incoming loans if there is a definitive plan to exhibit the loaned material for a set amount of time.

For more information on donating artifacts to the Coast Guard, please contact our Office at   


Archive Materials:

The Coast Guard Historian's Office maintains an important Special Collections Archive.  The Archive consists primarily of archival material that is not included in the official records now held by the National Archives and Records Administration [NARA].  It includes hundreds of thousands of unique and accessible images, publications, manuals, directives, personal papers, diaries, scrapbooks, reports, and documents.  

The Coast Guard Historian's Office photography collection is one of the largest collections of Coast Guard-related photography in the world.  It consists of hundreds of thousands of distinct photographs, negatives and slides dating from the post-Civil War-era to the early 1990s.  Images include lighthouses, cutters, lighthouse tenders, light vessels, combat images (especially from World War II and Vietnam), personnel, life-boat and air stations.

This collection also includes several thousand books, pamphlets, manuals, directives, instructions and newsletters that deal specifically with the Coast Guard or are Coast Guard publications.  Most significant are the old manuals, service publications and back issues of most of the periodicals published by the service.

The material preserved in our archive complements official records now kept at NARA and adds depth to our understanding of all aspects of Coast Guard history.  These records come from former commandants, officers, enlisted personnel, civilians and their families.

If you are interested in donating any such archival items, please contact us at

Contact & Further Information:

For more information on donating artifacts and archival materials to the Coast Guard, please contact us at


The Coast Guard Heritage Asset Committee will make the final determination on whether the Coast Guard will accept any donation offers.  The Heritage Asset Committee is made up of the Chief Historian, the Coast Guard Curator, the Curator of the Coast Guard Academy Museum, the Coast Guard Collections Manager, our Atlantic Area Historian and our Pacific Area Historian, and the Coast Guard Archivist.

Revenue Cutter Service Tureen

Thank you for your interest in preserving all aspects of Coast Guard history.



Are there any Coast Guard monuments and memorials? Where are they located?

Coast Guard Monuments & Memorials

A list of Coast Guard monuments & memorials around the country and around the world -- first compiled and published by The Reservist Magazine (May & June 1996 issues).  It is preserved here in honor of all past, present and future Coast Guardsmen.


The following Memorials were not listed in the original Reservist Magazine articles (or were dedicated after the articles were published in 1996):

Lightship Sailors Memorial
New Bedford, Massachusetts
A memorial to all lightship sailors who lost their lives in the line of duty was dedicated in 2002 in New Bedford after a four-year effort.  The fog-bell from the Vineyard Lightship, lost during the hurricane of 1944, sits atop a granite monument.  The names of all lightship sailors who gave their lives in the service of their country are inscribed in the monument's base.

Richard Etheridge Statue
Pea Island Station Cookhouse Museum, Collins Park
Manteo, North Carolina

A bronze statue of Captain Richard Etheridge was erected and dedicated near the Pea Island Station's Cookhouse which has been restored and now resides in Manteo, North Carolina at Collins Park.

Coast Guard 44363 Station Quillayute Memorial
Coast Guard Station Quillayute River
La Push, Washington

A memorial to the crew of CG-443653 who lost their lives while responding to a distress call on 12 February 1997  was dedicated on the grounds of the station.  The memorial plaque reads: "David A. Bosley Boatswain's Mate Second Class [,] Clinton P. Miniken Seaman [,] Matthew E. Schlimme Machinery Technician Third Class [,] These poor plan men, dwellers upon the lonely shores, took their lives in their hands, and at the most imminent risk, crossed the most tumultuous sea. . ., and all for what?  That others might live to see home and friends.  MLB44363 [,] Coast Guard Station [,] Quillayute River [,] La Push Washington [,] February 12, 1997."

Veterans Memorial Garden
1650 Memorial Drive
Lincoln, Nebraska

Coast Guard Memorial Monument
Florida Veterans Cemetery
Bushnell, Florida

A Coast Guard monument was dedicated on 12 November 2011 at the Florida Veterans Cemetery in Bushnell, Florida.  The inscription reads: "Dedicated to the Men and Women of the United States Coast Guard [;] Suncoast Chapter USCG CWOA."

Coast Guard Memorial Monument
New Hampshire State Veterans Cemetery
Boscawen, New Hampshire

A Coast Guard memorial and monument were dedicated in 2011 along the Memorial Walkway at the New Hampshire State Veterans Cemetery.  The monument was "Dedicated to all men and women who served in the US Coast Guard and Coast Guard Auxiliary."

National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial
Washington, D.C.
The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial is the nation’s monument to law enforcement officers who have died in the line of duty.  Dedicated on October 15, 1991, the Memorial honors federal, state and local law enforcement officers who have made the ultimate sacrifice for the safety and protection of our nation and its people.  Among the names listed on the memorial are the following Coast Guardsmen:

  • Matthew Harold Baker

  • Edgar Allen Culbertson

  • Scott James Chism

  • Christopher Everett Ferreby

  • Ronald Alan Gill, Jr.

  • Karl Edwin Gustafson

  • Terrell Edwin Horne III

  • Victor A. Lamby

  • Craig Eric Lerner

  • Shaun Michael Lin

  • Paul Erik Perlt

  • Sidney C. Sanderlin

  • Arthur James Sanderson

  • Jonathan D. Scotchmer

  • Duane Elmer Stenbak

  • Vernon F. Thompson

Coast Guard HU-16E Albatross CG-1240 Memorial plaques
Gulf of Mexico & Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater
Clearwater, Florida

Coast Guard Albatross CGNR-1240 crashed in the Gulf of Mexico 22 mile east of Apalachicola, Florida, on the night of 5 March 1967 while on a SAR case.  All six crewmen aboard the aircraft were killed.  The Coast Guard placed a memorial plaque on a monument at Air Station Clearwater in their honor in 2007.  Another plaque was placed on the underwater wreck site.

DC3 Nathan Bruckenthal Memorials:

  • Bruckenthal Monument and Plaque
    TACLET South, Opa Locka, Florida

Douglas Munro Memorial
Point Cruz Yacht Club, Honiara, Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands

A memorial to Douglas Munro at the Point Cruz Yacht Club in Guadalcanal

 Every year on the 7th of August (the Solomon's Remembrance Day) a Senior Coast Guard Officer pays tribute to Douglas Munro and his shipmates at the Point Cruz Yacht Club by reading not only his Medal of Honor citation but also the story of the combat action that he took part in.  It is read to everybody from the Prime Minister, Governor General, visiting military dignitaries (usually U.S. Marines and U.S. Navy personnel), Embassy and High Commission personal, especially the military attaches.

USS Tampa, CG, Memorial

There is a memorial plaque on Gibraltar honoring the USS Tampa, CG, which was sunk by a German U-boat during World War I with a loss of all hands while serving as a convoy escort.  The cutter was based at Gibraltar during the war.  The memorial was dedicated on 4 August 1934.

Mack Memorial
Station Chatham, Massachusetts

There is a monument next to Coast Guard Station Chatham that commemorates the attempted rescue of the crew of the barge Wadena off Monomoy Island on 17 March 1902 in which seven USLSS surfmen perished in the line of duty.

Ida Lewis Rock, Ida Lewis Light & Ida Lewis Grave
Newport, Rhode Island
Lime Rock and Lime Rock Light were renamed in honor of the Lighthouse Service's most famous female light-keeper.  Her grave is at the Common Burial Ground in Newport, Rhode Island.

USCGC Ingham
U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Ingham (WPG-35) Maritime Museum & National Historic Landmark, Key West, Florida

In accordance with a directive from the Commandant's Office, Ingham is the official memorial site to Coast Guardsmen killed in action in World War II and Vietnam. 

San Jacinto Coast Guard Memorial
San Jacinto, California

An 18-foot replica of the Fenwick Lighthouse in Druding Park serves as a memorial to the U.S. Coast Guard.

Coast Guard Academy
New London, CT

  • Bertholf Plaza
    Completed in 1992, the plaza is named for Ellisworth P. Bertholf, the first Commandant of the modern-day Coast Guard.  The plaza is the site of several plaques commemorating Coast Guard personnel who served in war-time.

  • Robert Crown Park
    Crown Park is named for CAPT Robert Crown, USN (Ret.), a past president of the Navy League.  The park is home to several monuments to the Coast Guard, among them the Wars and Conflicts Memorial, a black-granite obelisk depicting wartime scenes of service.

  • Hall of Heroes Memorial
    Located in Chase Hall barracks, the Hall of Heroes was established in April, 2005 by the Class of 1959 to commemorate heroic alumni of the Academy.  The Hall of Heroes includes the Wall Of Remembrance that honors Academy graduates who perished while carrying out an operational mission and the Wall of Gallantry that honors Academy alumni who have been formally recognized for acts of heroic service.

  • Captain Hopley Yeaton Memorial
    The tomb of the first commissioned officer of the Revenue Marine, Hopley Yeaton, now lies on the Academy's grounds.  He was originally buried in Lubec, Maine, but in 1975 his burial site was threatened by modernization. The Corps of Cadets sailed the Barque Eagle to Lubec where his remains were exhumed and laid to rest at the Academy.

Rescue Flotilla 1 (The "Matchbox Fleet") Memorial
Poole, England

Along the harborside at Poole, England, on June 6, 1994, a plaque was dedicated to the men of Coast Guard Rescue Flotilla 1.  The inscription reads: "From this Quay, 60 cutters of the United States Coast Guard Rescue Flotilla 1 departed for the Normandy Invasion, 6 June 1944.  These 83 foot boats, built entirely of wood, and the 840 crewmembers were credited with saving the lives of 1437 men and 1 woman.  In remembrance of the service of Rescue Flotilla 1, and with appreciation of the kindnesses of the people of Poole to the crews, this Plaque is given by the men and women of the United States Coast Guard."

Coast Guard at Normandy Memorial
Utah Beach, Normandy, France

On June 6, 1994, the Coast Guard Combat Veterans Association dedicated a plaque to those Coast Guard veterans who served at the invasion of Normandy.  The plaque's inscription reads: "Dedicated this 6th day of June, 1994, to the members of the United States Coast Guard who participated in the initial invasion of Normandy, especially to those who gave their lives here, and to all United States Coast Guard forces who served worldwide on land, sea and air during WWII.  The nations of the world shall long remember Normandy; the United States armed forces, their allies and the cost of freedom at this place.  The United States Coast Guard motto is, as always, 'Semper Paratus' Always Ready".

Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial
Colleville-sur-Mer, France

This U.S. national cemetery near Normandy is the final resting place of seven Coast Guardsmen:

  • Harry L. Siebert; BM2c (died 6 June 1944)

  • August B. Buncik, MoMM3c

  • Fletcher P. Burton, Jr., S1c

  • Jack A. DeNunzio, S1c

  • Leslie Fritz, S1c

  • Stanley Wilczak, RM3c

  • Bernard L. Wolfe, S1c (Wall of Missing)

Brittany American Cemetery and Memorial
Brittany, France

This U.S. national cemetery in Brittany is the final resting place of one Coast Guardsman:

  • Joseph A. Leonard, S1c (Wall of Missing)

Sicily-Rome American Cemetery and Memorial
Nettuno, Italy

This U.S. national cemetery near Anzio is the final resting place of one Coast Guardsman:

  • Hurt, James L. ST2c

North Africa American Cemetery and Memorial
Carthage, Tunisia

This U.S. national cemetery near Normandy is the final resting place of 18 Coast Guardsmen:

  • Cataloni, Angelo, S1c (Wall of Missing)

  • Clemens, Richard G., S1c (Wall of Missing)

  • Grout, Jonathan D., LT

  • Hildreth, Charles E., CCS

  • Hoodcock, Joseph L., F1c

  • Koch, Delmar H., S1c (Wall of Missing)

  • La Rue, Donald, S1c

  • Lavonier, Robert J., F1c (Wall of Missing)

  • McSorley, Wilbur J., F1c (Wall of Missing)

  • Minor, Walter B., QM3c (Wall of Missing)

  • Nichols, Boyce R., S1c

  • Oglesby, Buel B., TM3c (Wall of Missing)

  • Petrella, Julius T., RM3c (Wall of Missing)

  • Petrolini, Angelo J., S2c (Wall of Missing)

  • Ramond, Alphonse F., S1c (Wall of Missing)

  • Risner, Paul R., S2c (Wall of Missing)

  • Sanders, Carver G., BM2c (Wall of Missing)

  • Stewartz, Stanley S., S2c (Wall of Missing)

Mount Tom Memorial
Holyoke MA
A monument was established in 1996 that memorialized the victims of a B-17 crash here on 9 July 1946.  The victims, including 14 Coast Guardsmen, were passengers on a Flying Fortress that crashed while bound from Gander, Newfoundland, to Mitchell Field.  The Coast Guardsmen aboard were:

  • Johnson, Wilfred, LT

  • Meriam, Frank G., LT

  • Archilles, David Franklin, S2c

  • Benfield, George Ralph, RM2c

  • Davenport, Gregory Paul, S1c

  • Fleming, George, ETM3c

  • Gillis, Ernest Ralph, RDM3c

  • Miller, Arthur Calvin, S1c (ETM)

  • Scott, Russell Samuel, BM2c

  • Simons, Arnold Joseph, RM3c

  • Warm, Alfred Leonard, RM3c

  • Warshaw, Stanley Paul, S2c (ETM)

  • Winnard, Lee, RM3c

  • Worth, Hugh James, Y1c

The other victims included LT Pasquale P. Coviello, USPHS, an Assistant Surgeon who was assigned to the Coast Guard.


A "Monumental" Task -- Part I

Each year from Memorial Day to Independence Day, our nation remembers its heritage and military heroes with ceremonies and celebrations.  In addition, monuments from coast to coast testify to Americans' heroic but often forgotten deeds.  Unfortunately, some of these monuments are also forgotten.  One such example that I had never heard of but stumbled upon in 1993, is the Alaska Veterans Memorial on George Parks Highway between Anchorage and Fairbanks. There, in the Alaskan wilderness, was a unique concrete memorial - five massive sculpted upright concrete slabs honoring each branch of our Armed Forces.  So, knowing there were more monuments out there like this, The Reservist has been advertising for Coast Guard Monuments Across the USA since December 1995.  In addition to contacting every district's public affairs office, we asked you, our readers, to submit USCG monuments from your local area - from your hometown village squares, cemeteries and local Coast Guard units. I found that "ask and you shall receive" was an understatement as I compiled a list of over 50 Coast Guard monuments. Even though our reader response was outstanding, I know there are probably more Coast Guard monuments out there that were not submitted or that we do not know about. Nevertheless, because I didn't want to cram all 50 plus monuments into a few pages with tiny photos, I decided to publish this special monuments feature over two issues. And so, Part I of "Coast Guard Monuments Across the USA" are primarily monuments on the east coast. Next month, we'll include the rest of the monument submissions.
- Edward J. Kruska
PA1, USCGR, Editor, May, 1996

USCG Bicentennial Monument
Newburyport, MA

This monument was dedicated by the City of Newburyport, Mass. on Aug. 4, 1989, in anticipation of the celebration of the 200th birthday of the Coast Guard. In attendance was then-Commandant ADM Paul Yost, the Secretary of Transportation, the First District Commander and a host of dignitaries. 
Newburyport is the birthplace of the Coast Guard. The first Revenue Cutter Massachusetts was launched upriver at MacKay Shipyard, not far from where this monument stands on the waterfront behind the maritime museum. 
- William V. McGoldrick
Hampton, N.H. 

John Foster William Headstone
Boston, MA

While following Boston's "Freedom Trail" a few years ago, my family was exploring the Old Granery Burying Ground on Tremont Street and happened upon the grave of John Foster Williams. He was selected by George Washington to command the first U.S. Revenue Cutter Massachusetts. The Federal Building that houses the First Coast Guard District is named in his honor. 
- Lisa M. Kruska 
Alexandria, Va. 

American Seaplane NC-4 Plaque
Plymouth, MA

The Coast Guard shares a unique place in aviation, American and world history. A plaque placed at the Plymouth harbor by the Borough of Plymouth says: This tablet was erected by the Plymouth Borough Council to commemorate the arrival on the 31st day of May 1919 of the American Seaplane NC-4, in Plymouth Sound, on the completion of the first transatlantic flight, and the reception by the mayor of Plymouth of the Commander Pilots and crew on their landing at the Barbican. 

So what does this have to do with the Coast Guard? Among the six-man crew making the first transatlantic flight was LT Elmer F. Stone, first Coast Guard Aviator, and one of two pilots aboard the NC-4 that landed in Plymouth, England. Stone is not identified with a USCG after his name although four of the six crew have USN after their names. ENS H.C. Rood, also aboard, was not listed as either USN or USCG but as radio operator. 
- CAPT Ken Depperman, USCG (Ret.) 
Scituate, Mass. 

Mount Tom Memorial
Holyoke, MA

On July 9, 1946, a B-17 Bomber with 25 servicemen, including [14] Coast Guardsmen, returning from Goose Bay, Labrador, to Westover Air Force Base slammed into Mount Tom in Holyoke, located in western Massachusetts. All aboard perished. The crash site went unmarked until 1994 when someone piled rocks there as a memorial. Local resident Norman Cote noticed the rock memorial and persuaded local officials to establish a permanent monument. And so, 50 years after the tragedy, a monument was constructed at the crash site. A 50th anniversary memorial service and monument dedication [was scheduled for Saturday, July 6, 1996.]
-CAPT Tom O'Hara, USCGR (Ret.) 
Wayland, Mass. 

Coast Guard Academy
New London, CT

  • Bertholf Plaza
    Completed in 1992, the plaza is named for Ellisworth P. Bertholf, the first Commandant of the modern-day Coast Guard.  The plaza is the site of several plaques commemorating Coast Guard personnel who served in war-time.

  • Robert Crown Park
    Crown Park is named for CAPT Robert Crown, USN (Ret.), a past president of the Navy League.  The park is home to several monuments to the Coast Guard, among them the Wars and Conflicts Memorial, a black-granite obelisk depicting wartime scenes of service.

  • Hall of Heroes Memorial
    Located in Chase Hall barracks, the Hall of Heroes was established in April, 2005 by the Class of 1959 to commemorate heroic alumni of the Academy.  The Hall of Heroes includes the Wall Of Remembrance that honors Academy graduates who perished while carrying out an operational mission and the Wall of Gallantry that honors Academy alumni who have been formally recognized for acts of heroic service.

  • Captain Hopley Yeaton Memorial
    The tomb of the first commissioned officer of the Revenue Marine, Hopley Yeaton, now lies on the Academy's grounds.  He was originally buried in Lubec, Maine, but in 1975 his burial site was threatened by modernization. The Corps of Cadets sailed the Barque Eagle to Lubec where his remains were exhumed and laid to rest at the Academy.

USCG World War II Monument
New York, NY

A Coast Guard World War II monument is located in Lower Manhattan's Battery Park in New York City, near the ferry that takes Coasties to Governors Island. Every Memorial Day for at least the last 20 years, USCG American Legion Post No. 719, along with Coast Guardsmen from Governors Island, have had a ceremony here for our fallen Coast Guardsmen. Last year, this monument made the front page of the N.Y. Daily News around Memorial Day. The monument cost $18,000 when completed in the late 1940s. The sculptor was CPO Norman Thomas, USCG. Contractor was National Sculpture Services of New York. 
- CDR William J. Farrell, USCGR (Ret.) 
Bayside, N.Y. 

Dimitri Fedotoff White Headstone
Valley Forge, PA

Though the modern port security unit came into being in the early 1980s, the PSU concept can actually be traced back to WWII. Early in the war, the threat of sabotage and enemy subversive action was strong. Something had to be done. Enter Dimitri Fedotoff White and Donald F. Jenks, who co-developed plans for a Volunteer Port Security Force (VPSF) at Captain of the Port (COTP) Philadelphia. Following implementation of the White-Jenks plan in 1942, more than a thousand volunteers performed security functions on the docks, wharves and waterfront in support of the war effort. The largest port security force in the U.S., Philadelphia's efforts were soon imitated by other COTPs.   Dimitri Fedotoff White, born in Kronstadt, Russia Oct. 27, 1889 - emigrated to the U.S. following World War I during which he had served as a lieutenant commander in the Russian Imperial Navy, and as a lieutenant in the British Royal Navy. White is mentioned in Malcolm Willoughby's The U.S. Coast Guard in WWII. White died Nov. 21, 1950 and is buried at Valley Forge National Park's Washington Memorial Chapel outside Philadelphia. My father, Brig. Gen. Richard Stinson, is rector of the chapel and is shown in the photo at left. 
- By PSC Peter A. Stinson, USCGR 
Portsmouth, Va. 

Douglas A. Munro and World War II Monuments
Coast Guard Training Center, Cape May, NJ

A visitor to the Coast Guard Training Center at Cape May, N.J. can find at least two monuments to Coast Guard heroes. Douglas A. Munro, the Coast Guard's only Medal of Honor recipient is honored near Munro Hall with a statue that was dedicated in November, 1989. Also, Coast Guardsmen who served in World War II are remembered on the plaza outside the physical fitness complex with a replica of the monument in New York's Battery Park (see above left). Also at Cape May, one can find the ship's bell from the decommissioned CGC Cherokee, located in front of the base administration building. This bell was obtained recently and replaced a U.S. Lighthouse Service bell. 
- CWO3 Bill Carson 
TRACEN Cape May, N.J.
- MK1 Ralph Maddocks 
USCGR, Pennsville, N.J. 

WWII Patrol Frigate Monument
Coast Guard Yard, Curtis Bay, MD

Patrol frigates were conceived as all-purpose gunships and their design was a refinement of the British "River Class" frigate. They were 308-feet long and performed convoy escort, anti-submarine warfare (ASW), shore support fire, anti-aircraft (AA) screen and ocean station duties in both the Atlantic and Pacific Theaters of Operation during World War II. Fifteen thousand Coast Guard personnel crewed 75 WWII patrol frigates. Patrol frigates were well-armed, with three three-inch 50-caliber deck guns, two twin-40 mm Bofors and eight single 20-mm Oerlikons for AA screen. ASW weapons included a Hedgehog mortar, eight depth charge throwers, two depth charge racks aft and a ram bow. Typical wartime crew size totalled about 200. Not one of them was lost during the war, attesting to the seamanship skills, leadership and combat readiness of the Coast Guard officers and men who sailed in them. In addition to the one shown here (yes, that's me pointing to the USS Orange [PF-43], which I served aboard as a Watertender Fireman in 1945-46), there are two other monuments to the patrol frigates dedicated by the Patrol Frigate Reunion Association - one at Alameda, Calif. and another will be dedicated at the CG Academy on Sept. 6, 1996 by members of the PFRA during their annual reunion in Boston. 
CAPT George L. Sutton, USCGR (Ret.) 

United States Navy Memorial
Washington, DC 

The Coast Guard is honored on one of the 22 bronze relief plaques at the U.S. Navy Memorial, located on Pennsylvania Avenue (below) in our nation's capital. The 36-by-32 inch relief (right) shows the Coast Guard doing what it does best - making rescues at sea of civilian sailors and recreational boaters in distress. This bronze relief was sponsored by past and present members of the Coast Guard, with contributions from the Chief Petty Officers Association and other private donors. 
- CAPT Thomas Coldwell, USN (Ret.) 
U.S. Navy Memorial 

Vietnam Veterans Memorial
Washington, DC 

Among the 58,196 names etched on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial (Wall) in our nation's capital are seven Coast Guardsman. The wall, dedicated in 1982, cost $8.5 million and is located adjacent to the Lincoln Memorial. It has become a major attraction for locals and visitors alike. The names, hometowns and other pertinent information of the seven Coast Guardsman are listed according to date of casualty. 
- Libby Hatch 

Coast Guardsmen Listed on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial 
Name; Hometown; Rank; Rating; Age; Date of Death; Panel; Line

  • David Charles Brostrom; Los Altos, CA; LTJG; 25; 08/11/66; 09E; 126

  • Jerry Phillips; Corpus Christ, TX; EN2; 27; 08/11/66; 09E; 128

  • Jack Columbus Rittichier; Barberton, OH; LT; 34; 06/09/68; 58W; 014

  • Heriberto Segovia Hernandez; San Antonio, TX; FN; 20; 12/05/68; 37W; 046

  • Morris Sampson Beeson; Pitkins, LA; ENC; 37; 03/22/69; 28W; 008

  • Michael Harris Painter; Moscow, ID; EN1; 26; 08/08/69; 20W; 115

  • Michael Ward Kirkpatrick; Gainesville, FL; LTJG; 25; 08/09/69; 20W; 119

Navy and Marine Memorial
Arlington, VA 

For many years, the "Navy and Marine Memorial Dedicated to Americans Lost at Sea" was referred to as the Coast Guard monument. The memorial was used as a backdrop for the Chief Petty Officers 75th birthday salute in the August 1995 Reservist (inset). It stands 35 feet tall and is 30 feet long, and was sculpted in aluminum by Ernest Begni del Piatta. It consists of seven sea gulls in flight above the crest of a wave and stands on a green granite base. Under an Act of Congress passed on Feb. 16, 1924, it was erected, without cost to the United States, by the Navy and Marine Memorial Association for $335,630. A Joint Resolution approved June 26, 1934, authorized the erection on public grounds in the city of Washington, D.C. Congress appropriated $13,000 for the transportation and placement of the monument, which was dedicated Oct. 18, 1934. The Report of the 68th Congress stated that "this memorial is intended as a monument to our national life on the sea and to be affectionately dedicated to the thousands of Americans who have gone down in the sea whose destiny is so closely linked with our naval and maritime services...." It also honors those who are still offering their lives in the performance of heroic deeds upon the waters of the world. The Coast Guard unveiled a plaque (left) here during the Coast Guard's Bicentennial in 1990. 
- CAPT John Bruce, USCG (Ret.) 
Bethesda, Md. 

Coast Guard Monument
Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, VA

The Coast Guard monument at Arlington National Cemetery (Section 4), is made of white marble and is pyramid-shaped. It stands 12-feet high and was dedicated May 23, 1928 as a tribute to the Coast Guardsmen who lost their lives in World War I. The foundation and pyramid are suggestive of rocks standing in the sea along the coast, or marks of danger to navigation and represent the service ideals of steadfastness and endurance. The front of the monument has the USCG emblem on it and a sea gull, symbolic of the Coast Guard's watchful untiring spirit. The names of those in the Coast Guard who lost their lives in World War I are inscribed on the monument. The southeast side is dedicated to CGC Tampa, sunk by an enemy submarine in Bristol Channel Sept. 26, 1918. All 115 on board were lost. The northwest side is dedicated to CGC Seneca, which lost 11 Coast Guardsmen while endeavoring to salvage the torpedoed British Steamer Wellington in the Bay of Biscay Sept. 17, 1918. The architect was George Howe and the sculptor was Gaston Lachaise. Carved on the foundation: Thy Way Is In The Sea. 
- Arlington National Cemetery Historian 

USS Serpens Memorial
Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, VA

When the Coast Guard-manned USS Serpens (AKA-97) exploded and sank Jan. 29, 1945 at Lunga Beach, Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands, it marked the largest single disaster suffered by the Coast Guard in World War II.  Only two survived the blast, while 250, including 193 Coast Guardsmen, were lost.  The Serpens Monument in Section 34 at Arlington is octagon-shaped and has inscribed upon it an alphabetical listing of the deceased servicemen's names, rank and branch of service.  It marks the second largest mass grave at Arlington.  At the monument dedication Nov. 16, 1950, VADM Merlin O'Neill, then-USCG Commandant remarked, "we cannot undo the past...but we can ensure...that these men shall be respected and honored forever." 
- CG Historian 

Waesche, Cowart, Hull Headstones
Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, VA

Just a short walk from the pyramid-shaped Coast Guard Monument at Arlington are several graves of Coast Guard veterans.  Probably the most well-known Coast Guardsman buried there is ADM Russell R. Waesche, Commandant from 1936-1946. His wife, Agnes R. Waesche, is buried alongside him.  Also interred at Arlington is VADM Kenneth K. Cowart, who served as the last Coast Guard Chief Engineer from 1950-1958 and was laid to rest March 14, 1996.  His headstone says: "Coast Guard For'er."  Buried alongside him is his wife, Adah Hatch Cowart.  CG Reservist CAPT Earl B. Hull, 1881-1955, is also buried at Arlington alongside his wife, Althea B. Finn.  There are many other Coast Guardsmen buried at Arlington, which is currently compiling data on numbers of service members interred there from each branch of the military. 
- Reservist Magazine 


A "Monumental" Task -- Part II

We're back this month [June, 1996] with a continuation of our feature on "Coast Guard Monuments Across the USA." As I mentioned last month, our readers sent us over 50 USCG monument entries, and I decided to publish them over two issues. Part I depicted Coast Guard monuments primarily located in the northeast and mid-Atlantic regions. In this issue, you'll notice we move all around the nation, beginning with a few monuments from the north and midwest, move to the south and Gulf Coast and finally, go west!  We think you'll find some of the stories behind these monuments fascinating.  Our front cover this month, shown uncropped at left, was taken in 1991 (the CGR's 50th anniversary year) at the CGC Escanaba National Memorial Service in Grand Haven, Mich.  The service was held, as it is every year, during the week of Aug. 4 (the Coast Guard's birthday) at the annual Coast Guard Festival.  CGC Escanaba sank June 13, 1943, off southern Greenland with the loss of 101 crew...there were only two survivors.  It was the second worst loss of life suffered by the Coast Guard in World War II.  At far left is Escanaba survivor SN Ray O'Malley.  For those of you who contributed to this two-part feature on our CG monuments, thank you! 
Edward J. Kruska
PA1, USCGR, Editor

Ancient Order of Pterodactyl
Gloucester, MA 

The Ancient Order of Pterodactyl is a group of active and retired CG aviators and air crewmen. Their plaque, overlooking Gloucester Harbor, is attached to a large boulder and is a tribute to the first USCG air station. It reads: "In honor of the men who established Coast Guard aviation in May of 1925 on Ten Pound Island in Gloucester Harbor, home of the first continuously operating Coast Guard air station. Growth in operations and aircraft size forced a move to Salem, Mass. in 1935 and again to Cape Cod in 1970."
CPO Tom Guthlein
Station Gloucester, Mass. 

USCG Legacy Monuments
Governors Island, NY 

As probably everyone has heard by now, the Coast Guard is departing Governors Island as part of streamlining. To commemorate the Coast Guard's 31-year stay on the New York harbor island, the Coast Guard recently placed four monuments at each compass point on the island. The west monument, shown at right, is a tribute to area lighthouses. The east monument is a WWI and WWII remembrance of USCG involvement in the N.Y. area, while the south monument honors those from New York who fought for our nation's freedom. Finally, the north monument, facing lower Manhattan, is a tribute to the "cradle of Coast Guard history," remembering Alexander Hamilton and our nation's First Congress, then-convened in N.Y. City, which passed legislation establishing the "Revenue Marine," Aug. 4, 1790. 
LT John Shallman
LANTAREA Public Affairs

Armed Forces Memorial
Wilson, NY 

This monument is located at the Wilson Historical Museum in my village of Wilson, N.Y., a harbor village of 1,200 on Lake Ontario. I drill at Coast Guard Station Niagara, Youngstown, N.Y., 12 miles away. I know this monument is not entirely a Coast Guard monument, but you very rarely see an all-CG monument in small villages. Still, I am glad the Coast Guard was not left out as it has in others I've seen.
BM1 Gary S. Pettit
USCGR, Wilson, N.Y.

Faces of Freedom
Slovan, PA 

We thought you'd like to see what a little town in Pennsylvania did for its 16 heroes who were killed during World War I and II. The people of Slovan (located west of Pittsburgh) are very proud of their local heroes and monuments shown here. One of the 16 is Coast Guardsman Seaman 2nd Class Marko Yaksic (top row, fourth from left; inset at right). Yaksic, 20, was killed Sept. 25, 1942, during the invasion on Vella Lavella, Solomon Islands while aboard LST 167. He is buried in Hickory Cemetery. There is also a mural of our Faces of Freedom in our local VFW, Barto Post 6553 (left). My son, Mike Dugas, currently in the Coast Guard, is the sailor shown saluting the mural. It was created by Susan Renee Schott, an art teacher from nearby Burgettstown, Pa. 
Steve M. Dugas
Slovan, Pa. 

Ohio Historical Marker
Camp Perry, OH

I'm one of the historians here at Camp Perry, Ohio, where the Coast Guard has done a lot of training for port security units. In October of 1995, we had an Ohio historical marker placed here at Camp Perry, within a stone's throw of Lake Erie. It reads, "Additionally, in 1990, United States Coast Guard Reservists trained here in preparation for the Persian Gulf War." The text for the marker was written by another Camp Perry historian, Virgil Gordon, which I then typed up. It was exciting to finally see the fruits of our labor.
Anna Bovia
Camp Perry, Ohio 

Armed Forces Monuments
Dearborn County, IN 

Lawrenceburg, in southeastern Indiana, population 4,400, is the Dearborn County seat. Outside the courthouse are a number of monuments dedicated to our Armed Forces, including one dedicated to the Coast Guard (left). It reads: "Formed to guard the coasts against smugglers. They police shorelines and harbors, enforce navigation regulations and conduct searches from water and air for people lost at sea. They maintain transmitting stations that send navigation signals all over the world." 
CWO3 Jay Enginger
MSD Cincinnati

USCG Inland Lifesaving Station
Louisville, KY

On Sept. 24, 1993, the Louisville Area World War II Coast Guard Committee dedicated two bronze plaques aboard the old Coast Guard Inland Lifesaving Station (below right). The plaques commemorate both the continuous operation of the Coast Guard station from 1880 to 1972 (the last inland floating lifeboat station in the Coast Guard) and the efforts of "citizen-reservists" in Louisville during World War II. The station now serves as the offices for the Steamboat Belle of Louisville (left of station in photo above). 
LCDR Chuck Polk, USCGR
CGHQ (G-WTR-2), Louisville native

Cain Hall & Plaque 
RTC Yorktown, VA

LT Colleen Cain was a Coast Guard Reservist who became the CG's first female HH-52A pilot in June 1979. On Jan. 7, 1982, while stationed at AIRSTA Barbers Point, Hawaii, the helicopter she was co-piloting responded to a distress call from a fishing vessel in stormy weather. The helo crashed into the side of a mountain in the Wailua Valley of Molokai, Hawaii. Cain, along with two other crew members, CDR Buzz Johnson and ASM David Thompson were killed. Cain Hall, a 100-room residence hall at RTC Yorktown, was dedicated in her memory Oct. 25, 1985. The Cain family also unveiled a bronze plaque outside the entrance to Cain Hall at the dedication (see photo above). A plaque honoring the three Coast Guardsmen is in the Barbers Point Club in Hawaii. Another plaque honoring Cain is among those at the International Forest of Friendship, Atchison, Kan. An article on Cain appeared in the March 1996 Reservist.
Reservist Staff

CGC Cuyahoga Memorial
Yorktown, VA 

When CGC Cuyahoga collided with the Argentine motor vessel Santa Cruz near the mouth of the Potomac River in Virginia Oct. 20, 1978, 10 Coast Guardsman and one Indonesian naval officer died.  This monument at RTC honors them. 
Reservist Staff

Canfield Plaque, Painting & Trophy
RTC Yorktown, VA 

Congressman Gordon Canfield of New Jersey, considered the father of the CGR, introduced legislation to create the Coast Guard Reserve in 1941. To honor him, RTC Yorktown dedicated Canfield Hall in 1984. It was the first CG facility to be named after a member of Congress. The photo above right is a reproduction from the September / October 1984 Reservist showing the Canfield Hall plaque and a painting of Gordon Canfield, both unveiled at the 1984 dedication. At left is then-RADM James C. Irwin, then-Chief, Office of Readiness & Reserve, Mrs. Dorothy Canfield, second from right, and then-CAPT John N. Faigle, right, who later served as Chief, Office of Readiness & Reserve. In the photo at right is the Gordon Canfield Trophy, permanently displayed at the Reserve Officers Association Minuteman Building in Washington, D.C. For many years, the trophy was awarded to the nation's best reserve unit. 
LT Dave Allen, USCGR
CGHQ (G-WTR-2), Alexandria, Va. 

USLHS Bell Monument
Seaman Bernt Riise Memorial
Charleston, SC 

At Base Charleston, we have two monuments. The top photo shows a U.S. Lighthouse Service bell from 1923 mounted on a concrete slab. Flanking the bell are the father-son Coast Guard team of BMCS Tom Gelwicks, Sr., left, and BMC Tom Gelwicks, Jr. The other memorial is the Bernt Riise memorial headstone. Riise was a seaman aboard the Revenue Cutter Yamacraw, who drowned at sea in 1909. The memorial stone depicted at left was found in 1982, five feet underground while digging a grave in the oldest section of Magnolia Cemetery in Charleston. Originally erected by his shipmates, the memorial was recovered and placed permanently at Base Charleston as a final resting place for Seaman Riise. 
BMCS Thomas Gelwicks, USCG (Ret.)
YN1 T. Roberts, USCGR

Flagler College CGR Display
St. Augustine, FL 

St. Augustine is considered by many to be the birthplace of the CGR. One of the first classes to graduate from Reserve officer training did so at St. Augustine in May 1941 at the converted Ponce de Leon Hotel, now Flagler College. From 1942-45, thousands of young recruits received their "boot" and advanced training at what was certainly one of the most unusual training stations of WWII. A visitor to Flagler College today will find a permanent display recognizing USCG WWII training activities (see photo above). The display includes plaques presented to the college by various groups. These plaques include Coast Guard Reserve 50th anniversary and CGR emblem plaques, two engravings and one 4-by-5 inch plaque mounted on the front center of the display which reads: "Site of U.S. Coast Guard Training Station and Related Activities During World War II 1942-45." Other magazine articles and photos round out the display. 
Tom King, Archivist, Flagler College
St. Augustine, Fla.

Douglas Munro Memorial
Crystal River, FL

BMCM John "Jocko" Mahoney, left in photo, and CWO4 George Senn, USCGR (Ret.), right, were guests of the Yankeetown Coast Guard Station at the Sept. 27, 1995 dedication of the Douglas A. Munro monument honoring the Coast Guard's only Medal of Honor winner. This 5,500-pound granite monument is located in the park at the rear of Crystal River City Hall. Sponsored by the USCG and Crystal River Eagles Aerie 4272, the dedication ceremony was well organized with over 400 persons in attendance. 
CWO4 G.R Senn, Jr., Crystal River, Fla. 
David W. Mittman, Monclova, Ohio

City Hall Square & Lighthouse Monuments
St. Augustine, FL

On Aug. 24, 1990, Coast Guard E-2C Radar Surveillance Aircraft Number 3501 crashed while returning from a mission that originated at Naval Air Station Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico. The E-2C was at mission's end and returning when the crew reported a fire in the port engine. It crashed in a cow pasture one-quarter mile from the runway, taking with it the four-man crew. Over 1,500 members of the CG family made contributions for St. Augustine's City Hall Square monument (below left). It was dedicated Aug. 23, 1991. Another plaque honoring the four was placed near St. Augustine lighthouse (below). 
LT John Shallman

CGC Blackthorn Monuments (WLB-391)
St. Petersburg, Fla. and Galveston, TX

On the evening of Jan. 28, 1980, CGC Blackthorn (WLB-391) collided with the tanker Capricorn in Tampa Bay, Fla., near the Sunshine Skyway Bridge.  Homeported in Galveston, Blackthorn had just completed an extensive yard period in the Tampa area and had many crew members who had never sailed aboard the vessel.  The incident claimed the lives of 23 Coast Guardsmen.  A 6,000-pound monument commemorating the sinking is located at the Sunshine Skyway bridge north base rest area.  The monument points out the location where Blackthorn and Capricorn collided.  All 23 Coast Guardsmen are listed on the 5-foot wide by 8-foot tall monument, dedicated in 1981.  It was constructed of gray granite with polished face, chipped sides and back to provide the desired degree of maintenance-free permanence.  The Florida Legislature named the wayside parks at each end of the Skyway Bridge "Blackthorn Memorial Park."  At Base Galveston, a buoy contains a commemorative plaque and is lit permanently.  It looks out over Galveston Bay (right photos). 
MK1 Donald Kessel, Bradenton, Fla.
BM1 David Devine, ANT Galveston

White Alder Memorial Park
New Orleans, LA

I had only been in the Coast Guard Reserve 16 months when I performed my first ADT at Base New Orleans.  These photos, taken in December 1970 of the White Alder Memorial, are located on the base . CGC White Alder collided with the Formosan freighter Helena Dec. 7, 1968.  The memorial is dedicated to 17 Coast Guardsmen who were killed in the collision. 
LCDR Chuck Polk, USCGR
Commandant (G-WTR-2)

Anthony L. Oneto Memorial Room
El Paso, TX

During WWII, Anthony Oneto served as a CG Reserve officer aboard USS Cavalier. On March 11, 1947, while serving with the U.S. Border Patrol, Oneto was shot in the head four times at Indio, Calif. by a man attempting to smuggle four illegal aliens. Oneto, 30, died of the gunshots instantly. He is honored at the U.S. Border Patrol Museum & Library in El Paso with a room named after him. American Legion Post 812 in Los Angeles is also named in his honor. 
CWO4 T. Golda 
Grand Island, N.Y. 
Ed's note: A feature on Oneto was published in The Reservist, September 1994. 

CDR Elmer F. Stone Statue
San Diego, CA 

Coast Guard Air Station San Diego pays tribute to the USCG's first aviator, CDR Elmer Stone, with this statue. He also was one of the crew of the Navy NC-4 that made the first transatlantic flight May 31, 1919. A plaque and montage of photos of him and fellow aviators hangs next to the plaque.
CAPT William N. Taylor
USCGR (Ret.), San Diego

World War II Patrol Frigate Monument
Coast Guard Island, Alameda, CA

As a member of the Patrol Frigate Reunion Association (PFRA) and a plank owner of USS Albuquerque PF-7, I was one of the speakers at the Aug. 10, 1994 dedication ceremonies of the Patrol Frigate Monument located on Munro Circle at CG Island. The 75 Coast Guard-manned frigates of WWII are listed on the monument and are accompanied by the newly-completed flagstone and ship's bell. 
David Hendrickson
Fresno, Calif. 
Ed's note: Two other monuments are dedicated to the patrol frigates - one of which was published in last month's Reservist (located at Curtis Bay, Md.); the other will be dedicated Sept. 6 at the CG Academy during the PFRA reunion in Boston. 

Humanitarian Mission Sculpture
Coast Guard Island, Alameda, CA 

In April 1979, then-PA1 Chester L. "Chet" Spaulding thought CG Island needed some dimensional art (sculpture). So, Spaulding, now a reserve chief and self-taught sculptor, drew a sketch of what became the "Humanitarian Mission," a bronze sculpture that rests in Building 14's main entrance foyer (right). His command and CGHQ commissioned Spaulding to sculpt it slightly less than half life-size for casting in bronze. The statue's basic features were modeled from photos of Spaulding's shipmates: SK1 Grace Parmelee, CWO4 Andrew Gregorich and LTJG Kenneth Thysell. The final bronze was made at Nordhammer Art Foundry in Oakland. After only ten months of work, the sculpture was unveiled Jan. 25, 1980.
PA2 Darrell Wilson & PA2 David Angle, USCG
11th CG District Public Affairs (North Region)

Port Chicago National Memorial
Concord, CA 

On July 17, 1944, in one of the worst stateside disasters of WWII, 320 Navy, Coast Guard, Marine and civilian dock workers died when the SS E.A. Bryan and S.S. Quinault Victory exploded at Port Chicago. Almost all of the men killed were African-Americans. Five Coast Guardsmen were manning a fire barge nearby and perished in the blast. Fifty years later, July 17, 1994, the Port Chicago Naval Magazine National Memorial was dedicated and the five Coast Guardsmen's names are listed (above): MM1 W. Degryce, BM1 P. Broda, MM3 E. Portz, SN C. Riley and SA J. Sullivan. Behind the monument is LCDR S. Danschuk, USCG, and PS2 Scott Kendrick, USCGR. Port Chicago was torn down in 1968, but to this day, the cause of the disaster remains a mystery. 
PAC R. Cabral, USCGR, San Francisco 
Ed's note: See March 1995 Reservist for Port Chicago feature.

Columbia River Bar Memorial
Astoria, OR 

The Columbia River Bar is one of the most treacherous in the nation, if not the world. The monument in nearby Astoria honors nine Coast Guardsmen who paid the ultimate sacrifice including five from the MLB Triumph in 1961, three from UTB 41332 in 1977 and MK1 Charles W. Sexton in 1991.
LT Mike White
Cape Disapp., Wash. 

Cape Disappointment Plaque
Station Cape Disappointment, WA 

This plaque is mounted on a boulder at Station Cape D. and says: "A memorial to all those Coast Guardsmen who made the supreme sacrifice that others might live, 1961-1982. Eight Coast Guardsmen are listed on this plaque provided by the Ilwaco-Long Beach Kiwanis Club in 1983. 
LT Mike White 
Cape Disappointment, Wash. 

Coast Guard Memorial
Black Lake, Ilwaco, WA 

This Coast Guard memorial is located two miles from Station Cape Disappointment. It was financed by the American Legion and was dedicated in 1992. It says, "Dedicated to the United States Life Saving Service, the United States Coast Guard, and those who lost their lives in service." Nine names are listed.
LT Mike White 
Cape Disappointment, Wash. 
Ed's note: A larger photo of this monument is on the cover of this monuments section, p. 7.

Douglas A. Munro Gravesite
CGCVA 50th Munro Monument
Cle Elum, WA 

Our Coast Guard's only Medal of Honor recipient, Signalman First Class Douglas Albert Munro, is interred in the Veterans' section, Laurel Hills Cemetery in Cle Elum. His mother, LT Edith Munro, a WWII SPAR, (see November 1994 Reservist), is interred next to her son. The Coast Guard Combat Veterans Association dedicated a monument here Sept. 27, 1992, to commemorate 50 years since Munro's heroic actions and ultimate sacrifice at Guadalcanal.
C. E. Kermen
South Cle Elum, Wash. 

Armed Forces Memorial
Wenatchee, WA 

A few years ago, a veterans' memorial was erected at the convention center here in Wenatchee. I noticed right away that the USCG seal was left off. Time went by and I dropped the issue. Then, about a year ago, another CG Reservist, PS2 Harvey Gjesdal moved to town, and he noticed the deletion and was pretty outraged. He started a letter-writing campaign and contacted veterans' groups, senators and representatives. Because of his efforts, the Coast Guard emblem was finally added to the monument. As you look at the photo (above), you'll notice the emblem is centered beneath the other services' emblems. Standing next to the monument is PS2 Gjesdal, a reservist with me at Station Seattle, who is also a Deputy Sheriff for Douglas County, Wash. 
BMC C. M. Buick, USCGR
Wenatchee, Wash. 

USCG Bering Sea Patrol Monument
Dutch Harbor, Unalaska, AK 

This monument is located at Dutch Harbor in Alaska's Aleutian Islands. It was dedicated by the Coast Guard and people of Alaska on our service's bicentennial, Aug. 4, 1990. It is a tribute to the Bering Sea Patrol - those United States Revenue Cutter Service sailors who sacrificed much for Alaska and their nation. 
M. L. Rinehart
Baltimore, Md. 

Hula Dancer / Bathing Beauty
Sand Island, Base Honolulu, HI 

The "Hula Dancer" and "Bathing Beauty" statues were constructed by Italian POW Alfredo Giusti during WWII to honor the women back home, waiting for the prisoners' return. Giusti was interned at a camp located on Sand Island, now the site of CG Base Honolulu. Nearly 5,000 POW's were interned between 1944-46 on Sand Island and other camps on Oahu. Today, the statues (restored in 1995) grace the entrance to the new Florence Ebersole Smith Administration Building at Base Honolulu (photo above).
LCDR R.M. Dielh and MST1 R.U. Klarmann
Base Honolulu, Sand Island, Honolulu, Hawaii 

Anchor Memorial
Base Honolulu, HI 

Base Honolulu's anchor memorial is the USCG's first monument to recognize all sailors and ships lost in operations during World War II. It was dedicated Sept. 2, 1995 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of V-J Day and the end of the war. The memorial consists of a 15-foot white anchor circumscribed by a ring of copper plates listing the names of over 900 sailors killed in action. Inside the circle are two pedestals and a large brass bell. The pedestals contain plaques which list all USCG ships lost in action and explain the memorial's symbolism. The bell was rung during the dedication, attended by ADM Robert E. Kramek, Commandant, and MCPO-CG Rick Trent, to honor those Coast Guardsmen who perished in WWII. In addition, the foundation of the bell contains a time capsule which will be opened in 50 years. 
LCDR R.M. Dielh and MST1 R.U. Klarmann
Base Honolulu, Sand Island, Honolulu, Hawaii


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Who were the Commandants of the Coast Guard?

Commandants & Chiefs of the Revenue Marine Division

Chiefs of the Revenue Marine Bureau (The Chiefs exercised centralized control over the Revenue Marine Bureau.)

  • 1843-1848 Captain Alexander V. Fraser, USRM
  • 1848-1849 Captain Richard Evans, USRM

In 1849 the Revenue Marine Bureau was dissolved, and the Revenue Marine fell under the control the Commissioner of Customs until the Revenue Marine Bureau was again established in 1869.

  • 1869-1871  N. Broughton Devereux
  • 1871-1878  Sumner I. Kimball
  • 1878-1885  Ezra Clark
  • 1885-1889  Peter Bonnett


  • 1889-1895 Captain Leonard G. Shepard, USRCS, Chief, Revenue Marine Division
  • 1895-1905 Captain Charles F. Shoemaker, USRCS, Chief, Revenue Marine Division
  • 1905-1911 Captain Worth G. Ross, USRCS
  • 1911-1919 Commodore Ellsworth P. Bertholf
  • 1919-1924 Rear Admiral William E. Reynolds
  • 1924-1932 Rear Admiral Frederick C. Billard
  • 1932-1936 Rear Admiral Harry G. Hamlet
  • 1936-1946 Admiral Russell R. Waesche
  • 1946-1949 Admiral Joseph F. Farley
  • 1949-1954 Vice Admiral Merlin O’Neill
  • 1954-1962 Admiral Alfred C. Richmond
  • 1962-1966 Admiral Edwin J. Roland
  • 1966-1970 Admiral Willard J. Smith
  • 1970-1974 Admiral Chester R. Bender
  • 1974-1978 Admiral Owen W. Siler
  • 1978-1982 Admiral John B. Hayes
  • 1982-1986 Admiral James S. Gracey
  • 1986-1990 Admiral Paul A. Yost, Jr.
  • 1990-1994 Admiral J. William Kime
  • 1994-1998 Admiral Robert E. Kramek
  • 1998-2002 Admiral James M. Loy
  • 2002-2006 Admiral Thomas H. Collins
  • 2006-2010 Admiral Thad W. Allen
  • 2010-2014 Admiral Robert J. Papp, Jr.
  • 2014-Present Admiral Paul F. Zukunft



Who are some heroes of the Coast Guard?

Heroes of the Coast Guard


Samuel W. Allison

Lieutenant Samuel W. Allison, USCGR, was awarded the Silver Star during World War II for: "conspicuous gallantry in action as Commanding Officer of USS LCI(L)-326 during amphibious landings on the French coast June 6, 1944.  Displaying superb seamanship and dauntless courage, Lieutenant Allison successfully landed units of the Army, then stood off the beach for salvage duty.  Realizing that the services of a control boat were urgently needed, he volunteered for this assignment and, in the face of concentrated shell fire and constant threat of exploding mines, effectively directed boat traffic throughout the remainder of the initial assault." 


Henry M. Anthony

Anthony began his naval career in 1920 as an enlisted man in the U.S. Navy, and saw service aboard submarines. After transferring to the Coast Guard, he specialized in breaking rumrunner codes.  Beginning in 1935, Anthony had formed a close association with Navy's Pacific Fleet intelligence officers in Hawaii and had devoted much time to breaking simple Japanese "tuna clipper" codes, meanwhile teaching himself Japanese -- the Coast Guard has always been on a shoe-string budget and would not pay for language classes -- so Anthony, on his own initiative, learned Japanese.  He boarded all Japanese merchant vessels calling at Hawaii, on the pretext of searching for smuggled narcotics but in reality to check their routings and other sailing data.  Over the years, Anthony became an authority on the Japanese merchant marine.  During World War II, the Navy ordered Anthony to command a unit of the Pacific Fleet that concentrated on breaking the codes for the Japanese merchant fleet--which permitted U.S. submarines to decimate the Japanese merchant fleet during the war.


Richard A. Arrighi

Ensign Richard A. Arrighi, USCGR, an officer on board the cutter Escanaba, was posthumously awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Medal on 18 August 1943, during rescue operations off Greenland on 3 February 1943.  After the troopship Dorchester was torpedoed, Arrighi was the first to go over the side as a "retriever."  During the early hours of the rescue operations, one lifeboat, was contacted which was in fair condition.  This boat had picked up the other survivors and was fairly crowded. As the lifeboat was made fast to Escanaba's side, one of its helpless members fell in between the cutter and the lifeboat.  This poor man was covered with oil and the men in the lifeboat simply could not extricate him from his perilous position.  ENS Arrighi, who was working in the water at the time, swam in between the boat and the ship, pulled the man out so that he would not be crushed, held him up so that a line could be put around him and helped the men in the boat get him on aboard.  Arrighi was in grave danger of being himself crushed between the boat and the ship's side, but due to his disregard of his own safety and to his quick action he was spared, only to lose his life in June when Escanaba blew up.  Arrighi was in and out of the water rescuing survivors, working in the dark with a rough sea running and quitting only when his, rubber suit became worn and filled with water.  After that he had to be hauled on board and treated for exposure.


Ross Bell

Lieutenant (j.g.) Ross Bell was the executive officer of the cutter, CGC Point Welcome during a tour of duty on Operation Market Time in the Republic of Vietnam.  In a tragic "friendly fire" incident, several U.S. Air Force aircraft mistakenly attacked Point Welcome while she was on patrol during the night of 11 August 1966. With the death of the commanding officer, Lieutenant (j.g.) David Brostrom, LTJG Bell assumed command of the cutter despite being seriously wounded by the fire that killed Brostrom. He continued to exercise command until his wounds forced his relief by BMC Richard Patterson. For his actions, LTJG Bell was awarded the Bronze Star Medal with Combat "V".


Ellsworth Price Bertholf

Captain Ellsworth Price Bertholf was the first commandant of the Coast Guard.  He joined the Revenue Cutter Service in 1885, beginning a long and distinguished career.  While serving on the revenue cutter Bear he participated in the Point Barrow-Overland Relief Expedition of 1897-1898. Congress awarded him a Gold Medal of Honor for his actions on that expedition. He was instrumental in implementing the merger of the U.S. Life-Saving Service and the Revenue Cutter Service to form the Coast Guard in 1915.


William H. Best

Water Tender William H. Best, a crewman of the CGC Seneca on convoy duty during the First World War, was posthumously awarded a Navy Cross "for services in attempting to save the British merchant steamer Wellington after she had been torpedoed by a German submarine, and who lost his life when the Wellington foundered on September 17, 1918."  

Frederick C. Billard

Rear Admiral Frederick C. Billard served as the commandant of the Coast Guard from 1924 through his death in 1932. He was a veteran of the First World War and was awarded the Navy Cross for his service in that conflict. He oversaw the service’s expansion during the enforcement of Prohibition and reinforced the Coast Guard’s traditional tasks as well. He worked well with Congress and the Treasury Department and was loved throughout the service.  Robert Johnson, in his history of the Coast Guard entitled Guardians of the Sea, wrote of Billard that "he must rank with the greatest commandants of the Coast Guard."

Benjamin Bottoms

ARM1c Benjamin Bottoms was a Coast Guard radio operator assigned to the cutter Northland's aircraft on the Greenland Patrol during World War II.  He was killed when his aircraft, piloted by LT John Pritchard, crashed while attempting to rescue a downed Army Air Force B-17 crew in Greenland.

William L. Boyce

Acting Machinist William L. Boyce was a member of the crew of the cutter Seneca during the First World War.  He was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal "for his actions while attempting to save the torpedoed British merchant steamer Wellington, which subsequently foundered." Boyce was killed during the attempt.  

Joseph R. Bridge

Aviation Ordnanceman 1/c Joseph R. Bridge was posthumously awarded the Gold Lifesaving Medal "for heroic daring during a sea rescue on 18 January 1953."  Bridge was a crewman on board a Coast Guard PBM that crashed offshore of mainland China while conducting a rescue of the crew of a Navy reconnaissance aircraft that had been shot down.  He was killed in the crash. 

David Brostrom

Lieutenant (j.g.) David Brostrom was the commanding officer of the cutter Point Welcome during a tour of duty with Operation Market Time in the Republic of Vietnam.  In a tragic "friendly fire" incident, several U.S. Air Force aircraft mistakenly attacked the Point Welcome while she was on patrol during the night of 11 August 1966. As soon as the Point Welcome was illuminated by flares dropped by the Air Force aircraft, he raced to the bridge, calling out orders to his crew.  He was killed as he reached the bridge.

Fletcher W. Brown

First Lieutenant Fletcher W. Brown, an officer on board the cutter Seneca on convoy duty during the First World War, was awarded a Navy Cross "for heroic and distinguished service as the commander of a volunteer crew that attempted to save the British merchant steamer Wellington after she had been torpedoed by a German submarine.  They persisted in that attempt until the Wellington foundered on 17 September 1918. "   

Nathan Bruckenthal

On April 25, 2004, Damage Controlman Third Class Nathan Bruckenthal, USCG, from Smithtown, New York, and two U. S. Navy sailors were killed in the line of duty while conducting maritime intercept operations in the North Arabian Gulf.  He and six other coalition sailors attempted to board a small boat near the Iraqi Khawr Al Amaya Oil Terminal.  As they boarded the boat it exploded.  Petty Officer Bruckenthal died later from injuries sustained in the explosion.  Petty Officer Bruckenthal was the first Coast Guardsman killed in action since the Vietnam War.  He was assigned to Tactical Law Enforcement South in Miami, Florida and deployed with Coast Guard Patrol Forces Southwest Asia aboard the USS Firebolt.  This was his second deployment to the Arabian Gulf for Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Richard L. Burke

Captain Richard L. Burke was a Coast Guard aviation pioneer who participated in numerous rescues and ensured that aviation would play a central role in Coast Guard operations.  He earned his wings in 1931 and immediately became one of the best Coast Guard pilots of the time, specializing in open-ocean rescues while flying Coast Guard flying boats.  In 1933 he made the first open-ocean rescue ever in a Douglas RD Dolphin, a feat for which President Franklin Roosevelt awarded him the first of two Distinguished Flying Crosses he earned during his career.  He was also awarded a Silver Lifesaving Medal for another daring open-ocean rescue flight.  He became the commanding officer of Air Station Cape May in 1933 and served there until 1940 where he currently served as the chief pilot for Secretary of the Treasury Henry Morgenthau.  He later served as the commanding officer of Air Station Elizabeth City during the Second World War, where he was responsible for saving dozens of lives of seamen from torpedoed merchant ships.  After the war he served as the Air-Sea Rescue Officer for the Eastern Sea Frontier Headquarters, coordinating the air-sea rescue activities of all of the armed services of the U.S. He then served as the Chief, Aviation Division of the Coast Guard.  

John Cahoone

Captain John Cahoone commanded the revenue cutter Vigilant during its engagement with the British privateer Dart during the War of 1812.  The Dart had preyed upon Yankee shipping in Long Island Sound for some time, taking 20 to 30 vessels. She appeared off Newport on 4 October 1813 with two freshly caught prizes, and this braggadocio proved her undoing. Capt. Cahoone took 20 Navy volunteers on board to augment his regular crew and made sail to engage the brazen Britisher. Vigilant boldly sailed well within gun range of the more heavily armed sloop and loosed a broadside, which stunned the privateer. A boarding party from the revenue cutter quickly scrambled aboard the enemy vessel as she brushed alongside her quarry and quickly carried the Briton. Vigilant lost two men in the engagement, both of whom fell into the water and drowned while attempting to board.


Hugh George Campbell

Hugh George Campbell was born in South Carolina in 1760 and, in 1775 he volunteered to serve on board the Defense, the first man-of-war commissioned by the council of South Carolina in the Revolutionary War. He began his career in the Revenue Cutter Service in 1791, when he received an appointment as first mate on board the revenue cutter South Carolina. By 1798, he was promoted to master and served with great distinction in the Quasi-War with France. As captain of the cutter Eagle, Campbell captured more enemy vessels than any other cutter captain and most other navy captains. In the summer of 1799, the U.S. Navy appointed him “master commandant” and by the fall of 1800 he was commissioned a captain in the navy.  He later enjoyed a distinguished naval career as a senior captain commanding the USS Constellation and USS Constitution. During the War of 1812, he commanded a fleet of gunboats out of St. Marys, Georgia, which captured some of the first enemy vessels of the war. He died in 1820, during an overland trip from Charleston, S.C., to Washington, D.C.


Francis Cartigan

Captain Francis Cartigan commanded the revenue cutter Alabama during the Revenue Marine Services attempt to rid the Gulf of Mexico of pirates.  He and his crew, with the assistance of the revenue cutter Louisiana, destroyed a pirate rendezvous point on Breton Island in 1820.

William H. Cashman

On 9 March 1928 a pulling surfboat with nine men aboard, under the command of Boatswain's Mate First Class William Cashman, got underway from the Manomet Life-Saving to go to the rescue of the steamer Robert E. Lee.  The Lee had grounded on Mary Ann Rocks in a heavy gale.  While returning to the station the surfboat capsized due to extremely heavy seas, spilling all nine men into the water.  Six were rescued but "Captain" Cashman, Surfman Frank W. Griswold, and Surfman Edward R. Stark perished in the line of duty in the freezing water.  During the on-going search and rescue operations all 236 passengers and crew from the Robert E. Lee were saved.

William P. Chadwick

Keeper William P. Chadwick of the Green Island Lifeboat Station in New Jersey was awarded the Gold Lifesaving medal for the rescue of the crew of the schooner George Taulane on 3 February 1880.  Even after suffering a debilitating injury from flying debris, Chadwick directed the repeated efforts to save the crew of the broken Taulane. Finally after 5 ½ hours, Chadwick’s men were able to erect a breeches buoy.  Within a half-hour all of the Taulane’s crew were safely ashore.  

Garner J. Churchill

Chief Warrant Officer (Boatswain) Garner J. Churchill of Humboldt Bay Lifeboat Station, California, was awarded the Gold Lifesaving Medal for the rescue of the sinking vessel Rena.  His crew, however, were only awarded Silver Life-Saving medals, and he refused to accept his gold medal unless the crew also received the gold medal.  The Department proved to be unwilling to change the award, and he therefore took the lesser Silver Lifesaving Medal along with his crew.  His son noted that he took the Silver Life-Saving Medal because "he felt that he had done no more than his men."  During the Second World War, while attempting to rescue the crew of a torpedoed freighter in a 36-foot motor life boat, he evaded and narrowly escaped attack from a Japanese submarine.

Paul L. Clark

F 1/c Paul Leaman Clark was awarded a Navy Cross, one of only six awarded to Coast Guardsmen during World War II, for his actions during the invasion of North Africa in November 1942.  His citation reads: "For extraordinary heroism while serving as engineer of a landing boat attached to the USS JOSEPH T. DICKMAN during the assault on and occupation of French Morocco from November 8 to 11, 1942.  When a hostile plane strafed his boat with machinegun fire, mortally wounding the bow man and severely injuring the coxswain, Clark with quick initiative immediately withdrew from the beach.  Speeding toward the USS PALMER, he placed the wounded men aboard and, although his craft was riddled by enemy bullets, courageously returned to his station at the beach."

Malachi Corbell, Keeper

Keeper Malachi Corbell saved two African-American fishermen whose boat capsized near Caffey's Inlet, North Carolina.  In June, 1877 he was awarded a Silver Lifesaving Medal, becoming the first member of the U.S. Life-Saving Service to earn one of the newly instituted Treasury Department life-saving medals.

T. James Crotty

Lieutenant T. James Crotty was an expert on mine recovery and served with United States forces in the Philippines at the start of the Second World War.  There he carried out special demolition work during the retreat of American and Filipino forces from Bataan to Corregidor.  He then served as the executive officer of the USS Quail, which swept clear channels to the island and also bombarded Japanese forces on Bataan. Crotty was captured by the Imperial Japanese Army after the surrender of Corregidor in May 1942.  He died later that fall of diphtheria.  He was one of only three Coast Guardsmen held as prisoners of war during the 20th century.

Joseph L. Crowe, Jr.

Captain Joseph L. Crowe, Jr., was a noted Coast Guard aviator responsible for numerous rescues during peacetime and war and for his abilities as a leader, planner, and pilot.  From 1971 to 1972, Crowe served as an exchange pilot with the Air Force's 37th Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Squadron in Vietnam, flying numerous combat search and rescue missions.  In June, 1971, he flew a combat rescue mission behind enemy lines to rescue successfully two downed airmen.  Another combat rescue mission took place in April, 1972, when Crowe attempted to rescue Lieutenant Colonel Iceal Hambleton, USAF, who was made famous in the book Bat 21 (by William C. Anderson).  Due to heavy enemy fire that riddled his HH-53C "Super Jolly," however, Crowe was forced to abort the rescue and barely made it back to base.  He planned the operation that led to the successful rescue of American and South Vietnamese personnel trapped in Quang Tri during May, 1972.  Crowe earned the Frederick L. Feinberg Award of the American Helicopter Society for his daring rescue in 1976 of seven men who were trapped on the bow section of sinking tanker Spartan Lady 145 miles south of Martha's Vineyard during an intense storm.  He later commanded Coast Guard Air Station Cape Cod for two tours of duty.  Crowe was awarded three Distinguished Flying Crosses and nine Air Medals during his Coast Guard career.


Edgar A. Culbertson

BM1 Edgar A. Culbertson perished in the line of duty while trying to save three brothers who had been swept off the jetty of the Duluth Entry North Breakwater Light on the night of 30 April 1967.  He was posthumously awarded the Coast Guard Medal.  Two other Coast Guardsmen who participated in the rescue attempt, FN Ron Prei and BM2 Richard Callahan, survived and were also awarded the Coast Guard Medal.


John A. Cullen

John A. Cullen was awarded the Legion of Merit for discovering and reporting the first landing of German saboteurs on the United States coast, 13 June 1942.  His timely report alerted authorities to the presence of Nazi saboteurs on U.S. soil and was instrumental in leading to their capture of the entire 8-man sabotage team within two weeks.  Ultimately Cullen’s actions resulted in the foiling of OPERATION PASTORIOUS, the code-name for the German operation, before the German operatives could carry out their mission.  

Benjamin B. Dailey

Keeper Benjamin B. Dailey was the keeper of the Cape Hatteras Lifeboat Station in North Carolina who was awarded the Gold Lifesaving medal after rescuing 9 men from the foundering ship Ephraim Williams on 22 December 1884.  In one of the most daring rescues by the Life-Saving Service since its organization, Dailey’s 7-man crew pulled for two hours through a heavy sea to reach the vessel five miles offshore. Only by relying on his expert boat-handling skills was Dailey able to bring all the survivors and his crew back to safety.  

Charles Walter David, Jr.

Stewards-Mate First Class Charles Walter David, Jr., was an African American Coast Guardsman who served on board the cutter Comanche during World War II.  When the Comanche came to the aid of the survivors of the torpedoed transport Dorchester in the frigid waters off Greenland, David volunteered to dive overboard to help rescue those in need--practicing the newly devised "rescue retriever" technique.  David repeatedly dived overboard in the water to save several men.  He even saved the life of the Comanche's executive officer, LT Robert W. Anderson, when Anderson became unable to pull himself out of the water due to exposure.  David died a few days later from hypothermia contracted during his heroic efforts.  He was posthumously awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Medal for his bravery.

Warren T. Deyampert

Steward's Mate Third Class Warren T. Deyampert was posthumously awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Medal.  Deyampert, a crewman aboard the cutter Escanaba, took part in that cutter's rescue of the survivors of the torpedoed transport Dorchester off Greenland on 3 February 1943.  He worked between three and four hours in the water during darkness, pulling rafts in close to the ship, securing them with lines from the ship, securing bowlines about the survivors so that they could be hauled aboard Escanaba, and at times keeping helpless survivors afloat until they could put lines about them.  They were often in danger of being crushed by the life rafts as they brought them close to the ship's side.  Deyampert stuck with a single floating survivor as he drifted astern under the counter, in order to keep him clear of the propeller, just in case it turned.  He disregarded this danger to himself, in order that the survivor might be kept clear of it.  Deyampert perished later that year when Escanaba exploded and sank.

Charles L. Duke

Ensign Charles L. Duke carried out one of the more remarkable arrests ever conducted by the Coast Guard during the enforcement of Prohibition.  While on patrol in New York harbor, he single-handedly captured the freighter Greypoint and its crew of 22 in a daring and heroic act.  The freighter carried over a half-million dollars worth of illegal liquor on board.  

Dwight H. Dexter

Dwight Dexter served as the commander of the small boat pool at Lunga Point on Guadalcanal from the first days of the invasion until November, 1942 after being assigned to the staff of  the Commander of the Transport Group, South Pacific.  He also served as Douglas Munro's commanding officer.  Dexter was awarded the Silver Star for his actions at Guadalcanal.


Lance A. Eagan 

Lance Eagan earned his wings in 1965 first flew HH-52A helicopters along with HU-16E amphibians out of Coast Guard Air Station Brooklyn before being among the first group of Coast Guard aviators to volunteer to serve in Vietnam with the US Air Force Force's 37th Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Squadron flying rescue missions.  He made numerous combat rescues during his tour and by the end of his Coast Guard aviation career he was awarded the Silver Star, the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Air Medal (with 10 oak leaf clusters), a Combat Action Ribbon, two Letters of Commendation, Presidential Unit Citation, National Defense Medal (with 4 bronze stars) and the Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross (with palm).

Walter B. Eberle

First Assistant Keeper Walter B. Eberle, assigned to the Whale Rock Light Station in Rhode Island, remained at his post on the night of 21 September 1938 when a hurricane hit the northeast coast.  Eberle was killed when the lighthouse was swept out to sea.  He was a US Navy veteran, a master diver, and the father of six children.   His body was never recovered. 

Russell Elam

Cook Elam Russell, of the cutter Seneca on convoy duty during the First World War, was posthumously awarded a Navy Cross "for services in attempting to save the British merchant steamer Wellington after she had been torpedoed by a German submarine, and who lost his life when the Wellington foundered on September 17, 1918."  

Frank A. Erickson

Frank A. Erickson was an aviation pioneer who led the Coast Guard's acquisition and development of rotary-wing aircraft.  He was instrumental in convincing the armed services of both the U.S. and Great Britain of the helicopter's potential, particularly for search and rescue and combat operations, risking his career in openly supporting what was then an untried and unproven technology.  Erickson first earned his wings in 1935 and made his first open-ocean rescue the following year while assigned to Air Station Miami.  He piloted amphibian aircraft attached to three of the newly commissioned 327-foot cutters in an experiment that tested combined aircraft-cutter operations.  He was then ordered to the Sikorsky Aircraft Company's plant at Bridgeport, CT, for training in the new helicopters being manufactured there, forming the first Coast Guard Helicopter Detachment.  He was designated as Coast Guard Helicopter Pilot No. 1 and became an instructor. He organized and trained pilots who participated in the joint U.S. and British evaluation trials held on board the SS Daghestan in November 1943 to ascertain the feasibility of helicopter flight operations aboard ships at sea.  He also trained 102 helicopter pilots and 225 mechanics, including personnel from the Army Air Force, Navy, Coast Guard and the British Army, Royal Air Force and Navy.  On 3 January 1944 he flew the first ever rescue flight by helicopter when he piloted a Sikorsky HNS-1, carrying two cases of blood plasma, from New York City to Sandy Hook, NJ, during a violent storm, for the treatment of Navy crewmen from the destroyer USS Turner, which had exploded and burned off New York Harbor.  He developed equipment such as the power hoist, rescue slings and baskets, floats that permitted helicopters to land on water and techniques like landing and taking off from vessels at sea and hovering in all weather and wind conditions.  These advances furthered the utility of the helicopter, leading to its acceptance and use around the globe. Erickson's impact on the development of the helicopter in all its uses is beyond estimation.

Louis C. Etheridge, Jr.

A well-known example of African American military expertise was the crew of stewards that manned a battle station on the cutter Campbell, which rammed and sank a German submarine on February 22, 1943. SD 1/c Louis C. Etheridge, Jr., captain of the  Campbell's African American gun crew, was presented the Bronze Star medal (with a combat citation) on February 25, 1952, and a personal letter of congratulations from the Commandant.  The gun crew earned medals for "heroic achievement."

Richard Etheridge

Captain Richard Etheridge became the first African-American to command a Life-Saving station when the service appointed him as the keeper of the Pea Island Life-Saving Station in North Carolina in 1880. The Revenue Cutter Service officer who recommended his appointment, First Lieutenant Charles F. Shoemaker, noted that Etheridge was "one of the best surfmen on this part of the coast of North Carolina." Soon after Etheridge's appointment, the station burned down. Determined to execute his duties with expert commitment, Etheridge supervised the construction of a new station on the original site. He also developed rigorous lifesaving drills that enabled his crew to tackle all lifesaving tasks. His station earned the reputation of "one of the tautest on the Carolina Coast," with its keeper well-known as one of the most courageous and ingenious lifesavers in the Service. On October 11, 1896, Etheridge's rigorous training drills proved to be invaluable. The three-masted schooner, the E.S. Newman, was caught in a terrifying storm.  The vessel came ashore on the beach two miles south of the Pea Island station. The storm was so severe that Etheridge had suspended normal beach patrols that day. But the alert eyes of surfman Theodore Meekins saw the first distress flare and he immediately notified Etheridge. Etheridge gathered his crew and launched the surfboat.  Battling the strong tide and sweeping currents, the dedicated lifesavers struggled to make their way to a point opposite the schooner, only to find there was no dry land.  The daring, quick-witted Etheridge tied two of his strongest surfmen together and connected them to shore by a long line.  They fought their way through the roaring breakers and finally reached the schooner.  The seemingly inexhaustible Pea Island crewmembers journeyed through the perilous waters ten times and rescued the entire crew of the E.S. Newman.  For this rescue the crew, including Etheridge, were recently awarded the Gold Lifesaving Medal by the Coast Guard.


Ray Evans

Petty Officer (later Commander) Raymond J. Evans was awarded a Navy Cross for his actions at the Matanikau River, Guadalcanal on 27 September 1942.  Along with his friend and shipmate Douglas Munro, Evans participated in the rescue and evacuation of  elements of the 1st Battalion, 7th Marines, who were under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Lewis B. "Chesty" Puller, from behind enemy lines while under fire.  

Manuel Ferreira

Manuel Ferreria served as a lighthouse keeper for seven different lighthouses during his career, which spanned from 1908 through 1946.  He was known as "one of the grand old men of Hawaiian lighthouse lore."  In 1919 he rescued the crew of a Japanese fishing trawler when that vessel ran aground off Barber's Point, Hawaii, where he served as a keeper.  He was instrumental in saving the schooner Bianca and its crew in 1923 when the ship lost its sails and was in danger of smashing on a reef.   Ferreira was unable to launch the lighthouse skiff due to the high surf conditions.   Instead, he ran three miles to the nearest telephone and called for assistance.   The USS Sunadin was dispatched and reached the wallowing schooner just in time to tow it to safety. 

Florence Ebersole Smith Finch

Florence Finch enlisted in the Coast Guard Women's Reserve (SPARs) during World War II after first escaping imprisonment by the Japanese.  She was captured in the Philippines in October, 1944 after serving with the Filipino resistance and assisting U.S. and Filipino prisoners of war.  She was liberated by Allied forces during the invasion of the Philippines and after returning to the U.S., she joined the SPARs.  She was the first woman to receive the Pacific Theatre Campaign ribbon.  She was also presented with the U.S. Medal of Freedom.


Joel Hilton Fisher

LCDR Joel Fisher was attached to the G-5 Intelligence Division of the U.S. Army during World War II.  He joined the Coast Guard after being turned down from enlisting in the Army due to poor eyesight.  He was commissioned ensign in 1942.  After carrying out assignments in Alaska he was assigned to Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force (SHAEF).  There he was assigned as Chief, Foreign Exchange and Property Control Section, Financial Branch of G-5 SHAEF.  He commanded a 75-man task force assigned to locate and recover stolen valuables taken by German forces during the war, including millions of dollars worth of art, gold, silver and gemstones.  They travelled with front-line combat units as Allied armies advanced on Germany.   


William Ray Flores

SA William Ray "Billy" Flores died in the line of duty while saving the lives of many of his shipmates when his cutter, the Blackthorn, collided with the tanker Capricorn, on January 28, 1980.  The Blackthorn and the tanker Capricorn collided near the entrance to Tampa Bay, Florida. The Blackthorn capsized before all the cutter’s crew could abandon ship. Twenty-seven of Flores’ shipmates did escape the sinking ship.  After the ships collided Flores and another crewmember threw lifejackets to their shipmates who had jumped into the water. Later, when his companion abandoned ship as the Blackthorn began to submerge, Flores -- who was less than a year out of boot camp--remained behind and used his own belt to strap open the lifejacket locker door, allowing additional lifejackets to float to the surface. Even after most crewmembers abandoned ship, the 19-year-old Flores remained aboard to assist trapped shipmates and to comfort those who were injured and disoriented.  He was posthumously awarded the Coast Guard Medal.  

Gene R. Gislason

Lieutenant Gene R. Gislason was awarded the Silver Star: "For outstanding heroism as Commanding Officer of the USS LCI(L)-94, while landing assault troops in Normandy June 6, 1944.  He successfully directed his ship through numerous beach obstacles to the proper beach, discharged his troops and retracted while his ship was seriously damaged from heavy enemy fire.  Ship's communications, engine telegraph and electric steering were disabled by direct hits on the pilothouse which killed three crewmen, and one screw and shaft were rendered inoperative by beach obstacles.  By his coolness under fire and excellent seamanship, Lieutenant Gislason overcame these difficulties and brought his ship off the beach on hand steering and one screw.  He later supervised repairs and in four hours enabled the LCI(L) to remain operative in the assault area for three weeks."

Willis J. Goff

Gunner's Mate First Class Willis Jerry Goff,  a crewman on board the cutter Point Banks on patrol in Vietnam,  was awarded the Silver Star for "his heroic courage and gallantry in action while engaged in armed conflict against North Vietnamese and Viet Cong aggressors in the Republic of Vietnam on Jan. 22, 1969."  He and fellow Point Banks crewman EN2 Larry D. Villarreal volunteered to man the cutter's launch to rescue a group of nine South Vietnamese soldiers who were trapped along a beach by two Viet Cong platoons.  Under continuous enemy fire, they made two landings on the beach to rescue successfully all of the South Vietnamese soldiers.  His citation read, in part: ". . .with courageous disregard for their own safety, Petty Officer Goff and his fellow crewmember were able to rescue nine South Vietnamese Army personnel who would have met almost certain death or capture without the assistance of the two Coast Guardsmen.  Petty Officer Goff's outstanding heroism, professionalism, and devotion to duty and to his fellow man were in the highest traditions of the United States Naval Services."


Charles C. Goodwin

Keeper Charles C. Goodwin of the Cleveland, Ohio Lifeboat station was awarded the Gold Lifesaving medal after he rescued 29 people from 3 ships on the nights of 31 October, 1 November, and 11 November 1884, each time during a horrific gale. 

Stewart Ross Graham

Commander Stewart Graham, USCG, was an aviation pioneer and trailblazer.  He, along with Captain Frank Erickson, were instrumental in developing the helicopter as a search and rescue platform.  Additionally, Graham carries the distinction of having made a number of helicopter "firsts":  he became the first helicopter pilot to take off and land on a ship at sea; the first to perform a nighttime medevac by helicopter; the first to make a transcontinental helicopter flight; and the first to use a helicopter hoist to rescue survivors from a foundering ship.  He was also instrumental in developing equipment such as the power hoist, and rescue slings and baskets that permitted helicopters to conduct rescues.  He developed techniques utilizing that equipment in all weather and wind conditions, thereby making the helicopter the premiere SAR aircraft that it is today.  Graham's impact on the development of the helicopter in all its uses is beyond estimation. 

Frank W. Griswold

On 9 March 1928 a pulling surfboat with nine men aboard, under the command of Boatswain's Mate First Class William Cashman, got underway from the Manomet Life-Saving to go to the rescue of the steamer Robert E. Lee.  The Lee had grounded on Mary Ann Rocks in a heavy gale.  While returning to the station the surfboat capsized due to extremely heavy seas, spilling all nine men into the water.  Six were rescued but "Captain" Cashman, Surfman Frank W. Griswold, and Surfman Edward R. Stark perished in the line of duty in the freezing water.  During the on-going search and rescue operations all 236 passengers and crew from the Robert E. Lee were saved.


William Ham

William Ham was a very aggressive cutter captain during the War of 1812. As commander of the Norfolk-based cutter Jefferson, he took by force the British schooner Patriot on June 25, 1812. This event took place just a week after the proclamation of war and was the first American maritime capture of the conflict. On April 12, 1813, four Royal Navy barges captured the American schooner Flight. With volunteer militia on board Jefferson, Ham ran down three of the barges, capturing over sixty British officers and enlisted men and freeing the captain and crew of the American merchantman. Together with the cutter Gallatin, the Jefferson also participated in the