Historic Documents

Documents, including copies, reproductions and scans of documents, reports, articles, publications, etc., detailing the U.S. Coast Guard and its five predecessor agencies: the Revenue Cutter Service, the Life-Saving Service, the Lighthouse Service, the Bureau of Navigation, and the Steamboat Inspection Service from the Coast Guard Archives and Special Collections, Coast Guard, and National Archives.

NOTE: Documents provided are in the public domain.

Death of a Wooden Shoe - A Sailor's Diary of Life and Death on the Greenland Patrol, 1942 by Thaddeus D. Novak and edited by P.J. Capelotti, Ph.D., USCGR. This true story is dedicated to the crew of the U.S. Coast Guard vessel NATSEK, whose lives were claimed by the sea, and to the crew of the U.S.C.G. vessel NANOK and it's one-of-a-kind skipper Magnus G. Magnusson and, finally, to all others who comprised the Greenland Patrol during World War
Death of a Wooden Shoe
First Lieutenant Charles F. Shoemaker, USRCS manuscript entitled The Evolution of the Life-Saving System of the United States, From 1837 to June 3, 1892 An outline of the part taken in development by the United States Revenue Marine, dated 1897. Shoemaker became the Chief of the Revenue Marine Division.
Evolution of the Life-Sav...
The official oral history of Chief Damage Controlman Clyde Allen, USCG (Ret.) as conducted at USCG HQ by Assistant Historian Christopher Havern on 1 August 2004.  DCC Allen was the father of Admiral Thad Allen, USCG (Ret.).
DCC Clyde Allen, USCG Ora...
The official Coast Guard history of the service's illustrious response to the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the U.S. as researched and written by CPO (& Ph.D.) Peter J. Capelotti, USCGR.
Rogue Wave The U.S. Coast...
An article written by noted Coast Guard veteran and Coast Guard history scholar GMCM William R. Wells, II, USCG (Ret.) discussing  what life was really like for the crew aboard a Revenue Cutter .It was originally published in the Commandant's Bulletin (Vol 16-84)..
Life Below Decks [of Reve...
An article written by noted Coast Guard veteran and Coast Guard history scholar GMCM William R. Wells, II, USCG (Ret.) that was published in the Commandant's Bulletin, 25-83, Master Chief Wells writes about the small arms needed aboard Revenue Cutters, circa 1834.
Two in the Belt
A thoughtful article written in 2014 by CWO (BOSN) Dana Lewis, USCG (Ret.) regarding the question of who was the first Chief Petty Officer in the Coast Guard.
"A Case for Who was ...
An article written by noted Coast Guard veteran and Coast Guard history scholar GMCM William R. Wells, II, USCG (Ret.) discussing the origins of the Revenue Cutter Service's search and rescue mission as practiced in the 19th century.  Recovering costs was an important part of this early mission history.  It was published in the Commandant's Bulletin (Vol. 4-84).
"Commerce Ruled in t...
An illustrated history of the uniforms of the U.S. Coast Guard and its predecessor services as written by Donald Canney and edited and designed by Barbara Voulgaris
Uniforms of the United St...
An important history of the Coast Guard and Revenue Cutter Service use of small arms and training with small arms since its inception.  It was researched and written by Master Chief William R. Wells, II, USCG (Ret.), one of the most influential and important scholars of Coast Guard history.  It was published by the Coast Guard Historian's Office in 1993.
Shots That Hit - A Study ...
The 15th volume of The Coast Guard at War series covering the history of the Aids to Navigation mission of the Coast Guard during World War II.  Published in 1949.
The Coast Guard at War - ...
U.S. Coast Guard Enlisted Ratings Rating Specialty Marks & Distinguishing Marks, 1915-2015 & Warrant Officer & Chief Warrant Officer Specialty Devices 1898-2016.  An important illustrated history on the uniforms, distinguishing marks, ranks and rating badges used by the Revenue Cutter Service and Coast Guard by CWO (BOSN) Dana Lewis, USCG (Ret.)
U.S. Coast Guard Enlisted...
Cutter Nicknames
CUTTER NICKNAMES.PDF
Cutter Accidents
Please note that the following list was first compiled by the Cutter Operations Division in 1990; other entries have been added and/or updated via information provided by other sources, including former crewmen.
CUTTER ACCIDENTS.PDF
The vessels of the U.S. Coast Guard, Revenue Marine, Revenue Cutter Service, & Light House Service lost in action
Cutter Losses
A photo album of the career of CGC/RC BEAR
Coast Guard & Revenue...
Operation Iraqi Freedom and the U.S. Coast Guard; Operation Iraqi Freedom Documentation Project / U.S. Coast Guard Oral History Program; Interviewee: DC3 Nathan Bruckenthal, USCG LEDET 403, TACLET South; Interviewer: PAC Peter Capelotti, USCGR Date of Interview: 25 April 2003 Place: Bahrain
DC3 Nathan Bruckenthal, U...
Guardians of the Gulf: A History of Coast Guard Combat Operations in Support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, 2002-2004 by CG Atlantic Area Historian Dr. William Thiesen, 2009.
A History of Coast Guard ...
These volumes present a detailed record of the movements of Coast Guard and Revenue Cutters from the service's inception in 1790 to December 31, 1933.
Record of Movements Vesse...
A PDF Cutter History of CGC NORTHWIND
CGC Northwind -- Illustra...