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.

PDF images of CGC NORTHWIND
CGC Northwind Photograph ...
Documents from the 1974 Commandant's Change of Command ceremony where ADM Owen W. Siler relieved ADM Chester R. Bender
1974 Commandant's Cha...
1966 Commandant's Change of Command where ADM Willard J. Smith relieved ADM Edwin J. Roland
1966 Commandant's Cha...
Scanned photos from the 1974 Commandant's Change of Command ceremony where ADM Owen W. Siler relieved ADM Chester R. Bender
1974 Commandant's Cha...
Scanned photos (PDF) of the 1962 Coast Guard Commandant's Change of Command ceremony, where Admiral Edwin J. Roland relieved ADM Alfred C. Richmond
1962 Commandant's Cha...
Scanned documents from the 1962 Commandant's Change of Command ceremony where ADM Edwin J. Roland relieved ADM Alfred C. Richmond.
1962 Commandant's Cha...
Disaster Files held by USCG Historian's Office
Disaster Files held by US...
Sources on U.S. Coast Guard History in the United States

By Christopher Havern, Assistant Historian, U.S. Coast Guard
Sources for Coast Guard H...
Background history of the Coast Guard's role in protecting seals
1933 USCG Seal Patrol Report
Coast Guard annual approved budgets from 1922 to 2012
USCG Budget History, 1922...
1962 Coast Guard Recruiting Manual (CG-213)
Coast Guard Recruiting Ma...
A detailed history of the Coast Guard's organizational history
USCG History of Organization
Coast Guard General Order 43 establishing the CPOs, ranks, ratings and grades for the warrant and enlisted forces of the Coast Guard in line with the U.S. Navy.
USCG General Order 43
Economy and Efficiency in the Government Service, Report by President Howard Taft to eliminate the Revenue Cutter Service and the Life-Saving Service for government efficiency. 62nd Congress, Second Session, House of Representatives Document No. 670.
President Howard Taft'...
A letter from President Abraham Lincoln to Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles asking about moving Navy vessels under Revenue Cutter Service control, 1861
Abraham Lincoln's 186...
Act of Congress authorizing the construction of 10 revenue cutters as signed by George Washington on August 4, 1790.
Act of Congress, 1790 (Ta...
A circular letter to the officers of the Revenue Cutters outlining his thoughts on the duties, actions and responsibilities of those officers to their fellow countryman.  An important document in our history.
Alexander Hamilton's ...
The Act that created the U.S. Coast Guard by merging the Revenue Cutter Service with the Life-Saving Service, 1915.
1915 Act of Congress Crea...
The first manual of Coast Guard Regulations published after the formation of the Coast Guard in 1915.
Regulations of the U.S. C...
An illustrated history of the Coast Guard at Normandy, D-Day
Coast Guard at Normandy