World War I Commemoration: 100 Year Anniversary

Please search the image and resource galleries at the bottom of the page for images, articles, documents and publications detailing the Coast Guard's involvement in World War I

The U. S. Coast Guard & U.S. Lighthouse Service in World War I

Crew of the USCGC TAMPA

    April 6th, 2017, marks the 100th anniversary of the Coast Guard’s entry into World War I and the Service’s important role in supporting the war effort.  It was on Friday, April 6th, 1917, the day Congress declared war on Germany, that the U.S. Navy’s communications center in Arlington, Virginia, transmitted the code words “Plan One, Acknowledge” to Coast Guard cutters, units and bases initiating the Coast Guard’s transfer from the Treasury Department to the Navy and placing the Service on a wartime footing.

     During the war’s nearly nineteen months, the Coast Guard and Lighthouse Service would lose almost two hundred men and five ships. These ships included two combat losses. On August 6th, 1918, U-140 sank the Diamond Shoals Lightship after her crew transmitted to shore the location of the marauding enemy submarine, but no lives were lost. However, on September 26th, 1918, after completing her convoy escort duty from Gibraltar to Milford Haven, England, Cutter Tampa was torpedoed by UB-91. The cutter sank killing all 131 persons on board, including four U.S. Navy men, sixteen Royal Navy personnel and 111 Coast Guard officers and men. It proved America’s greatest World War I naval loss of life due to combat.

    Nearly 9,000 Coast Guard men and women would participate in the war. This number included over 200 Coast Guard officers, many of whom served as warship commanders, troop ship captains, training camp commandants and naval air station commanders. In all, Coast Guard heroes received two Distinguished Service Medals, eight Gold Life-Saving Medals, almost a dozen foreign honors and nearly fifty Navy Cross Medals, dozens more than were awarded to Coast Guardsmen in World War II.

 

Department of Homeland Security World War I Centennial Poster Series

The U.S. Coast Guard during the First World War

Department of Homeland Security and the First World War

World War I Image Gallery
Khakis 1965
A painting of Rasmus Midgett rescuing the crew of the vessel Priscilla
CAPTAIN-COMMANDANT ALEXANDER V. FRASER
MCPO Hollis B. Stephens
MCPO Phillip F. Smith
MCPO Erick A. Trent
Vice Admiral Vivien S. Crea
VICE ADM. TERRY M. CROSS
VADM JAMES C. CARD
Official photo from Master Chief Vanderhaden
MCPO STEVEN W. CANTRELL
MCPO MICHAEL P. LEAVITT
MCPO CHARLES W. BOWEN
MCPO FRANKLIN A. WELCH
MASTER CHIEF VINCENT W. PATTON
MCPO Erick A. Trent
MCPO R. Jay Lloyd
MCPO Allen W. Thiele
MCPO Carl W. Constantine
MCPO Hollis B. Stephens
World War I Resources
Historic Light Station Information
PA
Pennsylvania
LHPA.PDF
Historic Light Station Information
NC
North Carolina
LHNC.PDF
Historic Light Station Information
Puerto Rico
LHPR.PDF
Historic Light Station Information
NY
New York
LHNY.PDF
Historic Light Station Information
Panama
LHPANAMA.PDF
Historic Light Station Information
OR
Oregon
LHOR.PDF
Historic Light Station Information
RI
Rhode Island
LHRI.PDF
Historic Light Station Information
VA
Virginia
LHVA.PDF
Historic Light Station Information
WI
Wisconsin
LHWI.PDF
Historic Light Station Information
AK
Alaska
LHAK.PDF
Historic Light Station Information
NH
New Hampshire
LHNH.PDF
Historic Light Station Information
VT
Vermont
LHVT.PDF
Historic Light Station Information
Pacific
LHPACIFIC.PDF
Historic Light Station Information
OH
Ohio
LHOH.PDF
Historic Light Station Information
AL
Alabama
LHAL.PDF
Historic Light Station Information
NJ
New Jersey
LHNJ.PDF
Historic Light Station Information
MS
Mississippi
LHMS.PDF
Historic Light Station Information
TX
Texas
LHTX.PDF
Historic Light Station Information
WA
Washington
LHWA.PDF
Historic Light Station Information
HI
Hawaii
LHHI.PDF