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
A photograph of the Revenue & Coast Guard Cutter UNALGA, no date.
World War I Resources
USCGC BAYBERRY (1954); WLI 65400

Scan of cutter file images
A PowerPoint presentation covering the U.S. Coast Guard's role in combat in Vietnam during the Vietnam War.
USCG Combat Operations in...
A series of photos of the armament put aboard the first of the 95-foot WPBs, which included significant anti-submarine warfare equipment and deck cannons
95-Foot "A" Cla...
A memoir and history of the USCGC Cape Strait (WPB 95308) written by former crewman James A. Mooney. His memoir contains a wealth of history of the men he served with and what it was like to serve on a Coast Guard 95-foot patrol boat.
CG 95308 (CGC Cape Strait...
A series of wonderful color photos of the U.S. Coast Guard's Squadron One cutters and crews covering their lives and experiences while in service in Vietnam as provided by Coast Guard combat veteran Gerald Underwood.
USCG Squadron One Color P...
A history of marine safety and the marine safety mission of the U.S. Coast Guard stretching back to the origins of the Steamboat Inspection Service, written by PACS Barbara Voulgaris.
From Steamboat Inspection...
CG-311, The Enlisted Ratings Qualifications Manual, with amendments through 1972, which prescribed the minimum requirements for advancement within the enlisted rate and rating structure of personnel of the Coast Guard.
The Enlisted Ratings Qual...
CG-380-4, Cutter Plan, the 1974 Cutter Plan is the latest annual update of the cutter requirements and acquisition plans and was approved for use as an official planning document.
USCG Cutter Plan, CG-380-...
United States Coast Guard ORDNANCE INSTRUCTIONS, 1938, with Amendments
USCG Ordnance Instruction...
United States Coast Guard Personnel Instructions & regulations regarding its personnel, 1934.  This is the first officially published manual for personnel which had previously been covered in the standard U.S. Coast Guard Regulations manual.
USCG Personnel Instructio...
Coast Guard Quarantine Timeline 1796 through 1918
A songbook entitled "Below Zero" as written by the Officers of the U.S. Revenue Cutter Service during various Bering Sea Patrols and Alaskan cruises, circa 1903.
Below Zero - Songs & ...
A detailed narrative history of the 1980 Cuban Boatlift written by Coast Guard Captain Alex Larzelere
Castro's Ploy - Ameri...
1980 Cuban (Mariel) Boatlift Historical Chronology
1980 Cuban (Mariel) Boatl...
Historical AMIO statistics compiled by the Coast Guard, 1982-2003
Migrant Interdiction Stat...
A infographic poster highlighting the CGC Unalga's work during the pandemic outbreak of the Spanish Flu in Alaska in 1919.
Unalga & Spanish Flu ...
Fog, Men & Cutters, A Short History of the Bering Sea Patrol
Fog, Men & Cutters, A...
An illustrated overview of the various types of mascots that have gone to sea or served ashore with the Coast Guard
U.S. Coast Guard Mascots,...
A Round the World Cruise by Southwind written by Captain Sumner R. Dolber, USCG & Commander Robert T. Getman, USCG as published in the Antarctic Journal of the United States IV, No. 6 (November-December 1969), pp. 294-300.
Southwind's Round the...
Randy Gracey Letter to the Women of the Coast Guard
Randy Gracey's Letter...