Photographs, including reproductions and scans of drawings, illustrations, and images, depicting 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, Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration, and other sources (including private individuals and research organizations).

NOTE: Images provided are in the public domain (unless otherwise indicated).

Images & Photographs
RMCM Melvin Bell, USCG (Ret.)
230511-G-G0000-118.JPG Photo By: USCG Historian's Office & Dr. Bill Thiesen

Unknown - On 7 December 1941, Hawaiian Coast Guardsman Melvin Kealoha Bell manned the Diamond Head radio station during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, warning commercial vessels that a surprise attack was underway. In 1944, RM1 Bell advanced to a wartime rate of Chief Radioman, becoming the first Pacific Islander to make Chief Petty Officer. During this time, he served within the U.S. Navy’s intelligence office helping crack the Imperial Japanese Navy’s secret codes. In 1958, Bell advanced to ETCM, becoming the first minority Master Chief Petty Officer in the Coast Guard. He is the first Pacific Island-American namesake of a Coast Guard cutter.


This photograph is considered public domain and has been cleared for release. If you would like to republish please give the photographer appropriate credit. Further, any commercial or non-commercial use of this photograph or any other DoD image must be made in compliance with guidance found at , which pertains to intellectual property restrictions (e.g., copyright and trademark, including the use of official emblems, insignia, names and slogans), warnings regarding use of images of identifiable personnel, appearance of endorsement, and related matters.

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