March 14, 2022

The Long Blue Line: Brazos Station’s Hispanic Lifesavers and the Florida Keys Hurricane

Hispanic American personnel have served in search and rescue operations since the nineteenth century. For example, in 1899, James Lopez of the Provincetown (Massachusetts) Life-Saving Station became the first Hispanic American service member to receive the Silver Lifesaving Medal. But the greatest number of Hispanic American personnel served not in

March 14, 2022

War of 1812: Cutters thwart privateering

Two hundred years ago, the United States, independent for less than 30 years, went to war with Great Britain to preserve its economy, its way of life and its independence. Beginning in 2012 and continuing through 2015, the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps and U.S. Coast Guard will commemorate the bicentennial of the War of 1812 and historic moments that occurred throughout the war, including the birth of The Star Spangled Banner. As part of the commemoration, Compass would like to share with you the historic ships, patriots and moments that laid the foundation for our great nation. Check with us throughout the year as we join in celebrating the bicentennial of the War of 1812.

March 7, 2022

Coast Guard History – LT Robert Prause & CGC ESCANABA’s Rescue Swimmer System

Although most people associate Coast Guard Rescue Swimmers with daring helicopter rescue cases, there are also Cutter Surface Swimmers and divers trained to deploy off cutters. Training people to enter the water is necessary in many of our missions from saving lives to maintaining navigational aids to ensuring maritime security. This historical account below discusses one of the first Coast Guard rescue swimmers and offers insight into the beginning of the swimmer program. Enjoy!

March 7, 2022

History – LTJG Joe Tezanos

In the spring of 1942, 22-year-old Joseph Tezanos, a factory worker and Spanish immigrant, enlisted in the U.S. Coast Guard. His life would change forever. By the end of the decade, Tezanos would be a highly decorated war hero, a survivor of one of World War II’s worst accidental disasters, and one of the first Hispanic American officers in the

March 7, 2022

History – LT Thomas James Eugene Crotty: A Coast Guard Leader, Hero and Prisoner of War

Near the end of Lieutenant “Jimmy” Crotty’s life, he would call on his innate leadership skills time and again in a desperate struggle against impossible odds. After graduating the Coast Guard Academy in 1934, Crotty had a short but promising Coast Guard career, which hardened him into a mature leader. For six years, he served on board cutters

March 7, 2022

Black History Month: Honoring the service of African American Guardians

As part of the Coast Guard Compass’ ongoing celebration of Black History Month, we bring you the following article by Coast Guard Atlantic Area Historian William H. Thiesen. Mr. Thiesen’s piece on the history of African American service is a reminder not only of how far we’ve come as a nation, but also of the role Guardians played in breaking racial barriers for the betterment of the service and the country we serve. For some, this piece will serve as an introduction to the Guardians of Pea Island. Check back with the Compass next week for a more in-depth look at the 70-year history of the all-black crew of Pea Island Life-Saving Station. Finally, we want to recognize that history continues to be made every day. As this piece was being developed, the Commandant of the Coast Guard and Secretary of Homeland Security announced the nomination of Rear Admiral Manson K. Brown to be elevated to the rank of Vice Admiral. Upon Senate confirmation, Brown will be the first African American three-star admiral in Coast Guard History.

March 4, 2022

The Long Blue Line: Dauntless and the origins of drug interdiction

On the evening of March 8, 1973, Coast Guard cutter Dauntless made the Coast Guard’s first seizure of a marijuana smuggler when it stopped the sport fisherman Big L at the western edge of the Bahamas.The case had begun two months earlier as a controlled-delivery operation of the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs, forerunner of today’s Drug

Feb. 23, 2022

The Long Blue Line: Juan del Castillo – Coast Guard officer and humanitarian

Lt. j.g. Juan del Castillo sitting for formal service photograph. Photo courtesy of the del Castillo family." data-image-description="Lt. j.g. Juan del Castillo sitting for formal service photograph. Photo courtesy of the del Castillo family."

Feb. 23, 2022

The Long Blue Line: Capt. Campbell and cutter Eagle in Quasi War, Part One

This painting held by the U.S. Coast Guard Academy shows Eagle re-capturing prize ships Nancy and Mehitable in May 1799. Coast Guard Academy Library." data-image-description="This painting held by the U.S. Coast Guard Academy shows Eagle re-capturing prize ships Nancy and Mehitable in May 1799. Coast Guard Academy Library."

Feb. 23, 2022

The Long Blue Line: Samuel Travis, Cutter Surveyor and the Battle of Gloucester Point

“I am at a loss which to admire most, the previous arrangement on board the Surveyor or the determined manner in which her deck was disputed inch-by-inch.” – Lt. John Crerie of the Royal Navy described his admiration for Master Samuel Travis’s defense of the Revenue Cutter Surveyor in the Battle of Gloucester Point.A Customs flintlock pistol from

Officers & crew of Coast Guard Destroyer BEALE
A picture of future-Commandant then-Lieutenant Russell R. Waesche, Sr.
USCG Destroyer Beale, CG-9
Engineroom Force of CGC PONTCHARTRAIN, 1929
Coast Guardsmen
"Crew of the Patrol Boat CG-237. 4-14-[19]26."
A photo of a Board of Coast Guard Officers convened by Admiral F. C. Billard to formulate plans for an anti-smuggling campaign. Reading from left to right - Commander L. C. Covell; Captain W. H. Munter and Commander L.C. Farwell. 8-21-23.
Commandant (RADM F.C. Billard) and administrative staff, U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters, October 27, 1928.
A photograph of U.S. Coast Guard Base 4 in New London, CT, circa late 1920s (scan provided courtesy of Laurie Friel, the granddaughter of Coast Guardsman Clifford Gardner who served during Prohibition.
A photo of Coast Guard Destroyer (CG-23) TUCKER, date unknown.

U.S. Coast Guard Historian's Office
2703 Martin Luther King, Jr., Ave, SE
Washington, DC 20593-7031

U.S. Coast Guard Museum
Coast Guard Academy - Waesche Hall
15 Mohegan Ave
New London, CT 06320-8100

Contacting us:  U.S.C.G. Historian's Office