1942 - USS Muskeget - Coast Guardsman BM1 Albert Kelsch
The telegram every family feared receiving. Sadly, the families of all of the crewmen on board MUSKEGET received such a telegram from the Commandant of the Coast Guard, Vice Admiral Russell Waesche. In it he noted that the USCG would notify her "promptly" when more information received. Unfortunately, no such further notification was with BM1 Kelsch's mother's papers, which were donated to the Coast Guard Historian's Office. It is apparent that it was quite some time before she learned of the official declaration, from the Coast Guard, of her son's death. In an official reply to a request for information that Mrs. Kelsch sent to Coast Guard Headquarters in 1948, the chief of the Military Morale Division of the Coast Guard noted that the "Secretary of the Navy found that his death was presumed to have occurred on 10 September 1943 [sic]. His death was in the line of duty and was not the result of his own misconduct." The officer who wrote the letter enclosed a certified copy of a "Finding of Death in lieu of a death certificate."

Photo by: USCG Historian's Office |  VIRIN: 240705-G-G0000-004.JPG