• U.S. Lighthouse Service

    1789

  • U.S. Revenue Cutter Service

    1790

  • Steamboat Inspection Service

    1837

  • U.S. Life Saving Service

    1848

  • Bureau of Navigation

    1884

  • U.S. Coast Guard

    1915

  • 1800
  • 1850
  • 1900
  • 1950
  • 2000

 

January 1

1808  The law passed by Congress in 1807 prohibiting the importation of slaves into the U.S. went into effect.  The Revenue Cutter Service enforced the law on the high seas.

1850  The light in the Minot's Ledge Lighthouse was first shown.  This lighthouse was the first one built in the U.S. in a position directly exposed to the sweep of the open sea.  It was destroyed and two keepers were killed in a great gale in April 1851.

1933  Carl C. von Paulsen, a pioneering Coast Guard aviator, and his crew of four rescued a man during a gale off the coast of Florida while flying in the Coast Guard seaplane Arcturus from Air Station Miami.  He and his crew were awarded a Gold Lifesaving Medal, the first Coast Guard aviators to earn the prestigious award.

1937  Effective this date, the dividing point between the 6th and 7th Lighthouse Districts on the east coast of Florida was moved northward from Hillsboro Inlet to St. Lucie Inlet to place the new trans-Florida waterway (through Lake Okeechobee) under one jurisdiction.

1946  The Coast Guard, which had operated as a service under the Navy since November 1, 1941, was returned to the Treasury Department, pursuant to Executive Order 9666, dated December 28, 1945.

1946  The International Load Lines Convention, which had been suspended since August 9, 1941, was restored to full effectiveness by a Presidential proclamation dated December 21, 1945.  The Coast Guard assumed the enforcement of the convention's requirements in the interest of safe loading.

1954  The "Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea, 1948", commonly known as the "Revised International Rules of the Road", became law.  These were a result of the International Conference on the Safety of Life at Sea, 1948.

1958  The Coast Guard ceased listening continuously for distress calls on 2670 kilocycles.  Although the countries of the world had agreed at the Atlantic City Convention of the International Telecommunication Union in 1947 to use 2182 kilocycles for international maritime mobile radiotelephone calling and distress, the Coast Guard had continued listening on the old frequency until the public had had sufficient time to change to the new one.

1967  CGC Point Gammon destroyed an enemy trawler in Vietnam.

1984  CGC Westwind was heavily damaged by ice in Antarctic's Weddell Sea.  About 120 feet of the port-side hull was gashed when brash ice forced the ship against a 100-foot sheer ice shelf.  The gash was two to three feet wide and was six feet above the water line.  The crew made temporary repairs.  There were no injuries.

1985  CGC Citrus was rammed by the M/V Pacific Star during a boarding incident.  The Pacific Star then sank after being scuttled by her crew.  There were no casualties.  The seven crewmen were arrested on drug charges.

1999  The Aviation Machinist ratings merged with the Aviation Structural Mechanic ratings to form the Aviation Maintenance Technician rating with the designator AMT.  The Aviation Electronics Technician rating became the Avionics Technician rating with the designator AVT.  The Aviation Survivalman rating was renamed Aviation Survival Technician.

 

January 2

 

1892  The British schooner H. P. Kirkham wrecked on Rose and Crown Shoal.  The crew of seven was rescued after 15 hours of exposure.  The lifesaving crew that rescued them was at sea in an open boat without food for 23 hours.

1986  Andy Lee Howay was born in flight at 12,000 feet over Gaylord, Michigan aboard Coast Guard HU-25 CGNR 2110 out of Air Station Traverse City.  He was born two months premature and weighed 3.5 pounds upon birth.  Aboard the aircraft were CAPT Martin Niemeroff, USPHS and an obstetrics nurse from Munson Medical Center.  Andy attended the retirement ceremony for CGNR 2110 in 2013.

 

 

January 3

1882  The watch at Station No. 13, Second District, Massachusetts, reported at about 4 p.m., the collision of two schooners, two and a half miles east southeast of the station. Launching the surfboat, the crew proceeded to the vessels. The smaller vessel, the British schooner Dart, was boarded first. She was out from Saint John, NB and bound for New York with a cargo of lumber and a crew of four persons. The vessel was badly damaged, having her bowsprit, jib boom, and headgear carried away. The life-saving crew at once set to work. They cleared away the wreck and weighed her anchor, which had been let go in the collision. By this time, the steamer Hercules, of Philadelphia had come alongside and Dart’s master arranged for a tow to Vineyard Haven. The life-saving crew ran the hawser from the schooner to the steamer and sent them on their way. The other schooner, in the meantime, had sailed away.

1944  CDR Frank Erickson received an official commendation after he piloted a Sikorsky HNS-1 helicopter that carried two cases of blood plasma lashed to the helicopter's floats from New York City to Sandy Hook, New Jersey, for the treatment of Navy crewmen of the Navy destroyer USS Turner, which had exploded and burned off New York harbor.  Having performed that heroic deed in violent winds and snow that grounded all other aircraft Erickson became the first pilot in the world to fly a helicopter under such conditions.  It was also the first "lifesaving flight" ever performed by a helicopter.

2003  CGC Boutwell departed Alameda in preparation for supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.  The cutter began operations in the Arabian Gulf on February 14, 2003.  Prior to the start of Operation Iraqi Freedom, her crew conducted maritime interception boardings to enforce U.N. sanctions against Iraq.  At the outbreak of hostilities and throughout the conflict, she operated in the strategically critical and politically sensitive Khawr Abd Allah and Shaat Al Arab Waterways, providing force protection to the massive coalition fleet, securing Iraqi oil terminals, and preventing the movement of weapons, personnel, or equipment by Saddam Hussein's regime or other guerilla or terrorist forces.

2014  CGC Polar Star received a request from the Australian Maritime Safety Authority on January 3, 2014 to assist the Russian-flagged Akademik Shokalskiy and Chinese-flagged Xue Long, reportedly ice-bound in the Antarctic.  The Russian and Chinese governments also requested assistance from the United States.  After resupplying in Sydney, Polar Star was en route to the stranded vessels on January 4th, enduring 50 knot winds, 20 foot seas and 40 degree rolls. The Coast Guard icebreaker left its homeport of Seattle in December 2013 to support Operation Deep Freeze. The ship’s mission was to break a channel through the sea ice of McMurdo Sound to allow the resupply and refueling of the U.S. Antarctic Program’s McMurdo and Amundsen-Scott South Pole stations.  Polar Star was released by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority from SAR duties on January 7, 2014, following confirmation that both stricken vessels were free from the Antarctic ice due to a favorable change in wind conditions. The Coast Guard Pacific Area command center received confirmation from the Australian Maritime Safety Authority that both ships broke through the heavy ice, rendering assistance from the Polar Star no longer necessary.

 

 

January 4

1980  Coast Guard forces narrowly averted an environmental disaster when the 300-foot barge Michelle F, with more than 2.8 million gallons of No. Six industrial fuel aboard grounded one-half mile offshore from the Brigantine Wildlife Refuge.  Much of her cargo was offloaded before she was successfully refloated.

2012  CGC Healy, under the command of CAPT Beverly Havlik, embarked on an Arctic domestic icebreaking mission to escort the Russian tanker vessel Renda through 800 miles of Bering Sea pack ice to deliver 1.3 million gallons of fuel to ice-bound Nome, Alaska.  After 10 days of intense, close aboard ice escorting, the two vessels safely arrived on 14 January 2012 and began a successful 60-hour, over-the-ice fuel transfer while hove to in the ice 468 yards offshore of Nome.

 

 

January 5

1883  At 1 o’clock in the afternoon the crew of the Quoddy Head Station discovered a schooner at anchor.  The weather was bitter cold, with a gale from the northwest.  The men got the station's boat out and pulled to the vessel.  She proved to be Clara Dinsmore from Boston.  There were four men on board, one of them a passenger.  With her sails iced up and splitting, she was in need of assistance.  The keeper took charge and got the vessel under way with the sails she had left and beat her up the bay to her destination at 6 o’clock in the evening.

1975  The "Very Large Crude Carrier (VLCC)" Showa Maru ran aground in the Straits of Malacca, eight miles from Singapore Harbor, resulting in a major oil spill.  At the request of the Japanese Government, 10 Coast Guardsmen from the National Strike Force were sent to Singapore aboard a Military Airlift Command aircraft.  In addition to the team, four pumping subsystems of the Coast Guard's Air Deliverable Anti-Pollution Transfer System (ADAPTS) were also airlifted to the scene. The governments of Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia concurred in the request for assistance.  This incident marked the second time in a year that the Strike Force responded to the request of a foreign government for assistance, the first being a request by the Chilean government to assist after the grounding of VLCC Metula in the Strait of Magellan in August 1974.

 

 

January 6

1934  The United States Line SS Washington came within inches of ramming the new Light Vessel No. 117 on the Nantucket Station.  The liner scraped the lightship’s side, shearing off davits, a lifeboat, antennas, etc.  Five months later the lightship was sunk by the White Star Line RMS Olympic when it rammed the lightship, killing seven of the lightship's crew.

1973  The Coast Guard Academy at New London, Connecticut, announced that its cadets were served "meals for the first time by female civilian employees."  The Academy had "recently become the first of the nation’s service schools to contract their food services to a civilian company."  Previously, Coast Guard personnel had done the serving.

 

 

January 7

1877  The French steamer Amerique grounded off Sea Bright, New Jersey.  Saved were 189 persons, rescued by the Life-Saving Service crew.  Despite their efforts, three died.

1947  During Operation Highjump, Coast Guard icebreaker CGC Northwind successfully completed the first major rescue mission involving a submarine.  USS Sennet (SS-408) and supply ships Yance and Merrick were stuck in ice flow at the Antarctic Circle.

1982  LT Colleen A. Cain, the Coast Guard's first female HH-52 helicopter pilot, died in the line of duty when HH-52 CG-1420, on which she was co-pilot, crashed into a mountainside 50 miles east of Honolulu.  The pilot, LCDR H. W. Johnson, and aircrewman AD2 D. L. Thompson, were also killed.

1994  The barge Morris J. Berman, carrying a cargo of 750,000 gallons of oil, struck a reef off Puerto Rico.  Coast Guard units, including the National Strike Force, responded.

 

 

January 8

1958  The Coast Guard LORAN Station at Johnston Island began transmitting on a 24-hour basis, thus establishing a new LORAN rate in the Central Pacific.  The new rate between Johnston Island and French Frigate Shoal gave a higher order of accuracy for fixing positions in the steamship lanes from Oahu, Hawaii, to Midway Island. In the past, this was impossible in some areas along this important shipping route.

2015  The U.S. and Canadian Coast Guards commenced Operation Coal Shovel seasonal domestic ice breaking operations in the southern part of Lake Huron, Lake St. Clair, the St. Clair and Detroit River systems, Lake Erie, and Lake Ontario.  The mission of Operation Coal Shovel was to quickly reopen the Great Lakes maritime transportation system for the movement of commercial vessels that may become beset in the ice.  The previous winter of 2013-2014 presented some of the harshest ice conditions ever recorded in the Great Lakes.  At one point during March 2014, 92.5 percent of the Great Lakes were covered by ice; this was the highest percentage of ice coverage seen since 1979.  Operation Coal Shovel 2013-2014 started in December 2013 and lasted for a total of 128 days.

 

 

January 9

1844  The first published and systematic annual report of the Revenue Marine Bureau was transmitted to Congress on January 9, 1844 by the head of the Bureau, Revenue Captain Alexander Fraser, the service's first "Commandant."  The report noted that the Revenue Marine consisted of 15 revenue schooners varying in size from 60 to 170 tons.  The cutters were stationed at Eastport, Portland, Boston, Newport, New York, Delaware Bay, Baltimore, Norfolk, Charleston, Savannah, Key West, Mobile, New Orleans, and Lake Erie.  The report also noted that the number of personnel of the Revenue Marine consisted of 20 captains, 20 first lieutenants, 20 second lieutenants, 20 third lieutenants, 45 petty officers, 7 pilots, 30 stewards, 15 cooks, and 323 seamen.

1945  Coast Guardsmen participated in the liberation of Luzon in the Philippines.  Sixteen Coast Guard-manned vessels and seven other Navy vessels with partial Coast Guard crews took part in the offensive.

1952  SS Pennsylvania broadcasted that she had sustained a 14-foot crack in her port side.  A tremendous sea was running, and the wind exceeded 55 miles per hour.  The master advised that the vessel was foundering and that 45 men were abandoning ship in four lifeboats 665 miles west of Cape Flattery, WA.  The Coast Guard used all the facilities at its command in the area, as well as coordinating the use of U.S. Navy, Air Force, and Royal Canadian Air Force facilities in an attempt to locate and rescue the survivors of the vessel.  Fifty-one aircraft from all services and 18 surface vessels participated in the search.  Some of the debris was located, including one over-turned lifeboat, but no survivors were found.

 

 

January 10

1977  CGC Cape George received a mayday broadcast from the motor tankship Chester A. Poling.  The 281-foot tankship was breaking in half in high seas and sinking approximately eight miles ESE of Gloucester Harbor, Massachusetts, with seven POB.  CGCs Cape George, Cape Cross, Firebush, Decisive, and boats from CG Station Gloucester, Point Allerton, and Merrimack River, and aircraft from Air Station Cape Cod all responded.  Cape George arrived on scene and rescued two persons stranded on the bow section.  A CG HH-3F rescued the first person from the stern of the tankship and a second crewman fell off the stern while attempting to jump into the rescue basket.  At this time the stern section rolled over, throwing the remaining three survivors into the frigid seas.  CGC Cape Cross moved in and rescued two of the crewmen while the HH-3F rescued a third.  The six survivors were taken to Gloucester Station and transferred to a local hospital. 

 

 

January 11

1755/57  Alexander Hamilton, the first Secretary of the U.S. Treasury and the "father" of the U.S. Coast Guard, was born on this day in either 1755 or 1757 in the town of Nevis, British West Indies.

1882  At 0900 during a thick snowstorm, the schooner A .F. Ames of Rockland, Maine, was bound from Perth Amboy to Boston with a crew of seven persons.  She stranded during a thick snowstorm five hundred yards east of Race Point and one mile and three-quarters west of Station No. 6, Second District.  The vessel was discovered by the patrol and the life-saving crew boarded her at 0915. She was leaking and pounding heavily.  The pumps were manned to keep the water down.  The vessel was floated on the rising tide and made sail.  She was piloted into deep water. The leak, however, was gaining rapidly.  After consulting with the captain, the vessel was put on the beach.  The crew was sheltered at the station until the 13th when the keeper sent them to Boston.

1991  Coast Guard units responded after receiving a distress call from F/V Sea King, a 75-foot stern trawler with four persons on board that was taking on water and in danger of sinking off Peacock Spit near the mouth of the Columbia River.  The Coast Guard units that responded included a prototype 47-foot MLB, two 44-foot MLBs, the 52-foot MLB CG-52314 Triumph II, and a Coast Guard helicopter.  Despite valiant efforts to save the vessel, it capsized and sank.  Three Coast Guardsmen who went aboard the vessel to assist were safely rescued from the water.  Another, MK1 Charles Sexton, an emergency medical technician who went aboard the Sea King to assist an injured crewman, was pulled from the water but died 50 minutes after his arrival at a local hospital.  MK1 Sexton was posthumously awarded the Coast Guard Medal.

 

 

January 12

1850  The wreck of Ayrshire on occurred on Squan Beach, New Jersey on this date in 1850.  All but one of the 202 persons on board were saved by a life car.  This was the first recorded use of a life car in the U.S.

1943  Coast Guardsmen participated in the landings at Amchitka, Alaska.

1961  Two Coast Guard craft from the Cape Disappointment Lifeboat Station (LBS), CG-40564 and CG-36454, answered a call for assistance from the 38-foot crab boat Mermaid, with two crew on board, which had lost its rudder near the breakers off Peacock Spit.  CG-40564 located the Mermaid and took her in tow.  Due to adverse sea conditions the crew of CG-40564 requested the assistance of CG-52301 "Triumph," stationed at Point Adams LBS, which took up the tow upon her arrival on scene.  Heavy breakers capsized CG-40564 and battered the CG-36454, but the 36-foot motor lifeboat (MLB) stayed afloat.  The crew of CG-36454 then located and rescued the crew of the CG-40564 and made for the Columbia River Lightship.  The crew of the CG-36454 managed to deposit safely all on board the lightship before it too foundered.  Soon thereafter, a heavy breaker hit Triumph which parted the tow line, set the Mermaid adrift, and capsized the Triumph.   The crew of the Mermaid then rescued one of the six crewman on board Triumph.   CG-36554 and CG-36535, also from the Point Adams LBS, then arrived on scene and CG-36535 took the Mermaid in tow.  Another large breaker hit, snapping the CG-36535's tow line and sinking the Mermaid.   CGC Yocona arrived on scene soon after Coast Guard aircraft UF 2G No. 1273 from Air Station Port Angeles and began searching for survivors.  Other CG aircraft, including UF 2G 2131, UF 2G 1240, and HO 4S 1330, arrived and began dropping flares.  Foot patrols from the life-boat stations searched the beaches as well and recovered one Coast Guard survivor.  Ultimately five Coast Guard crewman, all from MLB CG-52301 Triumph, drowned, as did both of the Mermaid's crew.

1963  CGC Tupelo, four Navy and one Ohio State Highway patrol helicopters, CG-44002D, three ice skiffs and crews from Marblehead Lifeboat Station, Sandusky Light Station, Lorain Lifeboat Station, and a panel truck from Toledo CG Moorings were dispatched to rescue 150 persons reported adrift on an ice floe off Reno Beach, Lake Erie, 10 miles east of Toledo, Ohio during a severe storm that had winds gusting to 40 knots.  Four persons, also adrift, reached a breakwater off shore.  Tupelo, using ship's boats, removed four persons from the breakwater and the panel truck crew passed a line to the ice floe and anchored it to the shore.  All 150 persons were brought safely ashore without incident.  The helicopters searched the surrounding area to ensure that no others were adrift.  Commander Ninth Coast Guard District stated that the prompt action of all the commands and agencies involved averted a "serious catastrophe and sent a 'Well Done' message to all participants."

2009  CGC Boutwell departed Alameda, California, on an around-the-world cruise as part of the USS Boxer Expeditionary Strike Group.

2010  A severe earthquake struck Haiti.  CGCs Forward, Mohawk, and Tahoma were the first U.S. assets to arrive on scene at Port au Prince, with Forward arriving the morning of January 13, 2010 and Mohawk arriving in the afternoon.  These units provided air traffic control for military aircraft, conducted damage assessments of the port, and ferried supplies and injured people with embarked boats and helicopters.  Other Coast Guard assets began arriving soon thereafter to assist in the recovery efforts, including the CGC Oak and aircraft from AIRSTA Clearwater.

 

January 13

1853  The ship Cornelius Grinnell grounded in a heavy surf off Squan Beach, New Jersey.  A surf car was used to rescue safely all 234 persons on board.

1925  Congress authorized the Coast Guard to assist in the enforcement of the Alaskan Game Law.

1918  Surfmen from the Humboldt Bay Lifesaving Station rescued the 430-man crew of the Navy cruiser USS Milwaukee safely after the cruiser ran aground.  Milwaukee had been attempting to pull a grounded submarine off of Samoa Beach, near Eureka, California, when she too ran aground and was a total loss.

1982  Air Florida Flight 90 crashed onto the 14th Street Bridge and then into the Potomac River in Washington, D.C., during a heavy snow storm.  Coast Guard units, including cutters Capstan and Madrona, divers from the Atlantic Strike Team, a helicopter from AIRSTA Elizabeth City, personnel from Curtis Bay, and reservists from Station Washington assisted in the rescue of the five surviving passengers and the recovery of the aircraft's wreckage.  The plane crushed several cars on the bridge.  All told seventy-four persons lost their lives.

 

 

January 14

1942  A Coast Guard aircraft, Hall PH-3 No. V-177, dropped food to a raft with six survivors of a torpedoed tanker in one of hundreds of such incidents carried out by Coast Guard aircraft during the war.  This tanker had been the victim of a German U-boat attack off the coast of the United States.

1985  Vice President George Bush made an official visit to Base Miami Beach to extend the thanks of the nation to those involved in Operation Hat Trick, an "all-out" effort to stop smugglers soon after they had left ports in Central and South America.  The vice president decorated 15 Coast Guardsmen.

2004  CGC Thetis rescued three shrimp fishermen from the fishing vessel Dona Nelly after they were in the water for 45 minutes after their vessel sank 15 miles off the coast of Brownsville, Texas.

 

 

January 15

1836  A General Order from the Secretary of the Treasury prescribed that "Blue cloth be substituted for the uniform dress of the officers of the Revenue Cutter Service, instead of grey…" thereby ending a controversy that had brewed for years regarding the uniforms of the Service.

1947  The first helicopter flight to the base "Little America" in Antarctica took place.  The pilot was LT James A. Cornish, USCG and he carried Chief Photographer's Mate Everett Mashburn as his observer.  They flew from CGC Northwind.

1966  When winds of 30 to 50 knots hit the southern California coast, surface craft off the 11th Coast Guard District rendered assistance to six grounded vessels, three disabled sailboats, and three capsized vessels. They also responded to seven other distress cases. A Coast Guard helicopter played a prominent role in one of the cases by evacuating the five-man crew of the vessel Trilogy that had gone aground and broken up on Santa Cruz Island.

1974  The first group of women ever enlisted as regulars in the Coast Guard began their 10-week basic training at the Coast Guard Training Center in Cape May.  Thirty-two women were in the initial group and formed Recruit Company Sierra-89.

1993  In response to a massive increase in the number of Haitians fleeing their country by sea that began in October 1991, President-elect William Clinton ordered the commencement of Operation Able Manner on this date in 1993.  It was the largest SAR operation ever undertaken by the Coast Guard to that time.  Twenty-nine cutters were initially involved, as were aircraft from 10 air stations and five US Navy vessels.  

 

January 16

1920  Prohibition, later called the "noble experiment" by President Herbert Hoover, became the law of the land on January 16, 1920, one year after the 36th state ratified the 18th Amendment to the Constitution.  Enforcement of the law fell to the Department of the Treasury and the Coast Guard was charged with interdicting the flow of "Demon Rum" at sea before it reached American shores.

1944  LT Stewart R. Graham became the first person to make a helicopter take-off and landing aboard a ship underway at sea when he piloted a Sikorsky HNS-1 off of and back on the SS Daghestan in the North Atlantic.

1948  The list of nominations for appointments and promotions of Coast Guard officers transmitted to Congress by the President on this date represented the first permanent advancements of Coast Guard regular officers since the summer of 1942.

1988  Coast Guard units responded to a report of a murder on board the container vessel Boxer Captain Cook.  The ship's first officer reportedly murdered the captain and threw his body overboard.  A boarding party from CGC Northland, offloaded onto CGC Cape York, boarded the vessel while it was underway on the high seas and captured the suspected murderer and collected evidence of the crime.

1990  CGC Mellon fired a Harpoon anti-ship missile in a live-fire test, becoming the first cutter to fire the missile.

 

January 17

1832  Treasury Secretary Louis McLane discontinued the practice of hiring unemployed Navy officers as senior Revenue Cutter Service officers.  All vacancies from that point forward were to be filled by promotions from within the service.  Secretary McLane's actions brought a tremendous boost to morale among Revenue cuttermen as they had long complained about the slow line of promotion caused by unemployed Navy officers "grabbing up" senior positions.

1972  CGC Storis seized two Soviet fishing vessels, the 362-foot factory vessel Lamut and the 278-foot stern trawler Kolyvan, for fishing inside the 12-mile U.S. contiguous zone.

1977  DOT Secretary William T. Coleman, Jr., issued licenses to LOOP, Inc., and Seadock, Inc., to own, construct, and operate deepwater ports in the Gulf of Mexico.  Both ports were designed to "handle" supertankers.

1994  Coast Guard units and family members assisted those in need after an earthquake hit Los Angeles, California.

 

 

January 18

1884  USRC Dexter, under the command of CAPT Eric Gabrielson, came to the aid of the stricken steamer City of Columbus after it had grounded on the Devil's Bridge rock outcropping off Martha's Vineyard.  The cutter maneuvered around the wreckage and launched its small boats to effect rescues.  Second LT John U. Rhodes, First LT Warrington D. Roath, Third LT Charles D. Kennedy, and volunteers from the cutter's crew distinguished themselves in their rescue efforts.  They worked in concert with lifeboats from the Massachusetts Humane Society's Gay Head station.  All told 29 passengers and crew were saved out of 132 aboard City of Columbus.  A local newspaper reported that the Dexter's "…officers and crew, from the captain to the cabin boy, acted the part of heroes, both at the scene of the wreck and afterwards in caring for the survivors."

1938  CGC Bibb returned to Norfolk after a 10-day post-trial run from Norfolk to the Virgin Islands and back again with the Commandant, RADM Russell R. Waesche, aboard.  During the run Bibb went to the aid of the four-masted schooner Albert F. Paul, which had lost its topsails and was leaking badly.  The Paul was taken in tow and Bibb proceeded under reduced speed.  CGC Sebago was contacted by radio and relieved Bibb of the tow.  During the cruise, "constant communication was maintained between Bibb and Radio Station Fort Hunt, Virginia (NMH)."

1953  A Coast Guard PBM seaplane crashed off the Chinese coast near Swatow, China during takeoff after having rescued 11 survivors from a ditched U .S. Navy aircraft that had been shot down by Chinese anti-aircraft fire.  A total of nine servicemen lost their lives in this second crash, including five of the Coast Guard aircrew.  The survivors were later rescued by the USS Halsey Powell (DD-686).  The entire Coast Guard PBM aircrew were awarded the Gold Lifesaving Medal for their actions.

1974  Coast Guard units rescued 61 crewmembers from the 551-foot tanker Keytrader and the 657-foot Norwegian freighter Baune after the two vessels collided on the night of January 18, 1974 in dense fog.  Sixteen other crewmembers did not survive.  Keytrader was carrying 18,000 tons of fuel oil.  A 53-foot Coast Guard vessel assisted in fighting the ensuing fire.  

2003  On January 18th, CGC Walnut departed from her homeport in Honolulu, Hawaii and began her 10,000 mile transit to the Persian Gulf in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.  This 45-day transit was completed as quickly as possible with brief stops for fuel and food along the way in Guam, Singapore, and Kuwait.  The cutter deployed with an oil spill recovery system in the event the regime of Saddam Hussein committed any acts of environmental terrorism.  When those threats did not materialize, the cutter then conducted maritime interception operations enforcing U.N. Security Council resolutions, participated in the search for two downed United Kingdom helicopters, and patrolled and provided assistance to captured Iraqi offshore oil terminals being secured by Coast Guard port security personnel.   The cutter’s crew completely replaced 30 buoys and repaired an additional five along the 41-mile Khawr Abd Allah Waterway.  This ATON mission vastly improved the navigational safety of the waterway for humanitarian aid, commercial, and military vessels sailing to the port and was a critical step to economic recovery for the people of Iraq.

 

January 19

1935  Chief Warrant Gunner and Naval Aviation Pilot (CWO-GUN; NAP) Charles T. Thrun, USCG, Coast Guard Aviator Number 3, was killed when his Grumman JF-2 Duck crashed at Cape May.  CWO Thrun was the first Coast Guard aviator to die in the line of duty. 

1937  Coast Guard units began flood relief operations in the Mississippi and Ohio River valleys.  These operations lasted until March 11th and resulted in the rescue of hundreds of victims and thousands of farm animals.

1946  Staged jointly by the Coast Guard and the Navy, the first public demonstration of LORAN was held at Floyd Bennett Field in New York.

1949  The tanker Gulfstream collided with icebreaker CGC Eastwind. The collision and resulting fire killed 13 of Eastwind's crew, nine of whom were chief petty officers.

1969  CGC Absecon, while on ocean station duty, was directed to assist the sinking M/V Ocean SprinterAbsecon launched a small boat and rescued all of the merchant vessel's crew.  The five Coast Guardsmen manning the small boat received the Coast Guard Medal for their actions.

1977  The Coast Guard accepted delivery of CGC Polar Sea from Lockheed Shipbuilding and Construction Company, Seattle, Washington.  Polar Sea was placed "In Commission, Special" on January 31, 1977 under the command of CAPT Richard Cueroni.

1996  The tug Scandia and its barge, the North Cape, ran aground on the shore of Rhode Island, spilling 828,000 gallons of oil.  This was the worst spill in that state's history.  The Coast Guard rescued the entire crew, pumped off 1.5 million gallons of oil and conducted skimming operations.

 

 

January 20

1914  The International Ice Patrol Convention was signed.

1915  Congress passed the "Act to Create the Coast Guard" on this date in 1915 (38 Stat. L., 800).  The act combined the Life-Saving Service and Revenue Cutter Service to form the Coast Guard.  President Woodrow Wilson signed the act on January 28, 1915. 

1961  During his inaugural parade, President John F. Kennedy noticed that there were no African-Americans in the Coast Guard Academy cadet unit marching in the parade.  He told his speechwriter, Richard Goodwin, "That's not acceptable. Something ought to be done about it.  Goodwin called Secretary of the Treasury C. Douglas Dillon the next day and Dillon ordered the Academy "to scrutinize the Academy's recruitment policy to make sure it did not discriminate against blacks."

1984  Coast Guard units responded to a six-alarm fire along Boston's waterfront.  The fire began early on the morning of January 20th on the Boston and Maine Railroad Bridge directly behind Boston Garden and North Station.  The Boston Fire Department requested Coast Guard assistance and MSO Boston coordinated the response.  Small boats from Station Boston responded while personnel from ATON Team Boston, Support Center Boston, Point Allerton Station, and CGCs Pendant, Chase, White Heath, Nantucket I, and Nantucket II also assisted.

 

 

January 21

1881  The light was first shown at Tillamook Lighthouse, located 19 miles south of the Columbia River entrance.

1969  CGC Point Banks, while on patrol south of Cam Rahn Bay, received a call for assistance from a nine-man South Vietnamese (ARVN) detachment trapped by two Vietcong platoons.  Petty Officers Willis Goff and Larry Villareal took a 14-foot Boston whaler ashore to rescue the ARVN troops.  In the face of heavy automatic weapons fire all nine men were evacuated in two trips. For their actions Goff and Villareal were each awarded the Silver Star. The citation stated, "The nine men would have met almost certain death or capture without the assistance of the two Coast Guardsmen."

1982  "Streamlining" plans were put into place when the Commandant, ADM John B. Hayes, announced in ALCOAST 002/82 his plans to consolidate some operations and streamline others to comply with President Ronald Reagan's goals of "greater efficiency in federal spending" and in accordance with Congressional appropriation levels.  The service eliminated 35 units, including the West Coast Training Center at Alameda, and consolidated all recruit training to TRACEN Cape May.  

1984  The tanker Cepheus ran aground near Anchorage, Alaska, on the morning of January 21, 1984, spilling 180,000 gallons of jet fuel into Cook Inlet.  MSO Anchorage and the Pacific Strike Team responded to the incident and monitored the offloading of the damaged tanker and cleared its passage out of Alaska.  The light jet fuel evaporated with little environmental impact.

 

 

January 22

1944  Coast Guardsmen participated in Operation Shingle – the landings at Anzio-Nettuno, Italy.  Coast Guard units involved were USS PC-545 and LSTs 16, 326, 327, and 381.

1987  The Coast Guard established the Air Interdiction Facility at Norfolk Naval Air Station.  The aircrews flew two loaned Navy E-2C Hawkeye aircraft on narcotics interdiction patrols.

 

 

January 23

1909  The schooner Roderick Dhu was discovered in distress on the bar by a Life-Saving Service patrol from the Point Bonita, California station. The schooner had been in tow by a tug, but parted hawsers when 5-1/2 miles SW of a LSS station.  She hoisted a signal, and the keeper reported her condition to the Merchant's Exchange.  A tug was sent out and the schooner was towed to sea.  The next day she was towed into port, leaking badly, and convoyed by the USRC McCulloch.

 

 

January 24

1968  Seifu Maru, a Japanese refrigerator vessel, reported a fire and requested clearance to enter Dutch Harbor, Alaska to combat it.  They also reported that two crewmembers had been overcome by smoke and requested their evacuation for hospital treatment.  Clearance was granted and CGC Citrus was ordered to proceed and assist in fighting the fire. The burning ship arrived in Dutch Harbor and advised that the fire was raging between the decks.  Fire fighting parties from Citrus began assisting the crew of the Japanese vessel. Coast Guard aircraft evacuated three patients from Seifu Maru to Kodiak for hospitalization.  The fire assistance rendered by Citrus in a four-day operation saved the Japanese vessel.

1984  MSO Memphis responded to what appeared to be a routine grounding when three barges being towed down river by the M/V Karman P. broke away 40 miles south of Memphis.  Initial reports passed to MSO Memphis by way of Group Lower Mississippi River said the tank barge APEX-3506, with one million gallons of slurry-grade number six oil had grounded with "no damage and no pollution."  After a boarding team arrived and found the barge sinking and having no means to lighter the cargo, they called in the Gulf Strike Team.  Eventually, through the efforts of MSO Memphis, Gulf Strike Team, Atlantic Strike Team, National Strike Force Dive Team, and the Navy Superintendent of Salvage, as well as a private salvage firm, the barge's cargo was lightered and the barge itself saved.

 

 

January 25

1799  Having existed essentially nameless for 8-1/2 years, Alexander Hamilton's "system of cutters" was referred to in legislation as "Revenue Cutters."  Some decades later, the name evolved to Revenue Cutter Service and Revenue Marine.

1940  The ocean station program was formally established on this date under orders from President Franklin Roosevelt.  The Coast Guard, in cooperation with the U. S. Weather Service, was given responsibility for its establishment and operation.  The program was first known as the Atlantic Weather Observation Service and later by thousands of Coast Guardsmen who served after World War II as the "Ocean Station" (OS) program.  Cutters were dispatched for 30-day patrols to transmit weather observations and serve as a SAR standby for transoceanic aircraft.  The program ended in the 1970s.

2004  A helicopter crew from AIRSTA Detroit helped rescue 14 people stranded on an ice floe about one mile west of Catawba Island, Ohio.

 

 

January 26

1939  Ground was broken for the construction of an air station at Elizabeth City, North Carolina.  With the support of Congressman Lindsay Warren and a favorable vote by local county and city officials regarding a bond issue, the land was secured for the new facility which was constructed by the WPA.

1953  Coast Guard forces assisted civilian authorities in evacuating 191 persons from the Coxuille Valley flood area.

1963  The modern Canadian Coast Guard was founded on this date.  Their official motto is Saluti Primum, Auxilio Semper (Safety First, Service Always).

1991  Upon receiving a request from the Saudi government, the Bush Administration determined that the Coast Guard would head an interagency team to assist the Saudi government in an oil spill assessment and plan for a clean-up operation after an intentional Iraqi oil spill.

1990  Coast Guard Air Station St. Augustine, home of CGAW-1, was formally commissioned.  The Navy loaned E2Cs to the Coast Guard for use in the efforts by CGAW-1 to track drug shipments by radar.  One E2C, #3501, crashed during a landing at Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico, on August 24, 1990 and all four crewmen on board were killed.  CGAW-1 was disbanded soon thereafter and the remaining E2Cs were returned to the Navy.

 

 

January 27

1909  The schooner Nelson Y. McFarland issued a distress call after dropping anchor near the White Head, Maine, Life-Saving Service station.  Although anchored against the tide, she was becalmed, yet her stern swung so close to the ledge that "a change of wind or tide would have thrown the vessel upon the rocks.  A pulling boat and crew from the station responded to the call and the men rowed to the ship's aid.  After a 3-hour, pull the surfmen succeeded in towing the schooner to a safe anchorage in Seal Harbor."

1993  Communications Station Guam received a mayday broadcast from the M/V East Wood.  The ship's radio operator claimed that the vessel had been taken over by hijackers and that there were 400 people in the vessel's two main cargo holds.  Another transmission claimed that 10 persons were going to be thrown overboard.  The Coast Guard dispatched an HC-130 from AIRSTA Barbers Point and ordered CGC Rush to intercept.  A boarding team from the Rush seized the vessel and escorted it to an Army installation on the Marshall Islands.  There were 527 Chinese nationals and 10 crewmembers aboard.  The Chinese nationals were repatriated to China and nine of the crewmen were sent to Indonesia.  The 10th crewman was taken to Honolulu to investigate whether prosecution was possible under U.S. law.

 

 

January 28

1885  Keeper Marcus Hanna of the Cape Elizabeth Light Station saved two men from the wrecked schooner Australia.  For this rescue Hanna was awarded the Gold Lifesaving Medal.  He was also awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions at Port Hudson in 1863.  He is the only person to have ever received both awards.

1915  President Woodrow Wilson signed into law the "Act to Create the Coast Guard," an act passed by Congress on January 20, 1915 that combined the Life-Saving Service and Revenue Cutter Service to form the Coast Guard (38 Stat. L., 800).  The Coast Guard, however, still considers the date of the founding of the Revenue Cutter Service, August 4, 1790, as its official birthday, even though the Lighthouse Service, absorbed in 1939, is even older than that, dating to August 7, 1789.  Under the new law the Coast Guard officially became "part of the regular military establishment of the United States."

1980  CGC Blackthorn sank in Tampa Bay after colliding with the tanker Capricorn.   Twenty-three Coast Guard personnel were killed in the tragedy. 

1986  NASA's space shuttle Challenger exploded after lift-off, killing the entire crew.  Coast Guard units, including the cutters Dallas, Dauntless, Harriet Lane, Bear, Tampa, Cherokee, Sweetgum, and Point Roberts conducted the initial search and rescue operations and later assisted in the recovery of much of the shuttle's wreckage.  Other units included personnel from Station Port Canaveral, air stations Miami, Clearwater, and Savannah, as well as Coast Guard reservists and Auxiliarists.  Dallas served as the on-scene commander for what was a joint Coast Guard, NASA, Navy, and Air Force search and recovery operation.

2003  DOD submitted a request for Coast Guard forces in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.  The Commandant, ADM Thomas Collins, approved that request and ordered the deployment of eight 110-foot patrol boats, crews, and support units.  The cutters were CGCs: Wrangell, Adak, Aquidneck, Baranof, Grand Isle, Bainbridge Island, Pea Island, and Knight Island.

 

 

January 29

1919  Ratification of the 18th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution occurred on this date.  The amendment prohibited the manufacture, sale, and transportation of alcoholic beverages.  Its enforcement was authorized by the National Prohibition Enforcement Act, otherwise known as the Volstead Act that was passed on October 28, 1919.  The Coast Guard was tasked with the prevention of the maritime importation of illegal alcohol.  This led to the largest increase in the size and responsibilities of the service to date.

1938  CGC Bibb reported for duty in connection with the U.S. Navy exercises held off Culebra, Puerto Rico.

1945  The Coast Guard-manned attack cargo vessel USS Serpens exploded off Guadalcanal due to unknown causes.  Only two men aboard survived.  This was the single greatest Coast Guard loss of life in history.

1963  CGC Casco inaugurated the expanded Ocean Station Vessel Oceanographic Program when it departed for Ocean Station Echo on this date.  Casco was outfitted for oceanographic research by the addition of a laboratory space, hydrographic winch, and other instruments.  As the first Coast Guard Ocean Station Vessel to be so outfitted, Casco's mission represented "a significant step on the Coast Guard's participation in the National Oceanographic effort."

1980  Local authorities in the Tijuana, Mexico area requested Coast Guard assistance in evacuating flood victims stranded by the rising waters of the San Miguel River.  Two HH-3F helicopters from Air Station San Diego transported 180 persons to safety during the two-day operation.

 

 

January 30

1861  Treasury Secretary John A. Dix ordered LT S. B. Caldwell, the second in command of the cutter McClelland, "to arrest Capt. Breshwood [the cutter's commanding officer and a Confederate sympathizer] assume command of cutter and if anyone attempts to haul down the flag, shoot him on the spot."  The message was not delivered by the telegraph office.  Breshwood turned McClelland over to the State of Louisiana, where the cutter ended up in Confederate service.  The northern papers reported the story though and the Secretary's order became a rallying cry in support of the Union's war effort.

1942  The capsized wreck of CGC Alexander Hamilton was sunk by the Navy after U-132 torpedoed the cutter off the coast of Iceland the previous day.  She was the first cutter sunk by enemy action during World War II.  Twenty-six of her crew perished in the attack.

1942  USS Wakefield, the former passenger liner SS Manhattan converted to a troop transport and manned by a Coast Guard crew, transported British troops to Singapore.  Having disembarked the troops, she was bombed by Japanese aircraft while still tied up.  Five of her Coast Guard crew were killed and nine were wounded.  After temporary repairs, Wakefield evacuated 500 women and children to Bombay before the port fell to the Japanese

1979  There was an explosion at the Coast Guard Marine Safety Detachment office at Ponce Playa, Port Ponce, Puerto Rico.  The OVPR (Organizacion De Voluntarios Por La Revelucion Puerto Riquena) claimed responsibility.  The terrorist attack caused no casualties and little damage to the facility.

1982  Coast Guard 8th District units responded to the flooding of the Calcasieu River near Lake Charles, Louisiana.  Up river Coast Guard boats searched daily for stranded people and domestic animals.  Downriver COTP Port Arthur and Marine Safety Detachment Lake Charles wrestled with the problem of strong currents and four run-away barges that destroyed one bridge and threatened two others.

 

 

January 31

1942  HMS Culver (ex-CGC Mendota – one of the "Lake" Class cutters transferred to the Royal Navy in 1941 under the Lend-Lease program) was torpedoed and sunk with only 13 survivors.

1948  Mrs. Fannie M. Salter, keeper of the Turkey Point Lighthouse in upper Chesapeake Bay since 1925 and the last woman keeper of a lighthouse in the United States, retired from active service.  The first woman had been hired as a lighthouse keeper 150 years before.  Salter's retirement temporarily closed the tradition of women serving as keepers at lighthouses.

1968  Coast Guard SPAR Chief Storekeeper Mary Ashley Rose retired "after a career of more than 20 years of service in the Coast Guard.  Chief Rose is the first enlisted woman to retire from active duty in the Coast Guard."

1975  CGC Vigorous (WMEC-627) became the first cutter to make a seizure of a foreign-flag fishing vessel in the high seas when she seized the Italian fishing vessel Tontini Pesca Cuarto for illegally taking lobster.  All of the other fishery seizures prior to this were of vessels that had violated territorial seas (TS) or Contiguous Fishing Zone (CFZ).  At the time, Vigorous was under the command of CDR Paul Welling, USCG.  The arresting officer was ENS S.T. Fuger, Jr., USCG.

2001  Alaska Airlines Flight 261 crashed off the coast of California near the Channel Islands, killing all 88 on board.  Coast Guard Channel Island Station crewmen responded to the tragedy.

2004  The crews of a 47-foot MLB from Station Chincoteague and a rescue helicopter from Air Station Elizabeth City combined to rescue five men after their vessel began taking on water 25 miles east of Chincoteague.

February 1

1871  Using his administrative authority, Secretary of the Treasury George S. Boutwell re-established a Revenue Marine Bureau within the Department and assigned Sumner I.  Kimball as the civilian Chief.  Kimball's duties included administering both the revenue cutters, which were then under the control of the local Collectors, and the life-saving stations.

1938  The Lighthouse Service Radio Laboratory was moved from the shops of the lighthouse depot in Detroit, Michigan, "to the Lazaretto Lighthouse Depot in Baltimore, Md., where a building had been constructed providing more adequately for this important branch of the work of the Service."

1942  Enlistees after this date were restricted to enlistment in the Coast Guard Reserve. This was done to prevent having too many regulars in the service at the end of World War II.

1944  Coast Guardsmen participated in the invasion of Namur Island, Kwajalein Atoll.

1963  The Coast Guard's "newest" helicopter, the Sikorsky HH-52, performed its first rescue.  On February1, 1963, the F/V Enterprize sank after colliding with ice off Hyannis, Massachusetts.  The two crewman of the vessel abandoned and sought safety on the ice.  After a 63-mile flight, 56 of which were over water at night, the aircraft commander, LT R. A. Johannsen, landed the HH-52A (CG-1352) on the ice and made the rescue.

 

February 2

1944  Coast Guardsmen participated in the landings at Saldor, New Guinea.

2014  The Coast Guard and Navy completed a joint mission in the Central and South Pacific under an agreement between the services to enforce fisheries laws and enhance regional security January 7 to February 2, 2014.  The partnership supported the Oceania Maritime Security Initiative, a Secretary of Defense program, which leverages Department of Defense assets transiting the region to increase the Coast Guard's maritime domain awareness, ultimately supporting its maritime law enforcement operations in Oceania.  As part of Operation Persistent Presence and in conjunction with NOAA, a Coast Guard law enforcement team embarked the Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS Kidd in San Diego to conduct law enforcement boardings while the vessel was in transit.  The Coast Guard-Navy team, including the two embarked MH-60R helicopters from Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 78, conducted 46 external visual inspections, and 13 boardings with internal inspections of fishing vessels across two separate jurisdictional areas in the Marshall Islands and Nauru exclusive economic zones.

 

February 3

1801  Treaty of peace with France was ratified on this date, thereby ending the "Quasi-War," in which cutters of the Revenue Marine had rendered valiant service.

1880  Date of a terrific gale on the New Jersey coast.  Six vessels came ashore with 47 persons on board; all but two survived.  Nineteen Life-Saving Service crewmen were awarded Gold Life-Saving Medals during the rescue of the persons aboard the wrecked George Taulane.

1943  A U-boat torpedoed the transport USS Dorchester off the coast of Greenland.  Two of her escorts, CGCs Comanche and Escanaba, responded.  The crew of Escanaba used a new rescue technique when pulling survivors from the water.  This "retriever" technique used swimmers clad in wet suits to swim to victims in the water and secure a line to them so they could then be hauled onto the ship.  Although Escanaba saved 133 men (one later died) and Comanche saved 97, over 600 men were lost, including the famous "Four Chaplains" who gave up their lifejackets to those that did not have one and all four went down with the ship.

1976  The Coast Guard Academy first announced the appointments of 50 cadets to enter with the Class of 1980, including three women: Cathryn Lis of Bristol, Connecticut; Susan Kollmeyer of Groton, Connecticut; & Cynthia Snead of Melbourne, Florida.  The Coast Guard News Release published on February 4, 1976 regarding their announcement noted that: “Of the four largest federal service academies (Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard) the Coast Guard Academy is the first to offer an appointment to a woman.” (USCG News Release No. 7-76; 4 February 1976).

1997  The 660-foot freighter Contship Houston ran aground on a coral reef 12 miles southeast of Key West in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary.  The vessel, under Coast Guard supervision, was safely floated off the reef some 144 hours later.

 

February 4

1859  The United States signed the "Treaty of Friendship, Commerce and Navigation" with Paraguay at Asuncion after the revenue cutter Harriet Lane, as part of a U.S. Navy expedition, forced the opening of the Paraguay and Parana Rivers.

1863  Commissioned officers of the Revenue Cutter Service were to be appointed by the President by and with advice and consent of the Senate.  This act contained the first statutory use of term "Revenue Cutter Service."  Previous laws referred only to "revenue cutters".

1881  Keeper Ida Lewis, the head keeper of the Lime Rock Lighthouse, rescued two soldiers from Fort Adams who had fallen through the ice "at the imminent risk of Mrs. Lewis-Wilson's life."  For her heroic actions she was awarded a Gold Lifesaving Medal.  She was officially credited with saving 13 persons during her distinguished career with the U.S. Lighthouse Service "and it is understood that the number was probably much greater."

1982  Attorney General William Smith declared at a press conference that Operation Tiburon was "the most successful international marijuana interdiction effort to date."  The operation began in November 1980, and accounted for the seizure of 95 vessels.  It was a combined operation that included elements of the Coast Guard, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Customs Service, and various state and local law enforcement agencies.

1999  The 639-foot freighter New Carissa ran aground north of Coos Bay, Oregon.  Coast Guard helicopter crews rescued 23 crewmembers, but the vessel remained firmly aground and attempts to refloat her failed.  A unified command made up of Coast Guard and Navy personnel, as well as marine salvors, attempted to prevent a catastrophic oil spill as the ship began breaking apart. The team decided to set the oil on board the New Carissa on fire so it would burn away before being spilled and fouling the shore.  It was the largest "in situ" burn ever tried in U.S. waters and it consumed a significant amount of the oil aboard the New Carissa.  The Coast Guard's annual report for that year noted: "While some oil did spill out of the vessel, the unified command's efforts greatly reduced the potential environmental damage to the Oregon coast."  The ship eventually broke in two and her bow section was towed to sea and sunk by the Navy.

2014  CGC Diligence returned to its homeport of Wilmington, North Carolina, after completing a 49-day patrol in the North Atlantic Ocean in support of Operation Atlantic Venture.  The combined efforts of Diligence and the other Coast Guard assets involved in the operation resulted in nearly 75 vessel inspections that identified numerous violations of federal safety and fisheries regulations.

 

February 5

1882  The schooner Mary L. Vankirk, bound for Philadelphian from South Creek, Pamlico Sound, North Carolina, carrying a crew of five men, encountered heavy weather.  She lost sails and sprung a leak and before long she became water-logged and almost unmanageable.  In this condition, it was determined to run to leeward and seek refuge in Hatteras Inlet.  Matters, however, became worse and it was decided to beach the vessel.  She was discovered heading for the land by the crew of Station No. 18, Sixth District (Chicamicomico, North Carolina).  The surfboat was run out, but the life-saving crew returned to the station for the breeches-buoy apparatus. The latter arrived abreast of the schooner at 8:15, fifteen minutes after she struck the bar about half a mile north of the station.  The schooner was so close that the keeper was able to wade out into the water and cast a heaving-line to those huddled in the rigging.  As quickly as possible, the men in the rigging hauled off the whip-line.  The breeches-buoy was soon rigged and went spinning out to the vessel.  All five men were safely landed.

1946  Four Coast Guardsmen from Willapa Harbor Lifeboat Station perished in the line of duty while searching for two crab fishermen feared lost in Williapa Bay.  The men were: BMC Joseph W. Miller, USCG; MM 1/c Geloyd J. Simmons, USCG; Coxswain James R. Graves, USCG; S 1/c Howard W. Hampton, USCG.

1973  The position of Senior Coast Guard Officer-Vietnam (SCGOV) was disestablished.

1975  The Coast Guard commissioned the Houston-Galveston Vessel Traffic System, the third VTS to be "implemented by the Coast Guard on a major waterway of the U.S."

 

February 6

1893  Secretary of Treasury was authorized to define and establish anchorage grounds for vessels in harbor of Chicago and adjacent waters of Lake Michigan.

1942  CGC Nike rescued 38 persons from SS China Arrow which had been torpedoed off Ocean City, Maryland.

1978  Coast Guard units from the First and Third Districts responded to a severe winter storm in New England, including stations providing shelter to displaced families and Coast Guard four-wheel drive vehicles serving as ambulances while an amphibious vehicle was the only means of transportation from the mainland from Sandy Hook, New Jersey, transporting nine people to safety from flooded areas.  A 682-foot tanker Global Hope went aground in Salem Sound, Massachusetts, and an HH-3F from Air Station Cape Cod arrived on scene followed by CGC Decisive which removed 28 of the 32 persons on board, with four left aboard to assist in salvage and pollution control.

1990  Two Coast Guard Air Station Houston crews were the first to receive the Igor I. Sikorsky Award for Humanitarian Service.  The award was presented by the Helicopter Association International at their Dallas convention.  The crews were honored for their rescue of seven fishermen during Hurricane Chantal last year.  They flew through driving rain, winds in excess of 65 miles per hour, thunderstorms, and squalls to rescue the men from their capsized boat.

1996  Alas Nacionales Airlines Flight 301 crashed off the Dominican Republic and Coast Guard units conducted search and rescue operations.

1996  Coast Guard units responded to calls of assistance due to severe flooding throughout the Pacific Northwest.

 

February 7

1914  Pursuant to the Convention for Safety at Sea in London, President Woodrow Wilson directed that the Revenue Cutter Service undertake the task of manning the International Ice Patrol.  Henceforth, the Revenue Cutter Service and then the Coast Guard, with brief respites during both World Wars, served in this capacity, a traditional mission still undertaken to this day.

1942  Presidential order created the War Shipping Administration (WSA).  The WSA assumed control over all phases of merchant marine activities, including training, which the Coast Guard had been conducting since 1938.

1943  During a fierce convoy battle near Greenland, CGC Ingham rescued 33 survivors from the torpedoed troopship SS Henry Mallory, while CGC Bibb rescued 202.  Bibb then rescued 33 from the torpedoed SS Kalliopi.

1969  CGC Tern, commissioned on this date and stationed in New York, embodied an advanced concept in servicing aids to navigation.  Her over-the-stern gantry system of handling buoys was unique.  The automation and modernization of over-age, isolated lighthouses and light stations showed significant progress this year.  A new, more effective version of the LAMP (Lighthouse Automation and Modernization Project) plan was promulgated in this year as well.

1980  CGC Cape Horn saved all six crewmen of the F/V Hattie Rose in a dramatic night-time rescue.  The Hattie Rose, a Gloucester-based 75-foot stern trawler, began taking on water in 25-foot seas and 45-knot winds, 15 miles east of Provincetown.  Sea and wind conditions prevented a rescue by air and so the Cape Horn, under the command of LTJG William L. Ross, and 11 crewmen, diverted from one SAR case to go to the Hattie Rose's assistance.  The F/V Paul and Dominic, standing nearby the stricken vessel, helped direct the cutter to the area.  The Cape Horn's crew got a line to the men, now standing on the bow which was still afloat, and pulled four of the crew to safety aboard the cutter.  The line parted, however, and the two remaining fishermen began drifting away, but two of the Cape Horn's crew, Duncan Grant and Thomas Jennings, leaped into the 35-degree water and secured a line around the two.  They were all then hauled safely aboard.

 

February 8

1958  A U.S. Navy P5M aircraft enroute from San Juan to Norfolk lost one engine and changed course to the island of San Salvador, British West Indies, to attempt a night ditching.  AIRSTA Miami sent up a Coast Guard UF amphibian plane, later reinforced by a second amphibian.  After contacting the disabled Navy plane, the pilot of the first amphibian talked the Navy pilot out of attempting to ditch without benefit of illumination and alerted the commanding officer of the Coast Guard LORAN station on San Salvador for assistance after ditching.  In true Coast Guard tradition, the LORAN station's CO borrowed a truck and an 18-foot boat to assist.  The commanding officer managed to be on the scene 1-1/2 miles offshore, when the Navy P5M landed with two minutes of fuel remaining.  While one of the amphibians provided additional illumination, the Navy plane was guided through a dangerous reef to a mooring, using her operative port engine.  There were no casualties.

2007  CGC Storis was decommissioned after 64 years of service.

2015  CGC Alex Haley returned to Kodiak, Alaska, following a successful 70-day deployment patrolling more than 10,800 miles throughout the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands.  Alex Haley, known as the “Bulldog of the Bering,” departed Kodiak on December 1, 2014 and spent 70 days conducting law enforcement and community outreach operations in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands.  During the deployment, Alex Haley’s crew performed 41 at sea domestic fisheries enforcement boardings and covered more than 5,000 square miles in search efforts for the sunken Korean fishing vessel 501 Oryong.

 

February 9

1938  Chief Boatswain (L) John Allen Midgett, Commanding Officer of Station Chicamacomico, died in the U.S. Marine Hospital in Norfolk, VA, from injuries he sustained in an automobile accident on January 23, 1938.  Chief Midgett was the hero of the 1918 Mirlo rescue for which he was awarded a Gold Lifesaving Medal.

1965  A commercial DC-7 with 84 persons on board exploded in midair off Jones Beach, Long Island.  Despite an extensive search by seven Coast Guard cutters, six Coast Guard aircraft, and a U.S. Navy tug, no survivors were located.  Only nine bodies and various pieces of debris were located and recovered.

1968  Coast Guard cutters Androscoggin, Minnetonka, and Winona, along with 82-footers and Navy assets, on patrol in Vietnamese waters, thwarted a Communist attempt to run four trawlers through the Market Time blockade off the coast of South Vietnam.  The cutters sank three of the trawlers and forced the fourth to return to Hainan Island without landing her cargo.  The defeat of this attempted re-supply was hailed as "the most significant naval victory of the Vietnam campaign."

2010  CGC Alex Haley rescued a 28-member crew from the disabled fishing vessel Hou Chun 11 900 miles southwest of Honolulu.  Corpsmen aboard the cutter treated two of the crewmembers who suffered severe burns.  The crew of the cutter Alex Haley sailed to Christmas Island, Kiribati, where the two burn victims were medevaced by a Coast Guard HC-130 Hercules based out of AIRSTA Barbers Point.  The remaining 26 were transported ashore for transport to a vessel that returned them to Taiwan.

 

February 10

1840  A House resolution was introduced to inquire into transferring the Revenue Marine to the Navy.

1938  CGC Tahoe departed New Bedford, Massachusetts, to inaugurate the 1938 "International Ice Observation Service" (now referred to as the International Ice Patrol).

1940  CGCs Bibb and Duane inaugurated the Coast Guard's participation in the nation's manned ocean station program when they took their positions on Ocean Stations No. 1 and 2 in the North Atlantic on this date.  They also became the first vessels to make radio transmissions as "weather stations."

1992  Retired Coast Guard Chief Journalist Alex Haley, internationally noted author, crossed the bar.

1995  The 689-foot tank ship Mormac Star, carrying more than 4.7 million gallons of Jet A fuel and nearly 5.7 million gallons of number 2 diesel fuel, ran aground in Sandy Hook Channel, two miles off the beaches of Sandy Hook, New Jersey, spilling 33,600 gallons.  COTP New York responded.  Other responding units included Stations New York and Sandy Hook, VTS New York, and the Atlantic Area Strike Team.  The spill was successfully contained and the vessel salvaged.

 

February 11

1973  Due to the draw-down of U.S. forces in South Vietnam the post of Senior Coast Guard Officer, Vietnam, was discontinued.

2009  Miami-based LEDET 405, operating as part of Combined Task Force (CTF) 151 and conducting counter-piracy operations aboard USS Vella Gulf (CG-72) and USS Mahan (DDG-72) in the Gulf of Aden, assisted in the apprehension of 16 suspected pirates in a 24-hour period.

2014  The Coast Guard awarded three firm fixed-price contracts for preliminary and contract design for the Offshore Patrol Cutter (OPC) acquisition project.  The contracts were awarded to Bollinger Shipyards Lockport LLC (Lockport, Louisiana), Eastern Shipbuilding Group Inc. (Panama City, Florida), and General Dynamics, Bath Iron Works (Bath, Maine).  The OPC would fill Coast Guard and DHS offshore mission requirements and provide capabilities between the Coast Guard’s Fast Response Cutter and National Security Cutter, while replacing the aging 210-foot and 270-foot medium endurance cutters.

2015  CGC Valiant returned home to Naval Station Mayport Wednesday, after completing a six-week deployment in the Florida Straits and Eastern Caribbean Sea in support of operations Southeast Watch and Unified Resolve.  Valiant responded to a surge of illegal migration attempts in the Florida Straits following the U.S. government announcement to normalize relations with Cuba.  The cutter humanely processed and cared for 160 Cuban migrants in a one-week period.  Valiant also boarded and towed a coastal freighter following its failed attempt to deliver more than 1,000 kilograms of cocaine into Puerto Rico.  Valiant’s crewmembers conducted a search of the vessel, took custody of its crew, and towed the freighter over 120 miles to Ponce, Puerto Rico, where it was transferred to Homeland Security Investigations and Border Patrol authorities.  The freighter’s crew was turned over for prosecution in federal court.  During the cutter’s logistics stop in San Juan, Puerto Rico, the crew took time to visit two orphanages that care for infants and primary school children.  The crew distributed more than 200 new toys they brought with them from Mayport and spent two afternoons playing with the children.

 

February 12

1802  Revenue Marine had a total of 38 commissioned officers in service: 9 captains, 10 first mates, 9 second mates and 10 third mates.

1983  The 605-foot collier Marine Electric capsized and sank off Virginia during a gale.  Three of the 34 crewmen on board were rescued by Coast Guard and Navy assets.  This sinking and consequent loss of life contributed to the establishment of a permanent rescue swimmer program for the Coast Guard.

1986  Rains began in northern California that lasted for a week, causing severe flooding.  Coast Guard units participated in rescue and relief operations.

1997  Three of the four crewmembers of MLB-44363 out of the Quillayute River Motor Lifeboat Station were lost in the line of duty when they responded to a distress call from the sailing vessel Gale Runner.  They were BM2 David A. Bosley, MK3 Matthew E. Schlimme, and SN Clinton P. Miniken.

 

February 13

1960  A Coast Guard R5D aircraft from Honolulu dropped a pump to the Japanese training vessel Toyama Maru, which had radioed that it was taking on water and was in danger of sinking off Palmyra Island.  The pump controlled flooding until the arrival of CGC Bering Strait, whose crew made repairs to the Japanese vessel, using 2,500 pounds of sand and cement parachuted by a Honolulu-based SC-130B plane.

1963  The Bureau of Customs requested Coast Guard assistance to search the M/V Holland Diepe in Tacoma, Washington, for narcotics.  Narcotics agents had previously apprehended three Chinese crew members of the vessel in a Seattle hotel.  COTP Seattle provided a search party of two officers and eight enlisted men, who were joined by 10 Customs agents.  Two-man teams searched assigned areas of the vessel.  A first search of seven hours uncovered a considerable quantity of raw opium.  The search party then departed, as if the search were ended, but 45 minutes later they boarded the vessel once more, lined up the crew in the mess hall, and searched them and the ship again.  This search, lasting three hours, uncovered more opium, both raw and prepared for smoking, a small quantity of heroin, and several opium pipes.  A total of six pounds of opium was seized.  WPB 82336 conducted waterside surveillance during the search.

1969  The National Transportation Safety Board issued its "Study of Recreational Boat Accidents, Boating Safety Programs, and Preventive Recommendations".

1991  During Operation Desert Storm, two HU-25A Falcon jets from Air Station Cape Cod, equipped with AIREYE technology, departed for Saudi Arabia for service with the Inter-agency oil spill assessment team. They were accompanied in flight by two C-130 aircraft from Air Station Clearwater carrying spare parts and deployment packages.

 

February 14

1903  An Act of Congress (31 Stat. L., 825, 826, 827) that created the Department of Commerce and Labor provided for the transfer of the Lighthouse Service and the Steamboat Inspection Service from the Treasury Department.  This allowed the Secretary of Commerce and Labor to succeed to the authority vested in the Secretary of the Treasury under the existing legislation.

2016  CGC Campbell returned to its homeport at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery, Maine, following a 61-day counter narcotics patrol of the Caribbean Sea and Eastern Pacific Ocean.  In the span of one month Campbell seized or disrupted a total of seven smuggling vessels carrying cocaine from South America bound for the United States.  The amount of cocaine seized was estimated to be 4,800 pounds and worth more than $80 million dollars.  In addition, Campbell's crew rescued eight Cuban migrants attempting to sail from Cuba to the United States in an unseaworthy vessel.  Campbell deployed in support of the Joint-Interagency Task Force-South, which is in an international operation to disrupt the transportation of narcotics.  In doing so, Campbell worked with air, land, and naval assets from the U.S. Department of Defense and the Department of Homeland Security, as well as Western Hemisphere partner agencies, to counter drug trafficking.

 

February 15

1911  Congress transferred Fort Trumbull, New London, Connecticut from the War Department to the Treasury Department for the use of the Revenue Cutter Service as its cadet training school.

1943  CGC Calypso removed 42 persons from a lifeboat from the torpedoed vessel SS Buarque (Brazil) east of Cape Henry.

1980  The 70-foot fishing vessel Donna Catalina sank 40 miles south of Nantucket Island.  After pumps lowered to the four-man crew failed to keep up with the flooding, a Coast Guard helicopter lifted the fishing vessel's crew to safety.

2015  CGC Polar Star successfully rescued the Australian-flagged F/V Antarctic Chieftain which had been trapped in Antarctic ice 900 miles northeast of McMurdo Sound, Antarctica, for nearly two weeks.  The rescue operation spanned more than 860 miles and required Polar Star to break through 150 miles of thick Antarctic ice and navigate around icebergs that were miles wide.  Antarctic Chieftain damaged three of its four propeller blades in the ice, which required Polar Star to tow the vessel through about 60 miles of ice into open water.  Towing the 207-foot fishing vessel through heavy ice placed varying strain on the tow line, which broke three times during the rescue mission.  Once in open water, Antarctic Chieftain was able to maneuver under its own power.  The crew of F/V Janas escorted Antarctic Chieftain to Nelson, New Zealand.  Polar Star reached the crew of the fishing vessel February 13 after traveling across more than 150 miles of ice.  The fishermen requested assistance from Rescue Coordination Centre New Zealand Tuesday evening after becoming trapped in the ice.  RCC New Zealand requested CGC Polar Star, homeported in Seattle, to respond to Antarctic Chieftain’s request for assistance.  Polar Star was deployed to McMurdo Station, Antarctica, as part of Operation Deep Freeze.  After the successful rescue, Polar Star then continued its journey home to Seattle.

 

February 16

1926  Congress authorized the Secretary of the Treasury to "acquire a site at New London, Connecticut, without cost to United States, and construct thereon buildings for the United States Coast Guard Academy at a total cost not to exceed $1,750,000."

 

February 17

1934  CGCs Daphne, Hermes, Perseus, Aurora, and Calypso stood out from New York harbor, bound for their new duty station on the West Coast.  They arrived safely in San Diego, California on March 21, 1934 after passing through the Panama Canal.  The cutters formed and were referred to as the "West Coast Squadron" of the Coast Guard.

1944  Coast Guardsmen participated in the invasions of Eniwetok and Engebi, Marshall Island.

1956  CGC Casco saved 21 persons from a U.S. Navy seaplane that was forced to ditch 100 miles south of Bermuda. The cutter then took the disabled seaplane under tow and delivered both the survivors and the seaplane to the Naval Air Station at St. Georgia Harbor, Bermuda.

 

February 18

1842  The House of Representatives passed a resolution requesting the Committee on Commerce make an inquiry into the expenditures of the Lighthouse Establishment since 1816. This was to explore the possibility of cutting down on expenses, to examine the question of reorganizing the establishment and administration, and also to ascertain whether the establishment should be placed under the Topographical Bureau of the War Department.

1935  Three newly acquired Douglas RD Dolphin amphibious aircraft, CG-131, CG-132, and CG-133, took off from Clover Field, Santa Monica, California on "the first every trans-continental flight ever undertaken by a unit of Coast Guard men and planes."  CG-131 flew to Air Station Cape May, CG-132 flew to Air Station Biloxi, while CG-133 flew to its assigned duty station at Air Station Miami.  All aircraft arrived safely.  Total flight time for CG-133 totaled 25 hours and 50 minutes.

1952  During a severe "nor’easter" off the New England coast, the T-2 tankers SS Fort Mercer and SS Pendleton each broke in half.  Coast Guard vessels, aircraft, and lifeboat stations, working under severe winter conditions, rescued 70 persons from the foundering ships.  Five Coast Guardsmen earned the Gold Lifesaving Medal, four earned the Silver Lifesaving Medal, and 15 earned the Coast Guard Commendation Medal.

1966  Division 13 of Coast Guard Squadron One (RONONE) departed for Cat Lo.

1968  Engineman First Class Robert J. Yered was awarded the Silver Star for action on February 18, 1968 while attached to Explosive Loading Detachment #1, Cat Lai, Republic of Vietnam.  EN1 Yered was supervising the loading of explosives on board an ammunition ship when an enemy rocket struck a barge loaded with several tons of mortar ammunition moored alongside.  His citation noted that "without regard for his personal safety, [he] exposed himself to the enemy fusillade as he helped extinguish the fire on the burning barge…His courageous act averted destruction of the ammunition ship, and the Army Terminal."  EN1 Yered also received the Purple Heart for injuries suffered during the incident.

1979  Coast Guard HH-3F helicopter CG-1432 crashed 180 miles southeast of Cape Cod, killing four of its five occupants. The helicopter was preparing to airlift a 47 year old crewman from the Japanese fishing vessel Kaisei Maru #18.

 

February 19

1845  Administrative control of the Lighthouse Establishment was transferred to Revenue Marine Bureau.

1845  Metal buoys were first put into service. They were riveted iron barrels that replaced the older wooden stave construction.

1862  Congress authorized revenue cutters to enforce the law outlawing the importation of Chinese "coolie" labor.

1941  The Coast Guard Reserve was established after Congress passed the Auxiliary & Reserve Act.  The Auxiliary was created from former Reserve.  The legislation was introduced by Representative Gordon Canfield of New Jersey.

1945  The invasion of Iwo Jima commenced.  Coast Guard units that participated in this campaign included the Coast Guard-manned USS Bayfield, Callaway, 14 LSTs, and the PC-469.  Three of the LSTs were struck by enemy shore fire: LST-792, LST-758, and LST-760.

1988  The largest drug bust in Hawaiian waters to date took place with seizure of the Panamanian-flagged freighter Christina M 800 miles southeast of Hawaii.  The units involved were the Navy fast frigate USS Ouellet with a Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachment from the CGC Jarvis embarked, the CGC Mallow, and an AIRSTA Barbers Point HC-130.

 

February 20

1845  President John Tyler vetoed a bill providing that no cutter be built nor purchased unless an appropriation was first made by law, on grounds that sanctity of contract of those already contracted for should not be overridden by Congress.  Congress overrode his veto on March 3, 1845.

1964  CGC Coos Bay rescued 11 of the crew of the foundering British freighter Ambassador in heavy seas, 1,000 miles east of Boston.  Coast Guard aircraft from Air Station Argentia, Newfoundland, were first on the scene after the freighter issued an SOS on February 18th. The Coos Bay, on Ocean Station patrol 350 miles distant, steamed to the area and arrived there 24 hours later.  In concert with the Norwegian freighter Fruen, they managed to get lines aboard the wallowing Ambassador in what was called one of the most dramatic rescues of the year.  Demonstrating outstanding seamanship during the rescue, the cutter's commanding officer, Commander Claude W. Bailey, was awarded the Legion of Merit.  Many of his crew had volunteered to enter the frigid water to assist in the rescue as well.  Two were awarded the Coast Guard Medal while seven others received the Coast Guard Commendation Medal.

2013  The first LRI-II was delivered by MetalCraft Marine U.S. to the Coast Guard on this date and commenced testing activities soon after. The LRI-II, which were built to be deployed on the National Security Cutter fleet, was 35 feet long with a range of over 220 nautical miles and was capable of achieving speeds in excess of 38 knots. "The stern-launched LRI-II’s high speed and extended range significantly enhanced its host cutter’s ability to execute missions while underway, particularly in migrant interdiction and law enforcement operations where teams need to be put on scene quickly. Its ability to extend the reach of its host cutter is also critical to search and rescue operations, enabling NSC cutter crews to patrol larger search areas. The LRI-II can carry up to 15 passengers, including crew, and safely operate in seas up to 13 feet."

 

February 21

1943  CGC Spencer received credit from the U.S. Navy for attacking and sinking the U-225 in the North Atlantic.  The British Ministry of Defence has since recorded that the U-225 was actually destroyed by B-24 Liberator "S" of RAF No. 120 Squadron on February 15, 1943 and they have revised the official British records to reflect this change.  However, the renowned German naval historian, Professor-Dr. Jurgen Rohwer, stated that Spencer "probably" attacked and sank the U-529 instead, although the Spencer has not received official credit for that sinking.

2008  On February 20, 2008, two U.S. Air Force F-15C fighter jets from Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, collided over the Gulf of Mexico off Panama City.  Coast Guard HC-144A, No. 2303, and its crew, which were diverted to the scene from a routine training flight.  They located the first pilot and directed his recovery.  Both F-15C pilots were eventually recovered; regrettably only one was recovered alive.  This search & rescue (SAR) mission included two important “firsts” for the U.S. Coast Guard’s new HC-144A Ocean Sentry Maritime Patrol Aircraft.  For the HC-144A, the incident marked its first SAR mission, and its first use as an On-Scene Coordinator (OSC) platform.

 

February 22

1943  CGC Campbell under the command of CDR James A. Hirshfield and assigned to the international escort group A-3 that was escorting Convoy ON-166 through the North Atlantic, engaged numerous submarine contacts during a running battle across the sea.  Campbell's attacks damaged at least two U-boats.  The cutter also rescued 50 survivors from a torpedoed Norwegian freighter.  Then, on February 22, 1943, as Campbell returned to the convoy after rescuing the Norwegians, it detected a radar contact closing the convoy.  Campbell raced toward the target and soon made visual contact.  It was the surfaced U-606, earlier disabled by a depth charge attack delivered by the Free Polish destroyer Burza.  Campbell closed to ram while its gunners opened fire.  The big cutter struck the U-boat with a glancing blow and one of the submarine's hydroplanes sliced open Campbell's hull, flooding the engine room.  The crew dropped two depth charges as the submarine slid past, and the explosions lifted the U-boat nearly five feet.  Hirshfield later noted, "I felt sure he was ours."  Campbell illuminated the U-boat with a spotlight and the gunners continued to fire into the submarine's conning tower and hull.  Hirshfield was hit by shell fragments but remained at his station.  When he realized the Germans had given up, he ordered his men to cease firing.  Campbell then rescued five of the U-606's crew.  Due to the collision, Campbell was towed to safety, repaired, and returned to service.  CDR Hirshfield was awarded the Navy Cross for this action.

1944  Coast Guardsmen participate in the invasion of Parry Island in the Marshall Islands.

1966  Division 13 of Coast Guard Squadron One (RONONE) arrived at Cat Lo for service with Operation Market Time in Vietnam.

2015  CGC Maui returned to her homeport in Bahrain after a prolonged period supporting the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) counter-terrorism and maritime security task force, Combined Task Force 150 (CTF-150), patrolling the Gulf of Oman and the North Arabian Sea from December 2014 to February 2015. Maui was the first US Coast Guard Cutter to provide direct support of CTF-150 since 2011 and the first such ship to operate outside the Straits of Hormuz in nearly two years.  Despite the challenges of the small cutter’s company, with only 21 sailors onboard, Maui was called upon to do more than what is normally expected from a ship of her size, filling a major role in the mission.  The boarding team executed several boarding and approach and visit operations, and the ship’s executive team provided valuable data about the maritime traffic in and around the Gulf of Oman and North Arabian Sea, strengthening CTF-150’s understanding of the maritime picture in the area.  Throughout the patrol, Maui was able to coordinate with the patrol craft, destroyers, aircraft and oilers supporting CTF-150’s mission, ensuring maximum radar coverage, vectoring ships to boarding opportunities, and coordinating logistics.  At one point, Maui extended the normal endurance of a Coast Guard cutter, spending a total 13 days at sea.

 

February 23

1822  Congress authorized the Revenue Cutter Service to protect the natural environment by preventing "scoundrels" from cutting down live oak on Florida public lands.  The oak was used for naval construction.

1837  Congress called for an inspection of the coast from Chesapeake Bay to the Sabine River "with regard to the location of additional light-houses, beacons, and buoys."  Captain Napoleon L. Coste, commanding the Revenue cutter Campbell, was dispatched.  He reported that the first addition to aids to navigation on this entire coast should be at Egmont Key, Tampa Bay.  A lighthouse was authorized immediately and built the next year.

1877  First Lieutenant Dorr F. Tozier, USRCS assisted in saving the French bark Peabody, which had gone aground on February 23, 1877 off Horn Island in the Mississippi Sound.  Tozier was awarded a Gold Medal by the President of the French Republic "for gallant, courageous, and efficient services" in saving the French vessel.

2010  CGC Alex Haley returned to their homeport of Kodiak after an 80-day deployment to the South Pacific.  While on patrol in the South Pacific the crew of the cutter was involved in the rescue of 28 survivors of a shipboard fire and the subsequent sinking of the Taiwanese fishing vessel Hou Chun 11 900 miles southwest of Honolulu February 9th.  All 28 crew were rescued and delivered safely to Christmas Island, Kiribati.  The cutter's expert medical team assisted two badly burned crewmen who were further medevaced by Coast Guard C-130 from Kiribati to Honolulu.

 

February 24

1964  A U.S. Coast Guard ice skiff rescued 25 persons from an ice flow that had broken loose from the shore near Camp Perry, Ohio.  A similar rescue took place almost simultaneously at St. Clair Shores, Michigan when another Coast Guard ice skiff and a police helicopter removed five more from an ice flow.

1987  Coast Guard attorney LCDR Robert W. Bruce, Jr. became the first member of the armed forces to argue a case before the Supreme Court in uniform.  He represented the Coast Guard in Solorio vs. United States.

1989  Coast Guard units searched for survivors of United Airlines Flight 811 after it crashed off the coast of Hawaii.  The units included a HC-130, two helicopters, and CGCs Cape Corwin, Mallow and Sassafras.  No survivors were found and the units then assisted in the retrieval of debris.

 

February 25

1799  Congress passed "An Act for the augmentation of the Navy" that authorized President John Adams to place the revenue cutters in the naval establishment.  This was done in response to the Quasi-War with France and it had the effect of "redefining the maritime character of the Revenue Cutter Service and making it a service with the dual character of a military establishment and of a maritime service" (Irving King, George Washington's Coast Guard, p. 152).

1825  Congress empowered the Revenue Marine to enforce state quarantine laws.

1942  Wartime port security was delegated to the Coast Guard by Executive Order 9074.

2001  The tugboat Swift sank after colliding with the freighter A.V. Kastner on the Elk River in the upper Chesapeake Bay.  Coast Guard units from New Jersey and Philadelphia worked with state police and local rescue agencies to rescue three survivors.  Two crewmen perished.  The Coast Guard also conducted the marine casualty investigation.

 

February 26

1793  Alexander Hamilton, first Secretary of the Treasury, submitted to the Senate the first official list of cutters with stations, officers' names, rank, and dates of commission.

1984  Five people died, three were injured, and 22 rescued when the tanker American Eagle exploded 180 miles southeast of New Orleans.  An AIRSTA New Orleans HH-3 took the three injured crewmen ashore while a British tanker watched over the crippled ship until a commercial tug could arrive.  The next day the American Eagle started to break up and sink.  The 24 remaining crewmen abandoned ship.  Oil rig supply boats and a Coast Guard helicopter recovered 22.  The other two became the subject of an HU-25 search, but the SAR case was suspended after three days.

 

February 27

1925  An Act of Congress repealed the law providing a ration allowance for keepers of lighthouses and increased their salaries correspondingly.  This change was not only advantageous to the light keepers, but also simplified office work.

1949  Aerial ice observation flights by long-range aircraft operated from Argentia, Newfoundland.  An International Ice Patrol by vessels was neither required nor established during the 1949 season and it was the first time that aircraft alone conducted the ice observation service.

1953  CGC Coos Bay, on Ocean Station Echo, about half-way between Bermuda and the Azores, rescued the crew of 10 from the U.S. Navy patrol plane that was forced to ditch in the Atlantic Ocean.

2003  CGC Dallas was ordered to deploy overseas to support Operation Enduring Freedom and to prepare for future contingencies.  She was underway on patrol when she received the order from the Atlantic Area commander to sail overseas to the Mediterranean.  Dallas deployed with an HH-65B Dolphin helicopter and 7-member aircrew from Coast Guard Air Station Atlantic City, New Jersey.

2004  The Coast Guard repatriated 531 Haitian migrants to Port-au-Prince, Haiti, after they were rescued in the Windward Pass. The migrants were from 13 boats stopped since February 21, 2004.  The repatriations were completed by three cutters: CGC Valiant transported 290 migrants, CGC Vigilant delivered another 241, and CGC Nantucket escorted the cutters for safety and security. The migrants were turned over to the Haitian coast guard.

 

February 28

1867  As ordered by the Treasury Department, each officer of Revenue Cutter Service, while on duty, was entitled to one Navy ration per day.

1871  Congress passed 16 Stat. 458 which addressed shortcomings in previous legislation regarding the inspection and certification of steamboats and their crews.  This Act established the Steamboat Inspection Service (SIS) within the Department of Treasury headed by a Supervisory Inspector General answerable to the Treasury Secretary.  The Act also provided SIS inspectors with greater authority over more aspects of the maritime field.

1942  Certain duties of the former Bureau of Marine Inspection and Navigation were transferred to the Coast Guard temporarily by Executive Order 9083.  The transfer was made permanent on July 16, 1946.  Also, the U.S. Maritime Service was transferred to the Coast Guard from the War Shipping Administration on this date.

1963  With the arrival of the ferry crew on this date to accept delivery of the HC-130B CGNR 1351 at Marietta, Georgia, the Coast Guard completed its program for the procurement of 12 long range, long endurance, four engine landplanes.  The aircraft were assigned to Air Station Elizabeth City and Air Detachments Argentia, San Francisco, and Barbers Point.

2004  Coast Guard units responded to an explosion aboard the 570-foot Singapore-flagged tanker Bow Mariner off the coast of Chincoteague, Virginia.  The Bow Mariner was carrying 6.5 million gallons of industrial ethanol when it exploded and sank.  The Coast Guard rescued six survivors.

2015  CGC Steadfast returned to its homeport of Astoria after a two-month Joint Interagency Task Force (JIATF) deployment.  Steadfast partook in multiple Coast Guard missions ranging from search and rescue, to counter-narcotics, to securing U.S. borders through enhancement of international relations, and coordination with other cutters and aircraft allowing the U.S. to stop drug trafficking before it reaches U.S. borders.  While returning from patrol off the coast of Central America, Steadfast offloaded approximately 725 kilograms of cocaine in San Diego.  The seized cocaine is worth an estimated wholesale value of more than $23 million.  The offload is a result of a successful drug interdiction in the Eastern Pacific Ocean on January 23, 2015.  While on a routine patrol, a maritime patrol aircraft working in conjunction with JIATF assets detected a suspicious go-fast vessel south of El Salvador.  Using information provided by the aircrew, Steadfast was able to vector the cutter’s Over-the-Horizon boat to intercept and conduct a law enforcement boarding of the suspect vessel.  Once aboard the go-fast vessel, the Coast Guard boarding team found 16 bales of contraband hidden throughout the 35-foot vessel that tested positive for cocaine.  The Coast Guard took three suspected smugglers into custody.  This seizure is one of many interdictions in the Eastern Pacific in recent months due to an increased presence of Coast Guard cutters in support of the Western Hemisphere Strategy.  The Western Hemisphere Strategy has been implemented by the Coast Guard and various other government agencies to protect U.S. borders by stopping illicit trafficking at the source.  Steadfast’s interdiction was part of Operation Martillo, which is one component in the United States government's whole-of-government approach to countering the use of the Central American littorals as transshipment routes for illicit drugs, weapons, and cash.  Prior to the visit to San Diego, Steadfast participated in a North American Maritime Security Initiative (NAMSI) exercise off the coast of Ensenada, Mexico, February 21-22, 2015.

 

February 29

1944  Coast Guardsmen participated in the invasion of Los Negros, Admiralty Islands.

1968  In the largest naval engagement of the Vietnam War CGC Androscoggin, Point Welcome, and Point Grey combined to destroy and enemy trawler.  CGC Winona, Point Grace, Point Marone, and Point Hudson combined to destroy another enemy trawler and CGC Minnetonka forced another trawler to turn back.  A fourth enemy trawler was also sunk, but Coast Guard units were not involved.

 March 1

1876  Nuova Ottavia, an Italian vessel, grounded near the Jones Hill North Carolina Life-Saving Station.  The rescue attempt by the crew of that station resulted in the loss of seven surfmen, the first deaths in the line of duty since the service began using paid crews in 1870.  Among the dead was African-American Surfman Jeremiah Munden, the first African-American surfman to die in the line of duty.

1902  The first regular light stations in Alaska were established at Southeast Five Finger Island and at Sentinel Island.  Both were on the main inside passage between Wrangell Strait and Skagway.

1927  The U.S. Lighthouse Service put into effect a system of broadcasting radio weather reports by four lightships stationed along the Pacific Coast.

1933  In the interest of administrative economy and efficiency, the 13th and 14th Lighthouse Districts were consolidated with the 15th Lighthouse District.  Also, the aids to navigation on the entire Mississippi River system were placed in charge of a civilian lighthouse engineer as superintendent.  This relieved the Army engineers detailed for that duty.  The offices at Rock Island, Illinois and Cincinnati, Ohio were discontinued and all the river work was placed under a single office at St. Louis, Missouri.

1975  The Coast Guard issued regulations that became effective on March 1, 1975 that required an emergency position indicating radio beacon (EPIRB) on small passenger vessels engaged in ocean and coastwise service.

1977  The Coast Guard began enforcement of the Fishery Conservation and Management Act with 19 cutters and 17 aircraft patrolling within the 200-mile Fishery Conservation Zone.

2003  Administrative control of the Coast Guard transferred to the newly created Department of Homeland Security from the Department of Transportation, where it had served since April 1, 1967.

2015  Her Majesty’s Canadian Ships Goose Bay and Shawinigan, in collaboration with the U.S. Navy and in support of the U.S. Coast Guard, assisted in seizing more than 1000 kg of cocaine while patrolling in the Caribbean Sea, as part of Operation CARIBBE.  Following the initial search of a suspect vessel by a boarding team from USS Kauffman, HMCS Goose Bay was tasked to conduct an additional inspection.  A subsequent boarding and search of the suspect vessel by the USCG LEDET embarked with HMCS Goose Bay, supported by HMCS Shawinigan, resulted in the seizure of 1017 kg of cocaine.

2015  CGC Alex Haley returned to Kodiak, Alaska, following a successful 70-day deployment patrolling more than 10,800 miles throughout the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands.  Alex Haley,  the “Bulldog of the Bering,” departed Kodiak on December 1, 2014 and spent 70 days conducting law enforcement and community outreach operations in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands.  During the deployment, Alex Haley’s crew performed 41 at sea domestic fisheries enforcement boardings and covered more than 5,000 square miles in search efforts for the sunken Korean fishing vessel 501 Oryong.

2015  CGC Waesche returned to homeport at Coast Guard Island in Alameda following a 79-day, 13,000 nautical-mile patrol in the Eastern Pacific Ocean.  Since its departure on December 12, 2014, Waesche patrolled international waters off the coast of Central America, disrupting Transnational Organized Crime networks through joint inter-agency counter-drug operations, seizing nearly 1,400 lbs of cocaine with an estimated value of more than $22 million.  During the last four weeks of its deployment, crewmembers aboard Waesche spent time off the coast of San Diego completing rigorous proficiency exercises geared toward sharpening the unit's readiness to conduct the many operations that are vital to the Coast Guard's military, homeland defense, and law enforcement missions. Many of these exercises included helicopter operations, gunnery, shipboard firefighting and damage control, and medical training. Additionally, they practiced national defense scenarios to ensure seamless integration with partners from the Department of Defense.

 

March 2

1792 Congress authorized the revenue cutters to fire on merchant ships that refused to "bring to." 

1799  Congress authorized revenue cutter officers to board all ships of the United States within four leagues of the U.S., if bound for the U.S., and then search and examine them, certifying manifest, sealing hatches, and remaining on board until they arrived in port.  They were also authorized to search ships of other nations in United States' waters and "perform such other duties for the collection and security of the Revenue" as directed by the Secretary of the Treasury.

1799  Congress authorized cutters and boats to be "distinguished from other vessels by an ensign and pendant" with the marks thereon prescribed by the President of the United States, to fire on vessels who refused to bring to after the pendant and ensign had been hoisted and a gun fired as a signal, masters to be indemnified from any penalties or actions for damages for so doing, and be admitted to bail if anyone is killed or wounded by such firing.  On August 1, 1799, Secretary Oliver Wolcott, Jr., prescribed that the " ensign and pennant’’ should consist of "Sixteen perpendicular stripes, alternate red and white, the union of the ensign to be the arms of the United States in dark blue on a white field."  There were sixteen states in the Union at that time.

1799  Congress authorized the President to sell cutters unfit for service and the Secretary of Treasury to apply an unexpended balance of proceeds in the purchase and construction of revenue cutters.  (This authority was revoked March 3, 1845).

1807  Congress passed the "Act Prohibiting the Importation of Slaves" (2 Stat. 426).  The act outlawed the importation of slaves into the United States.  It went into effect on January 1, 1808.  The Revenue Marine enforced the law on the high seas.

1845  Congress reined in President John Tyler’s zealous use of the presidential veto, overriding it with the necessary two-thirds vote.  This marked Congress’ first use of the Constitutional provision allowing Congressional veto overrides and represented Congress’ parting gift to Tyler as he left office.  About two weeks earlier, Tyler had vetoed a Congressional bill that would have denied him the power to appropriate federal funds to build revenue-cutter ships without Congressional approval.  With the override, Congress insisted that the executive branch get the legislature’s approval before commissioning any new military craft.

1868  By Act of Congress (15 Stat. L., 249), the Lighthouse Board was "authorized, when in their judgment, it is deemed necessary, to place a light-vessel, or other suitable warning of danger, on or over any wreck or temporary obstruction to the entrance of any harbor, or in the channel or fairway of any bay or sound."

1889  Congress authorized the Secretary of Treasury to keep rivers clear to afford marine species access to their spawning grounds.

1912  The Revenue cutter Hartley seized the vessel Morning Star in Oakland Creek and arrested her crew for carrying 21 "contraband" Chinese migrants.

1978  Mexican authorities requested Coast Guard assistance after severe rainstorms caused significant flooding in Baja.  Two HH-3Fs from AIRSTA San Diego began evacuating people for Ensenada.  An HC-130 from AIRSTA San Francisco and a third HH-3F from San Diego joined the flood relief operations.  As of March 8th, Coast Guard aviation units had flown 59 sorties and 77 flight hours, transported 349 persons to safety, and delivered 74,600 lbs. of relief supplies in operations covering Ensenada, Tijuana, Santa Ynes, San Quintin, Punta Colnett, Camalu, Guadlupe, El Rosario, and La Mission.  Through the Mexican Secretary of Defense and the Governor of Baja California, the President of Mexico relayed his personal appreciation and that of the Mexican people to all Coast Guard personnel involved.

2015  CGC Diligence returned to its homeport of Wilmington, North Carolina, following a 46-day patrol in the Caribbean Sea and Atlantic Ocean.  During the patrol, Diligence was diverted to conduct a search and rescue mission of four Italian sailors aboard the 30-foot sailing vessel Algeria, which became disabled off the Coast of Panama.  The four sailors had been underway on the Algeria for more than a month navigating from Italy to Costa Rica when the vessel became disabled. Diligence traveled more than 175 miles to Algeria’s location and then towed the sailing vessel to safety in Chiriqui Grande, Panama.  During the patrol, the crew aboard Diligence conducted search and rescue operations off the coast of Panama, drug interdiction operations in the vicinity of Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Panama, and alien migrant interdiction operations in the Straits of Florida.  Diligence patrolled in support of the Joint Interagency Task Force South’s Operation Martillo in the Western Caribbean Sea from Honduras to Columbia.

 

March 3

1819  Congress authorized the revenue cutters to protect merchant vessels of United States against piracy and to seize vessels engaged in slave trade.  The cutters Louisiana and Alabama were built shortly thereafter to assist in the government's efforts against piracy.

1837  An Act of Congress (5 Stat. L., 181, 185) laid down certain restrictions, by providing that the construction of the large number of new lighthouses, lightships, etc., for which this law was appropriating the necessary funds, would not be begun until examined by Board of Navy Commissioners.  They reported to Congress those cases where the "navigation is so inconsiderable as not to justify the proposed works."  The Navy detailed 22 officers to this duty and, before the end of the year, their recommendations resulted in the deferment of the construction of 31 lighthouses already appropriated for.

1839  Congress directed that Revenue Captain Ezekial Jones, commanding the revenue cutter Washington in the Seminole War, be allowed the same pay as a lieutenant in the Navy would receive for like services.

1845  Congress authorized the President to appoint six engineers (later amplified by Act of February 4, 1863) and six assistant engineers, one of each to be assigned to each revenue steamer then in the service.  Engineers were to receive the same pay as first lieutenants and assistant engineers the same pay as third lieutenants.

1845  Congress directed no person be appointed as a revenue cutter officer "who does not adduce competent proof of proficiency and skill in navigation and seamanship."  This was the first official underway qualifications established for the service.

1845  The duties of the Fifth Auditor of the Treasury as Superintendent of Lights was first put on a statutory basis by an Act of Congress (5 Stat. L., 752. 762), which prescribed that "the Fifth Auditor of the Treasury, shall continue to superintend the several matters and things connected with the light-houses, beacons, buoys, and public piers, as heretofore, of the United States, and to perform all the duties connected therewith, under the direction of the Secretary of the Treasury, until otherwise ordered by law."

1847  Congress appropriated $5000 "for furnishing lighthouses on the Atlantic Coast with means of rendering assistance to shipwrecked mariners."  This was the first federal appropriation for rendering assistance to the shipwrecked from shore.  

1849  The Office of Commissioner of Customs was created.  The local Collectors took over control of the revenue cutters within their jurisdictions.

1859  An Act of Congress (11 Stat. L., 423, 424) authorized the Lighthouse Board to use its own discretion in the discontinuance as necessary of such lighthouses as might become useless by reason of changes in commerce, alteration in channels, or other causes.

1873  Signal Corps of Army established a storm signal service for benefit of seafaring men at several life-saving stations and constructed telegraph lines as a means of communication between the stations.

1875  Secretary of the Treasury was authorized by Congress to acquire by donation or purchase the right to use and acquire sites for life saving and life boat stations.

1885  Congress authorized Secretary of the Treasury to detail officers and men of Revenue Marine Service to duty under the commissioner of Fish and Fisheries Division of the Bureau of Fisheries when they could be spared for such duty.

1899  An Act of Congress (30 Stat. L., 1121, 1152) required that, whenever a vessel, raft, or other craft was wrecked and sunk in a navigable channel, it became the duty of the owner to immediately mark the sunken craft with a suitable buoy or beacon during the day and a lighted lantern at night.  Previously, the Lighthouse Establishment had been authorized by Congress to place, when considered necessary, a lightship or other suitable warning of danger on any wreck or temporary obstruction to the entrance of any harbor or in the channel of any bay or sound.

1905  Congress authorized the Secretary of the Treasury to acquire a suitable site in the state of Maryland upon which to establish a depot for the Revenue Cutter Service; this station became the Coast Guard Yard.

1915  An Act of Congress (38 Stat. L., 926, 928) provided for cooperation between the Lighthouse Service and the Forest Service in the management of the forest land on lighthouse reservations.

1918  By Act of Congress (38 Stat. L., 928), the protection afforded the aids to navigation maintained by the United States government was extended to those established and operated by private individuals.

1947  The SS Oakey S. Alexander reported being in distress 22 miles east of Portland, Maine, with a hatch stove in and shipping water.  CGC Cowslip immediately proceeded on orders from Portland to assist.  When she began breaking up, the ship's commanding officer decided to beach at Cape Elizabeth.  Cowslip arrived on the scene, but was unable to approach the beached vessel because of heavy seas.  All 32 crewmembers, however, were removed safely from the ship by Coast Guardsmen from the Cape Elizabeth Light and Lifeboat Station using a breeches buoy.

 

March 4

1907  Congress appropriated $30,000 for installing wireless telegraphs on not more than 12 revenue cutters.  USRC Algonquin as the first cutter fitted with the new technology with money appropriated from this act.

1915  Secretary of the Treasury was authorized by Congress to detail cutters to enforce anchorage regulations in all harbors, rivers, bays, and other navigable waters of United States.

1917  Ten crewmen of CGC Yamacraw perished in the line of duty while trying to rescue the crew of the grounded steamer Louisiana near Ocean City, Maryland.  The Treasury Department labeled their loss "the most disastrous incident of this kind ever recorded in the annals of the Coast Guard, or of either of its forbears, the Revenue-Cutter Service and Life-Saving Service."  The Coast Guardsmen who gave up their lives were:  Gunner Ross Harris, Master-at-Arms R. J. Grady, Quartermaster M. L. Kambarn, Seaman G. V. Jarvis, Ordinary Seaman M. L. Austin, Ordinary Seaman D. Fulcher, Ordinary Seaman R. L. Garrish, Ordinary Seaman R. E. Simmons, Ordinary Seaman T. L. Midgett, and Boy First Class J. A. Dugger.

1925  An Act of Congress (43 Stat. L., 1261), for the first time, provided for disability retirement within the Lighthouse Service.

1929  Congress appropriated $144,000 for seaplanes and equipment for Coast Guard.

1952  An air detachment consisting of three helicopters and necessary personnel established as the first unit of its type on a test basis (at AIRSTA Brooklyn) began operating in support of port security operations.

1977  ENS Janna Lambine, USCG, graduated from naval aviation training at NAS Whiting Field, Milton, Florida, becoming the first female pilot in the Coast Guard.  

 

March 5

1881  The crew of Life-Saving Station No. 10, Ninth District (Louisville), won acclaim with a dangerous rescue at the wreck of James D. Parker, a well-known river boat lost in the Indiana chute of the Ohio Falls.  She was a stern-wheel steamer of over 500 tons owned by the Cincinnati and Memphis Packet Company and bound from Cincinnati to Memphis.  Her crew numbered 50, including the captain, and she had 55 passengers on board, a number of whom were women and children.

 

March 6

1896  Secretary of the Treasury was authorized to detail cutters to enforce anchorage regulations on the St. Mary’s River.

1932  Five members of Station Atlantic City were lost in the line of duty when station personnel responded to the gas screw vessel Anna and a motor boat in distress off Atlantic City.  Two of the station's boats were lost in the heavy seas: Picket Boat No. 2301 capsized outside the bar while responding to the original distress situation and then surfboat No. 2301 disappeared while proceeding to the assistance of the picket boat crew.  Lost were: Surfman David A. Barnett, Surfman William R. Garton, MoMM2c (L) William Graham, Surfman Harold Livingston, and BM2c (L) Marvin E. Rhoades.

1998  The Coast Guard commissioned CGC Barracuda (WPB 87301) on this date.  The new patrol boat was assigned to Eureka, California.  Barracuda was the first vessel of the new 87-foot Marine Predator class patrol boats built by Bollinger Shipyards for the Coast Guard to replace the venerable 82-foot Point Class patrol boats. 

 

March 7

1883  A dramatic rescue was performed by the crew of Assateague Life-Saving Station in Virginia using a surfboat through a howling storm to save the ten persons stranded on the sinking barkentine Wolverine.

 

March 8

1942  A Coast Guard aircraft located the lifeboats of SS Arubutan, which had been sunk by a German U-boat off the North Carolina coast, and directed CGC Calypso to them.

1963  CGC Eastwind crossed sixty degrees south latitude north-bound after 126 days in the Antarctic Region as a part of Operation Deepfreeze 63, setting a new record for a single cruise in that area.

1973  The first "Coast Guard-controlled drug seizure" took place when the cutter Dauntless seized the sport fishing vessel Big L which was smuggling an "illicit cargo" of one ton of marijuana.  

2015  CGC Alert returned to its homeport of Astoria, Oregon, following a 61-day counter narcotics patrol off the coast of Central and South America.  The crew of the 46-year old ship interdicted two suspected smuggling vessels stopping an estimated 2,300 pounds of cocaine worth approximately $28 million.  On two separate occasions, the crew found sea turtles entangled in abandoned fishing gear.  The crew’s efforts saved three turtles, allowing them to swim away unharmed.  Coast Guardsmen aboard also improved their proficiency by conducting 94 safety and mission specific drills.  These exercises included shipboard emergency response, navigation proficiency, and live-fire gunnery exercises.

 

March 9

1928  A pulling surfboat with nine men aboard, under the command of Boatswain's Mate First Class William Cashman, got underway from the Manomet Life-Saving to go to the rescue of the steamer Robert E. Lee.  The Lee had grounded on Mary Ann Rocks in a heavy gale.  While returning to the station the surfboat capsized due to extremely heavy seas, spilling all nine men into the water.  Six were rescued but "Captain" Cashman, Surfman Frank W. Griswold, and Surfman Edward R. Stark perished in the line of duty in the freezing water.  During the on-going search and rescue operations all 236 passengers and crew from the Robert E. Lee were saved.

1944  The U-225 torpedoed and sank the Coast Guard-manned destroyer escort USS Leopold (DE-319) off Iceland.  The attack marked the introduction of a newly developed acoustic torpedo.  All 13 officers and 148 (out of 186) enlisted men on board were killed.  The 28 survivors were rescued by USS Joyce (DE-317), another Coast Guard-manned destroyer escort.

1946  The Coast Guard-manned LST-767 was damaged in a hurricane near Okinawa.  She was later declared a total loss and was decommissioned.

1966  CGC Point White, on duty with Coast Guard Squadron One, Division 13, in Vietnam, captured a Vietcong junk after a running firefight.  Point White was in Vietnam only a month when she started conducting patrols on a Viet-Cong-controlled area of the Soi Rap River.  Point White used a plan of steaming out of the patrol area and covertly returning.  On March 9th, she spotted a junk crossing the river and attempted to stop it.  The junk opened fire with small arms, including automatic weapons.  Point White returned the fire and rammed the junk, throwing the occupants into the water.  The cutter’s commanding officer, LTJG  Eugene J. Hickey, rescued a survivor who turned out to be a key VC leader of the Rung Sat Secret Zone.  During March, three WPBs of Division 13 killed twenty-seven VC in action, captured seven more, and confiscated considerable contraband.

1996  The first "all-Coast Guard" Ceremonial Honor Guard carried out a wreath laying at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery.

 

March 10

1909  The British barkentine Ladysmith, during a thick fog, stranded three miles WSW of the Fisher's Island Life-Saving Station.  The keeper was notified by telephone and the life-savers, in surfboat, proceeded to the scene.  They safely rescued the Ladysmith's master, his wife, and 9 seamen.

1983  The Coast Guard retired the last operational HU-16E Albatross, ending the "era of seaplanes" for the service.

2015  CGC Polar Star returned to Seattle after a 101-day Antarctic deployment.  Polar Star departed Seattle for Operation Deep Freeze 2015, the military resupply and logistical support mission for the U.S. Antarctic Program’s McMurdo Station. Polar Star escorted the cargo vessel Ocean Giant and fuel tanker Maersk Peary to McMurdo Station through ice ranging in thickness from 5 to 10 feet. Upon completion of Deep Freeze, Polar Star’s crew rescued 26 fishermen aboard the 207-foot F/V Antarctic Chieftain.  The mariners were trapped in a heavy pack ice near Cape Burks, Antarctica, for almost two weeks.  The crew diverted to provide assistance to the fishermen.  After navigating across 753 miles with 89 miles of treacherous ice conditions, Polar Star’s crew located the Antarctic Chieftain and towed the fishing vessel through 49 miles of pack ice before transferring the Antarctic Chieftain to the New Zealand fishing vessel Janas.

 

March 11

1934  CGC Gresham's small boat crew defeated a team from the Royal Navy cruiser HMS Danae in a surfboat race over a two-mile course laid out in Mobile Bay.  Gresham and the City of Mobile had been hosting the British warship since March 8, 1934.

1941  Congress passed the Lend-Lease Act.  Under the auspices of Lend-Lease all 10 of the Coast Guard's famous Lake-class cutters were transferred to the Royal Navy.  Three were lost in action against Axis forces.  These 250-foot cutters had been designed by the Coast Guard Constructor RADM Frederick A. Hunnewell and featured a slightly raked stem and a cruiser stern.  Their innovative turbine-electric drive power plant was developed by Coast Guard CAPT Quincy B. Newman.  These were the first ships to have alternating current, synchronous motor for propulsion – the whole ship ran off the main turbine.  The auxiliary generators were tied into the main generator electrically, after sufficient speed was attained.  At that point, no steam was required to drive the turbines on the auxiliary generators.  The propulsion plant achieved remarkable efficiency.

2010  CGC Long Island returned to its homeport of Valdez, Alaska, after providing patrol support to the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.  Long Island conducted patrols, boardings, and professional exchanges with Navy cruisers, destroyers, multi-agency aircraft and other Coast Guard units such as high endurance cutters, patrol boats, Maritime Safety and Security Teams, and the Maritime Security Response Team. The crew transited more than 2,500 miles roundtrip for the mission including underway maintenance and port calls to Washington state, Canada and Southeast Alaska.  They conducted periodic law enforcement boardings to ensure vessels were in compliance of all U.S. laws and regulations to assist their Canadian counterparts.  The Coast Guard was the lead for all U.S. maritime military naval forces supporting the 2010 Winter Olympics and had the dual responsibility of supporting Canadian Maritime operations while contributing to the larger Canadian government communications effort in promoting public confidence and security.  Vancouver, British Columbia, hosted the 2010 Olympics from February 12-28, 2010.

 

March 12

1955  Effective this date, all foreign and domestic ships were required to give 24-hour advance notice to the local U.S. Coast Guard Captain of the Port before entering U.S. ports.  This order was designed to improve the U.S. Coast Guard's port security program without "material inconvenience" to shipping.

1965  This date marked the beginning of the U.S. Navy’s Operation Market Time.  The operation was designed to interdict the river and coastal water supply lines of Communist forces in South Vietnam.  The initiation of this campaign led to the Navy’s request for Coast Guard vessels and crews to participate in river and coastal patrols during the Vietnam War.

2012  Coast Guard Commandant Admiral Robert Papp participated in a ceremony at Bollinger Shipyards in Lockport, Louisiana, to dedicate the new Fast Response Cutter fleet.

 

March 13

1882  At 7 P.M., the schooner Annie L. Palmer bound for New York from Baracoa, Cuba, with a cargo of fruit, and a crew of six persons, stranded about two hundred yards off-shore, one mile north of Station No. 16, Fourth District, New Jersey.  The patrolman reported it to the keeper.  The life-saving crew boarded the vessel by 8 o’clock and found that she had grounded at low water and could not be moved until the tide rose.  They ran an anchor to keep the vessel from working farther on, and waited for the flood tide.  At half past 2 the next morning, the tide rose and they succeeded in heaving the vessel off.  They then took her to a safe anchorage.

1974  A 200-foot fishing vessel requested evacuation of a crewman, who had severe headaches from a head injury.  The vessel was directed to proceed to the vicinity of Boston Light Vessel where upon arrival a motor lifeboat from Coast Guard Station Point Allerton evacuated the patient to Coast Guard Base Boston.  A waiting ambulance transported the patient to Brighton Hospital.

2000  The Coast Guard announced the successful completion of Operation New FrontierNew Frontier was an evaluation of the use of armed helicopters and high-speed small boats to stop small, high-speed smuggling vessels, referred to as "go-fasts," that smuggled narcotics to the U.S.  Of the six go-fasts detected, all six were captured.  CGCs Gallatin and Seneca took part in the evaluations.

 

March 14

1819  The March 23, 1819 edition of the New York Evening Post reported: "The Artegan Privateer GENERAL ARTIGAS was yesterday brought into this port.  The ARTIGAS sailed from Baltimore about 5 months ago, commanded by Captain Ford, with a complement of 60 men and 10 guns.  They took no prizes, though they boarded a number of Portuguese vessels but permitted them to proceed unmolested.  She touched at St. Domingo, there parted her cable in a gale, then proceeded on her cruise.  She sprung a leak and then put into the Chesapeake, the crew then mutinied and nearly the whole of them left the vessel and went on shore.  She was taken possession of by the Cutter MONROE, March 14, 1819." 

1909  At Gloucester, Massachusetts, a launch became disabled 3/4-mile southeast of the life-saving station.  Surfmen manned the power lifeboat and started to assist.  On the trip out a schooner was discovered anchored in a dangerous berth 1-3/4 miles southeast of the station.  Surfmen put a towline on the schooner, and, with her sails drawing, she was towed into a safe anchorage.

1967  CGC Point Ellis destroyed an enemy trawler in Vietnam.

1987  Coast Guard helicopters rescued the crew of the sinking Soviet freighter Komsomolets Kirgizii  220 miles off the coast of New Jersey during a gale.  A HC-130 was first on the scene and stood by the listing freighter until HH-3s from Air Station Cape Cod arrived and saved the freighter's entire 37-person crew.  As a result of their efforts, President Ronald Reagan presented the Coast Guardsmen with awards at a ceremony at the White House.

 

March 15

1942  The 172-foot tender CGC Acacia was en route from Curacao, Netherlands West Indies to Antigua, British West Indies, when she was sunk by shellfire from the German submarine U-161.  The entire crew of Acacia was rescued.  She was the only Coast Guard buoy tender sunk by enemy action during the war. 

1944  Coast Guardsmen participated in the invasions of Manus in the Admiralties and Emirau (St. Mathias Islands).

1946  For the first time, Coast Guard aircraft supplemented the work of the Coast Guard patrol vessels of the International Ice Patrol, scouting for ice and determining the limits of the ice fields from the air.

1983  The Coast Guard retired its last HC-131A Samaritan

1991  F/V Alaskan Monarch became trapped in the ice-encrusted Bering Sea near St. Paul, Alaska and was in danger of being swept onto the breakwater rocks outside St. Paul Harbor.  CGC Storis and an HH-3 from AIRSTA Kodiak, under the command of LT Laura H. Guth, responded.  After a flight of 600 miles, including a winter crossing of the Alaska Peninsula and 400 miles of open water, Guth and her crew rescued four of the six-man crew before waves crashed over the vessel and swept the two remaining crewmen into the frigid water.  They both were quickly pulled from the water safely.

1997  Operation Gulf Shield began. This operation was a counterpart to the counter-narcotics Operation Frontier Shield.

 

March 16

1909  At Assateague Beach, Virginia, the schooner Charley C. Weaver began taking on water.  One of the crew notified the keeper that the schooner was leaking.  The life-saving station's surfboat proceeded to the scene, 1-5/8 miles south of the station.  The schooner’s crew was nearly exhausted from a long spell at the pump.  Surfmen shifted her cargo of oysters.  They also tried to locate the leak, but were unsuccessful.  They then went ashore and returned with the power lifeboat which towed the schooner safely over the bar.

 

March 17

1863  Revenue cutter Agassiz helped defend the Union-held Fort Anderson at New Bern, North Carolina, from a Confederate attack.

1902  All but one of the members of the crew of the Monomoy Life-Saving Station perished during the attempted rescue of the crew of the wrecked coal barge Wadena during a terrible winter gale.  The dead included the keeper of the station, Marshall N. Eldridge, and six of his surfmen.  Eldridge told his crew before they departed on the rescue that: "We must go, there is a distress flag in the rigging."  The crew of five from the barge also perished.  The sole survivor, Seth L. Ellis, was the number one surfman of the Monomoy station.  He was awarded the Gold Lifesaving Medal as was the man who rescued him, Captain Elmer Mayo of the barge Fitzpatrick.   

1941  CGC Cayuga left Boston with the South Greenland Survey Expedition on board to locate airfields, seaplane bases, radio and meteorological stations, and aids to navigation in Greenland.  This was the beginning of the Coast Guard's preeminent role in Greenland during World War II.

1962  After requesting the evacuation of a seriously injured crewman, the Russian merchant vessel Dbitelny transferred the patient to the Coast Guard LORAN station on St. Paul Island in the Bering Sea.  Meanwhile, a Coast Guard aircraft flew a U.S. Navy doctor and a hospital corpsman there to perform an emergency operation.  Afterwards, the injured man was flown to Elmendorf Air Force Base, where he was admitted to the U.S. Air Force hospital.

1982  Navy Secretary John Lehman testified before Congress on behalf of the Coast Guard.   He characterized the relationship between the Navy and the Coast Guard as being "close and warm."  He also praised the new NAVGARD Board, created in November 1980, to formalize the relationship between the two services.

2015  Following a 61-day deployment on the Hudson River, CGC Thunder Bay returned to its homeport of Rockland, Maine after conducting icebreaking operations in support of Operation Reliable Energy for Northeast Winters.  Thunder Bay deployed mid-January 2015 to coordinate daily ice breaking operations with CGCs Sturgeon Bay, Willow, Elm, and Wire on the Hudson River.  In order to keep the channel open to commercial shipping traffic, Thunder Bay conducted operations seven days a week, with only occasional days off.  The cutter navigated more than 100 river miles daily and by the end of the season Thunder Bay had sailed nearly 3000 nautical miles, conducted 554 hours of icebreaking, and made 70 vessel and facility break outs, requiring them to operate an additional 13 days beyond their original assignment.

 

March 18

1909  Stations Holly Beach and Hereford Inlet, New Jersey: the schooner C.B. parted its chain while weighing anchor.  She set a distress signal which was discovered by the lookouts at both stations.  The surfboats proceeded to the scene and surfmen swept for the chain and assisted in securing it on board.

1943  CGC Ingham rescued all hands from the torpedoed SS Matthew Luckenbach.

1967  The 378-foot high endurance cutter Hamilton, first in her class, was commissioned.  This was the first class of major vessels in the U.S. government's inventory that were powered by jet turbines.

1991  CGC Cape Hatteras (WPB 95305) was decommissione.  She was the last 95-foot patrol boat in the Coast Guard.  She was then transferred to Mexico.

1996  The single-hulled barge San Gabriel buckled and split open in rough seas, rupturing two tanks and spilling 210,000 gallons of oil in the Houston Ship Channel near Galveston, Texas.  Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit (MSU) Galveston established a joint command structure with local agencies and private contractors to isolate and then clean up the spill.  Personnel from the Gulf Strike Team, MSO Houston, MSO New Orleans, Aviation Training Center Mobile, and the 8th District supplemented MSU Galveston.  The majority of the spill was cleaned up in three days.

2000  CGC Thetis seized F/V Viviana II which was grossly overloaded with 234 Ecuadorean migrants.  The vessel and the migrants were turned over to the Ecuadorean Navy.

2007  The Coast Guard made the largest cocaine seizure in its history to date when CGCs Hamilton and Sherman seized 42,845 pound of cocaine aboard the Panamanian-flagged M/V Gatun off the coast of Panama.  Gatun was first located by a HC-130 on March 17. 

 

March 19

1943  British Steamer Svend Foyne was a victim of an iceberg collision off the southern tip of Greenland.  One hundred forty-five persons were rescued by the Coast Guard and others.  The International Ice Patrol was suspended during this period (1942-1945) of World War II.

1945  The first all-Coast Guard hunter-killer group ever established during the war searched for a reported German U-boat near Sable Island.  The group was made up of the Coast Guard-manned destroyer escorts USS Lowe, Menges, Mosley, and Pride, and was under the overall command of CDR R. H. French, USCG.  He flew his pennant from Pride.  Off Sable Island the warships located, attacked, and sank the U-866 with the loss of all hands.  Interestingly, the Menges had been a victim of a German acoustic torpedo during escort-of-convoy operations in the Mediterranean in 1944.  The torpedo had detonated directly under her stern, causing major damage and casualties, but she remained afloat.  She was later towed to port and the stern of another destroyer escort, one that had been damaged well forward, was welded onto the Menges.  She then returned to action.

1963  The famous cutter Bear sank off the coast of Nova Scotia on this date while under tow from Halifax to Philadelphia were she as slated to be "put out to pasture" as a floating museum-restaurant.  The two men who were aboard the old cutter were rescued after a Coast Guard aircraft dropped a raft to the accompanying tug.

1989  M/V Aoyagi Maru ran aground on a reef in Lost Harbor, Alaska.  She was declared a total loss after being gutted by fire when 1,200 pounds of explosives were ignited to burn off the 100,000 gallons of fuel left aboard and her cargo of 74,000 pounds of rotting cod.

 

March 20

1929  The most notable incident from which international complications resulted during the Prohibition era was that of the schooner I’m Alone of Nova Scotia, a vessel built for the rum trade.  She had successfully plied this trade for over four years when she appeared off the Texas coast and was picketed by the cutter Wolcott in the spring of 1929.  Boatswain Frank Paul marked her at 10.8 miles from shore and signaled her to heave to.  Several blanks were fired and this brought the vessel to a stop.  Captain Randall of the schooner allowed the Boatswain on board, there was a discussion, but when he returned, I’m Alone continued on her way.  The chase resumed and shots were fired into her rigging.  On the second morning, some two hundred miles south of the U.S., the cutter Dexter came up to assist and proceeded to fire into the runner, sinking the vessel.  One of her crew was drowned.  Repercussions were heard immediately from Canada, Britain, and France, as the drowned seaman was French.  The initial complaint was that of the position of the schooner at the point of contact.  Her captain maintained she was only a 7-knot vessel and she was anchored about 15 miles out in safe waters.  The second infraction was that the pursuit was not a continuous one; the intervention of Dexter muddied this question.  Since the speed of the suspect vessel is a consideration in determining how far out it might be seized, it should be noted that I’m Alone managed to stay ahead of Wolcott, a nearly new cutter capable of at least 11 knots, for over 24 hours.  As I’m Alone was sunk, the captain’s statement that her engines were in need of repair also could not be proven.  In any case, the international round of diplomatic niceties did not cease until 1935 when the United States backed off and compensation was paid to the crew of the schooner.

1941  Sabotage was discovered on an Italian vessel at Wilmington, North Carolina.  The Coast Guard investigated all Italian and German vessels in American ports and took into "protective custody" 28 Italian vessels, two German and 35 Danish vessels.  Coast Guard boarding teams discovered that their crews had damaged 27 of the Italian ships and one of the German ships.  The Coast Guard also took into custody a total of 850 Italian and 63 German officers and crew.  Two months later these vessels were requisitioned for service with the United States by order of Congress for the Latin American trade.

 

March 21

1791  Hopley Yeaton of New Hampshire was commissioned as "Master of a Cutter in the Service of the United States for the Protection of the Revenue."  He is often listed as the first commissioned seagoing officer of the United States.  His commission was signed by George Washington and attested to by Thomas Jefferson.  However, seven other commissions for officers of the Revenue Cutter Service were signed on the same date.  Yeaton’s claim to being first is tied to the fact that he is at the top of the list of officers.  He commanded the Revenue cutter Scammel, stationed in Portsmouth, New Hampshire and the list is based on the cutters’ homeports from north to south.  Thus, Yeaton was first on the list, having command of the cutter in the northernmost port.

1916  On this date Third Lieutenant Elmer Stone, USCG became the first Coast Guard officer ordered to flight training.  He reported on April 1, 1916 to Pensacola Naval Aviation Training School.

2013  CGC Midgett, returned to its homeport of Seattle, Washington, after its 75-day counter-narcotics patrol in the eastern Pacific Ocean.  While on patrol in the eastern Pacific in late February, the crew successfully interdicted a 30-foot fishing vessel that was carrying 1,100 pounds of cocaine hidden inside the vessel.  Midgett’s boarding team confiscated the drugs and detained the suspected smugglers.  Midgett’s crew also visited Bahia Malaga, Colombia, for a partnership exercise with the Colombian Navy. The ship hosted the Colombian Navy's chief of staff, pacific operations commander, and several other senior personnel for a tour of the ship.  After departing Seattle in early January 2013, Midgett and its 170-member crew first underwent a three-week drill in San Diego that included more than 300 training exercises in navigation, medical response, damage control, engineering, combat systems, seamanship, and anti-terrorism force protection.  The crew's successful performance earned them several battle readiness awards as well as certification by shipboard training teams.

2014  CGC Polar Star returned to its homeport of Seattle, Washington, following a 108-day deployment in support of Operation Deep Freeze 2014.  Polar Star originally departed Seattle on December 3, 2013 and made port calls in Honolulu, Sydney, Australia, McMurdo Station, Antarctica, and Tahiti, French Polynesia.  Having completed a reactivation that began four years ago, this deployment marked the first time in six years that a U.S. icebreaker provided support to Operation Deep Freeze. In January 2014, Polar Star departed Sydney to assist in the rescue effort of two ships, the Russian vessel Akademik Shokalsiky and the Chinese vessel Xue Lon.  Both of these vessels were beset in 15 feet of sea ice near Commonwealth Bay, Antarctica.  While Polar Star was en route to assist, the shifting ice conditions allowed the two ships to break free from the ice prior to the Coast Guard icebreaker's arrival.  In Antarctica, Polar Star broke a navigable shipping lane through 12 miles of ice in McMurdo Sound, encountering ice up to 10 feet in thickness.  The shipping channel was used by the tanker ship Maersk Peary to deliver approximately three-and-a-half million gallons of fuel to McMurdo.  The channel was also used by the cargo ship Maersk Illinois to deliver more than 500 containers of supplies to operate McMurdo and South Pole stations for the next 12 months.  The crew of the Polar Star also delivered and deployed nearly one mile of fuel hose to Marble Point, an air station 20 miles west of McMurdo. In February 2014, prior to departing Antarctica, Polar Star hosted Coast Guard VADM Peter Neffenger, then-Deputy Commandant for Operations, who visited Antarctica to observe the operations of the U.S. Antarctic Program.

 

March 22

1794  Congress declared that no American citizen may carry slaves from the United States to another nation or between foreign nations.

1917  Third Lieutenant Elmer Stone, USCG, graduated from Pensacola Naval Aviation Training School, thereby becoming the service's first aviator.  Third Lieutenant Stone was designated as Naval Aviator #38 and later Coast Guard Aviator #1.

1919  The Acting Secretary of the Treasury advised that light keepers and the officers and crews of vessels were not entitled to the benefits of the Public Health Service free of charge after retirement.

1969  ENC Morris S. Beeson, on CGC Point Orient, was killed in action during a boarding in Vietnam.

2003  Three Iraqi sailors were captured in the northern Persian Gulf, the first Enemy Prisoners of War (EPOWs) taken by Coast Guard forces deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.  The 24-member crew of CGC Adak plucked the Iraqi sailors from the sea after they had jumped overboard when their patrol boat was destroyed by coalition forces.  The EPOWs were taken aboard Adak and later transferred to an undisclosed location.

 

March 23

1974  The 40-foot sailing vessel Lorisel II reported she was aground one mile southeast of North Rock, Bahamas, off the eastern shore of Bimini.  An HU-16 aircraft and CGC Cape Shoalwater were dispatched to assist.  The aircraft located the vessel and a local island boat was diverted to remove two women and a child from Lorisel IICape Shoalwater re-floated the vessel, returned the passengers, and the Lorisel II got underway with no apparent damage.

2001  Two Coast Guardsmen, BM2 Scott Chism and SN Christopher Ferreby, gave their lives in the line of duty when their small boat CG-214341 capsized on Lake Ontario.  Their loss led to important changes in the small boat community's training, equipment, and operations.

2008  Two Coast Guard helicopters worked with the F/V Alaska Warrior to save 42 of 47 crewmen from the sinking F/V Alaska Ranger in an Easter Sunday blizzard amidst 20-foot waves.  There was flooding in aft steerage of Ranger and the doors would not close.  The ship’s shell was rusty and flat-bottomed, built for Gulf of Mexico.  It was located 120 miles west of Dutch Harbor in the Bering Sea.  CGC Munro's HH-65 Dolphin pulled five fishermen from the water, three of whom had to be cut free from the netting and ropes.  The HH-60 Jayhawk from St. Paul Station in the Pribiloff Islands lifted 15 sailors out of the sea and onto the sister ship, F/V Alaska WarriorWarrior also saved 22 lives on its own.  The crew of Munro received the Coast Guard Unit Commendation and aviators LT Brian J. McLaughlin, LT Timothy L. Schmitz, LT Steven M. Bonn, LT Greg S. Gedemer, Petty Officer 2nd Class O'Brien Hollow, Petty Officer 2nd Class Robert R. DeBolt, and Petty Officer 2nd Class Alfred V. Musgrave received Air Medals.

2012  The 9th Coast Guard District concluded Operation Taconite, its annual ice-breaking operation in the western Great Lakes, thereby officially bringing the 2011-2012 icebreaking season to a close.  Under control of Coast Guard Sector Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, Operation Taconite was carried out in Lake Superior, the St. Mary’s River, the Straits of Mackinac, and northern Lake Huron.  Operation Taconite began December 21, 2011.  Working together during this year's ice-breaking season were crews aboard U.S. Coast Guard Cutters Mackinaw, Alder, Hollyhock, Mobile Bay, Neah Bay, Katmai Bay, Biscayne Bay, and Thunder Bay, the latter being temporarily assigned to the Great Lakes from its homeport of Rockland, Maine.  Together these eight cutters spent 1,668 hours breaking ice and assisted more than 60 vessels.

 

March 24

1909  Muskeget, Massachusetts: the schooner Vigilant parted moorings and stranded one mile south of the station.  The owner applied to the keeper at 10:30 p.m. for assistance.  Surfmen proceeded to the scene, carried out an anchor and line, and hove the schooner into deep water.  During the storm the owner was sheltered and supplied with meals at the station for two days.  But for the security afforded by an additional anchor and cable loaned by the crew, Vigilant would have stranded a second time.

1920  The Coast Guard established its first air station on this date at Morehead City, North Carolina.  The station was closed on July 1, 1921 due to a lack of funding.

1989  The tanker Exxon Valdez grounded on a reef in Prince William Sound, Alaska, spilling 10.1 million gallons of crude oil.  This was the worst oil spill in U.S. history to date.  Coast Guard units responded and prevented the entire cargo from spilling, cleaned up the oil which did spill, and conducted an investigation into the causes of the accident.  The spill provided the impetus for the passage of the Oil Protection Act of 1990, which greatly increased the Coast Guard's role in protecting the nation against spills.

 

March 25

1911  The Treasury Department directed the keepers of life-saving stations to keep a lookout through the beach patrol for stray buoys washed ashore, to secure such buoys when it could be done, and to report their discovery or action to the nearest representative of the Lighthouse Service.

 

March 26

1938  The US Coast Guard motor lifeboat Triumph departed from the Point Adams Station, located near Hammond, Oregon at the mouth of the Columbia River.  It proceeded out to the bar and stood by while several crab boats crossed in.  The tug Tyee with a barge load of logs in tow was attempting to cross out.  Tyee passed too close to the life buoy and the barge drifted into the outer break on Clatsop Spit.  Triumph, while attempting to assist Tyee, lost Surfman Richard O. Bracken overboard in the breakers of Clatsop Spit.  Bracken would have been drowned had it not been for the skill of BN (L) John F. McCormick, Officer-in-Charge of Triumph, and the cooperation of the crew, namely CMOMM (L) Albert L. Olsen and Surfman Harold W. Lawrence.  In making the rescue, Triumph was carried broadside on the face of a wave a distance of approximately 50 yards.  The masts had been completely submerged, then the boat righted itself.  Bracken had been washed overboard by the force of the sea.  McCormick, acting with exceptional skill, maneuvered Triumph against the strong current, into the breakers and picked up the drowning man.  Olsen remained in the engine room during all these maneuvers, stayed at the controls under perilous conditions, and rendered commendable service.  McCormick was awarded a Gold Life-Saving Medal for this rescue while Olsen and Lawrence were awarded Silver Lifesaving Medals.

1945  Coast Guardsmen participated in the landings at Geruma Shima, Hokaji Shima, and Takashiki in the Ryukyu Islands.

1946  The International Ice Patrol resumed after being suspended during World War II.

1963  A Coast Guard HH-52 based from Air Station Salem, Massachusetts, landed in the water off Fort Weatherall, Newport, Rhode Island to rescue a man overboard from the radar picket ship USS Protector.  "Using the new platform, the crew of the HH-52A retrieved the man, helpless and incoherent, from 39-[degree] F waters.  He was flown to the Naval Hospital, Quonset Point without incident.  This is the first rescue fully exploiting the unique capabilities of the new HH-52A helicopter."

 

March 27

1943  CG-85006 (ex-Catamount) exploded off Ambrose Light while on Coastal Picket patrol duty.  Of a total of ten crew members on board, four drowned while five were reported missing.  Only the commanding officer, CBM Garfield L. Beal, USCG, escaped.  He was picked up six hours later by a passing merchant ship.  The cause of the explosion was never ascertained.

1964  An earthquake which hit 9.2 on the Richter scale and an ensuing tsunami struck Alaska, killing 125 people and causing $311 million in property damage.  Coast Guard units responded in what was called "Operation Helping Hand."  Within two hours of the earthquake, which began at 1732 local time, CGCs Storis, Minnetonka, and Sorrel were ordered to Prince William Sound; Bittersweet to Seward; and Sedge to Valdez.  "The following morning, three fixed-wing aircraft from Air Detachment Kodiak surveyed the damage while helicopters evacuated those in need.   By March 31, most of the direct assistance had been rendered and the task of repair and clean up began.  Approximately 360 civilians were evacuated from villages and isolated areas in Kodiak Island and Prince William Sound.  Storis was diverted to Cook Inlet for icebreaking duties in the Port of Anchorage until 18 April." [Kenneth Arbogast, et al, The U.S. Coast Guard in Kodiak, Alaska, p. 15.]  A number of the Coast Guard stations in the area sustained damage, some of it severe.  The only Coast Guard fatality occurred when the tsunami struck the light station at Cape St. Elias and one crewman, EN3 Frank O. Reed, was swept out to sea and perished.

2003  During Operation Iraqi Freedom CGC Wrangell, homeported in Portland, Maine, along with a Coast Guard HH-65 Dolphin helicopter from Air Station Honolulu, escorted the first waterborne humanitarian aid shipment into the port of Umm Qasr without incident, while members of Coast Guard Port Security Unit 311, from San Pedro, California, assisted other coalition forces protecting the harbor.  The shipment, consisting of vital aid donated by numerous countries, was carried aboard the British ship RFA Sir Galahad.

 

March 28

1963  Three new 44-foot Motor Lifeboats departed the Coast Guard Yard for their designated stations.  Two were assigned to stations in the Third Coast Guard District, Sandy Hook Lifeboat Station and Eatons Neck Lifeboat station, while the third was assigned to Chatham Lifeboat Station in the First Coast Guard District.

1968  The Secretary of Transportation released his Report on Recreational Boat Safety. The report contained a detailed explanation of the proposed legislation and the programs the department intended to undertake.

1993  A Colonial Pipeline Company pipe ruptured, spilling 400,000 gallons of diesel fuel into the Sugarland Run creek in Herndon, Virginia.  The EPA requested the assistance from the National Strike Force.  Other units mobilized for the clean-up operation included a helicopter from AIRSTA Cape May, an air-eye HU-25 from AIRSTA Cape Cod, personnel from MSO Baltimore, CGC Capstan, and reservists from the region.  The strike team used the new DESMI 250 skimmer and pump to control the spill.  Coast Guardsmen assisted with the cleanup and safety operations as well as provided technical assistance.  By April 2, Colonial Pipeline, who claimed responsibility for the spill, had more than 250 contract personnel handling cleanup operations.  The strike teams stayed on site to monitor the cleanup.  The last strike team member left the spill site on April 10.

 

March 29

1867  The lighthouse at Timbalier Bay was destroyed in a hurricane.  The brick tower "was leveled to the ground and covered with from three to six feet of water."  The Lighthouse Board commended the keepers, "who faithfully performed their duty, barely escaping with their lives, and living for some days in an iron can buoy . . ."

1898  Lieutenants David Jarvis and Ellsworth P. Bertholf and Surgeon Dr. Samuel J. Call of the Revenue cutter Bear reached Point Barrow, Alaska, after a 2,000 mile "mush" from Nunivak Island that first started on December 17, 1897, driving reindeer as food for 97 starving whalers caught in the Arctic ice.  This Overland Rescue was heralded by the press and at the request of President William McKinley, Congress issued special gold medals in their honor.

1938  By an Executive Order of this date, President Franklin Roosevelt enlarged substantially the number of "personnel in the Lighthouse Service who are subject to the principle of the civil service," which allowed advancement in the Service based solely on individual merit.

1984  Coast Guard AIRSTA Cape May and Group Cape May responded to severe flooding in southern New Jersey and Delaware after a late winter storm struck the area on March 29, 1984.  Coast Guardsmen evacuated 149 civilians from Cape May and Atlantic City.

1985  The last lightship in service with the Coast Guard, CGC Nantucket I, was decommissioned, thus ending 164 years of continuous lightship service by the U.S. Government.  Nantucket I was the last of the U.S. lightships and the last of the Nantucket Shoals lightships that watched over that specific area since June of 1854.  Launched as WLV-612 in 1950 at Baltimore, the ship also stood watch as the light vessel for San Francisco and Blunts Reef in California, at Portland, Oregon, and finally at Nantucket Shoals.  Nantucket I also spent time in service as a "less-than-speedy" law enforcement vessel off Florida.

2005  The keel was laid for the first of the new 418-foot National Security Cutters, CGC Bertholf (WMSL-750), named for Commodore Ellsworth Bertholf, former commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard.  Bertholf was constructed at Northrop Grumman Ship Systems in Pascagoula, Mississippi.  The cutter was christened on November 11, 2006 after being launched on September 29, 2006.  The Coast Guard commissioned Bertholf on August 4, 2008.

 

March 30

1867  The United States signed the Alaska purchase treaty with Russia.

1942  By Presidential proclamation, the Coast Guard was designated as a service of the Navy to be administered by the Commandant of Coast Guard under the direction of the Secretary of the Navy, similar to the administration of the Marine Corps.

 

March 31

1932  The United States signed a Whaling Convention at Geneva with 21 other countries.

1934  At high noon on March 15, 1934, CGC Tuscarora fired a shot from one of its batteries, a shot that started the fifth international St. Petersburg to Havana racing classic.  Tuscarora served as the official Coast Guard escort for the race.

1948  The Tenth District, with headquarters at San Juan, Puerto Rico and comprising of the Panama Canal Zone, all of the island possessions of the United States pertaining to Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, and all United States reservations in the islands of the West Indies and on the north coast of South America, was abolished, and its functions, responsibilities, and facilities were transferred to and combined with the Seventh District, with headquarters at Miami, Florida.

1995  Coast Guard Communication Area Master Station Atlantic sent a final message by Morse Code and then signed off, officially ending more than 100 years of telegraph communication.

2008  The U.S. Coast Guard took delivery of its first Response Boat–Medium (RB-M) from Marinette Marine Corporation.  Following completion of underway trials on March 17, 2008 near Tacoma, Washington, RB-M 45601 was trailered cross-country for delivery in Portsmouth, Virginia.  After one week of familiarization for the Coast Guard Transition Team (responsible for facilitating the introduction of the planned 180 boats to the fleet) Station Little Creek, Virginia took delivery of RB-M 45601 on April 7, 2008. The RB-M acquisition was initiated to replace the aging 41’ Utility Boats and other Non-Standard Boats.  The RB-M is a self-righting, 45-foot all-aluminum boat with twin diesel engines and water jet propulsion.

April 1

1813  At 1100 in the morning, while at anchor in Charleston Harbor, the powder room of the cutter Gallatin exploded, blowing off the cutter’s stern and quarterdeck.  The explosion and subsequent fire killed three crewmembers instantly and seriously wounded five more.  The cutter sank at its anchorage.  A Charleston newspaper reported, "Between the hours of ten and eleven yesterday forenoon, a most awful explosion took place in this harbor, on board the Revenue schooner GALLATIN, commanded by Capt. John. H. Silliman. . .There were about 35 persons in all on board; of this number about 10 were on the quarter deck and in the cabin; part of them employed in cleaning the arms. Thus situated, the dreadful explosion took place, and in one instant the whole quarter deck with all of those upon it, were hurled into the air. Some of the bodies were thrown nearly as high as the mast head of the vessel; others were driven through the cabin and lodged upon the main deck. The whole stern of the vessel was torn down to a level with the water."  Those who were killed were Gunner's Mate Thomas Feld, George Segur, and one unidentified seaman.  The reported wounded were William Pritchard (Gunner), John McCoan, Benjamin Chart, George Craft, and William Hunter (Boy).

1897  Under an Executive Order dated May 6, 1896, federal Civil Service rules were applied to the Life-Saving Service.

1916  The official birthday of Coast Guard aviation.  On this date, Third Lieutenant Elmer F. Stone reported to Pensacola Naval Air Station for flight training.  He was the Coast Guard's first aviator.

1945  The invasion of Okinawa in the Ryukyu Islands commenced.  In all, seven Coast Guard-manned transports, 29 LSTs, the cutters Bibb and Woodbine, and 12 Coast Guard-manned LCI(L)s participated in the bloodiest invasion ever undertaken by the United States.  Over 13,000 Americans were killed and another 36,000 were wounded during the conquest of this Japanese possession.

1946  A tsunami swept away the light station at Scotch Cap, Alaska, killing the station's entire five-man crew.  They were: BMC Anthony L. Petit, MoMM 2/c Leonard Pickering, F 1/c Jack Colvin, SN 1/c Dewey Dykstra, and SN 1/c Paul James Ness.

1967  The Coast Guard ended its 177-year association with the Treasury Department when it transferred to the newly-created Department of Transportation (DOT).  DOT was created when President Lyndon Johnson signed Executive Order 167-81.  The Coast Guard was the largest agency in the new department.

1969  The Coast Guard established an Ocean Engineering Division within the Office of Engineering.  The new division was formed to improve engineering support for the marine sciences and short-range aids to navigation missions.

1977  CGC Dauntless operating along with CGC Cape Fox in the area of Cay Lobos Bahamas boarded F/V Big Champ.  The boarding party discovered 5,000 lbs. of marijuana.  The vessel and marijuana were seized and the four POB were arrested.

1978  CGC Acushnet changed designation from WAGO to WMEC "to allow for the increased multi-mission utilization of the vessel."  Acushnet's primary mission continued to be Marine Science Activities (MSA) "due to its special capabilities for environmental buoy deployment."

1984  CGC Gallatin made the largest maritime cocaine seizure to date when it boarded and seized the 33-foot sailboat Chinook and her crew of two.  A boarding team discovered 1,800 pounds of cocaine stashed aboard the sailboat.

 

April 2

1924  Congress appropriated $13,000,000 for ten air stations and equipment.  Congress first authorized the stations on August 29, 1916, but did not provide for sufficient funding until this date.

1982  The first aircraft of the newest addition to the Coast Guard's air fleet, the HU-25A Guardian, was dedicated and christened at Aviation Training Center Mobile.

1983  The State Department forwarded a request for assistance from the United Arab Emirates to help prepare for an oil spill cleanup in the Persian Gulf.  The spill occurred after combat operations during the Iran-Iraq war had left many oil wells burning and leaking oil.  Four Coast Guard pollution experts responded to the request.

 

April 3

1882  The schooner Morris was unable to enter Muskegon, Michigan, between the piers and was aided by the lookout of Station No. 8, Eleventh District.  He used a heaving-stick and throwing a line to get a hawser to the vessel.  The same service was rendered later in the day by two of the station men to the schooner Willis Smith of South Haven.

1968  Coast Guard exchange pilots arrive in South Vietnam to fly combat SAR missions with the Air Force.

2014  CGC Mackinaw, home-ported in Cheboygan, Michigan, conducted an escort on Lake Superior near Whitefish Point.  Mackinaw's crew worked together with the crew of Canadian Coast Guard Ship Pierre Radisson, home-ported in Quebec City, as part of an ongoing bi-national agreement between the U.S. and Canada, to break sheet ice that was nearly 40 inches thick.

 

April 4

1912  President William Howard Taft recommended abolishing the Revenue Cutter Service.  Instead of elimination though, his actions led to the creation of the Coast Guard by consolidating the Revenue Cutter Service and the Life-Saving Service on January 28, 1915.

1933  The Navy airship USS Akron crashed near the Barnegat Lightship. The ensuing search and rescue efforts employed over 20 Coast Guard vessels and aircraft.

1972  BMC (later BMCM) Thomas D. McAdams became the first Coast Guardsmen to receive the new Coxswain insignia.  Then-Commandant ADM Chester Bender presented the insignia to Chief McAdams at a ceremony at the Coast Guard's Small Boat School in Ilwaco, Washington, where McAdams was the OIC.

1975  Four Coast Guard helicopters saved 36 crewmen from the 557-foot tanker Spartan Lady after the oil-laden vessel broke up in heavy seas 165 miles south-east of New York.  Two of the helicopters were from AIRSTA Brooklyn and two were from AIRSTA Cape Cod.

1977  The Coast Guard designated its first female Coast Guard aviator, Janna Lambine.  She was Coast Guard Aviator #1812.

 

April 5

1941  President Franklin Roosevelt signed the official order to transfer all 10 Coast Guard Lake-Class cutters of the Coast Guard to the Royal Navy under Lend-Lease.

1950  The Coast Guard announced that former enlisted women of the Coast Guard Reserve could apply for enlistment in the "Women’s Volunteer Reserve."  Enlistments were to be for a three-year period with written agreement to serve on active duty in time of war or national emergency.

1967  The commander of all Soviet fishing vessels in the Far East, Evgeniy Gromov, invited representatives from the Coast Guard and the Bureau of Commercial Fisheries to meet aboard the Soviet vessel Olivtorka off Kodiak, Alaska.  The purpose of the meeting was to improve understanding in the implementation of the recent U.S.-Soviet 12-mile fisheries agreement that went into effect on March 15, 1967.

 

April 6

1894  The President authorized the Revenue Cutter Service to enforce the Paris Award, which was concerned with the preservation of fur seals in Alaska.

1917  The United States declared war on Germany and joined the Allied Powers in World War I.  The Coast Guard, which at that time consisted of 15 cruising cutters, 200 commissioned officers, and 5,000 warrant officers and enlisted men, became part of the U. S. Navy by Executive Order.  The cutters immediately reported to their assigned naval districts for duty.  Cutters provided armed parties to seize German ships that had been interned in U.S. ports.  Coast Guard aviators were assigned to naval air stations in this country and abroad.  One Coast Guardsman, First Lieutenant (Eng.) Charles E. Sugden, USCG, commanded the Naval Air Station at Ile Tudy, France, and was later awarded the French Chevalier of the Legion of Honor.  Another officer, Second Lieutenant (Eng.) Philip B. Eaton, USCG, commanded Chatham Naval Air Station and he piloted one of two HS-1 seaplanes that attempted to bomb and machine gun a surfaced U-boat off the coast of New England after the U-boat had shelled a tug and barges four miles off Cape Cod.  Eaton's bombs failed to explode, however, and the U-boat escaped.  One cutter, CGC Tampa, was lost in action with all hands while on convoy duty in British waters.

1949  A U.S. Coast Guard H03S-1 helicopter completed the longest unescorted helicopter ferry flight on record.  The trip from Elizabeth City, North Carolina to Port Angeles, Washington via San Diego, a distance of 3,750 miles, took 10-1/2 days to complete and involved a total flight time of 57.6 hours.

 

April 7

1866  The first Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard, Ellsworth P. Bertholf, was born in New York City.  He entered the Revenue Cutter Service as a cadet on September 14, 1885 and graduated from the Revenue Cutter School of Instruction with the Class of 1887.

1938  Congress passed HR 8982, an amendment to the Alien Fishing Act (50 Stat. 639).  The amendment clarified the earlier laws on salmon fishing in Alaskan waters by limiting commercial salmon fishing in the vicinity of Bristol Bay, Alaska, to U.S. citizens only.  The act was enforced by the Coast Guard.

1942  A Coast Guard aircraft directed a Royal Navy trawler to a life boat with 24 survivors off the coast of North Carolina.

1952  The breakup of ice in the Missouri River and its tributaries at Bismarck, North Dakota, and above, and on the Big Sioux, created the worst flooding conditions in that area in thirty years.  U.S. Coast Guard personnel rendered assistance, utilizing small boats, mobile radio stations, automotive equipment, helicopters, and fixed wing aircraft.  The Coast Guard evacuated stranded persons, transported critical relief supplies, evacuated livestock from low ground, transported personnel engaged in levee construction, and generally assisted the Red Cross, local, state, civil, and military authorities.

 

April 8

1902  President Theodore Roosevelt, Jr., and his party of 40 guests boarded USRC Onondaga in Charleston Harbor.  The cutter, which had been dressed in "rainbow fashion," extended to the President "all honors as prescribed by the Regulations, Revenue Cutter Service."  The cutter and its crew of transported them to Fort Sumter and back. The cutter expended "42 6 pdr saluting charges" by firing two separate 21-gun salutes.

1909  Race Point, Massachusetts: The sloop Keewaydin IV’s mast was carried away and the sloop anchored 2 miles SW of station, but dragged ashore.  Station crew was on the beach when she struck and the keeper rowed out surf and threw a heaving line on board.  One of the two men was rescued by this means.  The other jumped overboard and was pulled ashore by the keeper.  The sloop drifted up on the beach and became a total wreck.

1913  USRC Seneca, designed from the keel up as the nation's first "derelict destroyer," inaugurated the service’s participation in the International Ice Patrol.

1978  CGC Katmai Bay was launched at Tacoma Boatbuilding Company, Inc., in Tacoma, Washington.  Katmai Bay was the first cutter in the Coast Guard's new class of icebreaking harbor tugs.  The cutter was sponsored by Ms. Jeanmarie Griffin.

 

April 9

1859  Samuel Clemens, who later gained fame under the pseudonym Mark Twain, was issued a steamboat pilot's certificate.

1867  The Senate ratified a treaty to purchase Alaska from Russia.  The cutter Lincoln was dispatched with LT George W. Moore, USRM, as the first U.S. agent in the territory.

1941  The United States and Denmark signed an "agreement relating to the defense of Greenland."  The Coast Guard, in part because of its experience in the Arctic environment, was the principal service used to carry out the agreement.  The first action seen by U.S. forces in World War II was the seizure of a weather station and a pro-German vessel in Greenland waters by CGC Northland just before the U.S. officially entered the war.

1974  The oil tanker Elias docked at the Atlantic Richfield Terminal in Fort Mifflin, Pennsylvania, caught fire.  CG-40412 responded and was first on scene and began SAR for any crew who jumped overboard.  CG-40412 crewman Kim Lee remembered: "The response for our crew on 40412 was looking for personnel off the ship Elias that might be in the water.  We were first on scene and I called back to base giving the update.  The request by us was to shut the Delaware River down to all traffic due to crude oil on fire extending completely across the Delaware River.  Captain of the Port (Capt. Goodwin) shut the river down which stopped all vessels traffic in the area.  A while had passed and we then received a distress call from the Coast Guard Cutter Cleat and we quickly responded toward the Cleat.  The crewmen from the Cleat were in the water and the Cleat was on fire and drifting into the Elias which was totally involved in fire.  My crew (Petty officer Joe Friel and Allen Mowbray) began pulling the crew out of the river.  We then attached a tow line on the burning Cleat and began towing it toward the middle of the channel.  At one point while towing the Cleat our engines on the 40412 stopped because of the ships (Elias) mooring lines in our props.  My crew quickly pulled up the mooring lines and cut them apart with a hand ax.  Freeing one engine we were able to pull the Cleat to safety and put out the fires on the Cleat.  All members of the Cleat crew were accounted for but one engine men who we found still down in the engine room trying to start the Cleat's main.”

 

April 10

1938  The Coast Guard established a "Flood Relief Force" to assist the Red Cross and the victims of flooding of the Alabama and Tombigbee Rivers.  The "Force" consisted of 26 motorboats, one communication truck, two portable radio sets, one Grumman JF-2 amphibian aircraft, and 60 enlisted men, all under the command of LCDR Roy Raney and based at Selma, Alabama.  On April 10 and 11, the Floor Relief Force was "engaged in removing persons from dangerous positions and in transporting Government and Red Cross officials throughout the flood area."

2014  CGC Seneca returned to its homeport in Boston after completing a 53-day deployment which included two weeks of training at Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek, Virginia, and five weeks of fisheries patrols off the coasts of New Jersey, Virginia, and North Carolina.  Seneca patrolled the Mid-Atlantic Ocean in support of the Coast Guard Fifth District's Operation Ocean Hunter.  They boarded 26 fishing vessels from March 2 until April 5.  During the patrol, Seneca ensured the commercial fishing fleet was in compliance with all federal fisheries regulations and issued two fisheries violations.  In addition to law enforcement, Seneca conducted a workup with the Coast Guard Maritime Security Response Team and other deployable specialized forces units.  Using Seneca's flight deck, MSRT members completed 76 vertical insertions and 44 hoists.  They also completed 210 climbs where they boarded the cutter from a tactical boat via a caving ladder.  Seneca also completed several helicopter in-flight refuels and vertical replenishments with Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City, North Carolina.

2015  CGC Seneca returned to its homeport in Boston after a 64-day deployment. The crew of Seneca completed Tailored Ships Training Availability (TSTA), served as a primary Search and Rescue Response asset along the eastern seaboard, and conducted fisheries enforcement boardings from South Carolina to Maine.  During the patrol, the crew responded to the Motor Vessel Grey Shark, approximately 175 nautical miles off the coast of Cape May, New Jersey which was reported adrift and on fire.  Seneca arrived on scene and escorted the vessel until the Eileen Mcallister took the vessel in tow to New York.  The cutter’s crew also participated in an international, multi-agency search and rescue exercise in Rhode Island Sound, conducting more than 45 small boat and helicopter hoist evolutions with partners from five Coast Guard units, the New York Air National Guard, and Canadian Forces.  For the final mission of the patrol, Seneca hosted Maine Marine Patrol officers for a 24-hour fisheries enforcement operation, targeting lobster fishing boats off the coast of Rockland, Maine.

 

April 11

1917  With the outbreak of World War I President Woodrow Wilson issued an executive order transferring 30 lighthouse tenders to the War Department.  All were subsequently assigned to the Navy Department and 15 lighthouse tenders, four lightships, and 21 light stations also were transferred to the Navy Department.  One more tender was transferred on January 31, 1918 making a total of 50 vessels and 1,132 persons. The War Department used those assigned in laying submarine defense nets during the war and in removing these defenses after the war. Other duties performed by these vessels were placing practice targets, buoys to mark wrecks of torpedoed vessels, and other marks for military purposes, as well as being employed on patrols and special duty assignments.

1938  Coast Guard Patrol Boat CG-240, part of the Coast Guard's Flood Relief Force established to assist flood victims in Alabama, evacuated 102 persons from the vicinity of Hohn Miller's Plantation, below Camden, Alabama.

1952  Immediately following the crash of a commercial overseas transport aircraft off the San Juan Harbor, Coast Guard forces coordinated with those of the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Navy to rescue 17 of the 69 persons on board.

1971  Coast Guard cutters Rush (WHEC-723) and Morgenthau (WHEC-722), assigned to Coast Guard Squadron Three in Vietnam, destroy an enemy trawler.

2003  CGC Wrangell and the USS Firebolt, with embarked Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachment 406, escorted the first commercially transported humanitarian aid shipment into the Iraqi port of Umm Qasr.  The Motor Vessel Manar, owned by Manar Marine Services of the United Arab Emirates, delivered almost 700 tons of humanitarian aid including food, water, first aid, and transport vehicles.  This aid shipment was supplied and coordinated by the UAE Red Crescent Society.  This was the fourth aid shipment to arrive in Umm Qasr after the launch of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

 

April 12

1808  Subsistence for Army officers was fixed at 20 cents per ration and later that year it was applied to all officers of the revenue cutters.

1843  Captain Alexander V. Fraser, Revenue Cutter Service, was appointed Chief of the newly created Revenue Marine Bureau of Treasury.  He therefore became, in effect, the service's first "Commandant".

1861  The cutter Harriet Lane fired the first shot from a naval vessel in the Civil War.  The cutter fired across the bow of the merchant vessel Nashville when the latter attempted to enter Charleston Harbor without displaying the national flag.

1900  An Act of Congress (31 Stat. L., 77, 80) extended the jurisdiction of the Lighthouse Service to the noncontiguous territory of Puerto Rico and adjacent American waters.

1902  Congress authorized the retirement of officers at 3/4 pay for incapacity.  Congress also made all promotions subject to examinations (mental and physical).  Additionally, commissioned officers of the Revenue Cutter Service were granted the same pay and allowances "except forage" as officers of corresponding rank in the Army, including longevity pay.

1979  LTJG Beverly Kelley assumed command of CGC Cape Newagen, thereby becoming the first woman to command a U.S. warship.

1997  The Coast Guard commissioned CGC Ida Lewis (WLM 551) on this date.  The tender was assigned to Newport, Rhode Island.  Ida Lewis was the lead ship of 14 new 175-foot Keeper Class coastal buoy tenders built by Marinette Marine of Marinette, Wisconsin for the service.  They were the first Coast Guard cutters equipped with Z-Drive propulsion units and were named after famous lighthouse keepers.

2013  The U.S. Coast Guard and Makah Tribal Council signed a Memorandum of Agreement to reaffirm their integral partnership, cooperation, and coordination in pollution prevention and response.  The focus of the MOA was to enhance consultation, improve the leveraging of resources within respective authorities as applicable, and to improve collective all-hazards prevention and response posture within the maritime environment that comprises the Makah Treaty Area.

2015  CGC Active returned to its home-port of Port Angeles after seizing more than $17 million worth of illegal narcotics during an 88-day deployment.  Active was deployed to the Eastern Pacific Ocean off the coast of Central America in support of Joint Interagency Task Force South.  During the deployment, Active’s crew responded to search and rescue calls, detained a number of suspicious vessels and suspects, and seized over 1,177 pounds of cocaine from suspected smugglers.

 

April 13

1909  Cleveland, Ohio, Lake Erie: Two boys were unable to pull against the wind, were in danger of drifting on the breakwater.  Life-saving crew at Cleveland went out, took the two boys in their power lifeboat, and towed their boat to East Ninth Street pier.

2014  CGC Stratton returned to its homeport at Coast Guard Island in Alameda, California, after a 97-day deployment to the Eastern Pacific Ocean.  Since departing January 6, 2014, Stratton completed a 22,000-mile patrol in support of joint counter-drug operations off the coast of California and in the Eastern Pacific Ocean.  During this operational patrol, Stratton's law enforcement crews seized 500 kilograms and disrupted 1,650 kilograms of cocaine valued in excess of $70 million.  Additionally, Stratton's crew demonstrated their dedication to marine life when a crew aboard their small boat noticed a sea turtle entangled in fishing line about 500 miles off the coast of Panama March 19, 2014.  After bringing the turtle aboard the small boat, the crewmembers freed it from the line and sent it back to sea.  During a port call in Panama City, Panama, Stratton's crew participated in a community relations project by painting and restoring a local orphanage.

2015  CGC Escanaba returned to its homeport in Boston after a 54-day deployment in the Caribbean.  During the patrol, Escanaba’s mission was to detect and interdict vessels suspected of narcotics trafficking in the waters south of Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic in support of Operation Unified Resolve.  Escanaba, in conjunction with Coast Guard Cutter Tahoma, a 270-foot cutter home-ported in Kittery, Maine, pursued two go-fast vessels and assisted in two multi-agency interdictions resulting in the detention of eight suspected drug smugglers and 1,300 pounds of cocaine, valued at $16 million.  Prior to the patrol, Escanaba's crew completed Tailored Ship’s Training Availability at Naval Station Mayport, Florida, which included 134 drills and exercises spanning five warfare areas: command and control, engineering, damage control, seamanship, and weapons.

 

April 14

1876  An Act of Congress (19 Stat. L., 132, 139) provided that any person "who shall willfully and unlawfully injure any pier, break-water, or other work of the United States for the improvement of rivers or harbors, on navigation in the United States, shall, on conviction thereof, be punished by a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars."

1912  At around 11:40 p.m., RMS Titanic collided with an iceberg off Newfoundland while sailing on her maiden voyage from Southampton to New York.  She sank a little over two hours later.  There were 1,517 lost including 103 women and 53 children out of total passenger and crew of 2,207.  Subsequently, certification and life saving devices were improved and an International Ice Patrol was created to patrol the sea lanes off Newfoundland and Greenland during the winter months.  The Revenue Cutter Service took over the operation of the Patrol the following year. 

1943  Joseph C. Jenkins graduated as ensign in the Coast Guard Reserve, becoming the first officially recognized commissioned African-American officer in the Coast Guard.

2012  The Coast Guard commissioned CGC Bernard C. Webber, the first of the new 154-foot Sentinel-Class cutters.  These cutters were built to replace the 110-foot Island-Class WPBs.  Bernard C. Webber was built by Bollinger Shipyards in Lockport, Louisiana and was assigned the homeport of Miami, Florida.

 

April 15

1909  The schooner G.A. Hayden grounded northeast of Station Point Judith. The sea being too rough for surfboat, the life-saving crew took the beach apparatus to the wreck and succeeded in reaching her with the second shot.  The first of her crew was landed in the breeches buoy at 12:10 am.  After 4 trips the last one came ashore at 12:45. The vessel was a total loss.

1986  The Libyan military, on orders from dictator Moammar Gadhafi, fired a missile at Coast Guard LORAN Station Lampedusa off the coast of Italy.  The missile fell harmlessly in the Mediterranean and there were no casualties.

 

April 16

1820  Landing parties from the cutters Louisiana and Alabama destroyed a pirate base on Breton Island.

1908  Congress authorized the creation of the Office of Captain-Commandant and Engineer in Chief.  Additionally, commanding officers of vessels were authorized to administer oaths of allegiance and other oaths for service requirements in Alaska.

1944  The Coast Guard-manned destroyer escort USS Joyce, along with her sister warship USS Peterson and a Navy DE sank the German submarine U-550 off New York.  The U-boat first torpedoed what was at the time the largest tanker in the world as the convoy it was joining was forming up outside of New York harbor.  The destroyer escorts then attacked the U-boat, forcing it to the surface, and then sank it in a surface gun-battle.  Joyce rescued the surviving u-boatmen as well as those off the stricken tanker. 

1947  The French-owned Liberty ship Grandcamp exploded while loading ammonium nitrate at Texas City, Texas in one of the worst peace-time accidents ever to occur in a U.S. port.  Over 500 died and thousands were injured.

1965  Secretary of the Navy Paul Nitze asked Secretary of the Treasury Henry Fowler for Coast Guard assistance to combat seaborne infiltration from North Vietnam.  This naval operation in Vietnam was named Operation Market Time.

 

April 17

1805  The cutter Louisiana engaged two pirate vessels that had been fitted out at New Orleans.  Twenty shots were exchanged but the pirate vessels escaped.

1851  The Minot's Ledge Lighthouse, the first one built in the United States that was exposed to the full force of the ocean, was swept away by a storm with the loss of the two men manning it.  They were Assistant Keepers Joseph Wilson and Joseph Antoine who maintained their station, ringing the lighthouse's bell, until waves swept the tower away.

1943  Lieutenant Ross P. Bullard and Boatswain's Mate First Class C. S. "Mike" Hall boarded the U-175 at sea after their cutter, CGC Spencer, blasted the U-boat to the surface with depth charges when it attempted to attack the convoy Spencer was escorting.  These Coast Guardsmen were part of a specially trained boarding party sent to board the submarine to seize any code-related documents and cipher equipment they could find.  The damage to the U-boat was severe, however, and it sank after they had boarded it and climbed up the conning tower.  Both men ended up in the sea as the U-boat slipped beneath the waves but were pulled from the water unharmed.  They carry the distinction of being the first American servicemen to board an enemy warship underway at sea since the War of 1812.  The Navy credited Spencer with the U-boat kill.  The cutter rescued 19 of the U-boat's crew and a sister cutter, CGC Duane, rescued 22.  One Spencer crewman, RM 3/c Julius Petrella, was killed by friendly fire during the battle.

1987  LT Tom McClay received a direct commission as a flight officer for duty with the Coast Guard's E2C Hawkeyes.  LT McClay was the first Coast Guard flight officer.  

 

April 18

1805  The cutter Louisiana recaptured the merchant brig Felicity from privateers off the mouth of the Mississippi River.

1945  Airship training for U.S. Coast Guard personnel (nine officers & 30 enlisted men) began at Naval Air Station Lakehurst, New Jersey.

1993  Coast Guardsman Gary A. Openshaw rescued five persons in danger of drowning near San Francisco off Baker Beach.  For heroically risking his life and saving those five people, the Coast Guard awarded Petty Officer Openshaw the Gold Life-Saving Medal.

 

April 19

1995  A rental truck filled with explosives blew up half of the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.  Coast Guardsmen from the Coast Guard Institute and a Coast Guard reservist responded soon after the explosion and helped set up security zones, directed traffic, searched for survivors, and whatever else was needed.  They also took over a church kitchen and opened what later became nicknamed "Cafe Coast Guard."  A rotating nine-person team worked around the clock to provide meals for the volunteer workers. 

2014  Coast Guard marine inspectors conducted safety and security examinations on the first-ever container ship to arrive in Cleveland. The Fortunagracht, a 450-foot Dutch-flagged container ship, delivered the first-ever load of containerized cargo to the Great Lakes.  Before the establishment of the Cleveland-Europe Express, shippers relied heavily on rail service to transport goods from the larger east coast container ports, such as New York and Baltimore, to the Great Lakes region.  Talks to bring CEE to Cleveland began in the fall of 2013 with cooperation between the Coast Guard, Customs and Border Protection, the FBI, and other government agencies.

 

20 April

1871  The Secretary of the Treasury was authorized by Congress to employ crews of experienced surfmen at lifeboat stations at maximum rate of $40 per month, marking the end of the volunteer system.  This was the beginning of direct Federal control over life-saving activities.

1997  Dikes along the Red River in North Dakota gave way causing dangerous floods. The Coast Guard responded to calls for assistance and rescued more than 200 people from danger.

2010  The Deepwater Horizon oil rig located more than 50 miles southeast of Venice, Louisiana, suffered massive explosions killing 11 and injuring 16 of its 126 person crew. The oil platform, which burned for more than a day, sank into the Gulf of Mexico on April 22, 2010.  An estimated 60,000 barrels of oil gushed each day for 87 days, making the Deepwater Horizon spill and its response unprecedented.  The Coast Guard mobilized 14% of its total workforce, active duty and reserve, and its role expanded under the National Contingency Plan which called for the service to direct all response efforts to contain and clean up the oil spill.

April 21

1838  The passenger steamboat Oronoko suffered a catastrophic boiler explosion while tied up at Princeton, Mississippi that killed over 100 passengers.  This was one of three fatal steamboat boiler explosions within as many months that forced the Federal Government to begin regulating merchant steam vessels.

1910  The U.S. Government took over the sealing operation of Pribiloff Islands from private lessees.

1924  In an effort to increase the number of cutters available for Prohibition enforcement, Navy destroyers were transferred to the Coast Guard for law enforcement purposes.  The Coast Guard was also authorized to commission temporary officers.

1963  While returning home from duty on Ocean Station Charlie, CGC Campbell diverted to assist the sinking M/V Helga Smith 50 miles southeast of Cape Race, Newfoundland.  Upon arrival, Campbell prepared to put a repair party aboard the merchantman but the master of Helga Smith ordered his crew to abandon ship due to the seriousness of the flooding.  With Campbell's searchlights illuminating the scene, the crew abandoned ship in a motor lifeboat.  The boat's motor would not start so the crew pulled away from the ship with oars.  A lifeboat from Campbell then towed them alongside the cutter where the survivors were assisted aboard by a rescue party in a rubber lifeboat.  Two commercial tugs arrived on the scene and commenced towing Helga Smith to St. John's, Newfoundland, with Campbell escorting.  While enroute though Helga Smith settled by the bow and sank.  Campbell then proceeded to Argentia, Newfoundland with the survivors.

1980  Boats with Cuban migrants on board began departing Mariel, Cuba.  The first two boats arrived in Miami the same day, marking the beginning of the largest Cuban migration to the U.S. to date.  Cuban leader Fidel Castro declared the port of Mariel "open", increasing the number of boats involved in the exodus and giving the exodus its name.  This became the largest Coast Guard operation ever undertaken to date since World War II.  The Coast Guard coordinated a three-wave operation.  Coast Guard high endurance cutters operated closest to Cuba.  U.S. Navy ships operated in the inner-wave and Coast Guard small cutters, 95 and 82-footers, served the waters closest to Florida.  Over 660 Coast Guard Reservists were called to replace boat crews and maintenance and repair teams.  The Coast Guard Auxiliary lent support in many areas, including radio communications.  Over 117,000 people in more than 5,000 boats were assisted by the Coast Guard and Navy forces during the Mariel Boatlift.

2011  The Coast Guard's first 154-foot Fast Response Cutter, CGC Bernard C. Webber, "entered the water" at Bollinger Shipyards in Lockport, Louisiana.  During a three day evolution, the cutter was towed from the fabrication facility, lifted on a crane and then successfully placed in the water.

2013  CGC Waesche returned to its homeport at Coast Guard Island in Alameda, California after a 91-day deployment to the Eastern Pacific Ocean. Departing on January 20, 2013, Waesche completed an 18,000-mile patrol in support of joint counter-drug operations off the coast of California and in the Eastern Pacific Ocean.  During that time the cutter and crew demonstrated their capability as a multi-mission unit.  During their patrol, Waesche's crew assisted two boaters in distress when their 12-foot sailboat began taking on water approximately three miles west of San Diego.  Earlier in their patrol, Waesche participated in a search and rescue mission assisting two mariners 90 miles west of San Diego when their sailboat began taking on water.  Also in January, law enforcement crews aboard the cutter seized more than 2,400 pounds of marijuana from a boat approximately 300 miles west of San Diego, apprehended three suspects, and recovered 70 bales which tested positive for marijuana.  Additionally, during the mid-patrol break in Panama City, Panama, Waesche crewmembers participated in a community relations project by painting and restoring a local school.

2014  The Coast Guard concluded icebreaking operations on the lower Great Lakes, more than four months after it started on December 15, 2013.  Operation Coal Shovel is a bi-national domestic icebreaking effort covering the St. Lawrence Seaway, Lake Ontario, Lake Erie, the Detroit/St. Clair River System, and southern Lake Huron.  Crews aboard CGCs Mackinaw, Hollyhock, Bristol Bay, Neah Bay, and Morro Bay were joined by crews from Canadian Coast Guard Ships Samuel Risley, Griffon, and Des Groseilliers.  In total, the Coast Guard crews conducted more than 2,100 icebreaking hours during the 128 days of Operation Coal Shovel.  Also assisting the ships with ice reconnaissance were aircrews from AIRSTA Traverse City and AIRSTA Detroit.  During Operation Coal Shovel, U.S. and Canadian Coast Guard crews assisted 184 vessels and provided harbor breakouts to relieve or prevent flooding in four U.S. and one Canadian community.

 

April 22

1790  The Secretary of the Treasury, Alexander Hamilton, submitted a bill to Congress to create a "system of cutters" to enforce tariff and customs laws along the nation's coastline. 

1944  Coast Guardsmen participated in the invasions of Aitape and Hollandia in Dutch New Guinea.

1965  The Coast Guard and the Navy agreed on the deployment of 82-foot patrol and 40-foot utility boats to support Operation Market Time in Vietnam.

 

April 23

1880  Captain Jerome G. Kiah and his crew of six surfmen from the Point Aux Barques Life-Saving Station responded to a distress signal from a stranded scow in Lake Huron.  They departed their station in their pulling surfboat but the boat capsized a number of times in the icy water, eventually causing the six surfmen to perish from hypothermia.  Only Captain Kiah survived the ordeal, but was severely injured from the cold water and forced to resign from the Service.  He carried the psychological scars of the disaster for the rest of his life, but rejoined the Life-Saving Service later that year as District Superintendent.

1919  USS Marietta, under the command of future commandant Harry Hamlet, rescued 47 men from the USS James which was sinking in a gale off the coast of France.

1924  A tube transmitter for radio fog-signal stations, developed to take the place of the spark transmitters then in use, was placed in service on the Ambrose Channel Lightship and proved successful.

2007  The Intelligence Specialist (IS) rating was launched with a special ceremony at Coast Guard Headquarters. 

 

April 24

1943  While loading a cargo of ammunition at a Bayonne, New Jersey pier, the freighter El Estero caught fire, threatening  downtown Manhattan with devastation should the ship's cargo explode.  Coast Guardsmen under the command of LCDR John T. Stanley responded immediately and were soon reinforced by local firefighters.  Two Coast Guard fireboats along with commercial and New York City firefighting tugs headed to the area.  LCDR Stanley boarded the freighter which was now burning out of control and he was joined by LCDR Arthur F. Pfister who was in charge of the Coast Guard vessels.  Upon consultation with the Captain of the Port of New York, Third District commander RADM Stanley V. Parker, they decided to scuttle the ship.  However, the sea cocks were not accessible and so they decided to fill the vessel with water.  While firefighting teams fought the blaze aboard the El Estero, the tugs arrived and took the freighter under tow, heading to deeper water away from New York City.  The tugs and firefighting vessels began spraying their water cannons on the freighter, filling her holds with water.  The residents of the city were warned to expect an imminent explosion.  Fortunately, the vessel began listing to starboard and soon thereafter sank northwest of the Robbins Reef Light, extinguishing the fires.  All of the men aboard the vessel escaped harm.  The fire was later ruled as accidental.

1967  At the request of the U.S. Navy, five Coast Guard high endurance cutters (WHECs) were commissioned as Coast Guard Three (RONTHREE) at Pearl Harbor for service in Vietnam.

2004  Damage Controlman Third Class Nathan Bruckenthal, USCG, from Smithtown, New York, and two U. S. Navy sailors were killed in the line of duty while conducting maritime intercept operations in the North Arabian Gulf.  He and six other coalition sailors attempted to board a small boat near the Iraqi Khawr Al Amaya Oil Terminal.  As they boarded the boat, it exploded.  Petty Officer Bruckenthal died later from injuries sustained in the explosion.  Petty Officer Bruckenthal was the first Coast Guardsman killed in action since the Vietnam War.  He was assigned to Tactical Law Enforcement South in Miami, Florida and deployed with Coast Guard Patrol Forces Southwest Asia aboard the USS Firebolt.  This was his second deployment to the Arabian Gulf for Operation Iraqi Freedom.

 

April 25

1819  USRC Active captured the pirate vessel Irresistible in the Chesapeake Bay.

1838  The steamboat Moselle, with more than 265 passengers and crew aboard, departed from a landing near Cincinnati, Ohio for St. Louis.  Her boilers exploded soon after casting off, killing 136.  This was one of three catastrophic steamboat boiler explosions within as many months that forced the Federal Government to begin regulating merchant steam vessels.

1956  The U.S. Coast Guard issued new regulations for security screening of merchant seamen.  Changes in the screening program were made for the purpose of conforming with a recent U .S. Court of Appeals ruling (Parker V. Lester) which held that procedures used by the Coast Guard did not meet the minimum requirements of due process of law.  The legal background for the Coast Guard security program stems from the Magnuson Act, which authorized the President to issue rules safeguarding vessels and waterfront facilities when he found security endangered by a subversive activity. The President made such a finding in 1950 by Executive Order No. 10173 and directed the Coast Guard to set up and conduct the program.

 

April 26

1898  During the Spanish-American War, cutters Morrill, Hudson, and Hamilton, formerly revenue cutters and recently armed for service in the so-called "Mosquito Fleet," passed through Hampton Roads and after asking formal permission of the Commodore, proceeded to Key West.  From that point, they joined the Navy ships of the Cuban blockading fleet.

1899  The Revenue Cutter Service signed a lease with two prominent Baltimore landowners for 36 acres of farmland surrounding Arundel Cove, Maryland. Two months later, LT John Moore, USRCS, arrived aboard the side-wheeler Colfax to establish the "Revenue Cutter Station at Curtis Bay," today's United States Coast Guard Yard.

1912  President William Howard Taft boarded the USRC Mohawk on this date in 1912.  The cutter took the president from New York City's Recreation Pier on "West 50th Street" to Governors Island and back for the funeral of MAJGEN Frederick Dent Grant, son of former President Ulysses S. Grant.

 

April 27

1865  The boilers on the 260-foot wooden-hulled steamboat Sultana exploded while the vessel was traveling on the Mississippi River near Memphis.  Sultana, although designed to carry a maximum of 376 passengers, actually embarked over 2,400, most of whom were Union prisoners of war recently released from captivity.  The explosion and consequent fire killed over 1,800 and ranks as the worst commercial maritime disaster in U.S. history.

1914  USRC Miami, under the command of Captain J. H. Quinan, while on the International Ice Patrol, carried out the first trials of the new fathometer built by Submarine Signal Company in Boston.

1949  When a C-47 of the Military Air Transport Service developed engine trouble and ditched near CGC Sebago on Weather Station "Dog" some 380 miles from Newfoundland, a motor self-bailing boat from the cutter immediately picked up the plane's crew of four. Although the C-47 sank within 12 minutes, there were no injuries or casualties.

1966  After a U.S. Air Force B-57 was reported overdue the U.S. Coast Guard Eastern Area Commander commenced an intensive air search.  The two-day, large-scale, over-water search for the missing aircraft, all of which was coordinated by the Coast Guard, unfortunately yielded negative results.

1980  A Coast Guard HH-3F from AIRSTA Sitka safely rescued all 14 crewman from the F/V Cathy-R after it capsized and sank west of Cape Ommaney.

1989  President George H. W. Bush dedicated the Command, Control, Communications and Intelligence Center East, otherwise known as C3I, in south Florida.  The facility, manned by Coast Guard and Customs personnel, was designed to give law enforcement agencies instant access to air and marine smuggling information.

 

April 28

1908  The Revenue Cutter Service became the primary federal agency in charge of patrolling regattas. 

1918  CGC Seneca saved 81 survivors from the torpedoed British naval sloop Cowslip while on convoy route to Gibraltar.  Cowslip had been attacked by three German U-boats.

1919  While in command of USS Marietta in the Bay of Biscay, Captain Harry G. Hamlet rescued a crew of 47 persons from USS James which was sinking at sea.  For his actions that day he was awarded a Gold Lifesaving Medal.  His award citation noted: "This rescue was made extremely difficult and hazardous owing to high seas, which threatened to send the two vessels crashing together. In effecting the rescue, Captain Hamlet displayed admirable seamanship."  Captain Hamlet would later serve as Commandant of the Coast Guard from 1932-1936.

1993  Coast Guard PACAREA LEDETs, operating from the USS Valley Forge and USS Cleveland, boarded the St. Vincent-flagged 225-foot freighter Sea Chariot about 300 miles southwest of Panama.  The boarding team discovered bales of cocaine in some of the containers on board and then seized the vessel.  The vessel was escorted through the Panama Canal to Station Miami Beach where a search of the vessel's containers turned up 11,233 pounds of cocaine.

2001  A LEDET assigned to USS Rodney M. Davis, with later assistance from CGC Active made the largest cocaine seizure in maritime history to date when they boarded and seized the Belizean F/V Svesda Maru 1,500 miles south of San Diego.  The fishing vessel was carrying 26,931 pounds of cocaine.

 

April 29

1965  President Lyndon Johnson approved the commitment of Coast Guard forces to service in Vietnam under the Navy Department's operational control.  The formation for service in Vietnam of Coast Guard Squadron One (RONONE) was announced.

1975  Coast Guard discontinued operations at Con Son Island LORAN Station.

1992  CGC Storis' 3-inch/.50 caliber main battery was removed from the cutter.  It was the last 3-inch/.50 caliber gun in service aboard any U.S. warship.  The 3-inch/.50 was a dual-purpose weapon (surface and anti-aircraft) that had been in U.S. service since the 1930s.  It was shipped to Curtis Bay where is was made inoperable and then loaned to a VFW club.

2014  The Boston-based CGC Escanaba returned to its homeport after a 36-day patrol in the North Atlantic.  While out on patrol, the medium-endurance cutter focused on fisheries missions in support of Operation Atlantic Venture.  Escanaba's crew conducted 26 law enforcement boardings during the patrol.  Crew members measured fishing gear, inspected daily catch limits and ensured that vessels' safety gear was in good, working order.  The cutter crew also conducted 46 training evolutions with the crew of an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Cape Cod.

 

April 30

1789  President George Washington was inaugurated in New York City as the nation's first President.  His inauguration marked the beginning of U.S. Constitutional government.

1798  Congress established the Department of the Navy on this date.  Nevertheless, the United States Navy traces its origins to the Continental Navy, which the Continental Congress established on October 13, 1775 by authorizing the procurement, fitting out, manning, and dispatch of two armed vessels to cruise in search of munitions ships supplying the British Army in America.  In 1972, Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Elmo R. Zumwalt authorized the recognition of 13 October 13, 1775 as the Navy’s official birthday.

1818  Congress authorized use of "land and naval forces of the United States to compel any foreign ship to depart United States in all cases in which, by the laws of nations or the treaties of the United States, they ought not to remain within the United States."  This was the basis of neutrality enforcement.

1832  All commissions of naval officers serving in the Revenue Cutter Service were revoked.  All vacancies were then filled by promotion from within the Service for the first time.

1967  BM1 Edgar A. Culbertson gave his life attempting to rescue three boys in Duluth, Minnesota.  BM1 Culbertson, along with two other members of Station Duluth, volunteered to venture out on the North Pier at Duluth to rescue three boys who had been reported to be out on the pier during a severe storm.  Witnesses had seen a wave wash one of the boys away but two were apparently trapped near the lighthouse at the end of the pier.  Culbertson's Coast Guard Medal citation noted: "Lashing themselves together, the three men proceeded, with hand lanterns as the only illumination, to the end of the breakwater.  Despite the high waves, winds gusting to 40 knots, driving rain and 36 degree water, the rescue party diligently searched the breakwater and light but found no trace of the boys.  While returning to the beach a 20-foot wave swept Petty Officer CULBERTSON off his feet and hurled him up to and over the breakwater parapet into the sea.  Despite the strenuous efforts of his teammates, Petty Officer CULBERTSON perished in this gallant rescue attempt."  He was posthumously awarded the Coast Guard Medal.  The other two Coast Guardsmen, BM2 Richard R. Callahan and FN Ronald C. Prei, were also awarded the Coast Guard Medal for their heroism.

May 1

1875  Captain Lucien M. Clemens and his brothers Al and Hubbard "displayed the most signal gallantry in saving two men from the wreck of the schooner Consuelo" in an open rowboat.  Five others on board the schooner perished when the schooner capsized in the heavy seas "with the wind blowing a gale from the northeast" before the brothers arrived on scene.  Their daring rescue resulted in the award of the Gold Life-Saving Medals to each, the first time the medals were ever awarded.

1898  USRC McCulloch fought as part of the fleet under the overall command of Commodore George Dewey, USN, at the Battle of Manila Bay during the Spanish-American War.   President John McKinley later recommended that her commanding officer, Revenue Captain Daniel B. Hodgson, be retired at full pay as reward of merit for "efficient and meritorious services."  A joint resolution of Congress was so approved on May 3, 1900.

1900  The Lighthouse Board took charge of all lighthouses in Puerto Rico.

1921  The first radio fog signals in the United States were placed in commission on Ambrose Lightship, Fire Island Lightship, and Sea Girt Light Station, New Jersey.

1935  By Department of Commerce authority, a readjustment of the boundary between the 3rd and 4th Lighthouse Districts was made, by which certain aids to navigation in the approaches to Delaware Bay, including Overfalls Lightship, were placed under the jurisdiction of the 4th Lighthouse District.

1936  Congress passed the Whaling Treaty Act, which made it unlawful to take right whales or calves of any whale.  The act was enforced by the Coast Guard.

1942  Two Coast Guard planes located a lifeboat with 13 survivors and landed in open seas and took injured men ashore as others were rescued by lifeboat.

1973  The Coast Guard's Merchant Marine Detachment-Saigon, Republic of Vietnam, was disestablished.

1992  CGC Venturous served as the patrol commander's on-scene command platform for most of the International America's Cup Class World Championship sailing races that took place off San Diego from May 1-11, 1992.  The CGC Sherman took over that duty for May 10-11.  Coast Guard active duty, reserve, and auxiliary personnel also assisted in perimeter patrols along the race course.

1999  A amphibious tourist boat (DUKW) sank in Lake Hamilton, near Hot Springs, Arkansas, killing 13 persons.  The Coast Guard investigated the accident.

2013  CGAS Kodiak deployed a MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew and support personnel to a forward operating location in Cordova, to safeguard mariners in Prince William Sound and south central Alaska.  The FOL in Cordova was one of four seasonal Coast Guard FOLs in Alaska and was scheduled to remain in operation until September 30, 2013.  The forward deployed crews received logistical support from Air Station Kodiak based HC-130 Hercules airplane crews throughout their deployment.  The previous year, FOL Cordova aircrews saved nine lives and assisted 12 others during the 2012 summer season.

 

May 2

1882  An Act of Congress (22 Stat. L., 55, 58), in an attempt to protect the Lifesaving Service from the evils of the "spoils System," declared that "the appointments of District superintendents, inspectors, and keepers and crews of life-saving stations shall be made solely with reference to their fitness and without reference to their political or party affiliations."

1932  Northern Pacific Halibut Act re-enacted Act of June 7, 1924, after Convention with Canada and made it unlawful to catch halibut between November 1st and February 15th  each year in territorial waters of United States and Canada and on high seas, extending westerly from them, including the Bering Sea.  Coast Guard enforced this Act.

1942  Coast Guard plane V-167 rescued two from a torpedoed freighter.

1942  Coast Guard prewar search and rescue procedure discontinued for security reasons.

1943  CG-58012 exploded and sank off Manomet Point, Massachusetts.  No lives lost.

1995  Part of the Upper Mississippi and Missouri Rivers rose above the flood stage, flooding areas in Nebraska, Iowa, Missouri, Illinois, and Kentucky.  Coast Guard Disaster Response Units conducted SAR duties and assisted local authorities.  On May 16, MSO St. Louis closed all 366 miles of the Missouri River to all traffic.   The Secretary of Transportation authorized the involuntary recall of 300 reservists.  However, only 143 were called to duty.  Coast Guard Forces Paducah was at the epicenter of flood-relief operations with five DRUs working in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, and the Olive Branch, Illinois, area.  Coast Guard aircraft, including an HH-60 Jayhawk from AIRSTA Clearwater (the 2nd District had no air station) provided daily over-flight and SAR missions.  CGC Sangamon was used as a staging platform for those working near Meridosa, Illinois.  Two DRU teams aided Meridosa and surrounding communities with emergency evacuations, ferrying emergency supplies, and reinforcing threatened levees.  Coast Guardsmen were also called in to Slidell, Louisiana, where the evacuated 285 flood victims to safety.

 

May 3

1882  The Treasury Department reported that the crew of the cutter Oliver Wolcott deserted their ship.  No reason was given for this mass desertion.

1885  The Navy transferred the USS Bear to the Revenue Cutter Service.  The Bear became one of the most famous cutters to sail under the Revenue Cutter & Coast Guard ensigns.

1944  An acoustic torpedo fired by the U-371 hit and destroyed the stern of the Coast Guard-manned destroyer escort USS Menges while she was escorting a convoy in the Mediterranean, killing thirty-one of her crew. [see May 4, 1944 entry]  The Menges was later repaired and returned to service.  She assisted in the sinking of the U-866 on March 19,1945.

 

May 4

1882  The Secretary of the Treasury was authorized to discontinue any lifesaving station, transfer apparatus, appoint keepers, etc.

1910  Congress required every passenger ship or other ship carrying 50 persons or more, leaving any port of United States, to be equipped with a radio (powerful enough to transmit to a 100-mile radius) and a qualified operator.

1942  The Chief of Naval Operations, ADM Ernest J. King, ordered the Coast Guard Auxiliary to organize into an anti-submarine patrol force, which becomes known as the "Corsair Fleet" for service along the east coast.  The Corsair Fleet was made up primarily of private yachts, crewed by their owners, and converted for ASW use.

1944  The Coast Guard-manned destroyer escort USS Pride (DE-323), with three other Allied escort vessels, sank U-371 in the Mediterranean.  The U-371 had torpedoed the Coast Guard-manned USS Menges the previous day.

1963  CGC Morris and CG-95318 escorted the annual Newport Harbor, California to Ensenada, Mexico Yacht Race which commenced May 4, 1963 and upon conclusion of the race made an informal visit to Ensenada.

 

May 5

1947  The first meeting of the permanent International Civil Aviation Organization was held in Montreal, Canada with the Coast Guard being represented by LT John M. Waters, USCG.

1950  Congress approved the Uniform Code of Military Justice for the "government of the armed forces of the United States."

1973  The last Coast Guard personnel assigned to Vietnam departed for the United States.

2004  The Coast Guard presented the Purple Heart to BM3 Joseph Ruggiero in Miami for injuries sustained in action against the enemy while defending the Khawr Al Amaya Oil Terminal in Iraq on April 24, 2004.  Ruggiero's shipmate, DC3 Nathan Bruckenthal, was killed in this same bombing and was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart.  They were the first Coast Guard recipients of the Purple Heart since the Vietnam War.  

 

May 6

1796  Congress increased the monthly compensation of Revenue Marine officers to masters $50; first mates $35; second mates $30; third mates $25 and mariners $20. 

1896  President Grover Cleveland placed the Lighthouse Service within the classified federal civil service.

1898  The cutter Morrill participated in an engagement at Havana, Cuba on May 6-7, 1898 during the Spanish-American War.  Her officers were awarded Bronze Medals by the authority of a joint resolution of Congress that was approved on March 3, 1901.

1945  The Coast Guard-manned frigate USS Moberly (PF-63), in concert with USS Atherton, sank the U-853 in the Atlantic off Block Island.  There were no survivors.

1958  During her 50 plus year career, the Huron Lightship WAL-526 at Port Huron, Michigan, survived many a Great Lakes storm without the loss of a single crewmember until on this date when Seaman (Boatswain Mate Striker) Robert G. Gullickson lost his life while attempting to swim for assistance to save another shipmate, CS1 Vincent Disch, after their small boat was swamped by a freighter's wake and sank.  Disch was rescued, but Gullickson was lost at sea and his remains were never recovered.  Gullickson was posthumously promoted to BM3 for his rescue attempt and for sacrificing his life for his shipmate.

1994  The last HH-3F Pelican helicopter in Coast Guard service was retired.  This ended the Coast Guard's "amphibious era," as no aviation asset left in service was capable of making water landings.

2003  CGC Walnut completed its 20-day humanitarian mission in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.  Walnut marked the navigational channel of the Khawr Abd Allah waterway leading from the North Arabian Gulf to Iraq’s critical port of Umm Qasr.  The cutter completely replaced 30 buoys and repaired an additional five along the 41-mile waterway, vastly improving the navigational safety of the waterway for humanitarian aid sailing to the port and providing a critical step towards the economic recovery of the people of Iraq.  The majority of the equipment used in the navigational improvements was located in a warehouse in Umm Qasr and was inspected and upgraded to ensure that the buoys matched as closely as possible to the charted channel.  Walnut was originally deployed to the North Arabian Gulf with an oil spill recovery system in the event the regime of Saddam Hussein committed any acts of environmental terrorism. When those threats did not materialize, the cutter conducted maritime interdiction operations enforcing U.N. Security Council resolutions, participated in the search for two downed United Kingdom helicopters, and patrolled and provided assistance to captured Iraqi offshore oil terminals.

2014  CGC Active returned to its homeport of Port Angeles, Washington, following a 70-day deployment.  During their deployment, the cutter and crew covered more than 11,500 miles on a counter-drug enforcement patrol in the Eastern Pacific, including patrolling waters off the coast of Central America.  The crew conducted multiple at sea boardings, seizing more than 2,300 pounds of cocaine worth an estimated $37 million.  While on a port call in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico to resupply the cutter, Active's crew participated in a community relations event where they painted and helped set up a playground at the local Children’s Cancer Center.

 

May 7

1969  HC-130H CGNR 1453, stationed at Air Station Kodiak, flew over the geographic North Pole, becoming the first Coast Guard aircraft to do so.  The aircraft commander was LCDR Melvin J. Hartman and the copilot was LT Larry Minor.  The purpose of the flight was ice reconnaissance of a potential route for super tankers from the North Slope of Alaska to the east coast of the U.S.  According to a summary of the flight published in the Commandant's Bulletin: "COAST GUARD AIRCRAFT FLIES AROUND THE WORLD NONSTOP…During the course of this flight, the aircraft circled the north pole, crossing all meridians in eighty seconds."

1969  CGC Southwind returned to Baltimore, Maryland after circumnavigating the globe, becoming only the second cutter to do so.

1979  During a city-wide strike by tugboat operators and longshoremen in New York City that began on April 1, 1979, Mayor Ed Koch of New York asked for federal assistance.  The Secretary of Transportation, Brock Adams, at the behest of President Jimmy Carter, ordered the Commandant, ADM John B. Hayes, to direct the commanding officer of the Third Coast Guard District, VADM Robert I. Price, "to cooperate with Mayor Koch in the movement of sanitation barges within the harbor."  Beginning on May 7, 1979,  the cutters Sauk, Manitou, and Red Beech began moving 16 garbage scows from a Staten Island landfill site to refuse pick-up points in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx.  Although the Group received an anonymous bomb threat that proved to be a hoax, the towing effort was carried out without incident.  These three cutters were relieved of "garbage duty" in June by the cutters Snohomish and Chinook.

1992  Astronaut and Coast Guard CDR Bruce Melnick made his second space flight when he served as a Mission Specialist aboard the space shuttle Endeavour on her maiden flight, Space Shuttle Mission STS-49, which flew from May 7-16, 1992.  During this mission, astronauts rescued and repaired the Intelsat VI satellite.  Melnick, by this point, had logged more than 300 hours in space.

2004  CGC James Rankin set the historic "Francis Scott Key" buoy off of Fort McHenry, Maryland, near the Key Bridge in Baltimore, Maryland.  The buoy marks the spot where the British warship on which Francis Scott Key, the author of the Star Spangled Banner, was held aboard during the bombardment of Fort McHenry by the Royal Navy during the War of 1812.  Each year the buoy is set in the spring, marking the historic location of the event, and is then removed in the fall.

 

May 8

1919  First Lieutenant Elmer F. Stone, USCG, piloting the Navy's flying boat NC-4 in the first successful trans-Atlantic flight, took off from the Naval Air Station at Rockaway, New York, at 1000 hours on May 8, 1919, together with the NC-1 and NC-3.  Although the NC-1 and NC-3 did not complete the journey, the NC-4 successfully crossed the Atlantic and landed in Lisbon, Portugal on May 27, 1919.  Stone was decorated that same day by the Portuguese government with the Order of the Tower and Sword.  

1926  Congress standardized the retired pay of Coast Guard officers with that of all the other armed services.

1985  CGC Chase was crippled by an engine room fire that put the cutter out of service for almost six months.  One crewman, MK3 Nicholas V. Barei III, was killed during the incident.

1985  The largest cocaine seizure by the Coast Guard (to date) was made when Coast Guard units seized the Goza Now with 1,909 pounds of cocaine.  The unlit speedboat, or "go-fast," was first located by the CGC Cape Shoalwater as it raced towards Miami.  An AIRSTA Miami helicopter was dispatched to investigate and then began chasing it as it neared Miami Beach.  As they approached the shoreline, the three-man crew of the go-fast jumped overboard and escaped but a TACLET seized the abandoned Goza Now and her illicit cargo.  District 7 got a "Bravo Zulu" from Attorney General Edwin Meese.

1987  Coast Guard units, including CGC Ocracoke, made the largest seizure of cocaine by the Coast Guard (to date).  They discovered 3,771 pounds (1.9 tons) aboard the La Toto off the northwest coast of St. Croix. 

 

May 9

1862  USRC Miami landed President Abraham Lincoln on Confederate-held soil the day before the fall of Norfolk.  The President had decided "to ascertain by personal observation whether some further vigilance and vigor might not be infused into the operations of the Army and Navy" during General George McClellan's Peninsula campaign.  The President, Secretary of State Salmon P. Chase, Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton, and Brigadier General Egbert Ludovickus Viele departed Washington, D.C., on board the cutter on May 5. 

1939  President Franklin D. Roosevelt announced Reorganization Plan II that transferred the Bureau of Lighthouses to the Treasury Department for consolidation with the Coast Guard. The plan took effect on July 1, 1939.

1942  CGC Icarus attacked and sank the German submarine U-352 off Moorehead City, North Carolina, and then rescued and took 33 prisoners-of-war, the first German prisoners taken in combat by any U.S. force in World War II.

 

May 10

1800  Congress forbade citizens to own an interest in vessels engaged in the slave trade or to serve on such vessels.

1956  President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed Public Law 519, which brought all previously uninspected vessels on navigable waters carrying more than six passengers for hire under inspection laws.  These were chiefly party-fishing motorboats, excursion sailboats, and ferry barges.  Public attention had been focused on the inadequacy of existing inspection laws by the hundreds of lives lost on uninspected vessels.

1966  CGC Point Grey was on patrol near South Vietnam's Ca Mau peninsula when her crew sighted a 110-foot trawler heading on various courses and speeds.  Suspicions aroused, Point Grey commenced shadowing the trawler.  After observing what appeared to be signal fires on the beach, the cutter hailed the vessel, but received no response.  The trawler ran aground and Point Grey personnel attempted to board it.  Heavy automatic weapons fire from the beach prevented the boarding and two crew and one Army passenger were wounded aboard Point Grey.  CGC Point Cypress and U.S. Navy units came to assist.  During the encounter the trawler exploded.  U.S. Navy salvage teams recovered a substantial amount of war material from the sunken vessel.  This incident was the largest, single known infiltration attempt since the Vung Ro Bay incident of February 1965 and was the first "suspicious trawler interdicted by a Market Time unit."  

 

May 11

1898  USRC Hudson towed the crippled USS Winslow from certain destruction under the Spanish forts at Cardenas, Cuba during the Spanish-American War.  Congress later conferred a Gold Medal of Honor on her commanding officer, Revenue First Lieutenant F. H. Newcomb.  His officers and crew were awarded Silver and Bronze Medals.  

1908  The Revenue Cutter Service was authorized to enforce Alaska game laws.

1945  In the morning, four days after Nazi Germany surrendered unconditionally to the Allies, the Coast Guard-manned destroyer escorts USS Vance and USS Durant, underway off the Azores escorting their last convoy to the Mediterranean, sighted a light ahead of the convoy.  They closed to investigate.  Durant illuminated the target, which was the surfaced German submarine U-873, which had been at sea for 50 days. Vance, while screened by Durant, hailed the "erstwhile enemy" over her public address system, established her identity, and then ordered her to heave to.  On board were seven officers and 52 enlisted men.  Vance placed a 21-man prize crew on board the captured U-boat and delivered the prize at Portsmouth, New Hampshire, on May 16, 1945.

1963  Air Station San Francisco intercepted a teletype message from Fort Point Lifeboat Station to CG Radio Station San Francisco stating that the 36-foot F/V Pirate II had lost its engine and would be blown onto Seal Rocks within twenty minutes.  Coast Guard HH-19G helicopter CGNR-1309 was dispatched to assist.  The helicopter, commanded by LCDR Warren S. Petterson, located the fishing vessel in heavy surf and commenced "Operation Tugbird" by lowering a tow cable to Pirate II.  The helicopter then towed the vessel out of the surf and to a distance of one-half mile off shore where CG-82328 successfully took over.

 

May 12

1906  In part due to the lobbying efforts of the Maritime Association of the Port of New York, Congress authorized the construction of a cutter "equipped to cruise for and destroy derelicts and obstructions to navigation" for the Revenue Cutter Service.  The Service contracted with the Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock Company to build this "derelict destroyer," which was christened USRC Seneca.  She was commissioned in 1908.

1938  Lieutenant C. B. Olsen became the first Coast Guardsman to be awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross.  He earned the award for "heroism in removing Lieutenant Colonel Gullion, U.S. Army, who was stricken with acute appendicitis, from the Army transport 'Republic'" after making an open-water landing near the freighter.

1939  Boatswain's Mate First Class Clarence Samuels was appointed as a Chief Photographer's Mate (Acting), becoming the first African-American photographer in the Coast Guard and only the second Coast Guard photographer in the entire history of the Service.

1957  CGC Wachusett, on Ocean Station NOVEMBER, halfway between Honolulu and San Francisco, rescued the two-man crew who had bailed out of a U.S. Air Force B-57 because of a fuel shortage.

1984  The Coast Guard was a primary participant in the 1984 Louisiana World Exposition in New Orleans.  The Coast Guard Barque Eagle was opened to the public and the fair's organizers also chose the Coast Guard as the official honor guard for the exposition.  The service was also responsible for the exposition's waterfront security.

1998  ADM Robert Kramek, Commandant of the Coast Guard, commissioned the Coast Guard's Leadership Development Center (LDC) in New London.  The LDC consolidated the leadership training courses of the service, including Officer Candidate School, Chief Warrant Officer Indoctriniation School, the Chief Petty Officer Academy, Command and Operations School, Officer in Charge/Executive Petty Officer Course, and the Leadership and Quality Institue in one central location at the Coast Guard Academy.

 

May 13

1905  An Executive Order extended the jurisdiction of the Lighthouse Service to the noncontiguous territory of Guam Island.

1952  The Coast Guard announced the establishment of an Organized Reserve Training Program, the first in U.S. Coast Guard history.  Morton G. Lessans was sworn in as the first member of the Organized Air Reserve on December 12, 1951.

1986  CGC Manitou stopped the 125-foot Sun Bird in 7th District waters and her boarding team discovered 40,000 pounds of marijuana hidden aboard.  The boarding team then located the vessel's builder's plate and learned that the Sun Bird was the decommissioned "buck-and-a-quarter" cutter Crawford.  The former cutter and her 14-man crew were taken into custody.  A newspaper article describing the incident noted: "If Crawford was a person, Miami would have probably seen it blush…The ex-Coast Guard cutter received more publicity for smuggling the drugs than for its 20-year Coast Guard career."

 

May 14

1908  An Act of Congress (35 Stat. L., 160, 162) delegated to the Lighthouse Board the duty of caring for and maintaining the anchorage buoys previously placed by the United States in the harbors of New York and Philadelphia.

1951  USS Valcour was rammed by the collier Thomas Tracy.  CGC Cherokee responded and assisted in extinguishing the resulting fires and towed the Valcour to Norfolk.  Thirty-seven Navy sailors perished.

1997  The 757-foot containership Ever Grade collided with CGC Cowslip 10 miles upriver from the mouth of the Columbia River near Astoria, Oregon.  The buoy tender suffered significant damage from a glancing blow along her port side.  Visibility at the time was less than 20 yards due to thick fog in the area.  The Cowslip was repaired and returned to service.

 

May 15

1820  Congress declared the foreign slave trade to be piracy and instituted the death penalty for any U.S. citizen engaged in the slave trade.

1862  USRC Naugatuck participated in bombardment of Drewry's Bluff (James River) after accompanying USS Monitor in its engagement with CSS Virginia and engaging in an attack on Sewell’s Point.

1931  Treasury Secretary Andrew W. Mellon laid the cornerstone of Hamilton Hall, the first building under construction at the "new" Coast Guard Academy in New London, Connecticut.

1934  The White Star Line passenger vessel RMS Olympic, in a dense fog, rammed and sank the lightship LV-117 on the Nantucket Shoals station.  Olympic, which had been homing in on the lightship's radio beacon very accurately, failed to steer clear in time.  Seven of the lightship's 11 crewmen were killed.  The White Star Line agreed to fund a new lightship.

1945  On 12 May, the Coast Guard-manned frigate USS Forsyth (PF-102) was called off her weather station to search through haze and fog for a German submarine that was attempting to surrender.  Three days later Forsyth joined Sutton (DE-771) in accepting the surrender of U-234 at 46º 39' N. x 45º 39' W.  This submarine was carrying a German technical mission and supplies, including a cargo of uranium, to Tokyo.  Earlier, two Japanese passengers on board committed suicide rather than surrender.  

1975  CGC Modoc seized the Polish fishing vessel Kalmar 10 miles off Monterey, California, for fishing inside the 12-mile limit and escorted her to San Francisco.  

1996  The Coast Guard formally closed Governors Island.  The Army left the base in the early 1960s and the Coast Guard took it over on June 3, 1966 as a way to consolidate its operations in the New York Area.  At the height of Coast Guard involvement on the island over 4,600 people lived and worked there.

1997  Coast Guard Auxiliarist Frank Mauro, while assigned to Coast Guard UTB 41351, rescued nine victims who had been forced into the water after the strong current crushed their boat.  He was awarded the Gold Lifesaving Medal for his heroic actions.

 

May 16

1846  Eleven cutters were assigned to cooperate with Army and Navy in the Mexican War.  Cutters McLane, Legare, Woodbury, Ewing, Forward, and Van Buren were assigned to the Army.  Cutters Wolcott, Bibb, Morris, and Polk were assigned to the Navy.

1888  Secretary of Treasury was authorized to establish anchorage grounds New York Harbor, adopt suitable rules, and "take all necessary measures" for their enforcement.

1963  The Honorable Douglas Dillon, Secretary of the Treasury, at a ceremony at Cape May Receiving Center, awarded Life-Saving Medals to three enlisted men of the Coast Guard in recognition of their heroic action and performance of duty at the risk of their own lives.  Boatswain's Mate First Class John C. Webb, coxswain of CG-36455 was awarded the Gold Life-Saving Medal and his crewmen, Engineman Third Class Anthony D. Lloyd and Seaman Ray Dwayne Duerre were each awarded a Silver Life-Saving Medal.  The awards were based on their rescue of three persons from a stranded pleasure craft disabled approximately two miles northwest of Cape Alava, Washington, on June 1, 1962.

 

May 17

1999  The Coast Guard "kept the peace" when the Makah Indian tribe hunted and killed a gray whale in Neah Bay, Washington.  The Makah were guaranteed the right to hunt whales in their 1855 treaty with the U.S.

 

May 18

1920  Coast Guard officers and enlisted personnel were granted the same pay, allowances and increases as the Navy.

 

May 19

1846  Secretary of Treasury Walker assigned Revenue Captain John A. Webster to control movements of vessels assigned to Army and to cooperate with the Navy in the War with Mexico.

1896  Congress authorized the Secretary of Treasury to patrol regattas.

1921  Congress passed the "Emergency Immigration Act of 1921" (ch. 8, 42 Stat. 5), a quota law that limited the number of migrants in any year to three percent of the number of residents from that country already residing in the U.S. as of 1910.

 

May 20

1882  The lookout of Station No. 10 (Louisville, Kentucky), 9th District, spotted two men and a skiff being swept toward the dam and falls of the Ohio River.  He sounded the alarm and "a boat at once shot out from the station, and reached the men in time to save them.  They were quite ignorant of rowing…and were at the mercy of the flood sweeping towards the dam.  They were terribly frightened and profuse in their thanks to their rescuers." 

1999  CGC Bear arrived in Rota, Spain.  She was deployed to the Adriatic Sea in support of Operation Allied Force and Operation Noble Anvil, NATO's military campaign against the forces of the former Republic of Yugoslavia.  Bear served in the USS Theodore Roosevelt Battle Group providing surface surveillance and SAR response for the Sea Combat Commander, and force protection for the Amphibious Ready Group operating near Albania.  Bear provided combat escort for U.S. Army vessel's transporting military cargo between Italy and Albania.  This escort operation took Bear up to the Albanian coastline, well within enemy surface-to-surface missile range.

 

May 21

1849  Revenue Captain Douglas Ottinger reported completing the construction and furnishing of eight life-saving stations on the New Jersey coast between Sandy Hook and Little Egg Inlet, marking the beginning of Federal life-saving efforts.

1944  The Coast Guard-manned USS LST-69 exploded at Pearl Harbor.  None of her crew were killed, but 13 were seriously injured.

1951  The Coast Guard announced the formation, within the Washington, DC area, of a new Organized Reserve Training Unit (Vessel Augmentation).  The mission of this new unit was to develop a force of experienced personnel, well-trained in all shipboard billets, with particular emphasis on anti-submarine warfare, and the use of radar, radio, and other branches of electronics.  Training was to be directed towards readying personnel of the unit for immediate assignment to ships of the Coast Guard and Navy in the event of mobilization.

1986  Japan's Maritime Safety Agency (MSA) vessel Settsu arrived in Juneau for three days of meetings with 17th District staff members, SAR talks, softball games (against the crew of CGC Morgenthau – the MSA crew won one game out of three), and comparing operational notes.  The 348-foot Japanese vessel was homeported in Kobi, Japan.

2013  The Commandant, ADM Robert Papp, released the Coast Guard's Arctic Strategy report.  He noted that this strategy would “guide our efforts in the region over the next 10 years. This strategy is based on nearly 150 years of Coast Guard experience in maritime operations in the Arctic region, since the U.S. Revenue Cutter Lincoln first arrived in the new U.S. territory of Alaska in 1867. The U.S. Coast Guard Arctic Strategy documents our intent to pursue three key objectives: improving awareness, modernizing governance and broadening partnerships. Beyond these objectives, we will continue to build upon our Service’s long heritage of leadership in the Arctic, working with Federal, state, local and territorial partners to ensure maritime governance in the region.”

 

May 22

1920  An Act of Congress, which provided a system of general retirement for the civil employees of the US Government effective August 21, 1920, benefited those employees of the Lighthouse Service who were not covered by the retirement law of June 20, 1918, which provided retirement for certain classes of employees in the Lighthouse Service.

1926  An Act of Congress extended the benefits of the Public Health Service to apply to light keepers located at isolated points, who previously had been unable to avail themselves of such benefits, and made provisions for medical supplies and hospital services for the crews of the vessels of the Lighthouse Service, including the detail of medical officers.

1959  Two US Air Force jets collided near Ocean Station ECHO, patrolled at that time by the CGC Mendota.  A U.S. Air Force weather plane spotted both pilots in the water and, within two hours of collision, the Mendota rescued them.

1967  CGC Barataria conducted the first fire-support mission for the newly created Coast Guard Squadron Three in Vietnam.  This force initially consisted of five Coast Guard 311-footers used to support Market Time operations.

 

May 23

1928  CGC Haida and the USLHT Cedar rescued 312 passengers and crew from the sailing vessel Star of Falkland near Unimak Pass, Alaska after Star of Falkland had run aground in the fog the previous evening.  Both the cutter and the tender managed to save all but eight from the sailing vessel.  This rescue was one of the most successful in Coast Guard history and was also one of the few instances where the Coast Guard and one of its future integrated agencies worked together to perform a major rescue.

1930  Lieutenant Commander Elmer F. Stone received a medal from Congress for extraordinary achievement in making the first successful trans-Atlantic flight in 1919.  Stone was the pilot of the Navy's NC-4.

1946  Commodore Edward M. Webster, USCG, headed the US Delegation to the International Meeting on Radio Aids to Marine Navigation, which was held in London, England.  As a result of this meeting, the principal maritime nations of the world agreed to make an intensive study of the World War II-developed devices of radar, LORAN, radar beacons, and other navigational aids with a view to adapt them to peacetime use.  This was the first time that the wartime technical secrets of radar and LORAN were generally disclosed to the public. [USCG Public Information Division News Release, 7 June 1946.]

1972  President Richard Nixon and the Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR, N. V. Podgorny, signed the "Agreement on Cooperation in the Field of Environmental Protection between the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics."  Under the agreement, the U.S. Coast Guard was the lead U.S. agency, in association with the EPA and MARAD, for the Task Group on Prevention and Cleanup of Pollution of the Marine Environment from Shipping.

 

May 24

1830  Navy officers, under furlough from the Navy until April 1832, were given commissions in the Revenue Service.

1941  CGC Modoc sighted the German battleship Bismarck while the cutter searched for survivors of a convoy southeast of Cape Farewell, Greenland.  British Swordfish torpedo planes from the Royal Navy aircraft carrier HMS Victorious circled Modoc as they flew towards the German battleship.  Modoc's crew then spotted flashes caused by anti-aircraft fire from the Bismarck and then sighted British warships on the opposite horizon.  The cutter then maneuvered to avoid contact with any of the warships and managed to steam out of the area unscathed.

1977  The Coast Guard issued a request for female volunteers to serve afloat on board cutters as members of the cutters' permanent crew.  Beginning in late-September of that year the first of 24 women chosen for afloat assignments began reporting on board the CGCs Gallatin and Morgenthau as members of their permanent crew.  Twelve women – two officers and 10 enlisted – served on board each cutter.

 

May 25

1877  The training of first class of Revenue Cutter cadets began on the school-ship Dobbin at Curtis Bay, Maryland, with nine cadets, three officers, one surgeon, six warrant officers, and 17 crew members on board.

1963  The first of the new class of 210-foot cutters, CGC Reliance (WPC-615, later WMEC-615), was christened at Todd Shipyard, Houston, Texas.  The wife of the Commandant at the time, Mrs. Edwin J. Roland, was the sponsor for the cutter.  A news report published at the time noted: "The CGC RELIANCE, to be stationed at Corpus Christi, Texas, marks a significant milestone in the building program of the Coast Guard as it is the first cruising cutter of any size built for Coast Guard service in almost twenty years."

 

May 26

1906  Congress passed an act to regulate enlistments and punishments in Revenue Cutter Service was passed.

1924  Congress passed the "Immigration Act of 1924," (Pub. L. 68-139; 43 Stat. 153) that limited the number of immigrants annually who could be admitted to the U.S. to two percent of the number of people from that country who were already living in the U.S. in 1890.  This was a one percent reduction from the three percent limit established by Congress in 1921.

1988  Admiral Paul Yost, Commandant, explained the new "Zero Tolerance" initiative to Congress's Subcommittee on the Coast Guard and Navigation.  Yost noted: "The Coast Guard Zero Tolerance policy is that, subject to statutory and jurisdictional limitations, individuals possessing measurable quantities of controlled substances aboard vessels will be subject to the full extent of available criminal and civil sanctions…Zero Tolerance means that the Coast Guard, in the course of its regular patrols, boardings and inspections, will now, within the limits of the law, seize vessels and arrest individuals when 'personal use' quantities of illegal drugs are discovered."

1995  The Secretary of Transportation authorized the involuntary recall of 300 reservists to assist in the relief efforts in the Midwest after the Missouri and Mississippi rivers flooded.  However, only 143 were called to duty.  (See the May 2, 1995 entry.)

 

May 27

1919  The U.S. Navy's flying boat NC-4, piloted by First Lieutenant Elmer F. Stone, USCG, landed in the Tagus River estuary near Lisbon, Portugal on May 27, 1919, thereby completing the first successful trans-Atlantic flight.  Stone was decorated that same day by the Portuguese government with the Order of the Tower and Sword.  

1936  Public Law 622 reorganized and changed the name of the Bureau of Navigation and Steamboat Inspection Service to Bureau of Marine Inspection and Navigation (49 Stat. L., 1380).  The Bureau remained under Commerce Department control.

1943  Douglas Munro's posthumous Medal of Honor was given to Douglas Munro's parents, Mr. and Mrs. James Munro of South Cle Elum, Washington, by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in a ceremony at the White House on Thursday, May 27, 1943.  The citation read: "Awarded posthumously to DOUGLAS ALBERT MUNRO, SIGNALMAN FIRST CLASS, U.S. COAST GUARD 'For extraordinary heroism and conspicuous gallantry in action above and beyond the call of duty as Office-in-Charge of a group of Higgins boats, engaged in the evacuation of a Battalion of Marines trapped by enemy Japanese forces at Point Cruz, Guadalcanal, on September 27, 1942.  After making preliminary plans for the evacuation of nearly 500 beleaguered Marines, Munro, under constant risk of his life, daringly led five of his small craft toward the shore.   As he closed the beach, he [signaled] the others to land, and then in order to draw the enemy's fire and protect the heavily loaded boats, he valiantly placed his craft with its two small guns as a shield between the beachhead and the Japanese.   When the perilous task of evacuation was nearly completed, Munro was killed by enemy fire, but his crew, two of whom were wounded, carried on until the last boat had loaded and cleared the beach.  By his outstanding leadership, expert planning, and dauntless devotion to duty, he and his courageous comrades undoubtedly saved the lives of many who otherwise would have perished.  He gallantly gave up his life in defense of his country.'"

1954  The aircraft carrier USS Bennington (CV-20), with about 2,000 persons aboard, suffered an explosion and fire 35 miles south of Brenton Reef Lightship, injuring some 100 persons.  U.S. Coast Guard aircraft from Salem Air Station and Quonset Point proceeded to the scene, assisted in transporting medical personnel to Bennington and provided air cover for all helicopter operations.  One of the Coast Guard’s helicopters made seven landings aboard the aircraft carrier and transported 18 injured to the hospital; another transported 14 injured.

1965  Coast Guard Squadron One was commissioned for service with Operation Market Time in Vietnam.

While on leave, Coast Guardsman Kevin S. DeGroot rescued 12 people who had been thrown into the water when their boat capsized.  For his "extreme and heroic daring" that day, he was awarded the Gold Life-Saving Medal.

2008  CGC Dallas departed Charleston, South Carolina for a planned 4-1/2 month deployment to conduct maritime safety and security exchanges with countries along the central and west coasts of Africa, the Mediterranean, and the Black Sea.  It was an historic voyage that included delivering relief supplies to Georgia after that country was attacked by Russia in "Operation Assured Delivery (she was the second U.S. military ship to deliver relief supplies to Georgia) and a port visit to Sevastopol, Ukraine.  

 

May 28

1813  Revenue Cutterman John Bearbere died of pneumonia while being held as a Prisoner of War by the British after his cutter, James Madison, was captured by the Royal Navy frigate HMS Barbadoes near Savannah, Georgia on November 24, 1812 during the War of 1812.  He was one of five crewmen captured aboard the cutter who died in captivity.  James Madison had only recently captured and seized the 300-ton, six-gun British brig Shamrock in July 1812.

1938  CGC Icarus, patrol boats CG-176 and CG-135 as well as motor lifeboats from stations Rockaway Point and Sandy Hook responded to a distress call after the collision of two vessels, the SS Acadia and SS Mandalay, in New York Harbor.  The Coast Guard vessels safely transported to New York City all 325 passengers and crew from the Mandalay which sank soon after the collision.

1947  The Coast Guard announced the disestablishment of all U.S. Coast Guard Merchant Marine Details in foreign ports.  During World War II, a total of 36 foreign Merchant Marine Details had been activated for the purpose of performing "on-the-spot" services in connection with the preventive aspects of safety of life and property of the US Merchant Marine.  These functions reverted to the continental U.S. ports in which there were located U.S. Marine Inspection Offices.  The Merchant Marine Details disestablished were located in the following ports: Antwerp, Belgium; Bremerhaven, Germany; London, England; Cardiff, Wales; Le Havre, France; Marseille, France; Naples, Italy; Piraeus, Greece; Shanghai, China; Manila, Philippine Islands; and Trieste, Venezia Giulia.

1984  The first Marine Safety Information System (MSIS) module was deployed Coast Guard-wide.  The Port Safety Module replaced the Interim MSIS system, first established when the Port and Tanker Safety Act of 1978 was passed, to provide field units with vessel histories.  The replacement module was vital in the day-to-day execution of Port Safety and Marine Violation functions.

 

May 29

1995  A request from the Commander in Chief of Naval Forces Europe led to the deployment of CGC Dallas, under the command of Captain Joseph Jones, USCG, to the Mediterranean.  She departed Governors Island on May 29, 1995 and visited ports throughout the Mediterranean and Black Sea, including Istanbul and Samsun in Turkey; Durres, Albania; Varna, Bulgaria; Constanta, Romania; Koper, Slovenia; Taranto, Italy; and Bizerte, Tunisia.  The crew trained with naval and coast guard forces in each country.  She deployed for a few days with the Sixth Fleet and served as a plane guard for the USS Theodore Roosevelt.  The crew was also able to coordinate schedules with six NATO and non-NATO nations to conduct boardings.  She returned to the U.S. in August and arrived at Governors Island on August 28, 1995.

 

May 30

1767  The Charleston Lighthouse was built on Morris Island, South Carolina.  The first stone of the tower was laid on this date.

1996  Tthe 8th and 2nd Coast Guard Districts were combined to form the new 8th Coast Guard District.

1996  CGC Yocona was decommissioned in Kodiak, Alaska.  She had been in Coast Guard service since 1946.

 

May 31

1947  Authority of the U.S. Coast Guard for the establishment and disestablishment of prohibited, restricted, and anchorage areas, conferred by the Espionage Act (50 U.S.C. 191) and Proclamation No. 2412 of June 27, 1940 was terminated by Proclamation No. 2732, signed by the President on this date.

1948  The Coast Guard assumed command of the former Navy base at Cape May, New Jersey, and formally established its east coast recruit training center there the next day.  

1963  The Commandant authorized the disestablishment of Light Station Alcatraz, California.

1983  Former world heavyweight boxing champion Jack Dempsey passed away at the age of 87.  He served in the Coast Guard during World War II and achieved the rank of commander.

1988  The first search and rescue agreement with the Soviet Union was signed at a summit in Moscow.  The agreement set a general line, or boundary, separating SAR regions and provided for exchange visits to SAR coordination centers in both countries, joint SAR exercises, and regular communication checks.

1988  CGC Fir became the oldest cutter in commission after CGC Ingham was decommissioned this day.

2009  CGC Boutwell arrived in the port of Tubruq, Libya, during her around-the-world cruise, becoming the first U.S. military ship to visit Libya in more than 40 years.

2013  Coast Guard Group Humboldt Bay, the Coast Guard command responsible for operations from the California-Oregon border south to the Mendocino-Sonoma county line, was renamed Coast Guard Sector Humboldt Bay during a formal ceremony.

June 1

1874  The light was first lit at Spectacle Reef Lighthouse, located on a limestone reef at the northern end of Lake Huron, near the Straits of Mackinac, ten miles from land.  The structure of this lighthouse was similar to that of Minots Ledge, and its construction was "a notable engineering work."

1941  The Navy organized the South Greenland Patrol.  It consisted of three cutters and a Navy vessel.

1946  The Coast Guard returned to operation under the Treasury Department after the end of World War II.

1948  The Coast Guard Training Center at Cape May, New Jersey, was established as a receiving center for the initial classification, outfitting, and indoctrination of recruits.  The primary reason for this move from the training station at Mayport, Florida, which was then be decommissioned, was to locate more centrally the Service's facilities for handling recruits.

 

June 2

CGC Vigilant escorted the Liberian tanker Ain Taurga to an anchorage in New York Harbor.  The Coast Guard then boarded the ship at the request of its Master, to ascertain whether there was any danger from what was described as a labor dispute involving five Indonesian crewmen, who were reportedly roaming about the ship armed with guns and knives.  Negotiations with the crew, along with representatives of the Libyan and Indonesian Missions and the International Seafarers Union, were conducted and the "mutiny" ended peacefully.

 

June 3

1882  At 8 in the morning, the three-masted schooner J.P. Decamdres, bound for Milwaukee with a cargo of cord-wood and railroad ties, stranded about one mile north of the life-saving station at the entrance to Milwaukee Harbor (No. 15, Eleventh District) and became a total wreck.  Her crew of six men and a passenger were rescued by the lifesaving crew.

1941  President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed an executive order making 2,100 US Coast Guard officers and men available to man four transports, USS Leonard Wood, Hunter Liggett, Joseph T. Dickman, and Wakefield, along with 22 other ships manned by US Navy personnel.

1982  USS Farragut towed two vessels seized by the Coast Guard to San Juan, Puerto Rico, marking the first time that a Navy ship took an active role in law enforcement and the interdiction of drug smuggling in the Caribbean.

 

June 4

1963  USS Asterion and SS Kokoku Maru collided in a heavy fog 40 miles west of San Francisco, killing one crewman of the latter ship and injuring three others. The Coast Guard cutters Magnolia, Comanche, Avoyel, and patrol boat CG-95311, as well as two commercial tugs, converged on the scene.  Comanche and Magnolia successfully removed all 43 survivors from the disabled Kokoku Maru, all of whom were subsequently delivered safely ashore. Although Asterion was able to proceed under its own power, the Japanese ship had to be towed by the commercial tugs to San Francisco.  When the bilge pumps on one of the tugs failed, Coast Guard aircraft dropped emergency pumping equipment to control the flooding.  The two tugs then successfully towed the Kokoku Maru into San Francisco harbor.

1966  Coast Guard Explosive Loading Detachments (ELDs) 1 & 2 arrived in South Vietnam and were assigned to U.S. Army logistics commands.

 

June 5

1794  The Third Congress authorized an additional 10 revenue cutters and gave the Treasury Department the responsibility for lighthouses, beacons, buoys, and piers.

1912  Senator Charles E. Townsend of Michigan introduced a bill to consolidate Life-Saving Service and Revenue Cutter Service to form the Coast Guard.  The bill became law on January 28, 1915.

1975  ENS Thomasania Montgomery and ENS Linda Rodriguez graduated from Coast Guard Officer Candidate School, Yorktown, VA, thereby becoming the first African-American female commissioned officers in the Coast Guard.

 

June 6

1900  Secretary of the Treasury was authorized to establish anchorage grounds at Kennebec River, Maine.

1912  The Novarupta-Katmai Volcano erupted near Kodiak, Alaska, from June 6-9, 1912.  Revenue Cutter Manning and other cutters as well as personnel assisted in relief efforts, including providing fresh water to the inhabitants of Kodiak, distributing relief supplies, and building a new village for the displaced inhabitants.  The new village was named Perry after the commanding officer of Manning, Revenue Captain K. W. Perry, USRCS.  Captain Perry also established a refugee camp for persons displaced by the falling ash.

1944  Nearly 100 Coast Guard cutters, Coast Guard-manned warships and landing craft participated in the invasion of Nazi-occupied Europe at Normandy, France.  The Coast Guard-manned landing craft LCI(L)s-85, 91, 92, and 93 were lost at the Omaha beachhead that day.  Sixty cutters sailed in support of the invasion forces as well, acting as search and rescue craft for each of the five landing beaches.  A Coast Guard manned assault transport, the USS Bayfield, served as the command and control vessel for the landings at Utah Beach.  Coast Guard officers commanded one of the assault groups that landed troops on Omaha Beach that morning.

1945  Coast Guard-manned USS Sheepscot (AOG-24) went aground and was lost off Iwo Jima. No lives were lost.

1977  Coast Guard recruiting officers were directed to advise all women applicants that women were "now subject to possible assignments to sea and isolated duty.  In line with this change in policy, all women enlisted personnel who are approaching reenlistment, and all women officers reaching three years of service before an extension/integration board, should be aware that they too will be subject to unrestricted assignments to sea and isolated duty as the needs of the Coast Guard require," according to a Coast Guard official announcement.

1985  CGC Polar Sea departed Seattle for a voyage through the Northwest Passage by way of the Panama Canal, the east coast, and then Greenland, sparking an international incident with Canada.  She completed the first solo circumnavigation of the North American continent by a U.S. vessel and the first trip by a Polar-Class icebreaker.  She also captured the record for the fastest transit of the historic northern route.  She arrived back in Seattle on October 27, 1985.

1993  The 150-foot tramp steamer Golden Venture ran aground on Rockaway beach in New York with some 300 illegal Chinese migrants on board.  Ten drowned or died of hypothermia, six vanished, and the rest were rescued by the Coast Guard and local agencies.

2013  The Coast Guard today placed an order for sixteen Cutter Boat-Over the Horizon-IVs (CB-OTH-IV) and associated parts and logistics information from SAFE Boats International LLC of Bremerton, Washington.

 

June 7

1902  The Alaskan Game Law was  passed and it was to be enforced by the Revenue Cutter Service "on request" of the Secretary of Agriculture.  It was not effectively enforced by Coast Guard until 1925, however.

1924  Congress passed the Oil Pollution Act and the enforcement responsibility was assigned to the Coast Guard.

2011  The Coast Guard awarded four firm fixed-price production contracts to deliver the first test boats for the seven-meter Cutter Boat Over-The-Horizon-IV (CB-OTH-IV) project.  The contracts were awarded to MetalCraft Marine U.S. (Clayton, New York), SAFE Boats International (Port Orchard, Washington), Silver Ships, Inc. (Theodore, Alabama), and William E. Munson Company (Burlington, Washington).  The Coast Guard planned to acquire up to 71 seven-meter CB-OTH-IVs.  The acquisition also included up to 20 boats for Customs and Border Protection and 10 boats for the U.S. Navy, for a total of up to 101 boats.  SAFE Boats won the competition.

 

June 8

1882  The sloop-rigged yacht Circe, of Cleveland, was dismasted at 1 o’clock in the afternoon about a mile outside of Cleveland Harbor.  The crew of Station No. 8, Ninth District (Cleveland), discovered the accident and towed her safely into the harbor.

1973  The first women since World War II graduated from the Reserve Officer Candidate Program (OCS) and were commissioned ensigns.  They trained aboard CGC Unimak for a two-week cruise, thereby becoming the first women to see service afloat.

 

June 9

1910  Congress passed the Motor Boat Act (Public Law 61-201, 36 Stat. 462).  The Federal authority to regulate uninspected vessels originated with the passage of this Act, which established standards with respect to navigation lights, machinery requirements, life preservers, and for the licensing of operators on small vessels (under 65-feet in length) carrying passengers.  It applied only to vessels "that are propelled by machinery other than steam."

1968  LT Jack C. Rittichier was shot down and killed in action along with his Air Force crew while flying a combat SAR mission as an exchange pilot with the Air Force's 37th Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Squadron (ARRS) in Vietnam.

1990  The 853-foot Norwegian tanker Mega Borg exploded near Galveston, Texas, killing two of her crew.  Coast Guard units consisting of 500 Coast Guardsmen fought the fires and cleaned up the resulting oil spill.  The units included CGCs Buttonwood, Point Spencer, Steadfast, Valiant, and CushingSteadfast became the on-scene commander and maintained communications between the operations center at MSO Galveston and personnel fighting the fire.  Salvia worked with Navy skimmers seven miles from shore in the Sabine Pass area.  The Atlantic and Pacific Strike Teams brought people and equipment from across the country and MSOs in Houston, Mobile, Morgan City, New Orleans, and Port Arthur sent personnel to assist MSO Galveston.

2001  Coast Guard Group Operations Center in Galveston, Texas, was inundated with calls for assistance after Tropical Storm Allison dumped over 36 inches of rain in a three-day period, causing massive flooding in and around Houston.  Coast Guard flood punts and helicopters rescued over 220 persons.

2009  The U.S. Coast Guard’s first National Security Cutter, Bertholf (WMSL 750), conducted a structural test fire of its missile decoy launching system in the Southern California Operations Area of the Pacific Missile Range Facilit. The crew of CGC Bertholf, the Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division, and the Navy Research Lab successfully launched two rounds from the Nulka Anti-Ship Missile Defense System.  These MK-234 Nulka rounds hover in the air while attracting incoming anti-ship missiles.  This is the first time that a Nulka round has been launched from a Coast Guard cutter. The successful completion of the test fire was the first phase of the crew’s two-month multi-mission patrol which includes a counter drug patrol in the Eastern Pacific under the tactical control of Commander, Joint Interagency Task Force South for detection and monitoring, and under the tactical control of Commander, Coast Guard District Eleven for interdiction and apprehension.

2013  CGC Gallatin returned to homeport of Charleston, South Carolina following a successful three-and-a-half month patrol in counter-drug missions, search and rescue, maritime exercises, and community outreach.  Gallatin’s counterdrug operations for this patrol resulted in the collective seizure of more than 2,200 pounds of cocaine and 3,500 lbs. of marijuana.  Gallatin's  patrol highlights include: three cocaine seizures and four go-fast vessel disruptions; transfer of marijuana seized May 10 by a Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachment aboard the Royal Netherlands Navy Vessel HNMLS Friesland; search and rescue mission of passengers aboard a sinking panga March 15; maritime exercises and professional exchange missions with Dutch Naval Vessel HNMLS Friesland and U.S. Navy’s Mayport, Florida-based HSV Swift; and port calls in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba; Bocas Del Toro, Panama; and Roatan, Honduras. During the port calls, Gallatin’s crew enthusiastically worked several community outreach projects which included ship tours for more than 400 school children and their teachers in Guantanamo Bay and Roatan.  The crew also painted, plumbed, and did electrical work in local hospitals and churches.

 

June 10

1872  Congress ordered that Life-Saving stations were to be erected "under supervision of two captains of the revenue service."  An Act of Congress authorized government life-saving stations on Cape Cod and Block Island.

1922  Congress readjusted pay and allowances of Coast Guard commissioned and enlisted personnel on basis of equality with other services.  Until this time a Coast Guard captain was equivalent to a Navy lieutenant commander.

 

June 11

1764  Sandy Hook Lighthouse, at the south point of the entrance to New York Harbor, was first lighted.  Today, its octagonal tower, built by Mr. Isaac Conro of New York City with money collected by a group of New York merchants, is the oldest original light tower still standing and in use in the United States.

1942  After the Battle of Midway, CGC Taney anchored at Midway Island after escorting USS Regulus (AK-14) there.  For the next four days Taney conducted SAR operations in the waters around Midway, the island itself, and then "went out into the Pacific Ocean to look for survivors reported by plane."  Taney departed Midway Island on June 16 and escorted Regulus back to Honolulu.

1966  Finding itself disabled and adrift two miles from Cape Kubugakli, Alaska, the fishing vessel Katy C radioed for assistance.  A Coast Guard helicopter, after ascertaining that the ship was unable to anchor by herself, took her in tow until she was out of danger.

 

June 12

1813  Revenue cutter Surveyor, at anchor in the York River, Virginia, was surprised by a three-barge attack force launched from the Royal Navy frigate HMS Narcissus.  Outnumbered 50 to 15, the cuttermen wounded seven and killed three of the enemy before the cutter was captured.  The British commanding officer of Narcissus was so impressed by "the determined way in which her deck was disputed, inch by inch," in hand-to-hand combat, he returned to Revenue Captain William Travis, the commanding officer of Surveyor, "the sword you had so nobly used."

1917  An Act of Congress appropriated $300,000 to enable the U .S. Coast Guard to extend its telephone system to include all Coast Guard stations not then connected as well as the most important light stations with no means of rapid communication.  The Life-Saving Service had pioneered the use of the telephone beginning in the 1880s, linking the various stations along the nation's coast with the new communication device.

1925  Lake Huron Lightship radio fog signal was placed in commission, being the first signal of this kind on the Great Lakes.

1942  The U.S. Navy makes its first operational test with LORAN equipment with a LORAN receiver mounted in a K-2 airship on a flight from Lakehurst Naval Air Station.

1975  CGC Vigorous seized the Bulgarian F/V Argonaut off the coast of New England.  More than 500 pounds of lobster were reported found aboard the fishing vessel by the Coast Guard boarding party.  Lobster was protected from foreign fishing by the Continental Shelf Fishery Resource Law.

1999  The small cruise vessel Wilderness Adventurer ran aground in Glacier Bay National Park in Alaska.  All passengers and crew were safely evacuated from the stranded vessel.  The responders from the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation, Coast Guard, and Glacier Bay Tours and Cruises (which operated the vessel) then successfully refloated her and towed her to drydock.  Oil containment booms contained the 300 gallons of fuel that leaked from the vessel.  A Coast Guard spokesman later stated "This is the best-run multi-agency operation I've seen in my career.  It went well.  We still have a damaged vessel to take care of, but at least it's not at the bottom of the ocean in a national park."  The Coast Guard also investigated the accident.

 

June 13

1903  A Gold Lifesaving medal was awarded to Captain Robert F. Longstreet "for heroic conduct at Squan Beach, New Jersey," for his efforts to rescue five fishermen from their capsized vessel on June 13, 1903. The heavily – laden vessel was observed to capsize in "heavy breaking surf caused the heavy ground swell and strong southerly wind, following a storm which had just passed along the coast."  Observers went to the Squan Beach life – saving station for help, but because it was the inactive season, only Captain Longstreet was present.  Nevertheless, he launched a small skiff with the help of a fisherman and rowed out the fishing vessel.

1929  Coast Guard Radio Technician A. G. Descoteaux became the first person to broadcast from an aircraft.  In a Loening amphibian, he reported the takeoff of a French aircraft on a trans-Atlantic flight at Old Orchard Beach, Maine.  The account was relayed by ground equipment to an extensive national hookup and was received by U.S. and foreign listeners.

1933  LT Richard L. Burke piloted a seaplane from AIRSTA Cape May to rescue an ill seaman from the fishing trawler Shawmut 130 miles offshore.  He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for this rescue.

1942  Coast Guardsman John C. Cullen (Seaman 2/c) discovered Nazi saboteurs landing on beach at Amagansett, Long Island.  He reported this to his superiors.  The FBI later captured the Nazis and Cullen was awarded the Legion of Merit.

1942  CGC Thetis sank the German U-boat U-157 off the Florida Keys.  There were no survivors.

1943  CGC Escanaba exploded and sank off Ivigtut, Greenland, with only two survivors.  The cause for the loss has never been confirmed.

 

June 14

1775  The official birthday of the U.S. Army: it was on this date in 1775 that the Continental Congress adopted "the American continental army."  The Army's motto is: "This We’ll Defend."

1906  Congress passed the first regulatory fishing law for Alaska.  The new law was enforced by the Revenue Cutter Service.

1941  CGC Duane rescued 46 survivors from the torpedoed SS Tresillian.

1979  The Coast Guard announced the award of a $215 million contract for 90 Short Range Recovery (SRR) helicopters to Aerospatiale Helicopter Corporation of Grand Prairie, Texas.

1996  CGC Mellon seized the Polish fishing vessel Admiral Arciszewski after it was found to be illegally fishing in U.S. waters 385 miles northwest of Dutch Harbor.  CGC Steadfast escorted the fishing vessel into Kodiak.

 

June 15

1904  Nearly 1,000 lives were lost when the steamboat General Slocum caught fire in the East River in New York.  The disaster led to improved safety regulations and life-saving equipment.

1917  Congress passed and President Woodrow Wilson signed into law the Espionage Act, authorizing the Treasury Secretary to assume control of U.S. ports, control ship movements, establish anchorages, and supervise the loading and storage of explosive cargoes.  The authority was immediately delegated to the Coast Guard and formed the basis for the formation of the Coast Guard's Captain of the Ports and the Port Security Program.

1944  Coast Guardsmen participated in the invasion of Saipan, Marianas.  The Coast Guard-manned transports that took part in the invasion included the USS Cambria, Arthur Middleton, Callaway, Leonard Wood, LST-19, LST-23, LST-166, and LST-169.

1949  Two hundred and forty-eight unidentified victims of the 1945 explosion of the U.S. Coast Guard-manned Serpens at Guadalcanal were buried in Arlington National Cemetery in what was described as the largest recommittal on record.

1986  Upon assuming the office of Commandant on May 30, 1986, ADM Paul Yost banned the wearing of beards by Coast Guard personnel, to be effective on June 15, 1986.

2009  Law Enforcement officers from the 14th Coast Guard District reported aboard the USS Crommelin (FFG-37) to support U.S. Coast Guard fisheries enforcement in Oceania in an operation called the "Fight for Fish" mission.  It marked the first time a Navy warship was utilized "to transit the Western Pacific enforcing fishing regulations in a joint effort with the Coast Guard to stop illegal fishing in this region."

 

June 16

1880  An Act of Congress (21 Stat. L., 259, 263) provided that "masters of light-house tenders shall have police powers in matters pertaining to government property and smuggling."

1966  The freighter Alva Cape and tanker Texaco Massachusetts collided in New York Harbor near Third Coast Guard District Headquarters on Governor's Island.  Thirty-three crewmen perished in the ensuing explosion.  Coast Guard units responded and the rescue effort garnered significant national media attention.

CGC Spencer returned to Boston after a 55-day patrol in the North Atlantic.  While conducting a law enforcement inspection aboard the commercial F/V Heritage, on June 6, Spencer’s rescue and assistance team fought and helped extinguish a fire ablaze in their galley.  Also during the patrol, Spencer responded to a distress call from the S/V Alien I, 300 nautical miles offshore.  After steaming through the night, Spencer arrived on scene, rescued the couple onboard, and placed the vessel in tow.  Spencer towed the vessel for 300 miles and delivered Alien I and her passengers safely to Coast Guard Station Woods Hole three days later.  After breaking the tow, Spencer resumed normal operations in the North Atlantic which is primarily living marine resource protection.  During its patrol, the cutter’s crew conducted law enforcement operations including 51 commercial fishing vessel inspections, day and night time helicopter operations, and live gunnery fire.  The crew conducted hours of training in damage control, weapons handling, navigation and seamanship, medical casualty, and engineering casualty response.  Additionally, Spencer was the Coast Guard's flag ship and largest cutter participant in New York Fleet Week 2015, giving tours to more than 4,800 people and supporting 13 Fleet Week community events.  This patrol directly followed an 89-day dry-dock at the Coast Guard Yard in Baltimore, Maryland.

 

June 17

1832  The practice of utilizing "surplus" naval officers as officers of the Revenue Marine was discontinued.  Revenue officer vacancies were henceforth filled by promotion from within the service.

1910  An Act of Congress (36 Stat. L., 534) abolished the Lighthouse Board and created the Bureau of Lighthouses to have complete charge of the Lighthouse Service.  This law constituted the organic act under which the Lighthouse Service operated thereafter.

1942  The Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Fleet ordered the organization of coastal pickets to combat the "submarine menace" off the Atlantic Coast.  The hodge-podge fleet of primarily small private recreational craft taken into government service under Coast Guard direction became known as the "Corsair Fleet."

1983  National Narcotics Border Interdiction System (NNBIS) began operations under the direction of Vice President George Bush and the executive board consisting of Secretaries of State, Transportation and Defense, the Attorney General, the Counselor to the President, the Director of Central Intelligence, and the Director of the White House Drug Abuse Policy Office.  "U.S. Army, Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps airborne and seaborne craft, intelligence, technology, surveillance, and manpower now are used to augment operations by the U.S. Coast Guard, Customs Service, the Drug Enforcement Agency, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Immigration and Naturalization Service, Border Patrol, and the U.S. Attorney's Office.  The system provides a coordinated national and international interagency network for prioritizing interdiction targets, identifying resources, recommending the most effective action, and coordinating joint special actions."

2013  The Coast Guard 13th District and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police "E" Division signed a finalized agreement for the Pacific region Integrated Cross-border Maritime Law Enforcement program, known as "Shiprider," during a ceremony at the Peace Arch Provincial Park in British Columbia, Canada.  Shiprider was a program that enabled specially-trained officials from both nations to pursue or interdict suspected criminals transiting across the shared maritime border.  The concept of Shiprider was first introduced in 2005.  A version of the agreement proved successful during the Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver, British Columbia, in 2010.

 

June 18

1812  The United States declared war against Great Britain.

1838  The steamboat Pulaski, a passenger vessel traveling between Baltimore and Charleston, suffered a boiler explosion while at sea, killing over 100 passengers and crew.  This was one of three fatal steamboat boiler explosions within as many months that forced the Federal Government to begin regulating merchant steam vessels.

1878  Congress established the U.S. Life-Saving Service as a separate agency under the control of the Treasury Department (20 Stat. L., 163).

1878  The 45th Congress enacted a rider on an Army appropriations bill that became known as the Posse Comitatus Act [Chapter 263, Section 15, U.S. Statutes, Vol. 20.]  This act limited military involvement in civil law enforcement leaving the Revenue Cutter Service as the only military force consistently charged with federal law enforcement on the high seas and in U.S. waters.  The rider prohibited the use of the Army in domestic civilian law enforcement without Constitutional or Congressional authority.  The use of the Navy was prohibited by regulation and the rider was amended in 1976 outlawing the use of the Air Force.  In 1981, however, new legislation allowed the Secretary of Defense to bring Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps support to civilian authorities in intelligence, equipment, base and research facilities, and related training.  

1903  Alaska’s first coastal lighthouse, Scotch Cap Lighthouse, was first lit.  It was located near the west end of Unimak Island on the Pacific side of Unimak Pass, the main passage through the Aleutian Islands into the Bering Sea.

1930  An Act of Congress provided "for the transfer of the old lighthouse at Cape Henry, Virginia, to the Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities."

1938  The first low power, unattended "secondary" radio aid to navigation was established at St. Ignace, Michigan.

1961  An explosion in the power room of the Stannard Rock Lighthouse killed PO1c William Maxwell, one of the four Coast Guardsmen at the station at that time.

1995  The 736-foot cruise ship Celebration suffered an engine-room fire and lost power while off the coast of San Salvador, Bahamas.  CGC Forward responded and was designated as the on-scene commander.  CGC Vigorous was also diverted to lend assistance.  The cruise ship's Halon system put out the fire but she was drifting dangerously close to shore.  The Forward then towed her throughout the night away from shore until the arrival of commercial tugs the next day.  A Coast Guard helicopter medevaced one passenger.  On June 20 the crew of the Forward and MSO Miami team members stood by while the 1,735 passengers still aboard were transferred from the Celebration to the cruise ship Ecstasy, which had arrived in the area.  The Ecstasy then sailed for Miami and the Celebration, with one engine then on-line, sailed to Freeport for repairs.

1999  CGC Midgett departed its homeport of Seattle for a six-month deployment to the Persian Gulf.  Midgett was attached to a Navy carrier battle group and its crew brought the Coast Guard's expertise in boarding ships to the group.  Once in the Gulf, the cutter's primary mission was to enforce United Nations' sanctions against illegal Iraq petroleum shipments and conduct SAR operations.

 

June 19

1845  The Secretary of the Treasury had Lieutenants Thornton A. Jenkins and Richard Bache detailed from the Navy and sent abroad to procure information that might tend to the improvement of the lighthouse system of the United States.  Subsequently, when the Secretary submitted the report of these two naval officers and asked that a board be appointed to consider thoroughly the matter of lighthouse improvements.  No legislative action resulted.

1876  The first Gold Life Saving Medals ever awarded were presented to private citizens Lucien M. Clemens and his brothers Hubbard M. Clemons and Al J. Clemons.  On May 1, 1875 the Clemens' brothers "displayed the most signal gallantry in saving two men from the wreck of the schooner Consuelo" in an open rowboat.  Five others on board the schooner perished when the schooner capsized in the heavy seas "with the wind blowing a gale from the northeast" before the brothers arrived on scene.  The medals were awarded by the Treasury Department.

1992  In a joint operation with INS, the Coast Guard assisted in the seizure of the 167-foot Belize-registered freighter Lucky No. 1, her 15-man crew, and 117 illegal Chinese migrants that were aboard.  The seizure took place off Oahu.

2008  The U.S. Coast Guard announced the launch of an ORBCOMM concept demonstration satellite, equipped with Automatic Identification System (AIS) capability, from Kapustin Yar, Russia. The satellite attained a proper orbit was expected to start transmitting operational data within the next three months. The U.S. Coast Guard Nationwide Automatic Identification System (NAIS) Project sponsored equipment on the satellite to test the feasibility and effectiveness of AIS message reception and reporting from space for ship tracking and other navigational activities. The NAIS project improved maritime domain awareness for the U.S. Coast Guard and Department of Homeland Security by using the integrated network of AIS equipment and user interface services that display and exchange AIS-equipped vessel information for maritime safety and security.  Data collected by the NAIS supports the nation’s maritime interests by promoting vessel and port safety through collision avoidance, and through detection, traffic identification, and classification of vessels out to 2,000 nautical miles from shore.

2014  CGC Tahoma returned to its homeport in Portsmouth, New Hampshire after a 64-day deployment in the Caribbean Sea.  During the deployment, the 100-member crew of Tahoma worked under tactical control of Coast Guard Sector San Juan, Puerto Rico, conducted flight operations, patrolled drug and migration, conducted sea boarding, and assisted in the transfer or repatriation of 26 Haitian migrants.  The crew also participated in training and law enforcement operations, migrant interdiction and counterdrug operations in support of Operation Unified Resolve, and conducted Tailored Ship’s Training Availability (TSTA).  The crewmembers completed a total of 148 drills and exercises, earning the prestigious Battle “E” for excellence in five areas of professional expertise.

 

June 20

1874  An Act of Congress provided for lifesaving stations on the coasts of Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, and Florida, as well as on the Great Lakes and the Pacific Coast.

1874  The first Life Saving Medal enactment was passed, which was updated in 1878 and 1882.  Ship masters were also required to report accidents and death in order to gather data to aid in evaluating sites for search and rescue stations.

1906  Congress passed the Sponge Fishing Act and directed that the Revenue Cutter Service enforce it.

1918  An Act of Congress (40 Stat. L., 607, 608) changed the designation of Lighthouse Inspectors, who were in charge of the 19 lighthouse districts, to that of Superintendents of Lighthouses.

1964  CGC Reliance, the first of the Coast Guard's new 210-foot medium endurance cutter class, was commissioned. 

1966  CGC Point League attacked and crippled a North Vietnamese junk attempting to run the Navy’s Market Time blockade.  The action continued into the next day as the junk stranded itself on the shore and its crew fired a demolition charge, destroying their ship.

 

June 21

1944  Cutters 83415 and 83477 assigned to Rescue Flotilla One wrecked off coast of Normandy, France during a storm - no lives were lost.  This is the storm that wrecked the artificial harbor constructed by the Allies off the coast of Normandy.

1979  SN Ina J. Toavs was awarded the Coast Guard Medal, the first woman to receive the award.

2013  Coast Guard Group/Air Station North Bend, located out of North Bend, Oregon, was officially renamed Sector North Bend, "to match the Coast Guard standards of mission support and execution."  Group/Air Station North Bend was the final "legacy group in the Coast Guard to be transitioned under the multi-year sector modernization effort."

 

June 22

1818  Boarding parties from the Revenue cutter Dallas seized the privateer Young Spartan, her crew, and the privateer's prize, the Pastora, off Savannah, Georgia.  The crew of the Pastora had been set adrift and their fate remained unknown.  The New York Evening Post noted that the crew of the privateer had committed offenses "that can only be expiated by making their exits on the gallows." (July 3, 1818 issue).

1936  Congress passed an act to define jurisdiction of Coast Guard.  In one of the most sweeping grants of police authority ever written into U.S. law, Congress designated the Coast Guard as the federal agency for "enforcement of laws generally on the high seas and navigable waters of the United States."

1940  Port Security responsibilities were undertaken again for the first time since World War I when President Franklin Roosevelt invoked the Espionage Act of 1917.  The Coast Guard was to govern anchorage and movement of all vessels in U.S. waters and to protect vessels, harbors, and inland or coastal waterways of the U.S.  The Dangerous Cargo Act gave the Coast Guard jurisdiction over ships with high explosives and dangerous cargoes. 

1948  Congress enacted Public Law 738, which authorized the operation of floating ocean stations for the purpose of providing search and rescue communication and air-navigation facilities, and meteorological services in such ocean areas as are regularly traversed by aircraft of the United States.

1965  Coast Guard forces in Vietnam fired their first shot of the war when LT John M. Cece, commanding CGC Point Orient, gave the order to "commence fire" while patrolling the 17th Parallel.  The cutter was assigned to Coast Guard Squadron One.

1977  Secretary of Transportation Brock Adams introduced Ensign Beverly G. Kelley and Boatswain's Mate 3/c Debra Lee Wilson during a press conference as two of 12 women who had been assigned to sea duty.  "This is the first time in Coast Guard history that women have been sent to sea."   Both women had orders to report to the Morgenthau later that year.

1982  The first successful hostage rescue at sea occurred when a combined Coast Guard/FBI boarding party deployed from CGC Alert took control of the 890-foot Liberian-flagged motor tanker Ypapanti.  The incident began on May 16, 1982 when the Ypapanti anchored off the entrance to Delaware Bay after it was denied entrance to U.S. waters by COTP Philadelphia, due to the lack of required safety equipment aboard.  Initially the CGCs Hornbeam, Active, and Point Franklin responded.  After the situation stabilized, Active and Point Franklin departed while Hornbeam stood by the tanker to monitor the situation and to act as on scene commander; she was relieved on May 29 by Alert.  During the next few days the tanker's crew mutinied and seized control of the tanker from the master in a wage dispute.  After a prolonged period of unsuccessful negotiations and threats by the crew to kill various officers and to set fire to the vessel, the Alert went alongside the tanker on June 22, 1982.  A senior Coast Guard negotiating team went aboard to present one last wage/repatriation offer to the crew.  When this offer was rejected a combined Coast Guard/FBI boarding team went aboard from the Alert and took control of the Ypapanti without injury.  The vessel was then returned to the control of the master and 12 loyal crewmen.  Twenty-four mutineers were detained on board the Alert and were transferred to the custody of the INS in Cape May.

 

June 23

1716  The Province of Massachusetts authorized the erection of the first lighthouse in America.  It was built on Great Brewster Island in Boston Harbor.

1817  The cutter Active forced a South American privateer posing as an armed merchantman to leave the Chesapeake Bay and American waters.

1895  USRC Windom was launched.  She was the service's first attempt at "modern" ship construction and was designed by the Coast Guard's Engineering Division, complete with in-house staff naval architects and engineers.  Windom was the first cutter to have a modern powerplant, in this case a triple-expansion steam engine, and a fully watertight hull with transverse and longitudinal bulkheads.  She was capable of making a top speed of 15 knots.

1934  CGC Nike departed on a thousand-mile trip to the sea after it became the Coast Guard's first patrol boat built on an inland waterway.  It was built at Point Pleasant, West Virginia and was launched into the Ohio River after being christened by Mrs. Charles O. Weisenberger, wife of the president of the Marietta Manufacturing Company which built Nike.  The cutter was bound for Pascagoula, Mississippi to replace the recently decommissioned cutter Tuscarora, which itself had been in service for over 35 years.

1939  Congress created the Coast Guard Reserve which later became what is today the Coast Guard Auxiliary.

 

June 24

1914  Congress authorized the Secretary of Treasury to "detail for duty on revenue cutters such surgeons and other persons of the Public Health Service as…necessary" and for cutters with such medical personnel aboard to extend medical and surgical aid to crews of American vessels engaged in deep sea fisheries.  This Act of Congress (38 Stat. L., 387) regularized procurement and assignment procedures of Public Health Service personnel to revenue cutters, launching a partnership between the two services that continues to this day.

1930  An Act of Congress provided "that light keepers and vessel officers and crews, who during their active service were entitled to medical relief at hospitals and other stations of the Public Health Service, may be given such relief after retirement as is now applicable to retired officers and men in other branches of the Government service, under joint regulations to be prescribed by the Secretary of the Treasury and the Secretary of Commerce."

1938  Under an Executive Order of this date, "about 35 positions of steward on lighthouse tenders were brought under the classified civil service."

1995  CGC Juniper was launched, the first of the new 225-foot Juniper Class buoy tenders.

 

June 25

1935  Coast Guard aviator LT Richard L. Burke set a world record when he flew the Coast Guard Grumman JF-2 (V-167) at 173.945 miles per hour over a 100 kilometer course with a 500 kilogram load in 21 minutes and 20 seconds, besting the previous record by roughly 14 miles per hour.

1936  "The act of June 25, 1936 was in reality an amendment to the Seamen’s Act of 1915, and had been called the Merchant Marine Act of 1936. This law provided for (1) "qualifications, examinations, and issuance of certificates of service or efficiency to unlicensed personnel; (2) the issuance of continuous discharge books to all seagoing personnel," a three-watch eight-hour day, and certain citizenship requirements. The act greatly increased the workload of the shipping commissioners, particularly in providing for the issuance of discharge books and various certificates. This had the effect of both increasing the efficiency of unlicensed personnel and raising the dignity of the profession."

2002  U.S. Deputy Secretary of Transportation Michael Jackson, joined by U.S. Coast Guard Commandant Thomas H. Collins, announced the award of the Integrated Deepwater System (IDS) contract.  It was the largest acquisition project in the history of the Coast Guard.

2014  "The Coast Guard took a step toward introducing the C-27J into its medium range surveillance fleet with the commissioning of the C-27J Asset Project Office (APO) at Elizabeth City, N.C., June 25, 2014.  The C-27J APO’s primary mission is to provide a purposeful, sequential plan to incorporate 14 C-27Js into Coast Guard operations.  The aircraft are being transferred from the U.S. Air Force as required by the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2014.  Among the C-27J APO’s responsibilities will be development of Coast Guard-specific operational and maintenance procedures, training plans, technical manuals and crew duties."

 

June 26

1944  LCDR Quentin R. Walsh and his commando unit forced the surrender of Fort du Homet, a Nazi stronghold at Cherbourg, France, captured 300 German soldiers and liberated 50 U.S. paratroopers who had been captured on D-Day.  For his heroic actions, Walsh was awarded the Navy Cross.

1948  In order to implement the expanded postwar activities of the Coast Guard in the field of aids to navigation, Congress approved Public Law 786, which provided legislative authority for the Coast Guard to establish and operate maritime aids for the armed forces and LORAN stations essential for the armed forces and maritime and air commerce of the United States.

1978  The first U.S. ocean-monitoring satellite, SEASAT-A, was launched into earth orbit from Vandenberg AFB.

 

June 27

1851  The British bark Henry stranded off Bridgehampton Beach, Long Island with 204 persons on board. All were safely landed with government surf boat.

1935  Coast Guard aviator LT Richard L. Burke set a world record for altitude in an amphibious aircraft when he reached 17,877.243 feet with a 500 kilogram load on this date in 1935.  He piloted Coast Guard Grumman JF-2 (V-167).

2003  CGC Walnut, homeported in Honolulu, returned home after being deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.  She deployed to the North Arabian Gulf in January with an oil spill recovery system in the event the regime of Saddam Hussein committed any acts of environmental terrorism.  When those threats did not materialize, the cutter conducted maritime interception operations enforcing U.N. Security Council resolutions, participated in the search for two downed United Kingdom helicopters, and patrolled and provided assistance to captured Iraqi offshore oil terminals being secured by Coast Guard port security personnel.   The cutter’s crew completely replaced 30 buoys and repaired an additional five along the 41-mile Khawr Abd Allah Waterway.  This ATON mission vastly improved the navigational safety of the waterway for humanitarian aid, commercial, and military vessels sailing to the port and was a critical step to economic recovery for the people of Iraq.

2014  CGC Assateague returned to home port in Apra Harbor, Guam following a six-day exclusive economic zone enforcement patrol.  While underway the cutter patrolled the western-most area of the exclusive economic zone extending 200 nautical miles west of Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana's Island chain, ensuring no foreign fishing vessels were fishing within waters of the United States and that all U.S. fishing vessels were doing so in accordance with the United States' applicable maritime laws.  Additionally, during its transit north, the cutter transported supplies to the Pagan Installation Project, which consists of a joint partnership with the Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Geological Survey, NOAA, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands government.  The project, which is being done on the remote island of Pagan in the northern part of the CNMI chain, is being done to install seismic sensors, monitoring stations, and seismic cables in an effort to monitor volcanic activity.  To facilitate their efforts, Assateague crewmembers met with project managers in Saipan to pick up 700 pounds of five gallon water jugs, 1,200 pounds of cement bags, tents and camping supplies, and various sized batteries, which were all then transported to Pagan.  These items were greatly needed due to the sheer isolation and remoteness of Pagan, which houses only seven permanent residents and is 170 miles north of Saipan, the closest inhabited island with modern amenities.

 

June 28

1946  Peacetime cruises for the cadets of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy at New London Connecticut, were revived.

 

June 29

1820  The Revenue cutter Dallas captured the 12-gun brig-of-war General Ramirez, which was loaded with 280 slaves, off St. Augustine.  The July 8, 1820 issue of the Savannah Republican noted:

"On the 28th ultimo, while the Cutter DALLAS was lying in the St. Mary's River, Captain Jackson received information that the Brig of war GENERAL RAMIREZ, supposed to be a piratical vessel was hovering off St. Augustine.  The Cutter forthwith got under way in pursuit of the Brig having first obtained 12 United States soldiers from Fernandina to strengthen the Cutter's force.  At half past three the next day, she hailed the Brig and received for answer, "This is the Patriot Brig GENERAL RAMIREZ----." Captain Jackson finding a number of blacks on board took possession of the vessel and brought her into St. Mary's, arriving on the 1st instant.  Captain Jackson found on the Brig about 280 African slaves.  The Captain and crew, 28 in number, acknowledged themselves Americans." 

1944  CDR Frank A. Erickson landed a helicopter on the flight deck of CGC Cobb. This was the first rotary-wing aircraft-shipboard landing by Coast Guard personnel.

1950  The Coast Guard adopted a Navy directive relative to security measures, including precautions against possible sabotage at installations and aboard ships.

1982  The Soviet Union launched COSPAS I, the first search and rescue satellite ever launched.  In combination with later SARSAT satellites, a new multi-agency, international, search and rescue service was made operational.

2013  A Coast Guard Advanced Interdiction Team (AIT) returned home from a four-month counter piracy deployment to the Middle East.  The team was comprised of three units: Maritime Safety and Security Team (MSST) Los Angeles-Long Beach, MSST San Diego, and the Pacific Tactical Law Enforcement Team (PACTACLET) out of San Diego.  Under the direction of the U. S. Navy’s 5th Fleet, the team served aboard the U.S. Naval guided missile destroyer USS Stockdale, working side by side with the ship’s Visit, Board, Search and Seizure (VBSS) team assigned to Combined Task Force 151.  While on board the Stockdale, the team’s primary mission was to fight maritime terrorism and counter piracy.  The AIT and VBSS conducted joint training for counter piracy, illegal activity interdictions, and boardings.  The training also included space accountability for hidden compartments, mock medical emergencies, and planning and executing mission contingencies.  CTF-151 was a multi-national task force working under Combined Maritime Forces to conduct counter-piracy operations in the Southern Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, Somali Basin, Arabian Sea and Indian Ocean.  Augmented by members from the Coast Guard, the joint-unit team was engaged in stemming illegal piracy and armed robbery at sea.

 

June 30

1932  The Steamboat Inspection Service and Bureau of Navigation were combined to form the Bureau of Navigation and Steamboat Inspection (47 Stat. L., 415).  The new agency remained under the control of the Commerce Department.

1933  The airways division, which had been conducted as a division of the Lighthouse Service, but under the administrative supervision of the Assistant Secretary for Aeronautics, Department of Commerce, was separated from the Lighthouse Service. (USLHS AR 1933, p. 97). 

1933  The Coast Guard reported that during its existence, from January 28, 1915 through the end of the Fiscal Year (June 30) of 1933 the service had either  "rescued from peril" or "saved" the lives of 60,982 persons and the value of vessels and cargoes the Coast Guard saved or assisted was $659,632,287 (CGM, April, 1934, p. 28).

1939  "The total personnel of the Service as of June 30, 1939, was 5,355, consisting of 4,119 full-time and 1,156 part-time employees, the former including 1, 170 light keepers and assistants; 56 light attendants; 1,995 officers and crews of lightships and tenders; 113 Bureau officers, engineers and draftsmen, and district superintendents and technical assistants; 226 clerks, messengers, janitors, and office laborers; 157 depot keepers and assistants, including watchmen and laborers; and 482 field-force employees engaged in construction and repair work."

1939  "At the end of the year, the total number of lighthouse tenders was 65, of which 64 were in commission and 1 was out of commission and advertised for sale.  Of the vessels in commission, 42 were steam-propelled, 18 had diesel engines, and 4 had diesel-electric drive.  The average age of the fleet of tenders is 19.52 years.  There are 10 tenders, aggregating 8,535 tons, 35 years of age and over. Thirty lighthouse tenders are equipped with radiotelegraph; 38 with radio direction finders; and 55 with radiotelephones."

1939  "Lightships were maintained on 30 stations during the year.  At the close of the year, the total number of lightships was 43, which included 9 relief ships and 4 ships out of commission."

1939  "The total number of aids to navigation maintained by the Lighthouse Service at the close of the fiscal year was 29,606, a net increase of 849 over the previous year."

1942  The Coast Guard's Beach Patrol Division was established at Coast Guard Headquarters under the command of Captain Raymond J. Mauerman, USCG.

1946  The general World War II demobilization task was completed with all Separation Centers decommissioned, resulting in a reduced number of Coast Guard personnel to 23,000 officers and enlisted personnel from a wartime peak of about 171,000 on June 30, 1945.

1946  By this date, all lightships removed from their stations as a war measure had been restored, except Fire Island Lightship which had been replaced by a large-type whistle buoy offshore and a radio-beacon on shore at Fire Island Light Station, New York.

1946  The U .S. Navy returned the Coast Guard’s eleven air stations to the operational control of the Coast Guard.

1947  The Fourth Coast Guard District, which comprised parts of New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware and was based out of Philadelphia, was abolished and the functions, responsibilities, and facilities in this area were transferred to the Third Coast Guard District, based at New York, New York.  Additionally the Seventeenth Coast Guard District was abolished, and the Territory of Alaska, which it comprised, was added to the Thirteenth Coast Guard District, which included Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming.

1987  As part of a major reorganization and consolidation effort the Coast Guard disestablished the Third and Twelfth Coast Guard districts.

July 1

1797  Congress passed "An Act providing a Naval Armament," empowering the President to "cause the said revenue cutters to be employed to defend the seacoast and to repel any hostility to their vessels and commerce, within their jurisdiction, having due regard to the duty of said cutters in the protection of the revenue."  The act also increased the complements of the cutters from ten men to a number "not exceeding 30 marines and seamen."

1885  The Bureau of Navigation was permanently organized in accordance with the provisions of the Act of Congress of 3 March 1885.

1903  The Lighthouse Service, along with other activities having to do with navigation, was transferred from the Treasury Department to the newly created Department of Commerce and Labor.

1910  Under the Organic Act of 1910, Mr. George R. Putnam and Mr. John S. Conway took office as the first Commissioner of Lighthouses and first Deputy Commissioner of Lighthouses, respectively.

1910  The Lighthouse Board was terminated; its place being taken by the newly organized Bureau of Lighthouses.

1918  Congress directed that retired officer personnel may be recalled to active duty during war or national emergency.

1921  A system of longevity increase of pay, after six months service for the un-appointed members of the crews of Light-house Service vessels, was introduced for the first time as a means of maintaining "a more efficient personnel on these vessels."

1921  The Coast Guard's first air station, located at Morehead City, North Carolina, was closed due to a lack of funding.

1924  An adjustment of the compensation of vessel officers in the Lighthouse Service was made effective in order to bring the pay of these positions more nearly on a level with that of similar Positions in the U .S. Shipping Board, the Lake Carriers Association, and other shipping interests.

1939  Lighthouse Service of Department of Commerce transferred to Coast Guard under President Franklin Roosevelt’s Reorganization Plan No. 11.  Under the President’s Reorganization Plan No. 11, made effective this date by Public Resolution No. 20, approved June 7, 1939, it was provided "that the Bureau of Lighthouses in the Department of Commerce and its functions be transferred to and consolidated with and administered as a part of the Coast Guard.  This consolidation made in the interest of efficiency and economy, will result in the transfer to and consolidation with the Coast Guard of the system of approximately 30,000 aids to navigation (including light vessels and lighthouses) maintained by the Lighthouse Service on the sea and lake coasts of the United States, on the rivers of the United States, and on the coasts of all other territory under the jurisdiction of the United States with the exception of the Philippine Island and Panama Canal proper."  Plans were put into effect, "Providing for a complete integration with the Coast Guard of the personnel of the Lighthouse Service numbering about 5,200, together with the auxiliary organization of 64 buoy tenders, 30 depots, and 17 district offices."

1941  The "Northeast Greenland Patrol" was organized in Boston.

1946  As a final step in the return of the Coast Guard to the Treasury Department from wartime operation under the Navy Department, the Navy's direct control of the following Coast Guard functions was terminated: search and rescue, maintenance and operation of ocean weather stations, and air-sea navigational aids in the Atlantic, continental United States, Alaska, and Pacific east of Pearl Harbor.

1949  The Seventeenth Coast Guard District, eliminated in 1947, was reestablished with its headquarters in Juneau, Alaska.

1957  CGC Storis, Bramble, and Spar departed Seattle for their traversal of the Northwest Passage.  The three arrived in Boston after the successful completion of the mission on September 19, 1957.

1958  The new Atlantic merchant vessel position reporting program (known by the acronym AMVER) was established.  It was aimed at encouraging domestic and foreign merchant vessels to send voluntary position reports and navigational data to U.S. Coast Guard shore based radio stations and ocean station vessels.  Relayed to a ships' plot center in New York and processed by machine, these data provided updated position information for U.S. Coast Guard rescue coordination centers.  The centers could then direct only those vessels which would be of effective aid to craft or persons in distress.  This diversion of all merchant ships in a large area became unnecessary.

1968  The Coast Guard's Merchant Marine Detachment-Saigon was formally established at the U.S. Embassy in Saigon, Republic of Vietnam.

1991  A 14th Coast Guard District LEDET, all crewmen from CGC Rush, deployed on board the U.S. Navy's USS Ingersoll, made history when they seized the St. Vincent-registered M/V Lucky Star for carrying 70 tons of hashish, the largest hashish bust in Coast Guard history to date.  The team, led by LTJG Mark Eyler, made the bust 600 miles west of Midway Island.

1991  A high personnel retention level led the Commandant, ADM J. William Kime, to begin implementing a high-year tenure program, otherwise known as an "up or out" policy to "improve personnel flow and opportunities for advancement."  Two significant points of the program were that they limited enlisted careers to 30 years of active service and established "professional growth points" for paygrades E-4 through E-9, which had to be attained in order to remain on active duty.  Up until this time, enlisted members could remain on active duty until age 62 – the only U.S. military work force with that option.

1995  The 750-foot Greek-flagged freighter Alexia collided with the 514-foot Singapore-flagged Enif near the mouth of the Mississippi River, 70 miles south of New Orleans.  The two ships were joined at the point of collision and drifted through the maze of oil and gas platforms scattered across the area, narrowly missing one by a mere 25 yards.  CGC Courageous served as the on-scene commander to coordinate the response.  AIRSTA New Orleans launched three helicopters to provide SAR coverage and to evaluate the damage suffered by the foundering vessels.  Personnel from MSO New Orleans and the Gulf Strike Team were sent on-scene to deal with the 80,000 gallon fuel-oil spill.  CGC White Holly and M/V Secore Osprey provided skimming resources.  The freighters were separated successfully, their remaining fuel was lightered off and they made it to Mobile escorted by CGC Point Lobos

 

July 2

1836  Congress authorized pay increases for the officers in the Revenue Cutter Service.  Captain's pay increased to $1200 per annum, First Lieutenant's to $960, Second Lieutenant's to $860, and Third Lieutenant's to $790.

1937  CGC Itasca, while conducting re-supply operations in the Central Pacific, made the last-known radio contact with the famed aviatrix Amelia Earhart and her co-pilot Fred Noonan.  Itasca later joined the Navy-directed search for the aircraft.  The search was finally called off on July 17 with no trace of the aircraft or its occupants having been found.

2005  The CGC Jarvis and the Russian Northeast Border Directorate vessel Vorovsky rendezvoused about 450 miles southwest of Alaska's Aleutian Island chain and 250 miles east of Russia's Kamchatka Peninsula to perform the first joint security exercise of the "North Pacific Heads of Coast Guard Agencies."

 

July 3

1905  An Executive Order extended the jurisdiction of the Lighthouse Service to the noncontiguous territory of the American Samoan Island.

1918  Congress passed the Migratory Bird Act and the Coast Guard became responsible for the Act's enforcement after the 1936 passage of the "Act to Define Jurisdiction of Coast Guard."

1927  Ensign Charles L. Duke, in command of CG-2327, boarded the rumrunner Greypoint in New York harbor and single-handedly captured the vessel, its 22-man crew, and its cargo of illegal liquor.

1986  The Statue of Liberty Centennial Celebration took place in New York harbor.  The Coast Guard was in the "forefront" of the celebration due in part to the Coast Guard's base on Governor's Island.

2002  The first of the Coast Guard's Maritime Safety and Security Teams (MSSTs), MSST-91101, was commissioned in Seattle, Washington.  MSSTs were created in response to the terrorist attacks on the U.S. on September 11, 2001.  A total of 12 MSST units were planned for deployment around the nation.

 

 

July 4

1979  While on a 10-week cadet cruise CGC Ingham located the 75-foot Honduran fishing trawler Mary Ann about 500 miles southwest of San Juan, Puerto Rico.  A boarding team seized the trawler after they discovered 15-tons of marijuana aboard.  The Mary Ann first attempted to evade the boarding and actually rammed Ingham, causing some damage to the cutter.  The trawler finally hove to after Ingham fired a number of warning shots.

1994  Cutters assigned to Operation Able Manner, which commenced under presidential order on January 15, 1994, rescued 3,247 Haitian migrants from 70 grossly overloaded sailboats in the Windward Passage.  They rescued a total of 15,955 during the month of July 1994.

 

July 5

1884  An Act of Congress (23 Stat. L., 118) created a special service known as the Bureau of Navigation, under the Treasury Department, with the duty of supervising the work having to do with the administration of American navigation laws.  "The act specifically allotted to the bureau the numbering of vessels and the preparation of the annual list of merchant vessels of the United States."

1996  The Coast Guard commissioned CGC Juniper (WLB 201) on this date in 1996.  The new 225-foot WLB was the lead ship in the Coast Guard's Buoy Tender Replacement Project, a major acquisition to replace the service's twenty-six 180-foot buoy tenders constructed during World War II.  A total of sixteen 225-foot WLBs were built by Marinette Marine Corporation for the Coast Guard.  Juniper was assigned to its homeport of Newport, Rhode Island.

2000  HH-65A CGNR 6539 rescued 51 persons from a burning oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico.  The aircrew responded to the fire and safely airlifted 15 people to a nearby platform nine miles from the fire.  They then evacuated another 36 people to awaiting boats.  One of the 6539's crew had landed on the platform to coordinate the rescue.  As the helicopter returned to retrieve him, the rig exploded and sent a fireball 100 feet into the air.  Unsure whether he survived, the 6539 flew into the thick, black column of smoke and safely rescued him.  All four aircrew were awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross.

 

July 6

1809  Congress authorized the construction of twelve new cutters to enforce President Thomas Jefferson’s embargo.

1942  Coast Guard amphibious aircraft V-166 landed in the open ocean and took aboard 21 survivors of a torpedoed tanker in Gulf of Mexico.

 

July 7

1798  Hostilities began in the Quasi-War with France.  The Revenue cutters Pickering, Virginia, Scammel, South Carolina, Governor, Jay, Eagle, General Greene, and Diligence were the first to be placed under Naval orders, comprising about one-third of the U .S. Fleet.

1801  In a cost saving measure, the Treasury Department sent circulars to the various Collectors looking toward reducing the size of the cutters and their crews.

1838  Under the authority of an Act of Congress passed this date, the President divided the Atlantic coast into six, and the Great Lakes coast into two, lighthouse districts.  A naval officer was detailed to each lighthouse district, a revenue cutter or a hired vessel was placed at his disposal, and he was instructed to inspect all aids to navigation, report on their conditions, and recommend future courses of action.

1838  Congress passed the first legislation "to provide better security of the lives of passengers on board of vessels propelled in whole or in part by steam." (5 Stat.L., 304) The Act specified that the program would be administered by the Justice Department whereby U.S. District court judges were to appoint engineers to inspect merchant steamboats.  This Act laid the groundwork for what later became the Steamboat Inspection Service.

1884  Congress directed that cutters be used exclusively for public service and "in no way for private purposes."

1911  Convention signed between United States, Great Britain, Japan, and Russia prohibiting taking of fur seals and sea otters in North Pacific Ocean and Bering Sea north of 300 latitude, except for food and clothing.

1938  The Coast Guard began an operation to transport and guard each shipment of 77,000,000 pounds of silver bars from New York City to the silver depository at West Point, New York for the Bureau of the Mint.  The 1,101,320 bars of silver were moved by truck and the Coast Guard contingent responsible for its safe delivery were under the command of CDR Stephen S. Yeandle, who at the time served as the Intelligence Officer for the Coast Guard's New York Division.

1939  On this date, "the Lighthouse Bureau went out of existence and its personnel moved themselves and their equipment to Coast Guard Headquarters from the Commerce Department building.  Thus, lighthouses returned to the Treasury Department from the Department of Commerce.

 

July 8

1791  Secretary of the Treasury authorized Collectors of Customs to disburse for cutters and to pay officers as agents of the Secretary.

1977  A Coast Guard HH-3F from AIRSTA Cape Cod flew 260 miles offshore to hoist an ill crewman from the 500-foot Soviet refrigerator ship Skaltste Bereg

 

July 9

1942  CGC McLane and the Coast Guard-manned patrol craft USS YP-251 reportedly sank the Japanese submarine RO-32 off Sitka, Alaska.   However, the Navy Department did not officially credit either vessel with the sinking.  The RO-32 was stricken from the Japanese Navy rolls in April, 1942 as obsolete and Japanese records indicated that no Japanese submarine was lost or damaged in Alaskan waters on that date.

1943  Operation Husky, the invasion of Sicily, commenced on this date.  Coast Guard-manned ships landed the first Allied troops in the assault, including 24 LCI(L)s of Flotilla 4 under the command of CAPT Miles Imlay and LSTs 326 and 381.  Coast Guard-manned attack transports USS Joseph T. Dickman, Leonard Wood, and Samuel Chase also participated.

1946  Sixteen Coast Guardsmen were killed when the B-17 aircraft they were flying as passengers in crashed into Mount Tom, Massachusetts.  These Coast Guardsmen were all returning from duty in Greenland.

1986  A fire broke out at the Bayonne, New Jersey transfer facility.  Coast Guard units responded to fight the fire.

 

July 10

1820  The Revenue cutter Gallatin captured 19 men illegally recruited for the Columbian privateer Wilson and chased that vessel and her Spanish prize, Santiago, to sea from the harbor at Charleston, South Carolina.

1882  At 5 o’clock in the afternoon, during a violent storm of wind and rain, the steam-yacht John Bueg, of Rochester, New York, having on board a party of twelve excursionists, consisting of two men, two women, and eight children, was driven ashore one mile and a half east of the harbor piers at Charlotte, Lake Ontario, New York.  She was discovered by a surfman of Station No. 4, Ninth District, who waded out to her in the surf, carried the children in his arms, and then assisted the women to shore.  The yacht was towed off by a steamer, having sustained slight damage.

 

July 11

1804  Vice President Aaron Burr mortally wounded Alexander Hamilton in a duel in Weehawken, New Jersey.  Hamilton died the following day.  Hamilton had been the first Secretary of the Treasury and had founded the Revenue Marine.

1818  The Revenue Cutter Dallas seized and libeled the Venezuelan privateer Cerony off Savannah for having violated the nation's neutrality laws.

1941  Congress reconfirmed the military "status" of the Coast Guard, stating: "The Coast Guard shall be a military service and constitute a branch of the land and naval forces of the United States at all times and shall operate under the Treasury Department in time of peace and operate as part of the Navy, subject to the orders of the Secretary of the Navy, in time of war or when the President shall so direct." (14 U.S.C. 1)

1942  The U.S. Maritime Service was transferred back to the War Shipping Administration after being under Coast Guard administration since February 28, 1942.

 

July 12

1953  Coast Guard aircraft and surface craft of the Search and Rescue Group at Wake Island joined with a large naval task unit in conducting an intensive search for a Transocean Air Lines DC-6 aircraft last reported about 300 miles east of Wake Island.  The scene of the crash was located although there were no survivors.

1994  Coast Guard HH-65 CG-6541 crashed in the early hours of July 12, 1994 near Shelter Cove, California, while responding to a sailing vessel in distress.  When heavy pre-dawn fog made a visual approach impossible, the air crew performed several unsuccessful approaches to the sailing vessel, striking a shoreline cliff on the third attempt and taking the lives of all four crew members: LT Laurence Williams, LT Mark Koteek, ASMCS Peter Leeman, and AM1 Michael Gill.

2013  The Coast Guard opened its seasonal forward operating location (FOL) in Kotzebue on October 12, 2013 in preparation for the anticipated increase of maritime activities in Western Alaska and the Bering Strait.  FOL Kotzebue, part of Coast Guard Arctic Shield 2013, consisted of one Kodiak-based MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter with supporting air and ground crews, and was based out of the Alaska Army National Guard Hangar in Kotzebue.

 

July 13

2001  CGC Sherman became the third cutter to circumnavigate the globe when she returned to the United States from a six-month deployment to the Arabian Gulf in support of U.N. operations.  During this cruise she conducted 219 queries, 115 boardings, and five diverts.  Her crew saved 38 lives, including 11 Iraqi smugglers when their vessel sank in a storm off UAE.  She towed a 33,000 ton carrier foundering in 50-foot seas off the Cape of Good Hope, saving 22 lives and keeping the ship from running aground at the entrance to Port Elizabeth, South Africa.  Her crew also saved 5 Costa Rican fishermen found after they were adrift for 21 days.  (CGC Eastwind was the first cutter to circumnavigate the globe on a cruise in 1960-1961 and Southwind followed in 1968-1969.)

 

July 14

1926  The first radio-beacon established in Alaska was placed in commission at Cape Spencer.

1949  U.S. Coast Guardsmen from Point Allerton and Boston Lifeboat Stations figured prominently in one of the largest rescue operations in the history of Boston Harbor, Massachusetts when they helped in removing 690 persons from the excursion steamer Nantasket, which had gone aground in a thick fog off Peddock’s Island.

1960  Following the loss of a propeller, which resulted in fuselage damage and an engine fire, a Northwest Airlines DC-7C airliner carrying 58 persons ditched in Philippine waters.  During the Coast Guard-coordinated air search in the vicinity of the Polillo Islands, a Coast Guard UF amphibian aircraft sighted four life rafts, landed, and rescued 23 survivors.  A U.S. Navy P5M seaplane, meanwhile, rescued 34 others and also recovered from the water the body of the only fatality.

1963  Pier 7 at Tacoma, Washington was engulfed in flames.  CG-82336, based at Tacoma, proceeded immediately to the scene to assist the first department in fighting the blaze.  The cutter towed the M/V Sanyo Maru away from the pier and was relieved of the tow by a tug.  CG-82336 returned to the pier and towed the M/V Kikulo Maru to safe anchorage.  The Tacoma fire department then requested CG-82336 to coordinate firefighting efforts on the bay side of the pier, as the fire department was unable to cover the entire area because of the intensity of the fire.  Unable to fight the fire under the pier, CG-82336 proceeded to a local boat mooring and acquired seven rental boats to assist.  These boats, manned by local firemen and Coast Guard personnel, fought the fire under the pier.  The fire was brought under control the next morning and Coast Guard units were secured.  A fire Battalion Chief died and seven firemen were injured, but there were no Coast Guard casualties.  

1977  Ten Coast Guard women were selected and ordered to CGC Gallatin to report aboard on October 26, 1977.  "This action was in keeping with the Commandant's most recent program of placing women in afloat assignments" on CGCs Morgenthau and Gallatin.  Each of the women chosen were volunteers.  They were: ET2 L. D. Canatore; RM2 J.K. Shawdah; SK2 R.G. Burright; BM3 D.K. Skinner; HM3 D.K. Cummings; RM3 V.L. Robillard; YN3 M.F. Kelly; SA A. Clark; SA D.A. Collins, and SA D.A. Hughes.

 

July 15

1870  Congress directed that the revenue cutters on the northern and northwestern lakes, when commissioned, shall be specially charged with aiding vessels in distress on the lakes.

1870  An Act of Congress (l6 Stat. L., 291, 309) directed the Lighthouse Board to mark all pierheads belonging to the United States situated on the northern and northwestern lakes, as soon as it was notified that the construction or repair of pierheads had been completed.

1967  CGC Point Orient (WPB 82319) of Coast Guard Squadron One captured a communist trawler in Vietnam.

1972  CGC Absecon was decommissioned and transferred to the South Vietnamese Navy. This was the last of the seven 311-foot Casco-class cutters to be transferred to the South Vietnamese.  She was commissioned as the Tham Ngu Lao (HQ-15) on July 15, 1972.  She was seized by the North Vietnamese when the South fell in 1975.  The North Vietnamese gave her the hull number HQ-1, but did not apparently name her.  She was refitted with two or possibly four SS-N-2 launchers.  Her current status remains unknown.

 

July 16

1946  Pursuant to Executive Order 9083 and Reorganization Plan No. 3 the Bureau of Marine Inspection was abolished and became a permanent part of the Coast Guard.

1965  Coast Guard 82-foot patrol boats assigned to Division 12 of Coast Guard Squadron One (RONONE) departed Manila Bay on their own, bound for Vietnam and service with the Navy in Operation Market Time.  The cutters had been brought to the Philippines "piggy-backed" on board freighters.

 

July 17

1893  Life-saving Station Keeper H .E. Wilcox of Cape Arago Life-Saving Station rescued 55 of 56 passengers of SS Emily that was capsizing in a raging sea.  Persons were transported from the doomed vessel to the lifeboat via a life raft.

1994  CGC Polar Sea departed from Victoria, British Columbia on operation Arctic Ocean Section 1994 and became the first U.S. surface vessel to reach the North Pole.  She then transited the Arctic Ocean back to her homeport in Seattle, Washington.

1996  TWA Flight 800 crashed off New York with no survivors.  Numerous Coast Guard units conducted search and rescue operations and then aided in recovery operations.

 

July 18

1818  The Revenue Cutter Active captured the pirate vessel India Libre in the Chesapeake Bay.

1866  Congress authorized officers to search vessels and persons suspected of concealing contraband.

1928  Clarence Samuels assumed command of Coast Guard Patrol Boat AB-15, thereby becoming the second African-American to command a Coast Guard vessel, the first being Revenue Captain Michael Healy.

2015  CGC Stratton seized a self-propelled semi-submersible vessel carrying more than 16,000 pounds of cocaine in the Eastern Pacific Ocean.  Stratton's crew apprehended four suspected smugglers and seized 275 bales of cocaine worth more than $181 million wholesale from the self-propelled semi-submersible.  A U.S. Navy maritime patrol aircraft detected the 40-foot semi-submersible vessel more than 200-miles south of Mexico.  After removing 12,000 pounds of the narcotics aboard, Stratton attempted to tow the vessel to shore as evidence; however, the semi-submersible began taking on water and sank.  Approximately 4,000 pounds of cocaine left in the SPSS vessel to stabilize it during the towing evolution sank in over 13,000-feet of water and is unrecoverable.  Stratton interdicted or disrupted 15 different drug smuggling attempts since April 2015 including another self-propelled semi-submersible vessel carrying 5,460 pounds of cocaine June 16.  Stratton has seized more than 33,000 pounds of cocaine since May 2015. The July 18 semi-submersible seizure is the largest recorded semi-submersible interdiction in Coast Guard history.  Stratton’s semi-submersible busts are also the first and second by a Legend Class Cutter.  This is the first interdiction of two semi-submersibles in a single patrol at sea where Coast Guardsmen recovered both the narcotics and the vessels.  CGC Mohawk from Key West, Florida, interdicted two semisubmersibles in the Caribbean in 2011; however, both vessels sank during the course of the interdiction.  There have been 25 known semi-submersible interdictions in the Eastern Pacific Ocean since November 2006 when the first documented interdiction occurred.  A semi-submersible is a vessel constructed for illicit trafficking that is mostly submerged with just a cockpit and exhaust pipe visible above water.  These vessels are extremely difficult to detect and interdict because of their low-profile and ability to scuttle.  U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office of Air and Marine also assisted by monitoring the semi-submersible using a maritime patrol aircraft during the course of the interdiction July 18.

 

July 19

2001  The first set of the newly authorized Helicopter Rescue Swimmer insignia, or "wings", were presented to the senior rescue swimmer in the Coast Guard, Master Chief Aviation Survival Technician (AST) Keith Jensen, at Coast Guard headquarters in Washington, D.C.

 

July 20

1917  An Executive Order extended the jurisdiction of the Lighthouse Service to the non-contiguous territory of the American Virgin Islands.

1942  The Herald-Tribune of July 20, 1942, carried the following story: "A new Coast Guard regiment, made up of tough, hand-picked men, all heavily armed and with the headquarters company mounting machine guns in speedy jeep cars, has been organized for extra protection of the Port of New York, it was announced yesterday.  Regimental offices of the commando-like outfit, led by Captain Francis V. Lowden, will be in the Barge Office at the Battery.  There will be five battalion headquarters – one each in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Staten Island and New Jersey, and a floating one set up a harbor patrol craft.  The new contingent for sabotage precaution will be known as the Port Security Regiment…The selected men recruited for the Port Security Regiment are being trained in a variety of rough and rigorous combat tactics to fit them for meeting surprise actions.  Captain Lowden, on leave from his post as Mayor of Roselle, N.J., has had twenty years of experience in organizing protective services for the port properties of Standard Oil of New Jersey."

1965  Division 12 of Coast Guard Squadron One (RONONE) arrived at Da Nang and Coast Guard Operation Market Time patrolling began.

1979  President Jimmy Carter signed Executive Order 12148 that completed the establishment of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

2007  The Coast Guard commissioned the newly organized Deployable Operations Group (DOG) at Fort McNair, Washington, D.C.  The DOG provided properly equipped, trained and organized Deployable Specialized Forces (DSF) to Coast Guard, DHS, DoD, and inter-agency operational and tactical commanders.  Formerly headquartered in Arlington, Virginia, it was decommissioned on October 1, 2013.  Upon decommissioning, the units previously assigned to the DOG were split between Coast Guard Pacific and Atlantic Area commands.

2015  CGC Mellon returned to its homeport of Seattle, Washington, following a 14-week patrol that covered nearly 20,000 miles of the North Pacific Ocean.  After leaving Seattle April 13, 2015, Mellon joined Operation North Pacific Guard and patrolled the high seas for illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing activity, including high seas pelagic driftnet fishing.  Mellon’s crew coordinated with the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) and inspected five Chinese Taipei vessels.  During the boardings, Mellon law enforcement team members educated fishermen about the importance of long-term fish stock conservation.  The crew also participated in an intercultural community relations event in Yokosuka, Japan with the USO.  Mellon volunteers tutored more than 120 Toyo Himeji High School students to help teach them English.

 

July 21

1944  The attack and liberation of Japanese-occupied Guam commenced during World War II.  Participating vessels included the Coast Guard tender CGC Tupelo and the Coast Guard-manned Navy attack transports and cargo vessels included Cor Caroli, Aquarius, Centaurus, Sterope, Arthur Middleton, LST-24, LST-70, LST-71, and LST-207.

1947  President Truman signed H.R. 3539, which became Public Law No. 209, authorizing the Coast Guard to construct a suitable chapel for religious worship by any denomination, sect or religion at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in New London.

1952  CGC Mackinac, enroute from New York to Ocean Station ECHO, and the SS Gripsholm, removed 45 of the 49 persons on board the SS Black Gull, which had caught fire in a position south of Block Island, Long Island, New York.

1965  Crewmen began painting the white hulls of the 82-foot patrol boats assigned to Coast Guard Squadron One in Vietnam Navy gray.

1997  USS Constitution, "Old Ironsides," set sail in Boston Harbor for the first time in more than a century.  Prior to this her Navy crew received training in sailing a square rigger aboard Eagle.  The Coast Guard then enforced security and safety zones around the Navy frigate during her brief voyage around the harbor.  More than 800 Coast Guard personnel, 10 cutters, three helicopters, and 81 small boats were involved in the operation.

1999  Royal Caribbean Cruises, Ltd., agreed to pay a record $18 million criminal fine and pled guilty to 21 felony counts for dumping oil and hazardous chemicals in U.S. waters and then lying about it to the Coast Guard.  The investigation began in October of 1994 when Coast Guard officials noticed an oil slick behind the ship Sovereign of the Seas as it approached San Juan, Puerto Rico.  Between the day Coast Guard officials first boarded the ship and when they again boarded it four days later, crewmen had removed a bypass pipe which they had been using to dump hazardous material from the ship.

2015  A Coast Guard rescue swimmer gained international acclaim when he swam 1,750 yards in 5-foot seas and 30-mph winds to rescue four people after their fishing vessel grounded near Cape Blanco.  AS2 Darren Harrity individually pulled each fisherman more than 250 yards in 57 degree water from their life raft to shore, where they were met by EMS.  Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector North Bend received a report from the crew of Jamie K, a 52-foot commercial fishing vessel, via VHF-FM marine radio channel 16 at 0140 hours stating that they were taking on water and had lost power.  The vessel subsequently ran aground, at which time the crew donned survival suits and abandoned ship into their life raft.  An MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew from Air Station North Bend and two 47-foot Motor Life Boat crews from Coast Guard Search and Rescue Detachments Rogue River and Coquille River launched to assist. The aircrew arrived on scene at 0249 hours and lowered Harrity into the water next to the life raft.  Shortly after, the aircrew reported experiencing mechanical issues with the helicopter and was unable to safely complete additional hoists.  The aircrew remained on scene until all of the fishermen and rescue swimmer had safely made it to shore and then landed on the nearby beach.

 

July 22

1881  A young man named Joseph Ryan, of Buffalo, New York, while bathing off the lighthouse pier at that place, was seized with cramps and sunk.  One of the surfmen belonging to Station No. 5, Ninth District, about a quarter of a mile distant, was on duty at the pier and saw him disappear.  Without a moment’s hesitation, he plunged into the water and succeeded in grasping Ryan by the hair and brought him safely to the shore.

 

July 23

1836  Seminole Indians attacked and burned the Cape Florida lighthouse during the Second Seminole War.

1947  Congress approved Public Law 219 which provided for the integration of the personnel of the former Bureau of Marine Inspection and Navigation into the regular military organization of the Coast Guard.  This was effected during Fiscal Year 1948, "and the Service thus had a single unified organization to carry forward the correlated duty which prior to 1939 were divided among three different Federal agencies the Coast Guard, Lighthouse Service, and Bureau of Marine Inspection and Navigation."

1967  CGC Northwind diverted from her Bering Sea Patrol to assist the Canadian Survey Ship Richardson which was beset in the ice off Point Barrow, Alaska.  Northwind freed the stricken vessel which was then taken in tow by the Canadian icebreaker CCGS Camsell.

 

July 24

1915  SS Eastland was a Chicago-based passenger ship used for vacation and sightseeing tours.  On this date, the ship rolled over at her dock while preparing to depart on a cruise.  A total of 844 passengers and crew were killed in what became the largest loss of life from a maritime disaster on the Great Lakes.  Surfmen from Station Old Chicago participated in the emergency response effort, making it the "modern" Coast Guard's first major rescue operation.

1936  While on a cadet cruise through European waters, CGC Cayuga was ordered to San Sebastian, Spain after the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War necessitated the evacuation of U.S. citizens.  While on this deployment the U.S. ambassador to Spain and his staff came on board Cayuga and the cutter then served as the official U.S. embassy in Spain.

1944  The assault on Tinian Island, one of the Marshall Islands, commenced.  Coast Guard-manned attack transports that participated included USS Cambria and Cavalier.

1965  Division 11, Coast Guard Squadron One (RONONE) departed for An Thoi.

1981  Station Brant Point received a call from the Nantucket Hospital requesting Coast Guard assistance in transporting a patient suffering from a brain tumor.  A Coast Guard HU-16 was dispatched to medevac the patient, Mildred "Madaket Millie" Jewett, a long-time friend of the Coast Guard and an honorary CWO4.

 

July 25

1947  The Women’s Reserve of the Coast Guard Reserve (SPARS) was formally disestablished.

1956  The Swedish liner Stockholm collided with the Italian liner Andrea Doria off Nantucket.  Coast Guard cutters and aircraft as well as other vessels responded.  Andrea Doria sank 10 hours after the collision, resulting in 52 deaths.

1995  A LEDET under the command of LTJG Robert Landolfi out of Mobile first boarded the Panamanian registered fishing vessel Nataly I.  The LEDET seized the Nataly I when the team discovered 24,325 pounds of cocaine hidden on board, making this the largest U.S. maritime seizure of cocaine to date.

 

July 26

1886  An Act of Congress (24 Stat. L., 148) authorized an increase in the number of lighthouse districts to 16 within the Lighthouse Establishment.

1846  Revenue Cutter Woodbury put down a mutiny on board the troop ship Middlesex during the Mexican War.

1948  President Harry Truman ordered the integration of the armed forces of the United States with Executive Order 9981, 26 July 26, 1948.  By this time the Coast Guard had already opened up all of its rates to all qualified persons regardless of race.  The Coast Guard noted "the importance of selecting men for what they are, for what they are capable of doing, and insisting on good conduct, good behavior, and good qualities of leadership for all hands…As a matter of policy Negro recruits receive the same consideration as all others."

 

July 27

1793  President ordered full complements for cutters and increased monthly pay to $40 for Captains, $26 for 1st mates, $20 for 2nd mates, and $18 for 3rd mates.  Captains to have subsistence of Captain in Army, three mates subsistence of Army Lieutenants and mariner’s subsistence not to exceed $10 per month.

1868  Congress directed the Secretary of the Treasury to enforce the law prohibiting the  unauthorized killing of fur seals in Alaska.  Also the President was authorized to regulate traffic in firearms, ammunition and spirituous liquors in Alaska.  The President assigned the enforcement of those laws to the Revenue Marine, thereby establishing the service's close connection with Alaska.

1957  A Captain of the Port patrol vessel discovered a fire of unknown origin at the Mystic Coal Yard in Boston, Massachusetts.  The Coast Guard Base, Boston, immediately rushed the CGC Cactus, 150 Coast Guardsmen, and portable fire-fighting equipment to the scene.  While the cutter moved a 450-foot Norwegian freighter away from the flaming dock, the shore party with the assistance of local agencies brought the fire under control.  Eight Coast Guardsmen were hospitalized because of the injuries they received while fighting the fire.

2015  CGC Aspen and a team from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) established a new NOAA environmental buoy and serviced three existing buoys approximately 30 nautical miles west of Monterey Bay from July 27-30, 2015. The newly established buoy named 46FLO, referred to as “Flossie,” is a six-meter boat-shaped Navy Oceanographic Meteorological Automatic Device buoy.  Funded by the Army Corps of Engineers and the Coastal Hydrology Lab, Flossie, contains three separate wave systems that will collect data and aid the Army Corps of Engineers in using 20 years of historical data from NOAA Data Buoy Center buoys.  46FLO was named Flossie in honor of Navy CDR Florence “Flossie” Van Straten, a pioneer in naval meteorology and oceanography and a key player in the development of the automated buoy systems the National Data Buoy Center currently uses.  Aspen and the NOAA team also performed scheduled maintenance and hull reliefs on buoys 46042, 46013, and 46026 ensuring the continued transmission of critical weather data and surf forecasts, as well as providing tsunami alerts to the San Francisco and Monterey Bay areas.  The Coast Guard and NOAA partnership originated in the late 1960s when buoy development and operations were conducted solely by the Coast Guard.  The program was transferred to NOAA in 1970, but the Coast Guard continues to support buoy deployments, retrievals, and other maintenance.

 

July 28

1884  The Senate approved the appointment of Captain Jarvis Patten as Commissioner of Navigation to direct the work of the organization of the Bureau of Navigation, under the supervision of the Secretary of the Treasury.

1942  Coast Guard J4F Widgeon V-214, piloted by Chief Aviation Pilot Henry White and carrying crewman RM1c Henderson Boggs, attacked a surfaced German submarine off the coast of Louisiana with a single depth charge.  After the war, the U.S. Navy credited V-214 with sinking the Nazi sub U-166.  White was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and Boggs was awarded the Air Medal.  Nevertheless the U-166 was later learned to have been sunk a few days earlier by a Navy patrol vessel, USS PC-566.  White and Boggs had actually attacked the U-171, which reported in her war diary as having been attacked by an unidentified aircraft in the very location that White reported attacking a U-boat.  The U-171 escaped with no damage.

2014  CGC Mellon returned to its homeport of Seattle, Washington, after an 86-day patrol of the Bering Sea that covered nearly 15,000 miles.  Mellon departed Seattle May 10, 2014 to conduct SAR and fisheries missions throughout the Gulf of Alaska and the Bering Sea.  Those efforts included 41 law enforcement boardings and more than 100 hours aboard commercial fishing vessels.  While patrolling the Aleutian Islands, the crew came to the aid of a fishing vessel crew following an engine-room fire.  The cutter’s damage control team performed a thorough post-fire analysis and eliminated or isolated damaged engine-room wiring to mitigate the risk of the fire re-igniting.  In an evolution that took more than 15 hours, the Coast Guardsmen escorted the fishing vessel safely to Dutch Harbor, Alaska.  The crew also participated in community relations events while taking time in port to resupply the cutter.  During a port call to Unalaska Island, Alaska, the crew helped with landscaping and painting at the Holy Ascension Russian Orthodox Church, a national historic site.

 

July 29

1898  The Revenue Cutter Bear took aboard 97 survivors of whaling vessels, who had been caught in Arctic ice and rescued by the Overland Expedition, and transported them to San Francisco.

1948  Congress approved Public Law 810 allowing retirement pay at age 60 for reservists with 20 years of service.  Some consider this to be the "birth" of the modern Coast Guard Reserve.

1970  CGC Vigorous became the first 210-foot cutter to cross the Arctic Circle.  This took place while she was part of the 1970 Cadet Cruise Squadron.  CDR George Wagner was the commanding officer.

1997  MLB-44300, the first 44-foot MLB to enter service, suffered an engine casualty in response to a SAR mission conducted for Station Cape Disappointment.  She was retired from duty shortly thereafter.

 

July 30

1965  Commander, Task Force 115 (Operation Market Time) was established for service in Vietnam.  Also on this date, Division 11 of Coast Guard Squadron One (RONONE) arrived at An Thoi.

1966  When the Coast Guard Station at Belle Isle, Michigan, received a report of a cabin cruiser afire at a boat dock, patrol boats were dispatched to the scene by radio.  Within minutes, they were alongside the burning vessel, spraying water on the fire.  The entire cabin cruiser was in flames, since its gas tanks had already blown up.  The patrol boats, to minimize the damage to nearby facilities, towed the burning craft out of the marina.  When notified that a woman was still on board, two Coast Guardsmen boarded the flaming cruiser and checked the cabin, only to find no one.  As it turned out, the woman had already jumped overboard and made her way to shore safely.  The fire was eventually brought under control, but not before the expenditure of many gallons of foam.

2014  CGC Waesche returned to port at Coast Guard Base Honolulu after spending three weeks at sea participating in Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2014 exercises.  During the exercises Waesche demonstrated the Coast Guard's unique capabilities and partnership with Department of Defense entities and international partners along the Pacific Rim by serving as the Combined Task Force 175 commander.  While in this role, Waesche led vessels from China, Brunei, Mexico, France, Brunei, and the U.S., through numerous multinational exercises including ship handling, boarding exercises, replenishment at sea, and a live-fire gunnery exercise.

 

July 31

1876  Congress re-established Revenue Cutter cadet training after three years suspension and instituted promotion by examination.

1894  The Treasury Department created the Division of Revenue Cutter Service with Captain of the Revenue Cutter Service as its Chief.

1985  The Coast Guard conducted a fleet dedication ceremony in Lockport, Louisiana for the new 110-foot "Island Class" patrol boats.

August 1

1799  Secretary of Treasury described the ensign and pennant authorized to be flown by revenue cutters as "consisting of 16 perpendicular stripes [one for each state in the Union at that time] alternate red and the Union of the Ensign to be the Arms of the United States in dark blue on a white field."

1910  Alaska was designated as a separate lighthouse district, with a district office and depot established at Ketchikan for directing operations.

1952  The Coast Guard released a photograph of unidentified flying object (UFO), taken by a Coast Guard photographer on July 16 at the Salem Coast Guard Air Station.

1976  The communication functions of CG Radio Station Washington were transferred to CG Communication Station Portsmouth, Virginia.  As a result, CG Radio Station Washington was renamed CG Station Alexandria on August 30, 1976.

1979  The Marine Safety Detachment in Manila closed, marking the end of active Coast Guard presence in the Philippines.

1985  The 49-year old cutter Ingham gained the distinction of being the oldest commissioned cutter in service when her sister, Duane, was decommissioned.

1999  CGC Hamilton attempted to seize the Russian fishing trawler Gissar in the Bering Sea for fishing in U.S. waters.  The Gissar then attempted to return to Russian waters, whereupon a boarding team from the Hamilton boarded the trawler.  Soon thereafter, up to 19 other Russian trawlers surrounded the two vessels, thereby prohibiting the Hamilton from taking the Gissar to a U.S. port.  The Hamilton's boarding crew was removed from the Gissar and the Gissar was turned over to the Russian Border Guard vessel Antius.

2005  CGC Jarvis returned home after a three-month patrol that opened cooperative international efforts between the U.S. and other nations of the North Pacific heads of coast guard agencies.  Jarvis engaged in officer exchanges and joint operations with Korean, Japanese and Canadian Coast Guards, the Russian Northern Border Guard and the Chinese Fisheries Enforcement vessel Zhong Guo Yu Zhen.

2007  MSD St. Paul responded when the I-35W bridge collapsed in the Twin Cities.  The Coast Guard established a security zone around the collapsed bridge and maintained a presence for 20 days.  Boat crews from St. Louis, Milwaukee, Two Rivers, Wis., Duluth, Minn., Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., MSST 91106 (New York), Sector Lower Mississippi River, Sector New Orleans, Station Gulfport, and Station Aransas assisted during the three weeks following the bridges collapse.

 

August 2

1995  The 234-foot gambling ship Club Royale sank 90 miles east of Cape Canaveral, Florida, during Hurricane Erin.  An HU-25 Falcon from AIRSTA Miami responded to the distress signal sent out by the vessel's EPIRB, although the usual registration information did not come over the wire as a registered EPIRB.  The HU-25 located numerous life rafts and survivors in the area and a HC-130 and two HH-60 Jayhawks from AIRSTA Clearwater were dispatched.  The helicopters had been weathering out Erin at Fort Myers Beach.  The CGCs Confidence, Baranof, and Point Countess also responded.  The helicopters rescued eight of the 11 crewmen.  One body was later recovered and the remaining two crewmen were never found.

 

August 3

1812  The Revenue Cutter Commodore Barry, a 98-ton schooner pierced for six guns under the command of Captain Daniel Elliott, along with the U.S. privateer Madison, were captured  by boarding parties from the British vessels HMS Maidstone, Spartan, and Plumper "while lying in Little River," Maine after what the New York Evening Post noted was a "severe contest, in which a number of the English were said to be killed."  All but three of the crews of both escaped into the nearby woods.  The three cuttermen who were captured, though, became the first prisoners-of-war in Coast Guard history.  They were: Daniel Marshall, Charles Woodward, and William Babson of the Commodore Barry.  The British destroyed the Madison but apparently utilized Commodore Barry as a tender.

2013  The Coast Guard transferred ownership of the Cape Arago Lighthouse and grounds to the Confederated Tribes of Coos, Lower Umpqua, and Siuslaw Indians at a ceremony held on the lighthouse grounds southwest of Coos Bay.

 

August 4

1790  President George Washington signed the "Tariff Act," a bill Congress passed that had been written and submitted by Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton.  The bill authorized Hamilton's to build ten cutters to protect the new nation's revenue (Stat. L. 145, 175).  Alternately known as the system of cutters, Revenue Service, and Revenue-Marine this service would officially be named the Revenue Cutter Service (12 Stat. L., 639) in 1863.  The cutters were placed under the control of the Treasury Department.  This date marks the officially recognized birthday of the Coast Guard.

1854  Congress appropriated $12,500 for purchase of boats for life-saving purposes at a number of designated ports on the Great Lakes.

1894  Facilities of marine hospitals were extended to keepers and crews of the Life-Saving Service.

1949  Congress approved Public Law 207, which revised, codified, and enacted into law Title 14 of the United Stated Code.  This set forth for the first time a clear, concise statutory statement of the duties and functions of the U.S. Coast Guard.  The Act confirmed that the Coast Guard was a branch of the armed forces of the United States, confirmed it in its general functions of marine safety, maritime law enforcement, and military readiness to operate as a service in the Navy upon declaration of war or when the president directs.

2008  The Coast Guard commissioned the new 418-foot Legend-Class cutter CGC Bertholf (WMSL-750) on this date.  The cutter was named for Commodore Ellsworth Bertholf, former commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard.  Bertholf was constructed at Northrop Grumman Ship Systems in Pascagoula, Mississippi.  It was the first of the new National Security Cutters built to replace the aging 378-foot Hamilton-Class High Endurance Cutters (WHECs).  Bertholf was assigned to its homeport of Alameda, California.

2014  The Coast Guard and numerous county and local response agencies assisted in removing 296 people aboard a passenger vessel that ran aground in the vicinity of Tahoe Keys, California.  At approximately 1537 local time, Coast Guard Sector San Francisco watch-standers received a notification from Coast Guard Station Lake Tahoe that a passenger vessel, Tahoe Queen, with approximately 296 passengers aboard, had run aground.  Rescue boat crews from Coast Guard Station Lake Tahoe, South Lake Tahoe, Douglas County, El Dorado County, and Vessel Assist transferred all passengers and non-essential crew from Tahoe Queen to shore at Ski Run Marina in South Lake Tahoe.  No injuries were reported.

 

August 5

1889  The U.S. Life-Saving Service issued a circular prescribing an appropriate outfit for the keepers and surfmen.  This was the first time that uniforms were required for the Service.

1935  Congress passed the Anti-Smuggling Act, which broadened the jurisdiction of Coast Guard.

 

August 6

1878  The last true sailing cutter built for the Revenue Service, Chase (Salmon P. Chase) was completed at the shipyard of Thomas Brown of Philadelphia.  Barque-rigged, Chase displaced 142 tons and served as a cadet practice vessel for nearly 30 years before being decommissioned and transferred to the U.S. Public Health Service.

1918  The first American lightship to be sunk by enemy action, Lightship No. 71, was lost on the Diamond Shoals station.  LS 71 had reported by radio the presence of a German submarine that had sunk a passing freighter and that message was intercepted by the U-104, which then located the lightship and, after giving the crew opportunity to abandon ship in life boats, sank it by surface gunfire. The lightship's crew reached shore without injury.

1984  CGC Point Divide seized the HMAV Bounty, a replica of the HMS Bounty that was used in the 1984 motion picture "The Bounty," for customs violations.

1997  CGCs Basswood and Galveston assisted in the rescue of the survivors of the crash of a Korean airliner, Flight 801, in Guam.

 

August 7

1789  An Act of Congress (1 Stat. L., 53), only the ninth law passed by the newly-created Congress of the United States, was the first act to make any provisions for public works.  It created the Lighthouse Establishment as an administrative unit of the Federal Government when it accepted title to, and joined jurisdiction over, the 12 lighthouses then in existence, and provided that "the necessary support, maintenance and repairs of all lighthouses, beacons, buoys and public piers erected, placed, or sunk before the passing of this act, at the entrance of, or within any bay, inlet, harbor, or port of the United States, for rendering the navigation thereof easy and safe, shall be defrayed out of the treasury of the United States."  Prior to this time the lighthouses had been paid for, built and administered first by the colonies and then the states.  

1882  An Act of Congress (22 Stat. L., 301, 309) required all parties owning, occupying, or operating bridges over any navigable river to maintain at their own expense, from sunset to sunrise, throughout the year, such lights as may be required by the Lighthouse Service.

1927  Horace Alderman, a rumrunner, murdered two Coast Guardsmen, Warrant Officer (Boatswain) Sidney Sanderlin and MoMM1/c Victor A. Lamby, and Secret Service agent Robert K. Webster after Alderman's vessel was stopped by patrol boat CG-249 off the coast of Florida.  Alderman was eventually subdued by the remaining crew of CG-249 and arrested.  He was later tried, convicted, and hung at Coast Guard Base 10 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

1939  "Suitable observance of the one hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the Lighthouse Service was called for by a joint resolution of Congress, signed by the President on May 15, which was known as Public Resolution No. 16.  By this resolution the week of August 7, 1939, was designated lighthouse week."

1942  The landings at Tulagi and Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands commenced.  This first Allied invasion in the Pacific proved to be a critical battle.  Coast Guard manned transports, including the USS Hunter Liggett, participated in the invasion.  Many of the landing craft were crewed by Coast Guardsmen.  A Coast Guard officer, LCDR Dwight H. Dexter, and 25 Coast Guardsmen went ashore from the Liggett with their landing craft to set up a naval operating base on Lunga Point.  Signalman 1/c Douglas Munro, later killed at Guadalcanal, was a member of Dexter's command. 

1958  A collision of the merchant tankers Golfoil and Graham in heavy fog in the entrance to Narragansett Bay, Rhode Island set fire to both vessels.  U.S. Coast Guard, Navy, and commercial units fought the fires for three days, searched for missing crewmen, and assisted in directing traffic through the area.  The CGC Laurel directed the on-scene operations.

 

August 8

1950  The Coast Guard commenced a controversial program to screen merchant seaman signing on American vessels on the East and Gulf Coasts where the vessels were foreign bound.  Those seamen designated as "poor security risks" were not permitted to sign on.

1985  The Coast Guard awarded a contract to build the 110-foot "Island-Class" patrol boats to Bollinger Machine Shop and Shipyard in Lockport, Louisiana after a drawn-out legal battle.

2009  The Coast Guard’s first production MH-60T “Jayhawk” helicopter (tail number CG 6028) completed its first search and rescue operation off the North Carolina coast.

2013  CGC Polar Star returned to its homeport of Seattle, Washington, following a two-month deployment where it conducted Arctic trials in advance of its upcoming Operation Deep Freeze assignment.

 

August 9

1942  The Coast Guard-manned attack transport USS Hunter Liggett rescued the survivors of the heavy cruisers USS Vincennes, Astoria, and Quincy and the Australian cruiser HMAS Canberra that had been sunk the preceding night by Imperial Japanese Navy warships during the Battle of Savo Island.  The night battle, also known as the First Naval Battle of Guadalcanal, was one of the worst defeats ever suffered by the U.S. Navy.  

1950  Congress enacted Public Law 679, which charged the Coast Guard with the function of port security.

1969  LTJG Michael W. Kirkpatrick, executive officer of CGC Point Arden, and EN1 Michael H. Painter were killed in action in Vietnam.

1982  Secretary of Defense Caspar W. Weinberger approved the use of Coast Guard law enforcement detachments on board Navy vessels during peace-time.  The teams conducted law enforcement boardings from Navy vessels for the first time in history.  The first CG TACLET was assigned to the USS Sampson on August 11, 1982.

 

August 10

1971  President Richard Nixon signed Federal Boat Safety Act of 1971, considered to be the most significant legislation in the long history of federal action in this field. The new act repealed most of the Federal Boating Act of 1958 and amended the Motorboat Act of 1940. 

1990  The Military Sealift Command began loading equipment and supplies from the Garden City Port in Savannah, Georgia, to support Allied operations during Operation Desert Shield.  Coast Guard units, including reservists called-up specifically for this operation, maintained security zones and ensured the safe loading of the vessels.

1993  Three vessels collided at the entrance to Tampa Bay, Florida.  The collision, with an explosion that shook Tampa Bay and shot a fireball hundreds of feet into the air, involved the tug Seafarer, pushing its 546-foot barge Ocean 255, which was laden with 235,000 barrels of petroleum products; the tug Fred Bouchard and its barge, B-155, which carried 122,000 barrels of oil; and the 357-foot Philippine-registered freighter Balsa 37, which was carrying 6,000 metric tons of phosphate material.  Small boats from ATON Team St. Petersburg and Stations Cortez, Sand Key and St. Petersburg, CGCs Decisive, Point Steele, Sitkinak, and Vise, aircraft from AIRSTA Clearwater, and a crew from MSO Tampa responded.  More than 300 Coast Guardsmen in total responded to battle the fire, oversee the cleanup, salvage and lightering operations.  A Marine Board of Investigation convened to investigate the accident.  There were no deaths or major injuries.

 

August 11

1812  The Revenue Cutter Louisiana capsized and sank at her home port of New Orleans during a hurricane.  All hands were lost except for her master.

1817  "The ship Margaret, which sailed on Sunday, August 10, 1817, for Amelia Island with a number of persons on board, supposed to be going out for the purpose of joining the pirates, was brought back by the RC Active, under the command of Revenue Captain John Cahoone, and anchored yesterday morning [11 August 1817] in the Bay.  The cutter fired several shots at the Margaret before she hove to.  It is said that she has also munitions of war on board." [Taken from the New York Gazette-New York Post, dated August 12, 1817.]

1966  CGC Point Welcome was attacked in the pre-dawn hours by U.S. Air Force aircraft while on patrol in the waters near the mouth of the Cua Viet River, about three-quarters of a mile south of the Demilitarized Zone (the 17th Parallel) in South Vietnam.  Her commanding officer, LTJG David Brostrom, along with one crewman, EN2 Jerry Phillips, were killed in this "friendly fire" incident.  Point Welcome's executive officer, LTJG Ross Bell, two other crewmen, GM2 Mark D. McKenney, and FA Houston J. Davidson, a Vietnamese liaison officer, LTJG Do Viet Vien, and a freelance journalist, Mr. Timothy J. Page, were wounded.  Crewman BMC Richard Patterson saved his cutter and the surviving crew at great risk to himself.  He was awarded a Bronze Star with the combat "V" device for his actions.

1974  President Gerald Ford signed into law the first bill of his new administration, a measure authorizing the Coast Guard to adopt modernized boiler and pressure safety standards on board merchant ships.

1982  Members of a 7th District TACLET stood bridge watch aboard the USS Sampson, the first time a Coast Guard TACLET had served aboard a Navy vessel.  The SECDEF approved the use of Coast Guard TACLETs aboard Navy warships only two days earlier. 

2014  CGC Bertholf returned to its homeport in Alameda, California, after a 140-day patrol.  Bertholf deployed to the Eastern Pacific Ocean off the coast of Central and South America in support of Joint Interagency Task Force-South counter-drug operations.  During the deployment, Bertholf’s crew detained a number of suspicious vessels and suspects and seized more than 12,000 pounds of illegal narcotics. "Because our missions were a success, it made coming home even better," said CAPT Mark Frankford, commanding officer of the Bertholf.  Crewmembers took time from the busy patrol to volunteer at an assisted living facility in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, where they performed maintenance, upkeep and visited with the residents, many of who were elderly.

 

August 12

1982  Coast Guard vessels escorted the nation's first Trident submarine, USS Ohio, into its home port at Naval Submarine Base Bangor, providing security for the sub's transit.  Coast Guard units guided the sub past a Soviet spy ship and 400 anti-nuclear protesters.

1984  CGC Munro departed Honolulu for Tokyo, Japan to take part in a bilateral meeting between the Coast Guard and the Japanese Maritime Safety Agency.  While en route, the cutter conducted a Hawaiian Island and Western Pacific Fisheries Enforcement Patrol – the first of its type ever conducted in the western Pacific by a 378-foot cutter.

1994  "Team Coast Guard" was created when the commandant, ADM Robert Kramek, approved recommendations that integrated the reserves into the operational missions and administrative processes of the regular Coast Guard, "effectively eliminating the differences between the two service components."

2015  CGC Stratton returned to its homeport of Coast Guard Island in Alameda, California, after a 114-day Joint Interagency Task Force South counter drug patrol. While underway, on June 16 and July 18, 2015, Stratton seized two separate self-propelled semi-submersible (SPSS) vessels carrying a total of 22,345 pounds of cocaine in the Eastern Pacific Ocean.  In addition to the SPSS cases, Stratton interdicted six go-fast vessels smuggling more than 6,248 pounds of contraband.  The Coast Guard and partner agencies operating in the Eastern Pacific Ocean near Central and South America have seized more cocaine in the last 10 months than in fiscal years 2012 through 2014 combined.  In addition to the counter narcotics mission, Stratton’s crew conducted a broad range of operations including search and rescue, maritime surveillance, international partner building, and community outreach.  While on patrol, the cutter’s multi-mission capabilities provide greater stability throughout the Western Hemisphere and protect our nation’s borders.  While in San Diego, Stratton conducted one of the largest known cocaine offloads in Coast Guard history, with an estimated worth of more than $1.01 billion. The drugs were seized in 23 separate interdictions by U.S. Coast Guard cutters and U.S. Navy vessels with embarked Coast Guard Law enforcement teams in known drug smuggling transit zones.  The Commandant of the Coast Guard, Admiral Paul Zukunft, attended to commemorate the historic event.

 

August 13

1954  Congress passed Public Law 584, resulting in the Coast Guard relinquishing to the Federal Communications Commission the responsibility for issuing safety radiotelegraphy and safety radiotelephony certificates and exemption certificates under the International Convention for Safety of Life at Sea.

1967  CGCs Sweetbriar and Cape Coral came to the rescue of Alaska Governor Walter J. Hickel and his fishing party after they began trapped in a cove by a heavy storm.  The cutters escorted the fishing party safely back to Juneau.

 

August 14

1848  Congress appropriated $10,000 for life saving stations and apparatus between Sandy Hook and Egg Harbor; the first funds to be expended under supervision of Revenue Cutter Service. $5000 appropriated in 1847 for saving life from shore was turned over to Collector of Customs at Boston to acquire boathouses and equipment on Cape Cod for Massachusetts Human Society. (See March 3, 1847)

 

August 15

1914  At the request of the Secretary of the Department of Commerce, Congress extended the Sponge Fishing Act and directed its enforcement to the Revenue Cutter Service on the request of the Secretary of Commerce.

1943  Coast Guardsmen participated in the invasion of Vella La Vella, Solomon Islands.

1944  Coast Guardsmen participated in the invasion of Southern France.

1969  The Coast Guard LORAN Station at Tan My became fully operational as part of Operation Tight Reign in Vietnam.  Also on this date in 1969, the last two cutters of Coast Guard Squadron One (RONONE) in service in Vietnam, CGC Point Marone and Point Cypress, were transferred to the Navy of the Republic of Vietnam.  Division 13 and Coast Guard RONONE were disestablished.

 

August 16

1918  Keeper John Allen Midgett and his crew of five from Station No. 179 at Chicamacomico, North Carolina rescued the crew of the mined British tanker SS Mirlo.  All but one of the lifesavers were named Midgett and each received the Gold Lifesaving Medal for their actions.  

1941  The Honolulu Coast Guard District was transferred to the Navy.

1999  For the first time weapons were fired from a Coast Guard HITRON helicopter "to execute the interdiction of a maritime drug smuggler."

 

August 17

1929  Horace Alderman, convicted of murdering two Coast Guardsmen and a Secret Service agent in 1927, was hanged at Coast Guard Base 10 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.  He was the only person ever executed on a Coast Guard shore station.

1990  At the request of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Secretary of Transportation and the Commandant of the Coast Guard committed Coast Guard boarding teams to operation Desert Shield.  Other Coast Guardsmen, however, were already serving in the Gulf.

 

August 18

1899  Surfman Rasmus S. Midgett of the Gull Shoal Life-Saving Station in North Carolina single-handedly rescued 10 people from the grounded barkentine Priscilla.  Midgett was awarded the Gold Life-Saving Medal for his heroic actions. 

1941  The Coast Guard was charged by Congress with enforcing a law to protect war-lanes in Alaskan waters.

1983  Hurricane Alicia came ashore at Houston, Texas.  Coast Guard units responded to calls for assistance.

2006  CGC Eagle helped to rescue nearly 100 West African migrants who were found drifting in a disabled vessel 35 miles off the south coast of Tenerife, Canary Island.

 

August 19

1898  About 8 p.m., the keeper of life-saving station was notified by one of the crew of a quarantine boat that cries for help were heard coming from the channel opposite the station.  The crew immediately launched the surfboat and pulled into the darkness.  As they proceeded, they heard the cries for help and pulled in their direction until they found a boat capsized and one man clinging to her bottom.  They hauled him in and he informed them that he and three others were returning from a hunting trip in the sloop, Jennie, when she capsized in a sudden squall.  The other men were rescued by the yawl from the quarantine station.  When she capsized the anchor went overboard, securely anchoring her; consequently, the keeper decided not to attempt to right her until morning.  At daylight the surfmen returned to her, righted, and bailed her out.

1994  Operation Able Vigil commenced during a massive influx of Cuban migrants fleeing Cuba.  It was the "largest joint peace-time operation" in Coast Guard history, according to the Commandant, ADM Robert Kramek.

 

August 20

1984  A fire broke out in a stateroom aboard the 506-foot cruise ship Scandanavian Sea while the vessel was five miles off the Florida coast.  The 744 passengers were mustered on the weather decks while the cruise ship's captain headed his vessel towards Port Canaveral.  Coast Guardsmen from CGCs Diligence, Reliance, and Steadfast; Stations Port Canaveral and Ponce De Leon Inlet; MSO Jacksonville; Group Mayport; the Gulf and Atlantic Strike Teams were ordered to Port Canaveral to help extinguish the blaze while a small boat from Station Port Canaveral got underway to escort the cruise ship to port.  Local fire fighters also took part and ultimately over 150 Coast Guardsmen participated.  It still took two days to extinguish the fire.  One crewman and one passenger were killed and the vessel suffered extensive fire damage.

 

August 21

1968  CGC Point Verde reported that she had received a call from the Chevron Oil Company in Venice, Louisiana, reporting that an oil rig, approximately 25 miles east of Grant Isle, Louisiana, had a blowout and was on fire.  The exact number of persons on board the rig at that time was unknown.  Two Coast Guard helicopters and CGC Point Sal were dispatched.  Several private vessels and oil company helicopters were already on the scene.  A Coast Guard helicopter transported three injured persons to the U.S. Public Health Service Hospital in New Orleans and several oil company helicopters transported persons to other hospitals.  The Coast Guard helicopter returned to the scene and along with Point Sal, a 53-footer, and another Coast Guard helicopter conducted a search for persons in the water.  The number of persons on board was determined to be 33 with 23 definitely accounted for, five confirmed missing, and five reported accounted for, but not confirmed.  Two people were known dead with 12 having been hospitalized.

1972  VTS San Francisco went on-line as the nation's first Vessel Traffic Service.  Originally called a Vessel Traffic System, the VTS evolved from the experimental San Francisco Harbor Advisory Radar project and became an official Coast Guard function when the Ports and Waterways Safety Act became law in 1972.

 

August 22

1816  RC Active, under the command of Revenue Captain Steven White and acting under orders of the Collector at Baltimore, took possession of the Spanish brig Servia, recently departed from Baltimore, which was anchored in the Patuxent River.  The Servia had been captured by an American privateer and Active was ordered to arrest the Servia and return it to Baltimore for examination.

1944  The Liberty ship SS Alexander V. Frazer, named for the first commandant of the Revenue Cutter Service, was launched.

1994  The Coast Guard icebreaker CGC Polar Sea and the CCCS Louis S. Ste Laurent became the first "North American surface ships" to reach the North Pole.  An HH-65A from Aviation Training Center Mobile, detached to the Polar Sea, became the first U.S. (and also Coast Guard) helicopter to reach the pole as well.

 

August 23

1820  U.S. newspapers began reporting that the Revenue Cutter Louisiana captured four pirate vessels during a cruise the previous month.  Revenue Cutter Captain Loomis was quoted as writing: "I arrived here [Belize] after a short cruise of 20 days on the 17th [of July, 1820].  I have succeeded in taking four more Pirates, which I have now in confinement…I have about $4,000 worth of dry goods which they have robbed and were endeavoring to smuggle into the United States.  They have some negroes which had landed but have been followed and taken.  I took these fellows 250 miles to the Westward of this River."

1893  "This was the first instance in the history of the United States Light-House Establishment in which a light-ship has foundered at her moorings," reported the Lighthouse Board, when Lightship No. 37 was lost in rough seas at her station at Five Fathom Bank off the entrance to Delaware Bay.  Four of her six crew were lost in the tragedy.

1979  The keel of the first of the new 270-foot class medium endurance cutters, CGC Bear, was laid at the Tacoma Boatbuilding Company in Tacoma, Washington.

1993  CGC Yocona hosted the Russian icebreaker Aisberg for the first ever joint Russian-U.S. search and rescue exercise.  The exercise was based out of Kodiak and involved three aircraft from Air Station Kodiak, two Russian aircraft, the Aisberg, and the cutters Chase and Ironwood.

1994  A new record for people rescued at sea was set when 3,253 Cubans were saved from dangerously overloaded craft by the Coast Guard during Operation Able Vigil.

2005  Tropical Depression 12 was first identified by the National Hurricane Center forming 175 miles southeast of Nassau.  The storm would become Hurricane Katrina.

 

August 24

1912  Congress gave effect to the convention between United States, Great Britain, Japan, and Russia prohibiting taking of fur seals and sea otters in the North Pacific Ocean and Bering Sea by authorizing the President "to cause a guard or patrol to be maintained in the waters frequented by the seal herd or herds of seal otter. "  The President tasked the Revenue Cutter Service with carrying out this patrol.

1990  Coast Guard Grumman E2C, #3501, assigned to CGAS St. Augustine, crashed during a landing at Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico, killing all four crewmen on board.  They were: LT Duane E. Stenbak, LTJG Paul E. Perlt, LT Craig E. Lerner, and AT1 Matthew H. Baker.  CGAS St. Augustine was disbanded soon thereafter and the remaining E2Cs were returned to the Navy.

1996  CGC Hamilton safely rescued the seven crewmen from fishing vessel Moriah after it sank 200 miles west of Adak.

 

August 25

1945  CGC Magnolia was rammed amidships by the cargo ship SS Marguerite Lehand off Mobile Bay.  She sank in two minutes and one of her crew was killed.  The other 49 were rescued.  Those survivors cross-decked to the new tender CGC Salvia (WAGL-400) which then took Magnolia's place.

1950  SS Benevolence collided with SS Mary Luckenbach.  CGC Gresham and other vessels responded and rescued 407 persons.

1971  The Secretary of Transportation announced the awarding of a contract to the Lockheed Shipbuilding and Construction Company of Seattle, Washington, "to build the world’s most powerful icebreaker for the US Coast Guard," Polar Star, the first of two "Polar-Class" icebreakers.

2005  Hurricane Katrina made landfall between Hallandale Beach and Aventura, Florida, as a Category 1 hurricane.  Four days later it came ashore again near Empire, Buras and Boothville, Louisiana.  The rescue and response effort was one of the largest in Coast Guard history.

 

August 26

1992  Hurricane Andrew struck Florida and the Gulf coast states causing extensive damage.  Coast Guard units conducted search and rescue, relief, and transport operations.

 

August 27

1942  CGC Mojave rescued 293 men from the torpedoed transport SS Chatham in the Strait of Belle Isle.

1999  A boarding team from CGC Munro discovered 172 illegal Chinese migrants aboard the fishing vessel Chih Yung off the coast of Mexico.

2008  CGC Dallas, while deployed as part of the U.S. Navy's 6th Fleet, delivered 76,000 pounds of humanitarian relief supplies as part of  "Operation Assured Delivery" to the port of Bat'umi, Georgia after that country was attacked by Russia.

 

August 28

1916  An Act of Congress (39 Stat. L., 536, 538) provided that "light keepers and assistant light keepers of the Lighthouse Service shall be entitled to medical relief without charge at hospitals and other stations of the Public Health Service under the rules and regulations governing the seamen of the merchant marine."

1919  President Woodrow Wilson signed Executive Order 3160 which returned the Coast Guard to the administrative control of the Treasury Department from the Navy after World War I.

1963  As soon as two U.S. Air Force KC-135 tanker aircraft became reported as overdue at their destination, Homestead Air Force Base, Florida, the U.S. Coast Guard Eastern Area Commander initiated an intensive air search.  It lasted through September 2nd with as many as 25 U.S. Coast Guard, Air Force, and Navy planes participating.  None of the 11 occupants of the two KC-135's were ever found, only wreckage, indicating that there had been a midair collision.

1995  A request from the Commander in Chief of Naval Forces Europe led to the deployment of CGC Dallas to the Mediterranean.  She departed Governors Island on May 29, 1995 and visited ports throughout the Mediterranean and Black Sea, including Istanbul and Samsun in Turkey; Durres, Albania; Varna, Bulgaria; Constanta, Romania; Koper, Slovenia; Taranto, Italy; and Bizerte, Tunisia.  The crew trained with naval and coast guard forces in each country.  She deployed for a few days with the Sixth Fleet and served as a plane guard for USS Theodore Roosevelt.  The crew was also able to coordinate schedules with six NATO and non-NATO nations to conduct boardings.  She returned to the U.S. in August and arrived at Governors Island on August 28.

2015  CGC Sequoia returned to Guam following a 25-day deployment in the Western Pacific Ocean in support of fisheries enforcement and humanitarian efforts.  When first departing Guam on August 3rd, the crew was diverted to Tanapag Harbor, Saipan, to deliver critical relief aid and support personnel to assist in the aftermath of Typhoon Soudelor. The crew weathered 10-foot seas and 30 mph winds to transport members from the Army National Guard, Mobil Oil's disaster and spill response team, the U.S. Marshal Service, and the Commonwealth Utility Corporation.  Due to storm damage to Saipan’s airport, military sealift and airlift were the only means of getting needed personnel and resources onto the island in the initial days of the response.  Once on scene, Sequoia crewmembers went to work surveying the harbor channel and fixing vital aids to navigation used by professional mariners to transit into and out of Tanapag Harbor, Saipan’s only deepwater port.  Within just two days, Sequoia’s crew restored and verified all 14 aids were on station and functioning properly, allowing for the reopening of the port and the delivery of vital relief aid by military and merchant ships.  Transitioning to its original mission of this patrol, the crew and their two embarked Federated States of Micronesia shipriders conducted boardings of fishing vessels under the FSM-U.S. bilateral fisheries enforcement agreement.  Patrolling the Federated States of Micronesia exclusive economic zone, Sequoia traveled over 4,068 miles and conducted 10 law enforcement boardings, as well as providing deterrence for illegal fishing activity and strengthening international partnerships. On their voyage back to Guam, Sequoia’s crew took the opportunity to deliver humanitarian aid to Onoun Island, Namonuito Atoll, Federated States of Micronesia.  Using their two small boats, the crew delivered nearly 10,000 pounds of aid donated by the Ayuda Foundation, including powdered milk, books and educational material, fishing equipment, and medical supplies.  In addition, due to a rainwater shortage on the island, the crew also used the cutter’s potable water reserves to fill nearly 100 containers with fresh drinking water.  While ashore, Sequoia’s medical personnel attended to several injuries and medical ailments amongst the island’s 500 residents, including cleaning wounds and delivering much needed medical supplies to the island's in-resident medical assistant.

 

August 29

1916  The Secretary of the Treasury was authorized to procure three light craft river steamboats, including lifeboats and other necessary lifesaving appliances and equipment for rescuing lives and property and distributing food and clothing to marooned people during Mississippi and Ohio River floods.  The vessels acquired were the 182-foot stern-wheel propelled river steamers CGC Kankakee and Yocona.

1916  Congress authorized the Treasury Department to establish ten Coast Guard air stations, but appropriated only $7,000 for an instructor and assistant.  Appropriation for their construction and for aircraft was not made until 1924.

1916  A naval appropriations act (39 Stat. L., 556, 602) provided for the first time the mobilization of the Lighthouse Service in time of war by authorizing the President, "…whenever in his judgment a sufficient national emergency exists, to transfer to the service and jurisdiction of the Navy Department, or of the War Department, such vessels, equipment, stations and personnel of the Lighthouse Service as he may deem to the best interest of the country."

1980  The Coast Guard and the Royal Navy signed a Personnel Exchange Agreement.  The first exchange between the two services were helicopter pilots.  The pilots were assigned to RNAS Culdrose and CGAIRSTA Miami.

2005  Hurricane Katrina made a second landfall in the U.S., this time near Empire, Buras and Boothville, Louisiana after first previously coming ashore along the coast at Southeast Florida on August 25th.  The rescue and response effort was one of the largest in Coast Guard history, involving units from every district, saving 24,135 lives and conducting 9,409 evacuations.

 

August 30

1852  Congress passed the Steamboat Act which established the Steamboat Inspection Service under the control of the Treasury Department (10 Stat. L., 1852).  The Act provided for the appointment, by the President, with the advice and consent of the Senate, of nine supervising inspectors.  These men, experts in the construction and operation of commercial craft, were paid by the Government.  They were to meet once a year for the purpose of consultation and the promulgation of regulations governing the administration of the applicable laws, assigned territory being covered by each of them.  Local inspectors, acting under the supervising inspectors, were authorized to issue licenses to engineers and pilots of passenger vessels.  Inspectors were now on salary, the amount depending on the number of vessels inspected in each district, the source of which was receipts from fees for inspections and licenses.

1872  The Neptune Line steamer Metis sank in 30 minutes off Watch Hill, Rhode Island.  Of 104 passengers and 45 crew, only 33 survived.  A coasting schooner struck the Metis, which had a full passenger list and cotton cargo bound for New England textile mills.  Captain Daniel Larkin (retired light keeper and one of the first Life-Saving Station captains), Captain Jared Crandall (light keeper), and lifeboat crewmen Albert Crandall, Frank Larkin, and Byron Green launched from the Life-Saving station.  Boat Captain John Harvey and crewmen Courtland Gavitt, Edward Nash, Eugene Nash, and William Nash saw the collision and launched a fishing seine from the beach.  The lifeboat and seine rescued 32.  Revenue cutter Moccasin from Stonington, Connecticut, met the boats, took their passengers, and located a survivor.  The Moccasin and seine continued to search until dark.  Participants were awarded Certificates of Heroism from the Massachusetts Humane Society and gold medals, minted to commemorate the rescue, by Congressional resolution, February 24, 1873.  The event signified the growing interaction among the members of the Life-Saving Service, the Lighthouse Service, and the Revenue Cutter Service, a factor that led to the later merger of the three services.

1941  Coast Guard JRF-1 Grumman "Goose" V-184 was sent to Midland, Texas, for a photographic flight in cooperation with the Agricultural Adjustment Administration.

 

August 31

1819  The Revenue cutters Alabama and Louisiana captured the privateer Bravo in the Gulf of Mexico.  Bravo's master, Jean Le Farges – a lieutenant of Jean Lafitte – was later reportedly hanged from Louisiana's yardarm.  The cutters then sailed for Patterson's Town on Breton Island to destroy the notorious pirates' den there.

1852  Congress created the Lighthouse Board and charged it with administering the Lighthouse Service, as the Revenue Cutter Service was again decentralized.  The board was comprised of Army and Navy officers and civilian scientists.  The board's creation led to a number of important changes in the way ocean and coastal navigation was administered.

2015  The U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Customs and Border Protection interdicted approximately 15,000 pounds of cocaine and detained four suspects from a self-propelled semi-submersible vessel in international waters of the Eastern Pacific Ocean off the coast of Mexico.  A CBP Office of Air and Marine P-3 Maritime Patrol Aircraft tracked the 50-foot vessel while on routine patrol in the region.  CGC Bertholf, also on patrol in the area, was alerted to the suspicious vessel.  The cutter launched two Over-the-Horizon Long-Range Interceptor boat crews to intercept and boarded the vessel.  Upon approach of the boarding teams, four suspected smugglers exited the hull.  Boarding team members retrieved bales and loose bricks of contraband from the semi-submersible that tested positive for cocaine.  The seized contraband was worth an estimated $227 million.  After the suspected smugglers and contraband were removed from the semi-submersible the craft was sunk as a hazard to navigation.

September 1

1789  An act of Congress provided for the registering and clearing of vessels and the regulation of the coastwise trade, thus laying the foundation of American navigation laws which, until 1912, embodied the marine policy of the United States.

1894  An armed guard of Revenue Cutter Service personnel were placed on the Pribiloff Islands to protect seals.

1938  The Coast Guard assumed responsibility for the Maritime Service.

1939  The armed forces of Nazi Germany invaded Poland, beginning World War II.

1942  Joseph C. Jenkins was given a temporary promotion to warrant officer (Boatswain); becoming the first African-American warrant officer in the Coast Guard. 

1942  The Coast Guard transferred responsibility for running the merchant marine training programs to the War Shipping Administration.

1944  CGC Northland captured the crew of a scuttled Nazi supply trawler off Greenland.  They had been attempting to establish a weather station on the coast of Greenland.

1977  Bobby C. Wilks became the first African American in the Coast Guard to reach the rank of captain.  He was also the first African American Coast Guard aviator (Coast Guard aviator No. 735).  He later became the first African American to command a Coast Guard air station.  

1983  Korean Airlines Flight 007 (KAL-007) strayed off course into Soviet airspace and was shot down by a Soviet fighter aircraft just west of Sakhalin island.  All 269 persons on board were killed, including Congressman Larry P. McDonald from Georgia.  CGC Munro, on a diplomatic mission to Tokyo, joined in the international SAR effort but no survivors were found.  Munro then assisted in the search for the airliner's black box and recovered debris.  The cutter also safely rescued from the sea all four crewmen of a downed LAMPs helicopter from the USS Badger.  The Munro received the Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation for her part in the SAR and recovery efforts.

2008  CGC Dallas visited the port of Sevastopol, Ukraine during a historic voyage through the Black Sea that included delivering relief supplies to Georgia.

2014  CGC Terrapin returned to its homeport of Bellingham, Washington, after a Pacific patrol to support counter drug operations off Southern California. Terrapin conducted a 42-day patrol totaling nearly 600 operational hours, completing 20 recreational safety boardings and interrupting the illegal flow of narcotics into the U.S. While working jointly with Customs and Border Protection and the Mexican navy to stem the flow of illegal drugs entering the U.S., a Customs and Border Protection Office of Air and Marine Multi-role Enforcement Aircraft crew detected a suspicious boat August 21 and Terrapin was diverted to intercept.  Terrapin’s crew stopped the panga and detained the suspected smugglers who claimed Mexican nationality and discovered an estimated 90 bales of marijuana weighing nearly 2,000 pounds.  The suspects, vessel and marijuana were turned over to the Mexican navy.

 

September 2

1945  Japanese officials signed the articles of surrender aboard USS Missouri, officially ending World War II.

1966  The Coast Guard commissioned LORAN Station Con Son in Vietnam as a critical part of Operation Tight Reign.

 

September 4

1945  The Coast Guard Cutter CG-83525 became the first and only cutter to host an official surrender ceremony when Imperial Japanese Army Second Lieutenant Kinichi Yamada surrendered the garrison of Aguijan Island on board this Coast Guard 83-footer.  Rear Admiral Marshall R. Greer, USN, accepted their surrender for the United States.

 

September 5

1939  President Franklin D. Roosevelt proclaimed U.S. neutrality in World War II and ordered the Navy, augmented by the Coast Guard, to establish neutrality patrols.

1946  The U.S. Air-Rescue Agency, an inter-departmental group headed by the Commandant of the Coast Guard and engaged in the study of improved and standardized rescue and search methods, was renamed the Search and Rescue Agency.  "Search and Rescue Units of the Coast Guard were at the same time integrated into the peace time organization and the whole developed into a system of constantly alerted communications, coastal lookout, and patrols of institute instant and systematic search and rescue procedure in case of disasters."

2013  CGC Bertholf returned to its homeport of Alameda, California, after a five-month counter-drug deployment to the Eastern Pacific in support of Joint Inter-Agency Task Force South (JIATFS).

2015  CGC Healy reached the North Pole on this date, becoming the first U.S. surface vessel to do so unaccompanied.  Healy was underway in support of Geotraces, an international scientific endeavor to study the geochemistry of the world’s oceans.

 

September 6

1966  GM1 Lester K. Gates was awarded the Bronze Star Medal with a combat "V" device for "meritorious service and action against the enemy" while serving on board CGC Point White (WPB-82308) in Vietnam.  The Point White attacked and captured a Viet Cong junk while patrolling the Soi Rap River.  GM1 Gates was the first enlisted Coast Guardsman to be awarded the Bronze Star since World War II.

1995  Hurricane Luis pounded the Leeward Islands.  GANTSEC units responded with relief supplies, SAR, and evacuations.  Coast Guard C-130s delivered 125,000 pound of relief supplies to St. Martin.  CGC Attu delivered relief supplies to Antigua and Barbuda.

2014  CGC Waesche returned to its homeport of Alameda, completing a 14-week deployment that included counter-smuggling patrols, participation in the largest multi-national maritime exercise in the world, and fisheries enforcement operations.  Waesche spent the first month of its deployment off the coast of Southern California and Mexico in support of joint inter-agency, counter-drug operations.  Working with other Coast Guard assets, Customs and Border patrol (CBP), Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and the Mexican navy, the cutter’s crew interdicted more than 10,000 pounds of illegal narcotics and six suspected narco-traffickers.  Waesche then shifted their focus to the Central Pacific, where they participated in the multi-national Rim of the Pacific Exercises 2014 (RIMPAC) off the coast of Hawaii.  After RIMPAC, the cutter headed to the South Pacific Ocean to conduct Fisheries Enforcement in support of the 14th Coast Guard District, which spans from Hawaii to American Samoa, Guam, and other U.S. possessions in the Pacific.  During the patrol, Waesche embarked three fisheries enforcement specialists from partner nations in the Pacific, including Kiribati and the Cook Islands.  In addition to fisheries enforcement, the crew of Waesche conducted flight operations with the French navy off the coast of Tahiti, completing a series of hoists and simulated supply-drops with a French AS365 helicopter.

 

September 7

1934  Surfboats and lifeboats from Coast Guard stations Shark River, Squan Beach, Sandy Hook, and others responded to a deadly fire aboard the liner Morro Castle, rescuing 129 survivors.  Cutters Tampa and Cahoone also responded.  After failing to get the Morro Castle under tow due to the worsening weather, they recovered as many victims from the water as they could.  All told over 250 Coast Guardsmen participated in the rescue and recovery effort.  Eventually this maritime disaster led to a Senate investigation and subsequent changes in maritime safety regulations.

1953  When the Panamanian SS Eugenia grounded as a result of the heavy weather generated off Cape Cod by Hurricane Carol, the Cape Cod Lifeboat Station removed 13 survivors by breeches buoy and 4 by the station's DUKW, an amphibious surface craft.

 

September 8

1900  Second Assistant Engineer Charles S. Root and Seaman James Bierman of the U.S. Revenue Cutter Service, assigned to USRC Galveston, were awarded Gold Lifesaving Medals for their actions after the 1900 hurricane that destroyed Galveston, Texas.  Root voluntarily commanded a boat that went to the assistance of survivors within the city itself, a boat manned by eight other volunteer members of Galveston's crew, including Seaman Bierman.  The other members of Root's boat crew were Gunner George Jeffas, Carpenter Jacob Pedersen, Master-At-Arms W. Cormack, Coxswain F. Olsen, Third-Class Oiler W. Gardiner, Oiler W. Idstrom, and Fireman B. Rafailovich.  In all they were credited with saving 34 persons "from drowning."  They were the first members of the Revenue Cutter Service to receive the prestigious award.

1952  When SS Foundation Star sent a distress signal that she was in rough seas and in danger of breaking in half, four Coast Guard vessels and three commercial vessels proceed to her assistance and rescued the crew before the ship broke apart and sank.

2000  LCDR Daniel C. Burbank became the second Coast Guard astronaut to fly on a Shuttle mission (he had been selected by NASA for astronaut training in 1996).  He flew as a mission specialist on NASA flight STS-106 aboard the space shuttle Atlantis (September 8-20, 2000). 

 

September 9

1942  The Coast Guard-manned weather ship USS Muskeget disappeared without a trace while on weather patrol in the North Atlantic during World War II.  Her entire crew of nine officers and 111 enlisted men were lost.  After the war, the U.S. Navy determined that she had been torpedoed and sunk with all hands by the German submarine U-755. 

1943  The invasion of Salerno, Italy began on this date.  Coast Guard units, including LCI(L) Flotilla 4, participated.  LCI(L) Flotilla 4 was a fleet of ocean-going landing vessels manned entirely by Coast Guardsmen and commanded by Captain Miles Imlay, USCG.  They went on to participate on the landings at Normandy, France the following year.

2005  VADM Thad Allen, the Coast Guard Chief of Staff, was tapped to lead the Hurricane Katrina federal response and recovery efforts in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama as the Principle Federal Official or PFO.

 

September 10

1889 From September 10-12, 1889 the lifesaving crews at Lewes, Henlopen, and Rehobeth Beach stations assisted 22 vessels and saved 39 persons by surfboat and 155 by breeches buoy without the loss of a single life.

1981  CGC Morgenthau, in "Charlie" status in San Francisco while preparing for a yard period, responded to a distress call from the 610-foot M/V Blue Hawk, a cargo vessel carrying about 5,000 automobiles, after she reported a fire aboard while she was over 700 miles southwest of San Diego.  Morgenthau was underway within three hours.  In the interim, HC-130 CG-1454 was dispatched by AIRSTA Sacremento while COMMSTA Point Reyes directed other merchant ships close to the Blue Hawk to assist.  The fire still raged when Morgenthau arrived on scene two days later.  The cutter's fire-fighting teams put the fire out and Morgenthau escorted the damaged freighter to San Francisco.

1994  Coast Guardsman George B. Evans, while on liberty with his children, earned a Gold Life-Saving Medal for the following action as listed in his award citation: "While relaxing with his children at the park, Chief Petty Officer Evans heard cries for help.  He first saw two boys, who had been playing on a sandbar, in the water and then a man swimming toward one of the boys.  Without regard for his own personal safety, Chief Petty Officer Evans jumped into the river and swam after the other child.  Upon reaching the victim, Chief Petty Officer Evans held the frightened child above water.  The victim, in his panic, attempted to climb on top of Chief Petty Officer Evan, pushing him under the water.  This, combined with the strong current and considerable undertow, exhausted Chief Petty Officer Evans.  Another man arrived and took over the rescue. After the victim was taken from him, Chief Petty Officer Evans swam back toward the sandbar.  Too weak to make it safely back to the sandbar, he was pulled to safety by another man on the beach.  Chief Petty Officer Evans determined efforts, outstanding initiative, and fortitude during this rescue resulted in the saving of one life.  His unselfish actions and valiant service reflect the highest credit upon himself and are in keeping with the highest traditions of humanitarian service.

 

September 11

1878  Life-Saving Service Keeper Captain J. O. Doyle, in charge of Life-Saving Station Charlotte, New York, earned a Gold Lifesaving Medal for a rescue he conducted of the crew of the wrecked schooner B. P. Dorr, out of Chicago, Illinois.

2001  Al Qaeda terrorists hijacked four commercial U.S. aircraft, crashing two into the World Trade Center in New York and one into the Pentagon in Washington, D.C.  The fourth aircraft crashed around Shanksville, Pennsylvania, when passengers on board tried to regain control of the aircraft from the terrorists.  The attacks killed over 3,000 innocent civilians.  Coast Guard units, including Reservists and Auxiliarists, were among the first military units to respond in order to provide communications, security, evacuation by water, and render assistance to those in need.  Coast Guardsmen assisted in the search and rescue efforts as well as the cleanup operations after the attacks.

2014  CGC Healy returned to its homeport of Seattle, Washington, after spending 130 days on a science deployment in the Bearing Sea, Chukchi Sea, and Arctic Ocean. During the four-month patrol, the crew aboard Healy conducted three missions to further scientific knowledge and understanding of the Arctic.  The first mission, the Study of Under Ice Blooms in the Chukchi Ecosystem, was led by Stanford University personnel with funding from the National Science Foundation.  Throughout this phase Healy's crew completed 230 science station evolutions in which the ship stopped to conduct operations, including 14 on-ice deployments.  The second scientific mission of the summer was completed by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution scientists who were studying the Pacific Boundary Current and other oceanographic trends in the Arctic.  The third and final science pursuit of the summer was accomplished with a team from the Coast Guard's Research and Development Center.  Members from the center brought technologies and equipment to be utilized for oil spill monitoring in the harsh Arctic environment.  Tools used to complete mission objectives and testing evaluation consisted of several remotely operated vehicles, a few small unmanned aerial systems, an autonomous underwater vehicle, an unmanned surface vehicle, surface wave instrument float with tracking buoys, oil spill tracking buoys, and an aerostat balloon.  Other smaller materials and projects were evaluated for use by the Coast Guard in the Arctic, and all of these tests together yielded a greater understanding of tools to available to respond to an oil spill should an accident occur in the ice at extreme northern latitudes.

2014  Coast Guard units responded to a flood near Southaven, in northern Mississippi.  Desoto County Emergency Management Agency requested Coast Guard assistance and Coast Guard Sector Lower Mississippi River deployed flood response teams to the area.  Working alongside Desoto County Search and Rescue and Southaven Fire Department teams, they rescued 30 people and 10 pets.

 

September 12

1941  After the Danish government in exile asked the U.S. to protect Greenland, CGC Northland seized the Norwegian sealer Buskoe, with Nazi agents on board, trying to establish radio and weather stations in MacKenzie Bay, Greenland.  The capture of the Buskoe was the first U.S. naval capture of World War II.

1953  When the 6,000 ton ore carrier SS Maryland grounded off Marquette, Michigan, a Coast Guard helicopter, in the face of driving wind and rain that required the combined efforts of both pilots to hold the controls and stabilize the aircraft, removed 12 crew members to safety.

 

September 13

1897  The American steamer Business Point mistook a buoy and stranded on Mouse Island reef, nine miles northwest of Point Marblehead Life-Saving station.  The Life-Saving Service crew and two tugs attempted to release her, but without success.  The master chartered a tug to go to Sandusky for a lighter which arrived about 6 p.m.  The crew then assisted all night at transferring cargo and at 9 a.m. next day, the steamer backed off.

 

September 14

1716  The Boston Lighthouse on Little Brewster Island in Boston Harbor, the first lighthouse established in America, was first lit.

1944  The Great Atlantic Hurricane, a Category 3 hurricane, made landfall at Cape Hatteras, North Carolina; Long Island, New York; and Point Judith, Rhode Island.  Cape Henry, Virginia, reported sustained winds at 134 MPH with gusts to 150 MPH.  There were 46 civilian deaths and $100 million in damage from Cape Hatteras northward through the Maine coast.  Cutters Jackson and Bedloe, and Lightship No. 73 on Vineyard Sound Station, foundered.  All 12 of the lightship's crew perished.  Only 30 of the 78 crewmen on board the two cutters were saved.  Two Navy vessels also foundered.  A total of 344 perished at sea.

1989  Sikorsky Aircraft unveiled the replacement for the Sikorsky HH-3F Pelican helicopter: the HH-60J.  The Coast Guard planned to purchase 33 of the new aircraft and decided to call their version of the versatile helicopter the "Jayhawk."

1990  The Secretary of Transportation and the Commandant of the Coast Guard authorized the first-ever deployment of a reserve port security unit overseas.  PSU 303, staffed by reservists from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, was the first of three PSUs deployed.  PSU 303 was stationed in Al-Dammam, Saudi Arabia.

 

September 15

1944  Coast Guardsmen participated in the invasion and liberation of Morotai Island.

1948  After making a night-long high speed run to reach the hurricane-ridden Portuguese schooner Gasper some 300 miles off the southern tip of Newfoundland, CGC Bibb launched two 20-man rubber lifeboats in heavy rain and seas to rescue 40 survivors and 1 dog from the doomed ship.

1958  A New Jersey Central passenger train plunged into Newark Bay through an open drawbridge, submerging two engines and two coaches.  Coast Guard small craft and helicopters assisted in rescuing 43 survivors and recovering 29 bodies.

1995  Hurricane Marilyn made landfall, cutting a path of destruction across the U.S. Virgin Islands.  GANTSEC Command Center coordinated the SAR efforts.  HH-65As from AIRSTA Borinquen rescued survivors from two vessels that sank during the storm.  CGC Escanaba also participated in the SAR operation and then supported the relief efforts in St. Thomas.  CGC Vigorous relieved Escanaba on September 18th.  The CGC Point Ledge, homeported in St. Thomas, had been washed up on the city's seawall by the heavy storm surge, causing considerable damage.  None of her crew were injured, however.  Members of LEDET Miami and TACLET members from Miami and San Juan were flown to St. Thomas to help enforce a curfew, provide airport security, and help stand watch on the grounded Point Ledge.  Coast Guard aircraft also flew overflights to survey the damage and delivered relief supplies.  In 10 days, the aircraft delivered more than 410,000 pounds of relief supplies and transported 260 federal recovery workers to St. Thomas.  MSD St. Thomas supervised all maritime recovery operations, facilitated maritime traffic for a community dependant on maritime commerce, responded to the massive environmental impacts, and were the DoT's representative for the initial standup of the EOC.  ANT San Juan and the CGC Laurel were also sent to assist in the cleanup. 

2001  Coast Guard units and local agencies responded to a bridge collision on the Intracoastal Waterway after the tug Brown Water V and its four barges struck the Queen Isabella Causeway, the longest bridge in Texas.  The collision caused a 240-foot section of the causeway to collapse, spilling 10 cars into the water and killing five persons.  Station South Padre Island deployed two 27- foot boats, a 41-foot boat, and a 21-footer.  Other vessels pulled 13 survivors from the water and transferred them to the Coast Guard craft.  The CGC Mallett was later used as a rescue platform to retrieve the submerged vehicles and victims.

2012  CGC Jarvis returned to her homeport of Honolulu, Hawaii after completing its final patrol before being decommissioned after forty years of service in the Coast Guard.  Jarvis was the first cutter commissioned in Hawaii and it served out of Honolulu for its entire Coast Guard career.  Since re-commissioning in December of 1992 following a fleet renovation and modernization initiative, Jarvis participated in Alaskan fisheries patrols, counter-narcotics patrols in the Eastern Pacific, Western Pacific capacity building, and exercises with U.S. and foreign navies.  In 2009, Jarvis successfully seized a self-propelled semi-submersible vessel in the Eastern Pacific laden with more than five tons of illegal narcotics.  During the cutter’s spring 2012 patrol, Jarvis served as the on-scene commander for an aircraft that crashed off the coast of Palau, and coordinated the search and rescue efforts to save two lives.  For its final patrol Jarvis departed Honolulu on August 17, 2012 with an embarked NOAA ship-rider and enforced the US EEZ and through a coordinated effort with District 14 and Air Station Barber’s Point, Jarvis was able to provide law enforcement presence throughout the Hawaiian island chain and most notably the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument extending out to Midway Island.

2013  CGC Munro returned to its homeport in Kodiak after completing a lengthy North Pacific Ocean, a patrol to interdict fishing vessels "engaged in illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing."  Munro crewmembers conducted the more than 80-day patrol with partners from the Chinese Fisheries Law Enforcement Command, the Japanese coast guard, and the Russian Federal Security Service.  While underway, the crew gathered information on more than 600 sighted vessels and conducting fisheries enforcement boardings to ensure the vessels and crews were in compliance with international regulations.  They also conducted cultural exchanges with the three partner nation’s representatives to share best practices and to streamline communications processes for conducting this type of law enforcement activity.  As a result of these annual joint patrols, several vessels were interdicted and turned over to fisheries agencies in China and the U.S. for prosecution.  These vessels include the 140-foot Bangun Perkasa operating off the coast of Japan in 2011 and the 177-foot fishing vessel Da Cheng 850 miles east of Tokyo in 2012.

2016  The Coast Guard selected Eastern Shipbuilding Group Inc. of Panama City, Florida, to continue to the detail design and construction phase (Phase II) of the offshore patrol cutter acquisition program.

 

September 16

1918  While on escort-of-convoy duty during World War I, CGC Seneca’s crew attempted to bring the torpedoed British collier Wellington into Brest, France.  Eleven of Seneca‘s crew, sent as a boarding party aboard the collier, were lost when Wellington foundered.  Coast Guard Coxswain James Osborne was awarded a Gold Lifesaving Medal for his efforts that day.

1939  The longest continually-operating Coast Guard Auxiliary unit, Flotilla 63, was first chartered in Onset, Massachusetts.

1988  Hurricane Gilbert made landfall in Mexico on this date.  Coast Guard units assisted in rescue and evacuation operations from September 18-20.  During those SAR operations, Coast Guard aircrews lifted 109 victims from flood waters to safety.

1996  Avondale Industries laid the keel for CGC Healy at New Orleans, Louisiana.  Avondale launched the ice-breaking cutter on November 15, 1997 and delivered it to the Coast Guard on November 10, 1999.  Healy arrived at its homeport of Seattle, Washington and was placed "In Commission, Active" on August 21, 2000.

 

September 17

1932  CGC Escanaba was launched at the Dafoe Boat and Motor Works in Bay City, Michigan.  Escanaba saw extensive service on the Great Lakes prior to World War II and was home-ported in Grand Haven, Michigan.  During World War II the cutter was lost in action off Greenland with only two survivors.  The cause of the loss has never been determined with certainty.

1999  CGC Dallas returned to Charleston after an 84-day deployment to the Mediterranean and Black seas.  Originally scheduled to go to the Adriatic and Ionian seas in support of NATO forces engaged in Kosovo, Dallas turned to support the U.S. 6th Fleet after tensions in Kosovo eased.  Dallas also visited several ports not normally seen by Coast Guard crews, including Rota, Spain; Souda Bay, Crete; Haifa, Israel; and Antayla, Turkey.

2004  The Coast Guard made the largest cocaine seizure in its history (to date) when Coast Guard and Navy forces located and seized 30,000 pounds of cocaine aboard the fishing vessel Lina Maria approximately 300 miles southwest of the Galapagos Islands.  LEDET 108, embarked aboard the USS Curts, made the seizure.  A second Coast Guard and Navy team intercepted the Lina Maria's sister ship, the fishing vessel San Jose, 500 miles west of the Galapagos, and discovered and seized 26,250 pounds of cocaine.

 

September 18

1939  President Franklin D. Roosevelt directed the enlistment of 2,000 new Coast Guardsmen and opened two new training stations.

1947  The U.S. Air Force's official birthday: the Air Force was created as a separate military service on this date.  The Air Force's motto is: "Uno Ab Alto" (One Over All).

1989  Hurricane Hugo hit Puerto Rico and eventually made landfall at Charleston, South Carolina, on the 21st.  Coast Guard units conducted search and rescue as well as relief operations.

 

September 19

1930  For the first time in its history the Coast Guard located a clandestine "rummy" radio station by means radio direction-finding equipment it developed for its Prohibition enforcement efforts.

1965  CGC Point Glover (WPB 82307) of Coast Guard Squadron One (RONONE) made the first capture of an enemy junk in Vietnam.

1968  M/V Johannes Frans, a 634-foot Dutch tanker with a cargo of oil, reported that it was disabled in 10 to 15-foot seas and was taking on water 250 miles northeast of Bermuda.  CGC Dallas, which was in the immediate area, received the same report from the subject via flashing light and immediately went to her assistance.  The pump provided by Dallas, however, failed to work properly.  A Coast Guard aircraft provided four additional pumps by the evening of Sept 19; Dallas reported that the flooding had been stabilized.  Three civilian tugs were enroute, with the first due on the 21st.  Weather conditions improved enough on the 21st for the master and crew to remain aboard and continue pumping.  The tug Foundation Vigilant arrived on scene on the morning of the 21st and took the vessel in tow.  The tug Tasman Zee arrived shortly thereafter and provided three pumps.  The three ships proceeded to Bermuda.  Dallas then proceeded to Ocean Station Echo.

 

September 20

1932  Cadets first moved into the newly constructed Coast Guard Academy at New London, Connecticut.

1944  Coast Guardsmen participated in the invasions of Peleliu and Angaur.

 

 

September 21

 

1791  Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton authorized an allowance of nine cents for every ration that Revenue officers did not draw.

1922  Congress authorized officers of the Customs and of the Coast Guard to board and examine vessels, reaffirming their authority to seize and secure vessels for security of the revenue under the Act of March 2, 1799.

1938  A hurricane hit the northeast coast, wreaking havoc among the lighthouses and the light keepers there.  First assistant keeper Walter B. Eberle of the Whale Rock light was killed when his lighthouse was swept into the sea.  The wife of head keeper Arthur A. Small was killed when she was swept away from the Palmer Island Light Station.  The keeper of the Prudence Island Light Station's wife and son were drowned when that light station was swept into the sea.  Many more stations and depots were severely damaged as well. 

1957  The German training barque Pamir with 90 persons on board, including 54 German naval cadets, foundered and sank in extremely rough seas 500 miles west of the Azores.  The CGC Absecon, manning Ocean Station Delta, intercepted the SOS message and immediately proceeded to the scene.  Three days later, the cutter and assisting vessels rescued six survivors, but the remaining 84 remained missing.  The search continued for seven days, with Absecon directing on-scene operations of 60 merchant vessels from 13 nations, as well as American and Portuguese aircraft.

1977  CGC Acushnet (WAGO 167) deployed environmental buoy EB-07 at 39N 70W to assume part of the meteorological data collection duties of Ocean Station Hotel, which was decommissioned on September 30, 1977 when CGC Taney departed the ocean station for the final time.  EB-07 was one of 10 environmental buoys in the Atlantic, six of which were north of Cape Hatteras.  Coast Guard cutters provided continuing support of these buoys in accordance with an interagency agreement with NOAA.

1987  Coast Guard units responded when two freighters, Pacbaroness and Atlantic Wing, collided in a dense fog off the coast of Santa Barbara.  The Pacbaroness sank, causing a large oil spill.  Coast Guard units that responded included: CGCs Conifer & Point Judith; AIRSTAs Los Angeles, Sacramento, & San Francisco; MSO Los Angeles/Long Beach; Pacific Strike Team; MSD Santa Barbara; 11th District (m) and (dpa); Public Affairs Liaison Office; and the Public Information Assist Team from Headquarters.

1989  Coast Guard units from New York rescued 61 survivors of U.S. Air Flight 5050 after it skidded off a runway of LaGuardia Airport and into the Rikers Island Channel.  Two persons were killed.

1989  Hurricane Hugo made landfall on the continental United States at Charleston, South Carolina.  The Coast Guard's emergency command post had to be abandoned when the roof almost blew off.  Base Charleston suffered severe damage, as well.  Coast Guard units immediately began relief operations.  Aircraft were airborne at first light that morning.  They conducted SAR, performed medical evacuations, provided emergency communications with stricken areas, and transported relief personnel and equipment.  More aircraft were flown in from AIRSTAs Traverse City and Mobile.  From their staging area at AIRSTA Savannah, they delivered food and water to hard-hit areas such as McClellanville, South Carolina, where 200 people were isolated and the entire town destroyed.

2015  CGC Tahoma returned to homeport at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery, Maine, after a 66-day patrol in the Eastern Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Sea. During the patrol, on September 9, 2015, the Tahoma's crew pursued a “Go-Fast Vessel” to verify the vessel’s nationality.  With the assistance of a maritime patrol aircraft, the Tahoma's pursuit team closed in on the Go-Fast and attempted to initiate radio contact.  The vessel jettisoned bales of contraband into the ocean and refused to comply with instructions.  Warning shots were used to signal the vessel to prepare for a boarding. The noncompliant Go-Fast then came to an abrupt halt and was boarded.  Boarding team members recovered 27 bales of cocaine from the water, totaling 540 kilograms (worth an estimated $10.8 million) and detained the three suspected drug smugglers. The Tahoma's crew participated in the transfer and custody of 50 detainees and 1,893 kilograms of contraband with several other Coast Guard cutters in both the Eastern Pacific and the Caribbean Sea.  This patrol was particularly unique as it deployed the 270 foot medium endurance cutter from its homeport in Kittery, Maine down to the waters of Central America, requiring the cutter to make transit both ways through the Panama Canal.  Not only did the Tahoma's crew return home as Order of the Ditch recipients, but they also were afforded the opportunity to cross the equator while in the Eastern Pacific Ocean.

 

September 22

1943  Coast Guardsmen participated in the invasion and liberation of Finschafen, New Guinea.  An Allied invasion fleet, including Coast Guard-manned landing ships, landed Australian troops.  Coast Guard-manned ships in the invasion fleet included USS LST-18, LST-67, LST-168, and LST-204.  There were no casualties among the Coast Guard vessels.

1990  PSU 301 became the second reserve Coast Guard port security unit deployed in support of Operation Desert Shield.  PSU 301 was staffed by reservists from Buffalo, New York.  They were stationed in Al-Jubayl, Saudi Arabia.

 

September 23

1967  Coho Salmon Fishing Disaster: On this date a severe squall carried through the Frankfort River Platte area of northern Lake Michigan. Twenty-five-foot waves generated by the squall caught off guard an estimated 1,000 small boats fishing for Coho salmon.  Between 150 and 200 boats were beached and many more were either capsized or otherwise in distress.  During the next four days Coast Guard aircraft flew 33 sorties for a total of 55 hours.  State and Local police provided beach patrols and private individuals also aided in the operation.  One of the greatest problems faced by the Coast Guard was the confusion created by the hundreds of people unaccounted for after the storm, most of whom were not in trouble but had just not contacted their friends or family.  Each report of a missing person was carefully followed through so that within four days it was determined that seven had been recovered and only one person remained unaccounted for.  The Coho salmon which attracted the large number of boats to the area remained in season for another three weeks and during this time the Coast Guard maintained daily aircraft and small boat patrols of the area.

2014  CGC Key Largo collided with the 42-foot commercial fishing vessel Sea Shepherd, sinking the fishing vessel approximately nine nautical miles east northeast of Vieques, Puerto Rico. Key Largo was on a routine patrol when the collision happened. Sea Shepherd's two crewmembers were safely recovered by the crew of Key Largo.

 

September 24

1943  The Coast Guard-manned USS LST-167 and the USS LST-334, with a partial Coast Guard crew, landed troops during the invasion and liberation of Vella Lavella in the central Solomons despite fierce resistance from the Japanese defenders.  Japanese aircraft attacked the invasion fleet, hitting LST-167 with two bombs that killed 10 of her crew and wounded 10 more.  Five crewmen were reported as missing in action.  The LST was later salvaged.

1947  The Coast Guard announced that it had virtually completed the return of United States buoys, lights, and other aids to navigation to a peacetime basis.

2002  The Coast Guard announced the award of a $611 million contract for the production, deployment and support of “Rescue 21,” a modernization of the National Distress and Response System.  "Rescue 21" was planned to be the nation's primary maritime "911" system for coastal waters of the continental United States, Alaska, Hawaii, Guam, Puerto Rico, and navigable rivers and lakes within the United States.  

2005  Hurricane Rita made landfall just east of Sabine Pass, on the Texas-Louisiana line, as a Category 3 hurricane with top sustained winds of 120 mph.  Coast Guard units, some still in the area from Hurricane Katrina rescue and relief efforts, responded.  They saved 138 lives and evacuated 53 people.

2014  CGC Alex Haley returned to Kodiak following a successful 68-day deployment patrolling more than 12,000 miles throughout the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands.  Alex Haley, known as the “Bulldog of the Bering,” departed Kodiak in July 2014 and spent two months conducting operations in the Bering Sea and the Aleutian Islands.  During the deployment, Alex Haley’s crew performed more than 40 at sea domestic fisheries enforcement boardings, four search and rescue cases, and one rescue and assistance operation.

 

September 25

1916  The beginning of lighthouse work in the United States was commemorated, when a bronze tablet was unveiled at the Boston Light Station on the 200th anniversary of its establishment.

1959  A U.S. Navy P5M seaplane that had ditched off the Oregon coast was located through radio contact by a Coast Guard UF-1G Albatross aircraft.  After sighting 10 survivors in two rafts 110 miles off shore, the Albatross crew directed CGC Yocona to the scene, where a successful night rescue was effected.

1980  CGC Bear was launched at Tacoma Boatbuilding Company, Inc., in Tacoma, Washington.  Bear was the first in its class of new 270-foot medium endurance cutters.  It was sponsored by Mrs. John B. Hayes, the wife of the Commandant.

2014  The Commandant, ADM Paul Zukunft, signed the U.S. Coast Guard Western Hemisphere Strategy.  The Strategy emphasized that although the Coast Guard performs "diverse maritime missions over vast geographic areas" the Coast Guard's primary operating area "will remain in the Western hemisphere."

2016  The U.S. Coast Guard found an overturned boat following a boating incident on Government Cut that left three deceased, including Miami Marlins' baseball pitcher José Fernández.  A boat crew from Coast Guard Station Miami was heading out on a law enforcement patrol at approximately 0330 when they passed a jetty along Government Cut and discovered an overturned 33-foot center console boat on the jetty with three deceased aboard.

 

September 26

1918  The Imperial German Navy submarine UB-91 torpedoed and sank CGC Tampa with a loss of all hands. Tampa was steaming alone to Milford Haven, Wales, after being detached from ocean escort duty when attacked.  On board were 111 Coast Guardsmen, four U.S. Navy personnel, and 15 British passengers, bringing the total of men lost that night to 130.  One body was recovered and buried at sea while the bodies of two of the Coast Guard crew washed ashore in Wales and were buried in a small church yard in Lamphey, Pembrokeshire, Wales.  One body was returned to the family in the U.S. after the war while one, who was never identified, is still interred in Lamphey to this day.  Local residents care for the grave.

1942  CGC Ingham rescued eight survivors from the torpedoed SS Tennessee.

1994  Coast Guard forces departed for Haiti in support of Operation Restore Democracy.

2011  The U.S. Coast Guard awarded a delivery order on this date to Metal Shark Aluminum Boats for the production of 38 Response Boats-Small (RB-S). "The RB-S will have an approximate length of 28 feet, be capable of at least 40 knots, a minimum range of 150 nautical miles and accommodate a crew of four.  The RB-S will also have a standardized communications and navigation suite as well as an increased emphasis on ergonomics and crew comfort.  The current RB-S fleet was originally procured in 2002, following the attacks of September 11, 2001.  In addition to bringing a higher level of standardization to the Coast Guard’s small boat fleet, the RB-S has proven to be a tremendous asset in a wide variety of Coast Guard missions, especially ports, waterways and coastal security."

2014  CGB Eagle began the first phase of a four-year project to extend the cutter’s service life and recapitalize major ship systems at the Coast Guard Yard in Curtis Bay, Maryland.  The scheduled work included lead ballast replacement, berthing area renovations, and inspection and maintenance of the rudder, hull and rigging.  On this same day the Yard also marked the completion of the Mission Effectiveness Project (MEP) to modernize the Coast Guard's medium endurance cutter fleet.

2014  CGC Bear returned to its homeport in Portsmouth, Virginia following a two-month long patrol in the Western Caribbean Sea. During the patrol, Bear’s crew coordinated with multiple countries in Central and South America, along with partner agencies to stem the flow of illegal drugs into the United States.  The unified effort resulted in the interdiction of multiple suspected drug smugglers and vessels transporting approximately 3,519 kilograms of cocaine.  In addition to its seizures, the crew of Bear saved two Nicaraguan fishermen that were stranded at sea for over two weeks.  Bear’s interdictions were a part of Operation Martillo, which is an international effort to counter illicit trafficking in the Caribbean Sea.

 

September 27

1942  Douglas A. Munro, Signalman 1/c, USCG, gave his life evacuating Marines of the 1st Battalion, 7th Marines, at Matanikau Point, Guadalcanal.  President Roosevelt posthumously awarded Munro the Medal of Honor, the only Coast Guardsmen to be awarded this decoration.  The medal was given to Douglas Munro's parents, Mr. and Mrs. James Munro of South Cle Elum, Washington, by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in a ceremony at the White House on Thursday, May 27, 1943.  The citation read: "Awarded posthumously to DOUGLAS ALBERT MUNRO, SIGNALMAN FIRST CLASS, U.S. COAST GUARD 'For extraordinary heroism and conspicuous gallantry in action above and beyond the call of duty as Office-in-Charge of a group of Higgins boats, engaged in the evacuation of a Battalion of Marines trapped by enemy Japanese forces at Point Cruz, Guadalcanal, on September 27, 1942.  After making preliminary plans for the evacuation of nearly 500 beleaguered Marines, Munro, under constant risk of his life, daringly led five of his small craft toward the shore.   As he closed the beach, he [signaled]the others to land, and then in order to draw the enemy's fire and protect the heavily loaded boats, he valiantly placed his craft with its two small guns as a shield between the beachhead and the Japanese.   When the perilous task of evacuation was nearly completed, Munro was killed by enemy fire, but his crew, two of whom were wounded, carried on until the last boat had loaded and cleared the beach.  By his outstanding leadership, expert planning, and dauntless devotion to duty, he and his courageous comrades undoubtedly saved the lives of many who otherwise would have perished.  He gallantly gave up his life in defense of his country.'"

1950  For the purpose of alleviating attrition during the Korean War, Executive Order 10164 authorized the Coast Guard, in cases where enlisted personnel did not immediately reenlist in the Coast Guard, to extend enlistments for one year, if the date of expiration of enlistment occurred prior to July 9, 1951.  The Coast Guard, however, adopted a policy of permitting the discharge of men upon expiration of enlistment, provided they immediately enlisted in the Coast Guard Reserve.

2013  Coast Guard Station Quillayute River, Washington, crews rescued three fishermen from their sinking vessel two miles west of James Island.  The three fishermen were safely transported to Station Quillayute River by one of two 47-foot MLBs that responded to the sinking 50-foot fishing vessel; the second vessel remained on scene until the fishing vessel sank at 11:23 a.m. in 103 feet of water.  The Coast Guard received a call for help from the crew of the fishing vessel Fjord Mist at 08:33 a.m., stating that the vessel was taking on water and sinking.  The two boat crews from Station Quillayute River and an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew from Air Station Port Angeles were directed to respond to the sinking vessel.  A dewatering pump was provided to the fishing vessel crew; however, the pump was unable to keep up with the flooding and for the crew's safety they were removed from the sinking vessel.  The fishermen suffered no reported injuries.

2016  CGC Dependable returned to its homeport following a successful 53-day patrol, which focused on training, counter-drug, and migrant missions.  The cutter patrolled from the Florida Straits and throughout the Caribbean Sea performing homeland security missions, which included stopping the flow of illegal migrants and illicit drugs into the United States.  During the patrol, Dependable worked closely with the Royal Bahamian Defense Force, the Navy of the Dominican Republic, and Dutch Caribbean Coast Guard air and surface assets to counter illegal drug smuggling and human smuggling.  On September 22, 2016, Dependable assisted the Royal Bahamian Defense Force in the rescue of nine survivors from a sailing vessel in distress.  Over the course of six hours, Dependable and the Royal Bahamian Defense Force searched for and located the sailing vessel Change of Life aground on a reef south of Great Inagua, Bahamas.  Less than 24 hours later, Dependable, along with Her Majesty’s Bahamian Ship Leon Livingston Smith rescued 10 Cuban migrants who had been stranded for 10 days on Anguilla Cay near Caysal Bank in the Florida Straits.

 

September 28

1850  An Act of Congress (9 Stat. L., 500, 504) provided for a systematic coloring and numbering of all buoys for, prior to this time, they had been painted red, white, or black, without any special system.  The act "prescribed that buoys should be colored and numbered so that in entering from seaward red buoys with even numbers should be on the starboard or right hand; black buoys with odd numbers on the port or left hand; buoy with red and black horizontal stripes should indicate shoals with channel on either side; and buoys in channel ways should be colored with black and white perpendicular stripes.”

1850  An Act of Congress (9 Stat. L., 500, 504) gave legal authority for the first time for the assigning of collectors of customs to lighthouse duty. Section 9 of this act authorized the Secretary of the Treasury to assign to any of the collectors of customs, the superintendence of such lighthouses, beacons, lightships, and buoys as he might deem best. The act also stipulated that no collector of customs whose annual salary exceeded $3,000 a year should receive any compensation as disbursing officer in the Lighthouse Establishment and, in no case, was the compensation of the collectors of customs for disbursements in the Lighthouse Service to exceed $400.00 in any fiscal year.

1998  An oil spill along the coast of California off San Francisco was traced to the 717-foot Liberian-flagged tanker Command.  A Coast Guard boarding team took samples of her cargo and matched it to that found along the coast.  A Coast Guard spokesman noted: "This is the first time the Coast Guard has pursued an oil spill investigation into the international arena to the extent of stopping and boarding a vessel on the high seas, with permission of the vessel's flag state."

 

September 29

1898  The American steamer, Toledo with the barge Shawnee in tow, became water-logged 25 miles southwest of the station at Ship Canal, Michigan.  Her crew boarded Shawnee and sailed to the canal. There they engaged the steamer D. F. Rose to tow Toledo in and the surfmen assisted to lay her on the beach near the piers.  The keeper then telephoned for a tug and lighter, and upon their arrival all hands set to work until 11 p.m. saving about 1,000 feet of lumber. At this hour the wind came out west and the work had to be abandoned. Toledo broke up and became a total wreck on the 30th.

1976  The Coast Guard accepted the hydrofoil USS Flagstaff from the U.S. Navy on this date in 1976 for operational testing.  The hydrofoil was based out of Station Woods Hole during the testing.  It was capable of speeds in excess of 45-knots and carried a crew of 13.

1986  Coast Guard officials signed the contract papers to acquire the Sikorsky H-60 series helicopter to replace the venerable HH-3F Pelicans.

1994  The crew of Coast Guard LORAN Station Iwo Jima decommissioned their station and turned it over to a crew from the Japanese Maritime Safety Agency.  The turnover of all of the Northwest Pacific LORAN chain stations was arranged under a 1992 agreement between the U.S. and Japan.

2014  CGC Rush returned to its homeport of Honolulu, Hawaii, following a successful 72-day deployment in the Central and Western Pacific.  Rush departed in July 2014 and spent two months conducting operations in the Central and Western Pacific.  During the deployment, Rush's crew coordinated with multiple countries and partner agencies to conduct fisheries boardings in support of the Coast Guard's living marine resources mission.  Rush also participated in international engagement activities in American Samoa, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Palau, and the Federated States of Micronesia.  To enhance detection of fishing vessels, Rush embarked a helicopter and aviation detachment from Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point.  Rush's crew participated in several community outreach and volunteer events during their patrol that included delivering hygiene and first aid supplies, in support of the U.S. Navy's Project Handclasp, to several Pacific Island Nations.  Rush's crew also built a garden to support an abused children's shelter in Samoa and played sports and games with disabled children in Majuro, Republic of the Marshall Islands.

2016  CGC Stratton returned to its homeport of Alameda after a 114-day deployment spanning the Pacific Ocean from Hawaii to the Arctic.  "Our crew logged more than 19,500 miles during this deployment,” said U.S. Coast Guard Captain Nate Moore, the Commanding Officer of Stratton.  “Their participation in a major international military exercise, support of the Coast Guard’s expanding role in the Arctic domain, and commitment to pursue excellence in mission execution has made this an extremely successful deployment.”  The crew of Stratton participated in two high profile exercises during this deployment: the Rim of the Pacific 2016 (RIMPAC) military exercises and Operation Arctic Shield 2016. Stratton was the third consecutive National Security Cutter to serve as commander of the Combined Task Force 175, a multinational task force comprised of nine ships and 13 aircraft from the United States, China, France, and Indonesia.  Participation in RIMPAC 2016 highlighted the Coast Guard’s unique capabilities and partnerships with Department of Defense entities and international partners along the Pacific Rim.  Stratton participated in training evolutions that included complex ship formations, joint flight operations with the U.S. Navy MH-60S Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC-21), an aviation detachment from San Diego; live fire exercises; personnel and logistics transfers, and maritime interdiction operations.  Successfully completing this integrated training with HSC-21 and deploying together for RIMPAC 2016 represent the first extended Navy aviation deployment aboard a Coast Guard cutter.  As part of Arctic Shield 2016, the Coast Guard deployed cutters, aircraft, and personnel to northern Alaska to engage in operations encompassing a variety of Coast Guard missions across the North Slope.

 

September 30

1899  First Navy wireless message was sent via the Lighthouse Service Station at Highlands of Navesink, New Jersey.

1943  CGC E.M. Wilcox foundered off Nags Head, North Carolina. One crewman was lost.

1949  The rank of commodore, established in 1943 as a wartime measure, was terminated by the President under the provisions of an Act of Congress approved July 24, 1941.

1977 CGC Taney departed Ocean Station (OWS) Hotel on September 30, 1977 when the station was closed and replaced by a buoy.  This was the final ocean station patrolled by a Coast Guard cutter.  OWS Hotel, located 200 miles east of the Maryland/Virginia coast was first established in 1970 as part of a supplemental weather warning program for the tracking and improved forecasting of East Coast storms and hurricanes.  OWS Hotel was manned by the Coast Guard from August 1st through April 15th each year.  The termination of OWS Hotel marked the end of the Coast Guard's participation in the manned ocean station program which began on February 10, 1940 when CGCs Bibb and Duane occupied stations Number 1 and 2 in the North Atlantic and continued through the end of the U.S. participation in the North Atlantic Ocean Station Program of the World Meteorological Organization and the International Civil Aviation Organization in 1974.

1994  The crew of Coast Guard LORAN Station Marcus Island decommissioned their station and turned it over to the Japanese Maritime Safety Agency.  This was the last station in the Northwest Pacific LORAN chain to be decommissioned and turned over to the Japanese under a 1992 agreement between the two countries.

1997  Omega Navigation Station Hawaii ceased operation, coinciding with the end of worldwide Omega transmissions.

2015  Coast Guard Port Security Unit 308, based in Kiln, Mississipi, returned home from a nine-month deployment to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and the Global War on Terrorism.  During the deployment, PSU 308 members maintained a continuous maritime anti-terrorism/force protection presence in the Naval Defensive Sea Area of Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, directly supporting the commander of Joint Task Force Guantanamo Bay Naval reservation and adjoining waters.  PSU 308 was commissioned September 16, 1998.  It has been mobilized five times to this point since its inception, twice to Kuwait in 2003 and 2010, once to Bahrain in 2002, and once previously to Guantanamo in 2007.  It was compromised of 142 selected reservists and six active duty personnel.  PSU 308 was an expeditionary warfare unit specializing in maritime anti-terrorism/force protection and port security in support of military or humanitarian operations worldwide.  PSU 308 maintained garrison facilities as a tenant command of Coast Guard Pacific Area Command in Kiln.

October 1

1926  An airways division, headed by a chief engineer, was set up as a part of the Lighthouse Service, its work covering the examination of airways and emergency landing fields and the erection and maintenance of aids to air navigation.

1943  Coast Guard-manned USS LST-203 was stranded in Southwest Pacific but there were no casualties.

1976  Coast Guard personnel were required to change to the new "Bender Blues" uniforms by this date.

1991  CGC Storis became the oldest commissioned cutter in the Coast Guard when the CGC Fir was decommissioned.  Storis's crew painted her hull number "38" in gold in recognition of her status.

1996  Operation Frontier Shield commenced. It was the largest counter-narcotics operation in Coast Guard history to date.

2009  The U.S. Coast Guard Acquisition Directorate’s HH-60 Conversion Project held a ribbon cutting ceremony at Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City, North Carolina, in honor of the Medium Range Recovery Helicopter achieving Initial Operational Capability (IOC).

2015  El Faro, a 735-foot ro-ro cargo ship, was en-route to San Juan, Puerto Rico, from Jacksonville, Florida with a crew of 33 on board. At approximately 0730, watchstanders at the Coast Guard Atlantic Area command center in Portsmouth, Virginia, received an Inmarsat satellite notification stating El Faro was beset by Hurricane Joaquin, had lost propulsion and had a 15-degree list.  The crew reported the ship had previously taken on water, but that all flooding had been contained.  Watchstanders at CG 7th District command center in Miami immediately launched an HC-130 out of Air Station Clearwater to search for El Faro while two Hurricane Hunter aircrews attempted to locate and establish communications with the merchant vessel on October 2.   Ultimately, Coast Guard assets used in the search included aviation assets from Air Stations Clearwater and Elizabeth City, CGC Northland, Resolute, and Charles Sexton, along with Navy and Air Force assets and three commercial tugboats.  The search was called off on October 7 after search crews located a deceased person in a survival suit in the water and a heavily damaged life boat with markings consistent with those on board El Faro. Additional items located by search crews included a partially submerged life raft, a survival suit, life jackets, life rings, cargo containers, Styrofoam, packaged food, and an oil sheen.

 

October 2

1789  Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton asked collectors of customs to report on expediency of employing boats for the "security of the revenue against contraband."  Hamilton's interest in such vessels led to his request to Congress to fund the construction of 10 such revenue "boats" the following year, leading to the creation of what is now the U.S. Coast Guard.

2014  The Coast Guard launched several assets in response to a report of a fire on board a natural gas drill platform in Cook Inlet, Alaska.  The Coast Guard diverted a Coast Guard Hercules HC-130 crew and an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew to conduct an overflight of the Baker Platform in Cook Inlet, near Nikiski.  The Coast Guard also launched the CGC Mustang and the diverted CGC SPAR to the location.  A five-mile, no-fly safety zone at 5,000 feet and a two-mile safety zone were established around the platform.  All four people aboard the platform were safety evacuated.

 

October 3

1898  The American barkentine, Wanderinq Jew lost her sails and sprung a leak during the severe hurricane of October 2, approximately 11 miles east by south from the station at Sullivans Island, South Carolina.  On account of distance and frequent heavy rain squalls, she was not sighted by station lookout until 3:30 pm on the following day.  A surfboat was launched and the ship was found abandoned by her crew.

2014  CGC Valiant returned to their homeport Friday at Naval Station Mayport, in Jacksonville, Florida.  During the 52-day deployment, Valiant sailed throughout the Windward Passage and the North Caribbean Sea in support of Operation Southeast Watch.  One port call was made at Port-au-Prince, Haiti. While anchored, Valiant crew hosted the U.S. Ambassador to Haiti, the Honorable Pamela White; the Deputy Chief of Mission to the U.S. Embassy in Haiti, the Honorable Brian Shukan; the Chief of the Haitian Coast Guard, Commissaire Joseph Jean-Marie Wagnac; and other government representatives.  Valiant also responded to a search and rescue case involving a 55-foot fishing vessel, which was adrift and taking on water in the Old Bahama Channel. Valiant escorted the vessel over 100 nautical miles to Ragged Island, Bahamas where it transferred the vessel to a Royal Bahamian Defense Force patrol vessel.  Valiant repatriated 24 Haitian migrants to Cap Haitien, Haiti, and embarked 11 Cuban migrants that had been rescued by the crew of the cruise ship Carnival Liberty. The cutter also patrolled the Windward Passage to prevent overloaded Haitian migrant vessels from taking to sea.

 

October 4

1918  There was an explosion at the T.A. Gillespie Company munitions yard in Morgan, New Jersey. Coast Guardsmen from Perth Amboy responded.  When fire threatened a trainload of TNT, these men repaired the track and moved the train to safety, thus preventing further disaster.  Two Coast Guardsmen were killed in this effort.

1956  Two U.S. Air Force F-89 aircraft crashed in rugged mountain terrain about four miles from Mount Olympus, Washington.  For seven days, the Coast Guard directed a highly coordinated search for the lost plane and crews. Finally, aircraft and helicopters from the CG Air Station, Port Angeles, Washington, assisted by aircraft and ground search elements from other services, located and evacuated the two crew members on October 5.  Another walked out on his own to Hoods Canal on October 6 and was picked up by the Coast Guard in Brinnon, Washington after phoning in his location.  He then assisted the Coast Guard in locating the crash site.  A fourth crewman went down with his aircraft and was killed.

1980  A fire broke out on the Dutch cruise vessel Prinsendam off Ketchikan, Alaska.  Coast Guard helicopters and the cutters Boutwell, Mellon, and Woodrush responded in concert with other vessels in the area and rescued all of the passengers and crew without loss of life.

1995  Hurricane Opal swept through the Gulf of Mexico and made landfall in Destin, Florida.  Coast Guard units provided relief efforts, surveyed damage, and restored aids to navigation.  The CGC Kodiak Island contacted the CGC Courgeous and requested assistance.  The Kodiak Island was battling 10 to 12-foot waves 100 miles west of Gasparilla, Florida, and experiencing flooding and a loss of steering control due to a hydraulic fluid leak.  A HC-130 from AIRSTA Clearwater flew to the scene to provide assistance and the Courageous went to escort the Kodiak Island to Group St. Petersburg.

2014  CG District Seven reported an individual in a self-propelled homemade hydro-pod bubble craft activated his Emergency Position Indicating Radio-beacon and SPOT device. An Air Station Clearwater HC-130 aircraft vectored in an MH-60 helicopter that hoisted the individual, and an Automated Mutual-Assistance Vessel Rescue System vessel recovered his craft. The individual was treated at Air Station Clearwater by Emergency Medical Services for extreme fatigue and released.

 

October 5

1938  The newly established "Coast Guard Reserve" (what would become the Coast Guard Auxiliary) enrolled its first members.

1943  Patrol Squadron 6 (VP-6 CG) was officially established.  This was an all Coast Guard unit.  Its home base was at Narsarssuak, Greenland, code name Bluie West-One.  It had nine PBY-5As assigned.  CDR Donald B. MacDiarmid, USCG, was the first commanding officer.  As additional PBYs became available, the unit's area of operation expanded and detachments were established in Argentia, Newfoundland and Reykjavik, Iceland, furnishing air cover for Navy and Coast Guard vessels.   Hundreds of rescue operations and aerial combat patrols were carried out during the 27 months the squadron was in operation.

1969  For extreme and heroic daring on the morning of October 5, 1969, while on authorized leave, Coast Guardsman James P. Grier rescued two persons and attempted to rescue a third from drowning in the waters of the Atlantic Ocean at Rockport Harbor, MA.  For his actions the Coast Guard awarded Petty Officer Grier a Gold Life-Saving Medal.

 

October 6

1881  At daylight the crew of Station No. 1, First District (Carrying Point Cove, West Quoddy Head, Maine), sighted a schooner at anchor some four miles east-southeast of the station.  She did not appear to be in distress, and as no signal was made it was supposed she had simply anchored to await the abatement of the winds, which at the time was blowing strong from the northwest.  The keeper ordered a close watch on the schooner, in case she should signal for assistance.  At 11 a .m. the lookout observed a boat leave her side and attempt to reach land, but the gale was too much for it and the effort had to be abandoned.  The boat returned to the schooner.  Upon arriving alongside, the keeper found the schooner to be Eclipse, of Eastport, Maine and that she had encountered a heavy squall the afternoon previous. It had split her sails and started her leaking badly.  In this condition they had anchored her during the night, about two miles from the land, her crew, three in number, being almost exhausted by their efforts to keep her free.  The life-saving crew at once turned to and pumped her out and made temporary repairs on the sails, and then worked her up into a safe harbor.

1990  NASA astronaut and Coast Guard CDR Bruce Melnick made his first space flight when he served as a Mission Specialist aboard the space shuttle Discovery on Space Shuttle Mission STS-41, which flew from October 6-10, 1990.  Discovery deployed the Ulysses spacecraft for its five-year mission to explore the polar regions of the sun.  CDR Melnick was the first Coast Guardsman selected by NASA for astronaut training.

 

October 7

1986  An HC-130 from Air Station Elizabeth City located the disabled 44-foot Polish sailing vessel Gaudeamus with six Polish citizens aboard about 400 miles east of New York.  A motor vessel was on scene with Gaudeamus when it was found by the HC-130 and remained there until CGC Taney arrived the next day and took the boat in tow.  CGC Cape Henlopen rendezvoused with Taney and took over the tow to Newport, Rhode Island.  The Polish Embassy sent the Coast Guard a diplomatic note extending the thanks of the Polish government for the Coast Guard's assistance in this case.

 

October 8

1847  To reduce the expenditures of the Treasury Department, Secretary of the Treasury Robert J. Walker ordered a reduction of the complements on revenue cutters.

1986  Coast Guard units evacuated flood victims from the St. Louis area using punts, helicopters and trucks after the Mississippi and Missouri rivers flooded.  In all, 150 Coast Guardsmen participated in the emergency flood relief efforts.  Coast Guard units that sent relief teams were: MSO St. Louis; Base St. Louis; CGCs Sumac, Cheyenne, and Cimarron; ATON Facility Leavenworth, Kansas; 2nd District office; and Air Stations New Orleans and Traverse City.

 

October 9

1852  The Lighthouse Board, which administered the lighthouse system until July 1, 1910, was organized. "This Board was composed of two officers of the Navy, two officers of the Engineer Corps, and two civilians of high scientific attainments whose services were at the disposal of the President, and an officer of the Navy and of the, Engineers as secretaries. It was empowered under the Secretary of the Treasury to "discharge all the administrative duties" relative to lighthouses and other aids to navigation. The Secretary of the Treasury was president of the Board, and it was authorized to elect a chairman and to divide the coast of the United States into twelve lighthouse districts, to each of which the President was to assign an army or navy officer as lighthouse inspector."

1858  The Secretary of the Treasury appointed a three-man board of U.S. Revenue Marine officers to consider a lifeboat design best adapted for life-saving work.

1945  Coast Guard manned patrol vessel USS PC-590 grounded and sank in typhoon off Okinawa.  All hands were rescued.

1982  The first rescue using COSPAS/SARSAT occurred on this date when the trimaran Gonzo capsized 300 miles east of Cape Cod.  Gonzo's ELT distress transmission was picked up by the Soviet COSPAS satellite and the sailing ship's coordinates were transmitted to the U.S.  A Coast Guard HC-130 and a Canadian Air Force aircraft were directed to the scene and USCGC Vigorous safely rescued the three crewmen.  The new "space-age" satellite search-and-rescue system was a joint U.S., Canadian, French and Soviet project that at this time utilized a single Soviet satellite.

1993  Crews from seven 8th District units and several civilian vessels joined forces in response to an explosion and fire aboard the 660-foot bulk-liquid carrier OMI Charger near the Houston Ship Channel.  She had no fuel aboard when the explosion occurred the night of October 9.  CGC Point Spencer served as the command platform and personnel and boats from ATON Team Galveston joined the response effort, which included fire-fighting, SAR, and pollution response assistance.  The fire was extinguished five hours after the initial explosion.  Two of the tanker's crewmen were killed in the blast.  Personnel from the Gulf Strike Team arrive on scene on October 10 and determined that the vessel's fuel was still all aboard.  It was removed prior to the vessel being towed to port where it was declared a total loss.  A joint Coast Guard and National Transportation Safety Board met to investigate the explosion.

 

October 10

1798  Secretary Benjamin Stoddert, first Secretary of the Navy, sent the first instructions to cutters acting in cooperation with the Navy in support of the Quasi-War with France, via the various collectors of customs.

1877  Captain Joseph Napier, Keeper of Life-Boat Station No. 6 (St. Joseph, Michigan), commanded a rescue mission for which he was awarded a Gold Lifesaving Medal.  His citation reads: "for for the daring gallantry he displayed in rescuing the crew of the schooner D. G. Williams, near the harbor of Saint Joseph, Michigan on the October 10, 1877.  The schooner lay stranded during a heavy gale on the outer bar, with the sea breaking over her, and her unfortunate crew of six men up in the rigging for safety. Captain Napier got together three volunteers, commandeered a boat, and pushed out for the wreck.  At the first attempt the boat was capsized in the breakers.  On the second try he reached the wreck and returned with two of the sailors.  The third trip the boat was completely filled with water, but was bailed and again reached the vessel, bearing off two men.  At the fourth attempt Captain Napier and his three assistants were thrown out of the boat by a furious surge and one of his legs was badly hurt.  One of the men swam ashore.  Another got a line flung to him from the wreck and was taken aboard.  Captain Napier and the other man, clinging to the boat, succeeded in righting and bringing it alongside the schooner.  They then took off the two remaining men of her crew, together with the man taken on board, and regained the shore in safety.  On other occasions Captain Napier was known to have shown equal heroism on desperate seas.  Most notable instance was his rescue of the crew of the schooner Merchant during a tempest in 1854.  For this feat he was presented with a gold watch suitably inscribed by citizens of Chicago."  He was the first recorded Life-Saving Serviceman to be awarded the Gold Lifesaving Medal.

1929  Clarence Samuels, commanding CG Patrol Boat AB-15, was promoted to Chief Quartermaster, thereby becoming the Coast Guard's first African-American chief petty officer.

 

October 11

1896  The crew of the Pea Island (North Carolina) Life-Saving Station, under the command of Keeper Richard Etheridge, performed one of their finest rescues when they saved the passengers and crew of the schooner E.S. Newman, after that ship ran aground during a hurricane.  Pushed before the storm, the ship lost all sails and drifted almost 100 miles before it ran aground about two miles south of the Pea Island Lifesaving Station.  Etheridge, a veteran of nearly twenty years, readied his crew.  They hitched mules to the beach cart and hurried toward the vessel. Arriving on the scene, they found Captain S. A. Gardiner and eight others clinging to the wreckage.  Unable to fire a line because the high water prevented the Lyle Gun’s deployment, Etheridge directed two surfmen to bind themselves together with a line.  Grasping another line, the pair moved into the breakers while the remaining surfmen secured the shore end. The two surfmen reached the wreck and tied a line around one of the crewmen. All three were then pulled back through the surf by the crew on the beach.  The remaining eight persons were carried to shore in this fashion. After each trip two different surfmen replaced those who had just returned.  For their efforts the crew of the Pea Island Life-Saving Station were awarded the Gold Lifesaving Medal in 1996.  

1897  Property saved at Cape Hatteras, North Carolina.  During a severe storm the surf threatened to wash away a fish house, with valuable nets and other gear.  Surfmen saved the property and took it to a place of safety.  They also assisted the Cape Hatteras lighthouse keeper to remove the lighthouse's Fresnel lens to a secure place as the lighthouse was in danger of being knocked down by the sea.

2013  CGC Maui, operating in the Persian Gulf as part of Patrol Forces Southwest Asia and assigned to Combined Task Force 152, rescued five Iranian mariners after they were fount adrift in a life raft in the northern waters of the Persian Gulf.  Maui's crew later transferred the survivors to an Iranian Coast Guard vesssel.

 

October 12

1897  Near Corson Inlet, New Jersey, a man and two women were endangered by the sea sweeping around a their house 1/2 mile from the station.  Life-savers answered their signal of distress and rescued them in the surfboat.

 

October 13

1775  This is the date that the Navy recognizes as it's official birthday.  The United States Navy traces its origins to the Continental Navy, which the Continental Congress established on October 13, 1775 by authorizing the procurement, fitting out, manning, and dispatch of two armed vessels to cruise in search of munitions ships supplying the British Army in North America.  The legislation also established a Naval Committee to supervise the work.  All together, the Continental Navy numbered some fifty ships over the course of the war, with approximately twenty warships active at its maximum strength.  After the American War for Independence, Congress sold the surviving ships of the Continental Navy and released the seamen and officers.  The Constitution of the United States, ratified in 1789, empowered Congress "to provide and maintain a navy." Acting on this authority, Congress ordered the construction and manning of six frigates in 1794, and the War Department administered naval affairs from that year until Congress established the Department of the Navy on April 30, 1798.  In 1972, however, Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Admiral Elmo R. Zumwalt authorized recognition of October 13, 1775 as the Navy’s official birthday.  There is no official motto for the U.S. Navy.  However "Non sibi sed patriae" (Not Self But Country) is often cited as the Navy's unofficial motto.

1968  CGC Southwind departed Baltimore, Maryland for a seven-month deployment to Antarctica and other world-wide destinations.  By the time she returned to Baltimore on May 7, 1969 she had become only the second cutter in Coast Guard history to circumnavigate the globe.

1988  The first U.S. merchant marine World War II veterans received their Coast Guard-issued discharge certificates.  Congress gave the merchant mariners veterans' status and tasked the Coast Guard with administering the discharges.

1995  CGC Ida Lewis was launched, the first of the new 175-foot Keeper class buoy tenders.

 

October 14

1801  Secretary of the Treasury Albert Gallatin announced his decision to reduce the "Revenue Cutter Establishment…as near as circumstances will permit within its original limits" after the Quasi-War with France.  During that conflict the service had acquired larger cutters with more numerous crews.

1943  CGC E.M. Dow grounded and was abandoned near Mayaguez, Puerto Rico. All hands were saved.

1944  CGCs Eastwind and Southwind captured the Nazi weather and supply vessel Externsteine off the coast of Greenland after a brief fire-fight.  There were no casualties.  The Coast Guardsmen christened their prize-of-war USS Eastbreeze and placed a prize crew on board.  The prize crew was commanded by LT Curtiss Howard and consisted of 36 men, including some from Southwind.  After sailing with the Greenland Patrol for three weeks, Eastbreeze sailed on to Boston where the Navy renamed it as USS Callao. The Externsteine/Eastbreeze/Callao was the only enemy surface vessel captured at sea by U.S. naval forces during the war.  Eastwind and Southwind had gone farther north and returned under their own power than any vessel ever before. 

1947  CGC Bibb rescued all 62 passengers and seven crew members of the transatlantic flying boat Bermuda Sky Queen in the mid-Atlantic after the flying boat made an emergency landing near the cutter.  The rescue was of the most dramatic rescues ever undertaken by the Coast Guard on the open ocean.

1961  After an Air Force B-52G [serial number 58-196??] with eight persons on board was reported overdue and possibly down in the Atlantic Ocean somewhere off Newfoundland, the Coast Guard commander, Eastern Area, coordinated the extensive search that resulted.  Participating in it were 79 U.S. Coast Guard, Navy, Air Force, and Canadian aircraft, five U.S. Coast Guard cutters, and two merchant ships.  Despite this search that lasted through October 18 and covered 286,225 square miles, no trace of the missing B-52 or its crew was found.

 

October 15

1846  USRC McLane ran aground while attempting to cross the bar of the River Alvarado during the Mexican War in support of U.S. operations there.

1966  Coast Guard Port Security & Waterways Detail arrived for service in Vietnam.

2001  President George W. Bush announced that a letter sent to Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle was laced with anthrax.  This followed a number of other anthrax attacks in Florida and New York.  The EPA requested Coast Guard assistance.  Members of the Atlantic Strike Team (AST) deployed to Washington, D.C., while Gulf Strike Team (GST) members were deployed to Florida.  Strike team members conducted entries into the affected areas, collected samples, and assisted in the cleanup of those areas.  The AST members in Washington coordinated entries into the U.S. Capitol, Hart Senate Building, the U.S. Supreme Court, and the Government Printing Office, among others.  The GST members took samples and provided decontamination stations at the American Media Inc. headquarters building and post offices in Boca Raton, Florida, the site of the first reported anthrax attack.

 

October 16

1790  A contract was signed for the construction of the "first" of the 10 revenue cutters, Massachusetts, at Newburyport, Massachusetts.

1952  A Merchant Marine Detail was established at Yokohama, Japan to handle increased merchant marine problems occurring there as a result of the Korean Conflict.

1956  CGC Pontchartrain, on Ocean Station November, rescued the passengers and crew of Pan American Clipper Flight 943 after the clipper ditched between Honolulu and San Francisco.

1992  CGC Storis became the first foreign military ship to visit the Russian port of Petropavlosk since the Crimean War.  During the goodwill visit, Storis conducted joint operations with the Russian icebreaker Volga.

 

October 17

1814  The crew of USRC Eagle, which had been driven ashore near Negros Head, New York in an encounter with the British brig HMS Dispatch, dragged the cutter's guns up a bluff in an effort to continue the battle.  The New York Evening Post gave an account of what happened next to the out-gunned cutter and its crew:

"During the engagement between the Cutter EAGLE and the enemy, the following took place which is worthy of notice.  Having expended all the wadding of the four-pounders on the hill, during the warmest of the firing, several of the crew volunteered and went on board the cutter to obtain more.  At this moment the masts were shot away, when the brave volunteers erected a flag upon her stern; this was soon shot away, but was immediately replaced by a heroic tar, amidst the cheers of his undaunted comrades, which was returned by a whole broadside from the enemy.  When the crew of the Cutter had expended all their large shot and fixed ammunition, they tore up the log book to make cartridges and returned the enemy's small shot which lodged in the hull.  The Cutter was armed with only 6 guns, 4 four-pounders and 2 twos with plenty of muskets and about 50 men.  The enemy being gone and provisions scarce the volunteers from this city left Captain Lee and his crew and arrived here on Thursday evening the 13th instant, in a sloop from Long Island. . .We have since learned that Captain Lee succeeded in getting off the Cutter and was about to remove her to a place of safety when the enemy returned and took possession of her.  She was greatly injured, but it is expected that the enemy will be able to refit her to annoy us in the sound."

1977  The Coast Guard commissioned AIRSTA Sitka.

1989  An earthquake registering 7.1 on the Richter Scale hit Northern California, killing 67 people.  Coast Guard units assisted state and local agencies in rescue and relief operations.

2014  U.S. and Canadian military personnel and government civilian agencies participated in Exercise Frontier Sentinel 14 (FS 14) from October 17-24, 2014. This full-scale exercise is the final phase of a three-part scenario that focuses on maritime homeland security.  FS 14 was a combined U.S. Coast Guard Atlantic Area, Canadian Joint Task Force Atlantic, and U.S. Navy Fleet Forces Command exercise designed to test the coordinated response against a maritime threat to North American ports.  “This exercise tests the ability of U.S. Coast Guard, Navy, Canadian forces, and civilian agencies to successfully respond to a complex maritime threat to the homeland," said VADM William Lee, Coast Guard Atlantic Area commander.  "Exercises such as Frontier Sentinel allow us to strengthen partnerships with our Canadian and Navy counterparts in a realistic setting, which will enable us to improve our interoperability, so we are prepared to respond to any and all maritime threats to the homeland.”  Phases one and two of FS 14 occurred in August and September and focused on maritime threats in the waters of the Atlantic Ocean, including Halifax, Nova Scotia.  Phase three of the exercise will focus on the coordinated detection, assessment and response to a mine threat in the Delaware Bay.  The exercise is limited to specific areas in Delaware Bay and should not significantly impact vessel traffic or bay operations.  Frontier Sentinel is an annual exercise series, initiated in 2006, established to improve the collaborative information exchange, planning and coordinated response between operational-level commands of the Tri-Party, which consists of U.S. Coast Guard, U. S. Fleet Forces Command, and Canadian Joint Task Force Atlantic, in response to security and defense threats in the maritime domain.

2015  The Coast Guard issued a certificate of inspection to the LNG-powered M/V Isla Bella.  The 736-foot, 3,100 TEU, U.S.-flagged vessel is the first container ship in the world capable of operating on liquefied natural gas.  Isla Bella was the first of two Marlin-class containerships built by NASSCO in San Diego for operation by TOTE Services in the Jones Act trade between Jacksonville, Florida and Puerto Rico.

 

October 18

1799  USRC Pickering (70 men) captured the French privateer L’Egypte Conquiste (250 men) on this date during the Quasi-War with France.

1848  Captain Douglas Ottinger, USRM, was designated by the Secretary of the Treasury to supervise the construction of the first Life-Saving stations and the equipment and boats to be placed at them.

 

October 19

1881  The sloop Zulu Chief with four passengers and a crew of two men struck the bar off Hog Island Inlet, Virginia at a point about half a mile from the beach. The accident occurred at 11 o’clock am in plain view of the crew of Station No. 9, Fifth District, on Hog Island.  They launched the surfboat and went to the sloop’s assistance.  She was pounding heavily and lay in a very dangerous position.  The life-saving crew went to work without delay and carried out her anchors and succeeded in saving the vessel.

 

October 20

1892  After ten years of difficult and costly construction, the St. George Reef Lighthouse, built on a rock lying six miles off the northern coast of California, midway between Capes Mendocino and Bianco, was first lit.

1920  The Superintendent of the 5th Lighthouse District inspected the aids to navigation "in New River Inlet and Bogue Sound, North Carolina by hydroplane in two hours, which would have required at least four days by other means of travel, owning to the inaccessibility of the aids inspected."

1944  Allied landings on Leyte, Philippine Islands commenced.  Many Coast Guard units participated in the landings, which marked the fulfillment of General Douglas MacArthur's promise to the Filipino people that he would return to liberate them from the Japanese.

1950  President Harry S. Truman issued an executive order "activating" the Magnuson Act, which had been passed by Congress earlier that month.  This act, authorizing the president to invoke the Espionage Act of 1917, tasked the Coast Guard once again with the port security mission.

1976  The 120-foot ferry vessel George Prince, carrying 96 passengers and crew along with approximately 30 vehicles, collided with the Norwegian tank vessel Frosta in the Mississippi River about 20 miles above New Orleans.  The George Prince was underway from Destrehan to Luling, Louisiana and was loaded to capacity.  The Frosta struck the George Prince on the port side aft and the ferry quickly capsized and drifted upside down until it grounded on the right descending bank approximately one mile downstream from the point of collision.  There were 18 survivors but the other 78 passengers and crew on the ferry were killed.

1978  CGC Cuyahoga sank after colliding with M/V Santa Cruz II near the mouth of the Potomac River.  Eleven Coast Guard crewmen were killed.

 

October 21

1971  Alaska Senator Mike Gravel criticized the punishment of 18 crewmen of CGC Confidence for showing support for Greenpeace and asked the Commandant, Admiral Chester Bender, to investigate.

2009  While on a law enforcement patrol in the Eastern Pacific off the coast of Central America, CGC Jarvis intercepted and captured a self-propelled semi-submersible (SPSS) first located by a U.S. Customs and Border Protection patrol aircraft.  Jarvis's boarding team discovered 4,500 kilos of narcotics aboard the craft and arrested the SPSS's four crewman.

 

October 22

1853  The English ship Western World grounded off Spring Lake, New Jersey, during a gale with about 600 persons on board. Everyone was rescued using equipment at the nearby station.

1960  Early in the morning on October 22, 1960, SS Alcoa Corsair and SS Lorenzo Marcello collided near the mouth of the Mississippi River.  Although the Lorenzo Marcello suffered no casualties and proceeded to New Orleans, Alcoa Corsair had eight fatalities, nine injured, and one missing, besides being forced to beach because of severe damages.  A Coast Guard helicopter removed four of the critically injured crewmen while Coast Guard boats and other craft ferried the remaining ones ashore to waiting ambulances.

1962  Shortly after a Northwest Airlines DC-7 with 102 occupants ditched in the waters of Sitka Sound, Alaska, a Coast Guard amphibian sighted five life rafts.  All on board survived, although three suffered minor injuries.  A Federal Aviation Administration supply boat picked up the survivors, later transferring them to CGC Sorrel, which took them to Sitka, Alaska.

2014  The crew of CGC Charles David Jr. repatriated 43 Cuban migrants to Bahia de Cabañas, Cuba. These repatriations were a result of three separate interdictions of people attempting to illegally migrate to the United States. On October 18, 2014, the crew of CGC Charles Sexton interdicted 22 Cuban migrants from two separate interdictions in the Florida Straits. The next day, October 19, Sexton interdicted another 21 Cuban migrants. All of the migrants were safely removed from their makeshift vessels and were transferred to the Charles David Jr. for repatriation.

 

October 23

1818  USRC Monroe captured the armed brig Columbia inside the Virginia Capes.  Columbia had been "cut out" of a Venezuelan fleet by pirates.

1907  The first wireless operator joined the Revenue Cutter Service, H. I. Logan, enlisted on the USRC Manhattan, a harbor tug based in New York City, as an "Electrician (acting)."  He was assigned to the cruising cutter USRC Algonquin where he reported on board on October 30, 1907.  Logan remained in the service until 22 December 1923 when he retired after serving on board the USCGC Bear.  He crossed the bar in 1936. 

 

October 24

2014  CGC Sherman returned to its homeport of San Diego after completing a 52-day deployment to the Eastern Pacific Ocean participating in UNITAS 2014 and conducting counter maritime drug interdiction operations.  At the beginning of their deployment, Sherman represented the United States, one of 14 partner nations that participated in UNITAS 2014 from September 12-26.  Toward the conclusion of its deployment, Sherman interdicted two suspected smuggling boats that resulted in the seizure of approximately 120 pounds of cocaine with a wholesale value of nearly $2 million.

 

October 25

1941  The Navy formally established the Greenland Patrol by combining the South Greenland Patrol with the three cutters of the Northeast Greenland Patrol.

1985  CGC Polar Sea arrived home to Seattle after a voyage through the Northwest Passage by way of the Panama Canal, the east coast, and then Greenland, sparking an international incident with Canada.  She completed the first solo circumnavigation of the North American continent by a U.S. vessel and the first trip by a Polar-Class icebreaker.  She also captured the record for the fastest transit of the historic northern route.  She had departed Seattle to begin the voyage on June 6, 1985.

 

October 26

2013  BNS Somudra Joy, formerly the Coast Guard Cutter Jarvis, departed Saturday from Alameda, marking a major milestone in international cooperation between the United States and Bangladesh. Joined by a small Coast Guard team of advisors, lead by CDR Wendy Tomko, the Bangladeshi crew planned to make port calls at San Diego, Honolulu, Guam and Malaysia on their way to Bangladesh.

 

October 27

1997  The crew of CGC Baranof confiscated two .50-caliber sniper rifles, ammunition and other military supplies that were allegedly to be used in an assassination attempt against Cuban President Fidel Castro.  Four Cuban exiles were arrested for illegal possession of firearms after the 46-foot La Esperanza was ordered into Aguadilla, Puerto Rico, by the Baranof.  There a search of the vessel turned up the weapons.  One suspect confessed that the sniper rifles were to be used to assassinate Castro on his arrival on Venezuela's Margarita Island for the Ibero-American Summit Conference.  A magistrate in the U.S. District Court in San Juan later dismissed the charge of conspiracy to assassinate Castro but let the charges of illegal importation of firearms and making false statements stand.

2014  A humpback whale was reported entangled with a weather buoy approximately 25 nautical miles off Moss Landing, California.  The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) requested USCG assistance. On October 29, an Air Station San Francisco MH-65 helicopter located the entangled whale and vectored a NOAA vessel to the location.  NOAA officials were able to successfully free the whale and preserve the buoy mooring.  The whale was observed swimming away after it was freed.  NOAA officials believe the whale will survive.

 

October 28

1919  Congress passed the National Prohibition Enforcement Act, otherwise known as the Volstead Act, on this date.  The Volstead Act authorized the enforcement of the 18th Amendment, ratified on January 29, 1919.  The Act authorized the Coast Guard to prevent the maritime importation of illegal alcohol.  This led to the largest increase in the size and responsibilities of the service to date.

1943  Choiseul, Treasury Islands landing commenced (Coast Guard-manned LST-71 was in second echelon November 1, 1943).

1966  Coast Guard LORAN Station Con Son in Vietnam became fully operational.

1991  Thousands of Haitian migrants began fleeing their homeland after the overthrow of Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, prompting one of the largest SAR operations in Coast Guard history.  Cutters and aircraft from as far north as New England converged on the Windward Passage.  In the first 30 days of the operation, Coast Guard forces rescued more than 6,300 men, women, and children who left Haiti in grossly overloaded and unseaworthy vessels.  Seventy-five Coast Guard units ultimately took part in the massive SAR operation and by the end of the year over 40,000 Haitian migrants were rescued.

2012  The Coast Guard Captain of the Port of Honolulu ordered the evacuation of Honolulu Harbor after a tsunami warning was issued after an earthquake struck the Haida Gwaii archipelago in western Canada. 

 

October 29

1883  At a quarter before 4 o’clock In the morning the two surfmen on patrol from the Plum Island Station (Second District), below Newburyport, Massachusetts, discovered a vessel ashore on the south breaker at the entrance of Newburyport Harbor, about half a mile northeast of the station.  A signal was made to her that she was seen and the men hurried to the station and gave the alarm.  The boat reached her shortly after 4 o’clock.  She was the schooner Forest Maid with a crew of seven men bound on a fishing cruise.  While going out over the bar, the wind being light, she had been carried by the strong ebb tide on to the shoal.  The first thing done by her crew was to let go an anchor to hold her, but finding she continued to drive farther on they veered away.  They were disappointed, for she soon fetched up hard and fast with ninety fathoms of cable out.  As the water was still falling nothing could be done until the flood tide.  The life-saving crew remained on board and when the tide began to rise at 8 o’clock, commenced operations by heaving in on the cable.  The wind freshened considerably while they were at work, raising quite a swell, which caused the schooner to pound heavily.  They persevered, however, gaining a little every time she lifted on the seas, so that by 9 o’clock the schooner was safely afloat and on her way back into the harbor, apparently none the worse for the accident.

1965  Secretary of the Navy Paul Nitze requested additional Coast Guard patrol boats for patrol duties in Vietnam.

2012  In the early morning hours while caught in the impact zone of Hurricane Sandy more than 90 miles off the coast of Hatteras, NC, HMS Bounty lost power and eventually capsized spilling her 16 crew members in to the sea.  C-130 and MH-60 aircraft were launched from Air Station Elizabeth City, NC and braved the hurricane conditions to rescue 14 crew members who had made it into life rafts.  Another crew member was later recovered unresponsive and the Captain was never found.

2014  An Air Station Clearwater HC-130 aircraft discovered a vessel with 33 persons aboard seven nautical miles east of Boca Raton Inlet, Florida.  Coast Guard Sector Miami diverted CGCs Shrike and Robert Yered and notified local government agencies.  As assets arrived on scene, the persons aboard the vessel began jumping into the water.  Robert Yered assumed On Scene Commander for all responding units and began recovering the persons in the water.  Thirty-three Cuban migrants were safely recovered and were embarked by Robert Yered.

2015  CGC Healy returned to its homeport of Seattle after completing four months of Arctic operations.  The crew's return marks the completion of an Arctic expedition which culminated in the crews’ historic arrival at the North Pole and was the first time a U.S. surface vessel has reached 90°N unaccompanied.  The crew conducted two separate missions that included operations in the Bering Sea, Chukchi Sea, and Arctic Ocean. Coast Guard Research and Development Center members joined the crew of Healy for the third consecutive year to continue their research of Arctic technologies including: remotely operated vehicles, small unmanned aerial systems, an autonomous underwater vehicle and an unmanned surface vehicle. The crew departed Dutch Harbor, Alaska on August 9 for Geotraces, an international effort to study the distribution of trace elements in the world’s oceans to establish the effects of these elements on global climate change.

2015  CGC Campbell returned to its homeport of Kittery, Maine on Thursday at 2 p.m. after a 50-day patrol of the North Atlantic.  During the patrol, which spanned an off-shore area from Maine to New York, Campbell was involved in multiple rescues, including towing two disabled fishing vessels over 150 nautical miles offshore. On September 21, 2015 Campbell responded to a report of a sea turtle entangled in fishing gear. Campbell launched their small boat and the rescue team was able to free the 6-foot long Leatherback sea turtle from the fishing line. During the patrol, Campbell traveled to Canadian waters to participate in a joint training exercise with the Canadian Armed Forces and Royal Canadian Mounted Police.  On October 26, 2015, Campbell honored a former shipmate by conducting a burial at sea ceremony for a retired Coast Guard Chief Quartermaster.  Additionally, as part of Campbell's primary mission they conducted 52 living marine resource boardings resulting in the issuing of 17 violations.

 

October 30

1956  CGC Chincoteague, manning Ocean Station Delta in the North Atlantic, received a distress message that the German freighter Helgs Bolten was taking on water and wished to abandon ship as soon as possible.  After reaching the scene some hours later, the cutter found that the high winds and 25-foot seas made it impossible to launch lifeboats.  Two inflatable lifeboats, therefore, were passed by shot line to the freighter, and the 33 crewmen aboard were removed to the cutter unharmed.  Chincoteague then stood by the drifting vessel for seven days, while commercial tugs made salvage attempts.  All of the survivors returned on board the cutter to Norfolk, Virginia, while a tug towed Helg Bolten to the Azores.

1991  CGC Tamaroa attempted to rescue the three persons on board the disabled sailing vessel Satori 75 miles south of Martha's Vineyard during a severe winter storm.  Tamaroa launched an RHI which was damaged by the tossing Satori as it drew near the sailing vessel but a Coast Guard  HH-3F, CG-1493, also participating in the rescue, hoisted the three on board Satori and the RHI's crew to safety.  Tamaroa was then diverted to rescue the crew of a downed Air National Guard H-60.  (See October 31 entry below).

2014  CGC Diligence returned to her homeport of Wilmington, North Carolina following a 45-day patrol in the Caribbean Sea. While on patrol, Diligence served as the operational commander for all Coast Guard assets supporting Operation Southeast Watch in the Windward Pass between Cuba and Haiti.  As the operational commander, Diligence maintained an overt presence in the Windward Pass to prevent and respond to any overloaded or unseaworthy vessels with persons attempting to reach the United States shoreline.  The crew aboard Diligence also conducted counter-narcotics operations in support of Operation Unified Resolve in San Juan, Puerto Rico.  Crew members conducted two inspections of vessels suspected of smuggling narcotics and patrolled the region to counter the flow of illicit traffic.  Under Operation Southeast Watch, the Coast Guard worked alongside interagency and international partners to prevent and respond to illegal maritime migration in the Caribbean Sea and Florida Straits. Under Operation Unified Resolve, the service placed special emphasis on targeting the primary and secondary flow of illicit drugs from South America to Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.  Operation Unified Resolve initially began as a surge operation, but in October 2013, the Coast Guard made it a standing operation and established a new baseline for drug interdiction operations in support of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

2015  CGC Spencer returned to its homeport of Boston after a 65-day patrol of the Caribbean Sea. Spencer conducted several search and rescue cases as well as counter narcotics and migrant interdiction operations.  As part of Operation Martillo, Spencer intercepted four go-fast vessels suspected of trafficking drugs, and directly contributed to the seizure of 1,000 kilograms (2,204 pounds) of marijuana and 1,677 kilograms (3,697 pounds) of cocaine worth approximately $50 million.  In addition, 11 suspected narcotic smugglers were taken into custody and were transferred to the offices of the United States Attorneys for prosecution.  In Colón, Panama, Spencer’s boarding teams partnered with the National Aero-Naval Military Service of Panama to conduct a three-day joint boarding of a freighter suspected of smuggling narcotics.  In mid-October while sailing the passage between Cuba and Mexico, Spencer’s crew rescued 24 passengers from a disabled vessel that was caught in 12-15-foot seas. Spencer’s crew was able to safely disembark the Cuban migrants as their vessel ran out of fuel and the sea state worsened.  Martillo, which is Spanish for hammer, was a U.S., European, and Western Hemisphere effort to target illicit trafficking.

 

October 31

1984  The tanker Puerto Rican exploded outside of San Francisco Bay.  Coast Guard units responded.

1991  During an extremely severe winter storm CGC Tamaroa rescued four of five Air National Guard crewmen from an ANG H-60 that had ditched south of Long Island due to fuel exhaustion (the fifth crewman, a pararescue jumper, was never found).  Tamaroa had been attempting to rescue the crew of the sailing vessel Satori the previous day (the three on board Satori were rescued safely by HH-3F CG-1493--see October 30 entry above) when the cutter was diverted to assist the Air National Guard air crew.  Tamaroa was awarded the Coast Guard Unit Commendation and the events were chronicled in the best-selling book and movie "The Perfect Storm." 

1999  Egypt Air Flight 990 crashed about 60 miles southeast of Nantucket.  Coast Guard units, including CGCs Monomoy, Spencer, Reliance, Bainbridge Island, Juniper, Point Highland, Hammerhead, a HC-130 from Air Station Elizabeth City, and an HH-60 from Air Station Cape Cod searched unsuccessfully for any survivors.  All 217 persons on board were killed in the crash.  Coast Guard units then assisted in the recovery effort.

2012  The Coast Guard completed Arctic Shield 2012 after a summer season of sustained operations and outreach efforts in the Arctic.  Arctic Shield 2012 focused on operations, outreach and an assessment of the Coast Guard's capabilities above the Arctic Circle.  The forward operating location in Barrow consisted of two Kodiak-based MH-60 Jayhawk helicopters with supporting air, ground and communications crews.  The Coast Guard deployed several surface assets to the Arctic including the CGC Bertholf, that provided a persistent operational presence and command and control capability in an area where the Coast Guard lacked the permanent infrastructure of a coastal sector.  Also deployed were two light-ice capable 225-foot sea-going buoy tenders, a 282-foot medium endurance cutter, and a 378-foot high endurance cutter were also deployed to the region to increase offshore operational capability, ensure the safety of mariners, patrol international borders and provide additional search and rescue capabilities.

2014  The Coast Guard concluded Arctic Shield 2014 after a successful season that included deployments of personnel and assets to the Seward Peninsula, Bering Strait, and the Northern Alaska Continental Shelf to conduct a broad range of Coast Guard statutory missions.  Arctic Shield 2014 included deployments by CGCs Stratton, Healy, SPAR, Alex Haley, and MH-60 Jayhawk helicopters deployed to a forward operating location in Barrow, tribal engagements and assistance, and a range of marine safety activities in many Arctic communities.  Arctic Shield efforts included a first-ever MH-60T Jayhawk helicopter deployment to Stratton in the Arctic Ocean.  The Arctic Shield team executed several challenging and high-visibility search and rescue cases, such as the dynamic rescue of the sailing vessel master aboard the Altan Girl beset in ice northeast of Barrow, and the medevac of a crewmember from the Korean polar research vessel Araon.  Operation Gold Nugget prevention and enforcement activities included 54 at-sea boardings and 36 safety inspections.  The Coast Guard Research and Development Center tested pollution response capabilities and successfully celebrated the first landing of a UAV on a Coast Guard ice breaker.  The Coast Guard National Ice Rescue School provided critical ice rescue training to the three largest Arctic communities.  Prevention activities and outreach spanned 29 villages, training over 2800 children in Kids Don't Float programs and three mass rescue exercises.

November 1

1843  Secretary of Treasury Spencer issued new "Rules and Regulations for the governing of the Revenue Cutter Service" that centralized control of personnel, promotion and discipline issues under the Revenue Marine Bureau, but left direct superintendence and direction of the individual cutters with the local Collectors of Customs.

1848  The Revenue cutter C. W. Lawrence weighed anchor off Washington, D.C. and set sail down the Potomac River.  The cutter was commanded by Captain Alexander V. Fraser, the first chief of Revenue Marine Bureau, who left that position to take command of the new brig-rigged cutter.  He was ordered to proceed on an epic voyage around Cape Horn via the Hawaiian Islands to San Francisco where the cutter arrived safely on October 31 the following year.

1903  The first wireless message was received on board a Revenue cutter.  On this date in 1903 USRC Grant received a message transmitted by a shore station installed in the U.S. Customs building at Port Townsend, WA.  The experimental use of a wireless set to coordinate the movements of a cutter at sea with shore-based stations proved to be a success and led to the wide-spread use of radio by all cutters.  The equipment used ashore and on board Grant was installed by the Pacific Wireless Telegraph Company.

1941  President Franklin D. Roosevelt's Executive Order 8929 transferred the Coast Guard to the Navy Department.

1943  The invasion of Bougainville, Solomon Islands, commenced.  Coast Guard units participated in the landings.

1949  The authority to reestablish the Women’s Reserve of the Coast Guard Reserve (SPARS), approved by the President on August 4, 1949, became effective.

1976  A multi-agency task force investigation led by the San Luis Obispo Sheriff's Department, and including the Los Angeles Police Department, DEA, Customs and the Coast Guard resulted in the seizure of the Dong Phat on this date in 1976.  CGC Cape Hedge seized the vessel and arrested the four persons on board after the vessel delivered contraband to a shore-side connection.  ON the beach other members of the task force arrested 10 men and seized 200 boxes of Thai sticks with a street value estimated in excess of $30 million.

1984  The largest marijuana bust to date in West Coast history took place when CGC Clover seized the 63-foot yacht Arrikis 150 miles southwest of San Diego.  The yacht was loaded with 13 tons of marijuana.

2013  The Coast Guard completed Arctic Shield 2013.  Arctic Shield focused on Western Alaska and the Bering Strait and consisted of a three-pronged approach of operations, outreach and an assessment of the Coast Guard's capabilities in the Arctic. Several cutters were deployed in support of the operation, including CGCs Polar Star, Healy, Waeshe, Naushon, and SPAR.  The crews aboard the various vessels conducted the Coast Guard’s statutory missions while providing an operational presence and command and control capability in an area where the Coast Guard lacked the permanent infrastructure of a coastal sector.  Coast Guard C-130 Hercules airplane crews were strategically positioned at Eielson AFB in Fairbanks and a forward operating location with MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crews was established at the Alaska National Guard hangar in Kotzebue to conduct search and rescue, law enforcement, and maritime domain awareness flights.  Arctic Shield capability assessments included the deployment of a vessel of opportunity skimming system aboard the cutter SPAR and a Canadian coast guard vessel.  Healy conducted their science missions and partnered with the Coast Guard Research and Development Center to evaluate equipment. Personnel tested two small unmanned aircraft systems, an unmanned underwater vehicle, a remotely operated vehicle and a Helix skimmer equipped for oil recovery on ice.  Polar Star tested the overall readiness of the icebreaker.  Naushon completed a historic patrol to the region and proved that a Coast Guard patrol boat could operate in the area "in the right season and with proper support," according to RADM Thomas Ostebo, 17th District Commander. 

 

November 2

1820  The Revenue cutter Louisiana captured five pirate vessels during a cruise from Florida to Cuba.

1881  A rowboat with two men and a young girl was going down the Manistee River towards the harbor.  It capsized about a hundred feet abreast of Station No. 5, Eleventh District, Lake Michigan.  One of the men swam to the dock and was helped out by the life-saving crew.  The remaining man tried to swim with his daughter on his back. She began to struggle violently and dragged him under.  The keeper pulled off his outer clothing, swam out, caught the father and daughter as they were sinking for the third time, and succeeded in bringing them to the dock where they were helped up by the rest of the crew.

1929  The U.S. Marine Corps service football team, the "Bulldogs," defeated the Coast Guard team, the "Bears," in the annual Presidents Cup 19-0.  The game was played at Clark Griffith Stadium in Washington, D.C.  The Coast Guard team was in fact the Destroyer Force football team of New London, Connecticut which had been "nationalized" to represent the entire service.

2014  CGC Alert returned to Astoria, Oregon, following a counter-drug patrol in the eastern Pacific Ocean off the coast of South and Central America.  Alert's crew members successfully conducted a 70-day patrol traveling more than 12,600 miles scouring the eastern Pacific Ocean for illicit traffickers using their two small boats and armed helicopter from Coast Guard Helicopter Interdiction Tactical Squadron from Jacksonville, Florida.  Alert's crew interdicted three suspected vessels, detained 15 suspected smugglers, and seized over 3,180 pounds of cocaine.

 

November 3

1883  The keeper and crew of the Smith’s Island Station, Virginia (Fifth District), saw a small schooner flying a signal near Isaac Shoal, five miles away from the station.  They went out to her and found on board the captain of a sloop that wrecked the night before several miles from land.  He had succeeded in swimming to a bar near the beach, where he was picked up by the crew of the schooner.  Finding him suffering from exposure they signaled for assistance.  The lifesaving crew applied bottles of hot water and resuscitated him.  They then landed him in the surfboat and cared for him for six days until he was sent to his home.

 

November 4

1984  CGC Northwind seized the P/C Alexi I off Jamaica for carrying 20 tons of marijuana, becoming the first icebreaker to make a narcotics seizure.

 

November 5

1897  Rescue from drowning Chicago, Illinois, Lake Michigan: At 9: 30 p.m., the north patrol saw a man run across the driveway and jump into the lake with suicidal intent. The surf knocked him down and was tossing him about when surfmen rushed in and hauled him out.

1976  The Coast Guard awarded a contract to Tacoma Shipbuilding Company, Inc., of Tacoma, Washington, for the construction of four 140-foot WYTM icebreaking tugs.

2001  Six U.S. Navy Cyclone-Class patrol coastal warships were assigned to Operation Noble Eagle on November 5, 2001.  This was the first time since World War II that U.S. Navy ships were employed jointly with the U.S. Coast Guard to help protect our nation's coastline, ports, and waterways.

2013  CGC Healy moored in Seattle, Washington, after completing a 117-day deployment in the Bering Sea, Chukchi Sea, Beaufort Sea, and Arctic Ocean.  During that time, Healy's crew of 88 successfully conducted three science missions and one Coast Guard mission to further the nation’s scientific knowledge of the Arctic.  The first science mission was a multidisciplinary study sponsored by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management 90 miles west of Barrow, Alaska, near Hanna Shoal.  Science members collected pelagic and benthic chemical and biological samples, observed physical oceanographic properties, and analyzed the data to establish an ecological baseline for the highly productive and biodiverse area.  The second science mission was a study sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF) along the North Slope in the Beaufort Sea and in Canada’s Amundsen Gulf.  The science party focused on identifying geological evidence of a massive flood near the Mackenzie River that occurred about 13,000 years ago and had profound effects on global climate.  The third mission was sponsored by the Coast Guard Research and Development Center and took place near and in the ice pack.  This mission’s focus was to assess the ability of current technologies to respond to oil spills in the Arctic.  The technologies included an unmanned aerial system, an unmanned underwater vehicle, an oil recovery skimmer, and a remotely operated vehicle.  The fourth science mission of the deployment was sponsored by NSF and took Healy north of Barrow on the North Slope and as far east as Amundsen Gulf.  The primary mission objectives were to recover, service, and redeploy a series of scientific moorings anchored to the seafloor.

 

November 6

1882  At half past 4 in the afternoon the lookout at Station No. 8, Tenth District (Forty Mile Point, Hammond’s Bay Lake Huron) discovered a small boat north of the station about six miles distant, drifting out into the lake apparently unmanageable.  Two of the life-saving crew put off in a sailboat.  The boat was reached at about dusk, some miles out from the land, with a man and a boy in it.  Both were wet and nearly perished with the cold.  Their boat was half full of water.  They were at once transferred to the rescuing boat and their frail craft was taken in tow to the station.

1984  The Coast Guard accepted operational control from the Navy of the SES-200, a Surface Effect Ship, for five months of operational evaluations.

2008  Portsmouth-based CGC Harriet Lane returned to homeport following a 37-day living marine resources patrol in support of Operation Atlantic Venture in the North Atlantic Ocean.  Harriet Lane’s patrol highlights included 17 fisheries enforcement boardings on commercial fishing vessels, the issuance of one living marine resources violation, one narcotics seizure, 25 hours of small boat training as well as assisting the disabled 25-foot P/C Playin’ Hooky, which was disabled 50 nautical miles off the coast of Virginia.  The cutter also assisted the F/Vs Chief and Clyde II which were disabled east of Cape Cod, Massachusetts.  Harriet Lane towed both vessels nearly 250 nautical miles to New Bedford, Massachusetts.

 

November 7

1950  The Coast Guard announced that it would open a limited number of Organized Reserve enlistments to male veterans of other services and to males without previous military service in an effort to bring Coast Guard port security training units up to authorized strength without delay.  Heretofore, such enlistments had been offered only to former Coast Guardsmen.

1984  The tank ship Mara Hope suffered a fire in her engine room that quickly got out of control.  She had lain idle at the Coastal Marine Shipyard on the Neches River for more than a year but the owners of the Liberian tank ship had crewed the vessel and were working to reactivate the ship when the fire broke out.  Coast Guard personnel and a 32-footer from MSO Port Arthur soon arrived on scene as did a 41-footer from Station Sabine.  Local firefighters also assisted.  It took almost three days to get the blaze under control.  The ship was declared a total loss.  There were no serious casualties.

 

November 8

1942  Operation Torch, the Allied landings in Vichy-French-held North Africa, commenced.  Coast Guard-manned Navy vessels participated in the assault, including the attack transports USS Leonard Wood, Joseph T. Dickman, and Samuel Chase.  Coast Guardsmen also manned the landing craft on the Navy's USS Arcturus, Charles Carroll, Joseph Hewes, William P. Biddle, and Exceller.

After making contact with CGC Minnetonka on Ocean Station November Pan Am Flight 90944 Romance of the Skies was not heard of again. Wreckage of the aircraft was later found approx 90 miles of the ocean station.  No survivors were found.

1959  The tanker Amoco Virginia, with a cargo of aviation gasoline, exploded and caught fire at Houston, Texas.  U.S. Coast Guard units in the Galveston-Houston area assisted local and Federal agencies in extinguishing the blaze.  For 10 more days, Coast Guard air and surface units controlled a dangerous situation by spreading foam to reduce the fire hazard of leaking aviation gas, directing harbor traffic, pumping out the damaged vessel, and moving her to a safe dock.

1979  The crew of Coast Guard LORAN Station St. Paul Island, Alaska, rescued the crew of the Japanese factory fishing vessel Ryuyo Maru NR Two which had run aground near Tolstoi Point on St. Paul Island during a storm.  The Coast Guardsmen used a makeshift breeches buoy to effect the rescue of all of the 81 crewmen aboard the fishing vessel.

 

November 9

1970  The installation of the Coast Guard’s Control Data Corporation 3300 Computer System at Headquarters was completed.  A period of system acceptance testing was satisfactorily completed and the computer system was then accepted for use by the Coast Guard.

 

November 10

1775  The official birthday of the U.S. Marine Corps: On this date in 1775 the Second Continental Congress passed a resolution to create a "Corps of Marines."  Although they were disbanded in 1783 and were not re-established permanently until July 11, 1798 the Marine Corps recognizes November 10, 1775 as its official birthday.  The Marine Corps' motto is Semper Fidelis (Always Faithful).  On October 21, 1921, Major Edwin McClellan, Officer-in-Charge, Historical Section, Headquarters Marine Corps, sent a memorandum to Major General Commandant John A. Lejeune, suggesting that the original birthday on November 10, 1775 be declared a Marine Corps holiday to be celebrated throughout the Corps.

1913  Lightship No. 82 was lost with all hands during a gale while on station near Buffalo, New York.  Six crewmen were aboard when the lightship went down.  LV-82 was commanded by Hugh M. Williams, Master.

1975  The Great Lakes ore-carrier Edmund Fitzgerald, caught in an unexpected storm on Lake Superior, sank with a loss of all 29 hands.  Coast Guard units helped conduct a search for the ship and survivors although all efforts proved to be futile. 

2014  CGC Reliance returned to its homeport at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, Kittery, Maine, following a nine-week patrol in the Caribbean Sea supporting the Joint Interagency Task Force-South.  During the deployment, the 75-member crew of Reliance was responsible for conducting counter drug operations in support of U.S. and international law.  Reliance sailed with an aviation detachment from the Coast Guard's Helicopter Interdiction Tactical Squadron based in Jacksonville, Florida.  The cutter worked directly with federal and international partners at JIATF-S and the Coast Guard Seventh District to combat transnational organized crime networks operating in the Caribbean Basin.  Reliance's efforts directly contributed to the prevention of 14 metric tons of contraband from reaching American shores.  During the Reliance's 63-day deployment, the cutter traveled over 6,000 miles, conducted three law enforcement boardings and conducted more than 100 helicopter launch and recovery evolutions while operating throughout the Western Caribbean.

 

November 11

1881  The crew of Life-boat Station No. 14, Eleventh District (Racine, WI) rendered service during the severest storm of the season.  The life-saving crew noticed several vessels running north for safety under bare poles and two of them made safely into the harbor.  Observing this, the master of the schooner Lavinda tried to make the same haven, but the vessel became unmanageable, struck the south pier, immediately became waterlogged, and in five minutes was a wreck.  The life-saving crew sprang for the lifeboat and put out to her assistance.  They got alongside and managed to run a line from the wrecked vessel to the station tug H. Wetzel, which had steamed out to her relief.  The tug soon towed her into the harbor.

1918  The Allied powers signed a cease-fire agreement with Germany at Rethondes, France on November 11, 1918, bringing World War I to a close.  Between the wars November 11 was commemorated as Armistice Day in the United States, Great Britain, and France.  After World War II, the holiday was recognized as a day of tribute to veterans of both world wars.  Beginning in 1954, the United States designated November 11 as Veterans Day to honor veterans of all U.S. wars.  Over 8,000 Coast Guardsmen served during the World War I and 111 were killed in action with the enemy.

1955  CGC Yocona rescued the crew of the sinking fishing vessel Ocean Pride some 50 miles off Cape Lookout, Oregon.  When 60 to 70 mph winds and heavy seas with 30 feet swells made it impossible to launch lifeboats, Yocona came close aboard the sinking fishing vessel to allow all of its crew members to jump on board the cutter to safety.

 

November 12

1882  On November 11, the steam-barge H.C. Schnoor struck on the bar off Alcona at 11 o’clock at night about three hundred yards from the shore.  A strong southeast gale prevailed at the time, and there was a heavy sea.  At 8 o’clock in the morning of the next day (November 12) a team came with the news from Alcona to Station No. 5, Tenth District, (Sturgeon Point), about four miles and a half from the scene of the disaster.  After a half-hour for preparation, the keeper was on the road with two teams, one bearing the wreck ordnance and the other the surfboat.  An hour later they arrived and launched the surfboat.  The surf, however, was so heavy that they failed to get alongside the barge and they were obliged to return.  The wreck-gun was then used.  The gear, having been set up, the mate was brought ashore by the breeches-buoy.  As the crew was obliged to work from a point of land so narrow that they could not spread sufficiently to keep the lines apart, they twisted.  The heavy current caused the lee part of the whip-line to foul with the hawser.  Before the lines could be cleared, however, the wind changed and beat down the sea.  The surfboat was launched and took the captain (who had been on shore at Alcona) and the mate back to the barge.  The immediate danger ended with the subsidence of the sea.  The life-saving crew returned to the station.

 

November 13

1883  The sloop Madge Schults capsized as she was passing in through Rockaway Inlet, about half a mile distant from the Rockaway Point Station (Third District).  The only crewman of the sloop clung to the bottom of his craft and made signals for help.  They were seen by the lookout at the station and the life-saving crew went off in their boat.  He was taken from the water and landed on Barren Island.

1944  The Coast Guard-manned frigate USS Rockford and the Navy minesweeper USS Ardent attacked and sank the Japanese Navy submarine I-12 mid-way between Hawaii and California.  There were no survivors.  In sinking I-12, Ardent and Rockford unwittingly avenged the atrocity I-12 had perpetrated on October 30, 1944 when, after sinking the Liberty Ship John A. Johnson, the submarine rammed and sank the lifeboats and rafts and then machine-gunned the 70 survivors. 

2005  The first rescue using the new Rescue 21 command, control and communications system took place off Ocean City, Maryland.  All three persons on board a swamped 20-foot fishing boat were safely rescued.

2014  The first Alenia C-27J to complete the Coast Guard’s regeneration process arrived at the C-27J Asset Project Office in Elizabeth City, North Carolina, where it was to be used to train and qualify Coast Guard aircrew and maintenance personnel, as well as develop flight and maintenance procedures for Coast Guard-specific mission profiles.  Ultimately the aircraft would receive the equipment and systems needed to perform the full spectrum of Coast Guard missions.

 

November 14

1963  Coast Guard air and surface rescue craft responded immediately when the freighter Fernview and the tanker Dynafuel collided in Buzzards Bay.  While helicopters removed the injured aboard the stricken ships, surface craft extinguished the fires.  These Coast Guard units had completed the evacuation of all aboard the disabled vessels before the Dynafuel capsized and sank.

1990  PSU 302, staffed by reservists from Cleveland, Ohio, arrived in the Persian Gulf in support of operation Desert Shield.  They were stationed in Bahrain.

1991  An HH-60J Jayhawk from Aviation Training Center Mobile participated in a search and rescue operation off the coast of Alabama, the first such case conducted by an HH-60J, which was just beginning to enter Coast Guard service.

2008  The Coast Guard received a report of a homemade migrant vessel heading north towards the Marquesas Keys 30 miles west of Key West, Florida.  An RB-M was dispatched from Sector Key West to intercept the vessel, with a smaller special purpose boat capable of making shallow water pick-ups following the RB-M to the scene.  A Special Purpose Craft – Law Enforcement (SPC-LE) was also dispatched to assist.  The RB-M arrived first on scene to find the small, outboard-driven vessel about two miles southwest of the Marquesas Keys making an attempt to go ashore.  Though the vessel proved to be fairly agile and was quickly closing the distance to shore, the RB-M used its speed and maneuverability to “shoulder” the vessel, keeping it in deeper water until it could be disabled.  Using a boat hook, the RB-M crew disconnected the fuel line to the outboard engine, rendering it inoperable.  The fourteen migrants aboard were then safely removed from the vessel.

 

November 15

1860  The light in the massive stone Minot's Ledge Lighthouse, which was built on the original site of the one lost in 1851, was exhibited.  Work on the new lighthouse commenced in 1855 and finished in 1860.  "It ranks, by the engineering difficulties surrounding its erection and by the skill and science shown in the details of its construction, among the chief of the great sea-rock lighthouses of the world."

1929  The SS Briton came ashore at Point Abino, Lake Erie, and was in danger of breaking up.  Coast Guard patrol boat CG-164, under the command of BMC Clarence C. Kimball, safely rescued all 27 persons on board the stricken vessel.

1977  Coast Guard UTB-41332 from Station Cape Disappointment capsized in the Columbia River during a night training exercise.  The UTB sank after the current swept it past the Columbia River Lightship.  Three Coast Guardsmen were killed in the accident: BM3 Greg Morris, BM3 Ray Erb, and SN Albin Erickson.

1977  CGC Polar Star departed Seattle en route Antarctica for ice tests and operational tasking in connection with Operation Deep Freeze.  Polar Star recently completed installation of modified propellers and open water engineering trails in the Seattle area.

 

November 16

1929  CGC Itasca slid down the ways of the General Engineering and Drydock Company in Oakland, California.  Ms. Jean Lyans christened the new 250-Lake Class cutter.  Ms. Lyans was nominated for the task by Representative Homer Hoch, of Kansas, a "great friend of the Coast Guard."  The Lake-Class cutters, ten in all, were designed in-house by the Coast Guard and were propelled by a turbine-driven electric motor.  All ten were transferred to the Royal Navy under Lend Lease in the spring of 1941.

1950  The Serpen's monument in Arlington National Cemetery was dedicated on November 16, 1950.  The monument was placed on the gravesite of those who lost their lives on the night of January 29, 1945 when USS Serpens was destroyed off Lunga Beach, Guadalcanal. This was the largest single disaster suffered by the Coast Guard in World War II.

1992  CGC Storis became the cutter with the longest service in the Bering Sea, eclipsing the U.S. Revenue Cutter Bear which had held that distinction since 1929.  Bear was decommissioned in 1929 after serving in the Bering Sea for 44 years and two months.

 

November 17

1791  Secretary of Treasury Hamilton fixed the value of rations at a "generous" 12 cents per day for each man in Revenue Marine.  

1973  The "Largest Icebreaker in the Western World," CGC Polar Star, was launched.

1982  President Ronald Reagan visited the CGC Dauntless and awarded the cutter and crew the Coast Guard Unit Commendation for their work during the period of July 1980 to July 1982.  President Reagan wrote in the Record of Inspections: "Aboard 'Dauntless' – a proud ship with an impressive crew."  This was the first visit by a U.S. president aboard a cutter in 19 years.

1983  LT Edith Munro, USCGR, a World War II SPAR veteran and the mother of Coast Guard hero Douglas Munro, passed away at the age of 88.

 

November 18

1953  Heavy rains in the Coquille, Coos, and Willamette River Valleys of western Oregon caused flooding of the lowland areas and isolation of some towns through the blocking of highways by slides and high water, necessitating the evacuation of families and livestock.   A Coast Guard relief detail of boats, men, and aircraft participated in relief assistance measures, cooperating with the Red Cross and civil authorities.

1999  The 605-foot Russian freighter Sergo Zakariadze, loaded with a cargo of cement dust, ran aground at the entrance to San Juan harbor, Puerto Rico.  Coast Guard Strike Team, MSO San Juan, Greater Antilles Section, among others, responded to the accident.

 

November 19

1943  CG Air Station at Floyd Bennett Field, Brooklyn, New York, was designated as a helicopter training base.  The Coast Guard ran the training program during the war.

1984  The Coast Guard accepted the new HH-65A Dolphin helicopter for service.

2008  CGC Vigorous returned to its homeport of Cape May, New Jersey, after "a productive 56-day deployment in the Caribbean Sea. . .Patrol highlights include law enforcement boardings, search and rescue operations as well as successfully completing Tailored Ship’s Training Availability."

 

November 20

1943  Landings commenced at Makin and Tarawa in the Gilbert Islands.  The Coast Guard-manned assault transport USS Leonard Wood, veteran of the landings made in the Mediterranean, participated.  She landed 1,788 officers and men of the 165th Combat Team of the U.S. Army's 27th Division, on Makin Island.  Coast Guard-manned LST-20, LST-23, LST-69, LST-169, LST-205, and the USS Arthur Middleton, and the following Navy ships with partial Coast Guard crews: USSs Heywood, Bellatrix, and William P. Biddle, participated in the bloody assault of Tarawa.

 

November 21

1970  Two 378-foot cutters, CGC Sherman and Rush, combined with USS Endurance to attack and sink a North Vietnamese trawler attempting to smuggle arms into South Vietnam.

1995  CGC Decisive located and began tracking a 75-foot freighter packed with Haitian migrants 30 miles off the northwest coast of Haiti on November 19.  The cutter followed the freighter for two days as it maneuvered in and out of Cuban territorial seas, refusing to allow a boarding party aboard.  Finally, at noon, November 21, with CGC Northland having joined the chase, the captain of the freighter allowed a boarding team to come aboard where they discovered 516 migrants.   Using small boats from both cutters, the migrants were brought aboard Northland and were repatriated.

2014  Watchstanders at the Coast Guard 7th District command center received a report from a tug stating they heard a distress call from a vessel claiming to be taking on water off the coast of Great Inagua, Bahamas.  A Coast Guard MH-60 crew deployed in support of Operations Bahamas, Turks and Caicos (OPBAT) launched and located the coastal freighter Calypso approximately 50 miles off the coast of Great Inagua.  The helicopter crew lowered a rescue swimmer down with a dewatering pump.  Calypso began to slowly transit to the coast of Haiti to investigate the source of the flooding.  At approximately 12:30 p.m., CGC Charles Sexton arrived on scene and Coast Guard crewmembers were transferred to the freighter and assisted with the dewatering of the vessel.  The freighter began to list on the right side due to the amount of water in the lower compartments.  To ensure the safety of everyone aboard, all seven crewmembers were removed and transferred to the cutter Sexton with no medical concerns.  CGC Thetis arrived on scene at approximately 7 p.m. and safely transferred the seven crewmembers from Sexton to Thetis.  At approximately 7:30 p.m., crewmembers from the cutter Thetis reported seeing the freighter Calypso continue to list on the right side before sinking approximately 45 miles north of Cap Haitien, Haiti.

 

November 22

1906  At the second International Radio Telegraphic Convention, which was held in Berlin, the attendees agreed to adopt the wireless signal "SOS" as the internationally recognized signal for distress at sea.  Their thinking was that three dots, three dashes and three dots could not be misinterpreted.

1953  A great boon to ocean navigation for aircraft surface vessels was the completion of four new LORAN stations in the Far East.  The stations were built at Mikayo Jima, Ryuku Islands; Bataan and Cantanduanes Islands, Philippines; and Anguar, Palau Island in the Carolinas chain. 

1968  A DC-8 with 107 persons on board disappeared from the radar during final approach to San Francisco International Airport.  Visibility was 3/4-mile in fog and the ceiling was 300 feet.  A Coast Guard helicopter located the aircraft in the water 6,100 yards from the runway with people on the wings boarding life rafts.  Within seven minutes, two additional helicopters and a Coast Guard boat were on the scene.  All 107 persons were saved.

1993  NATO began enforcing United Nations' Resolutions 713 and 757 that set in place an embargo against the former Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro).  Four Coast Guard LEDETs were deployed to Southern Europe to support the operation and were placed aboard NATO warships.

2015  CGC Waesche returned to its homeport at Coast Guard Island in Alameda after a 106-day deployment. Waesche departed Alameda in August on its 18,000-mile deployment ranging from the coast of Southern California to the Arctic Ocean, and the Bering Sea.  During this deployment, Waesche’s crew completed two weeks of weapons system testing and certification, patrolled the Arctic in support of Operation Arctic Shield, and enforced federal fisheries laws and safety regulations in the Gulf of Alaska and Bering Sea.  Law enforcement personnel aboard the cutter conducted numerous at-sea boardings of fishing vessels to ensure compliance with federal fisheries regulations and conduct spot checks of required safety equipment.  The cutter patrolled in the Arctic, furthering national strategic goals by enhancing maritime domain awareness and improving preparedness, prevention, and response capabilities in the region.  While in the Bering Sea, Waesche assisted in a search-and-rescue case that resulted in the successful medical evacuation of an ailing fisherman.  Waesche crewmembers worked closely with the communities of Dutch Harbor and Barrow, Alaska while in the area.  The crew hosted community leaders from Barrow aboard the cutter to discuss the rapidly evolving economic landscape in the Arctic and volunteered during their time ashore to complete several community service projects in the community of Dutch Harbor.

 

November 23

1942  The Coast Guard Women's Reserve, known as SPARs, was organized.

1970  Simas I. Kudirka, a Lithuanian seaman, attempted to defect from his Soviet fishing vessel to CGC Vigilant.  The incident occurred during a meeting near Martha's Vineyard between the Soviets and the U.S. on fishing rights.  After consulting with the First District command, the cutter's commanding officer allowed Soviet crewmen to board the cutter and forcibly remove Kudirka.

2014  While on a routine patrol, a Joint Interagency Taskforce South maritime patrol aircraft crew detected a go-fast vessel south of Haiti heading north at 15 knots with fuel barrels and possible contraband on board.  Watchstanders from the Coast Guard 7th District Command Center directed HMS Argyll to intercept and conduct a boarding of the vessel.  The go-fast began to jettison objects and Argyll launched both of its smallboats.  Shortly after, the go-fast vessel with four suspected smugglers aboard became compliant and was boarded by a U.S. Coast Guard law enforcement team assigned to Argyll.  The Royal Navy warship's crew recovered 29 bales of contraband the suspects jettisoned into the water.  All bales later tested positive for cocaine.  The smuggling vessel was destroyed as a hazard to navigation.  In a separate case, the Coast Guard LEDET and crew of Argyll teamed to seize 216 kilograms of cocaine after a Dutch maritime patrol aircraft detected a suspect go-fast and vectored Argyll to the vessel's location on November 23, 2014. The go-fast vessel was stopped and two suspects were taken into custody.  The contraband was offloaded in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico.

 

November 24

2015  CGC Bertholf returned to its homeport of Alameda after completing a 104-day multi-mission deployment in which the cutter seized over $455 million worth of illegal narcotics.  Bertholf was deployed to the Eastern Pacific Ocean in support of Joint Interagency Task Force-South (JIATF-S) Operation Martillo.  During this phase the cutter’s crew boarded and seized 11 smuggling vessels, detained 32 suspected narco-traffickers, and prevented more than 30,000 pounds of illegal narcotics from reaching U.S. shores.  The cutter’s success on the recent deployment showcases the stamina and flexibility of Bertholf’s hard-working crew, highlighted by the cutter’s interdiction of a self-propelled semi-submersible (SPSS).  Bertholf’s boarding teams achieved complete surprise in taking control of the stealthy vessel, and spent over two full days onboard the SPSS ultimately recovering over 15,000 pounds of narcotics.  At another point during the deployment, the cutter’s crew pursued nine different go-fast vessels on the high seas in less than seven days.  The successful interdictions were enabled by the cutter’s interoperability with other Coast Guard units, as well as assets from the Department of Defense and other agencies supporting the JIATF-S mission.  For a portion of the deployment, the cutter traveled to Valparaiso, Chile in support of UNITAS 2015, a multinational naval exercise, partnering with naval forces from 11 countries, including the U.S. Navy.  Bertholf ‘s boarding teams conducted joint interdiction operations with Chilean and Mexican forces, boarding simulated rogue merchant vessels to seize smuggled weapons of mass destruction components as part of an international task force.

 

November 25

1968  M/V Triple Crown foundered off the coast of Southern California with a loss of nine lives while retrieving the anchor and chain of a large offshore drilling rig. The Coast Guard investigated.

1999  Elian Gonzalez, a five-year old Cuban boy, was found on Thanksgiving morning clinging to an inner tube three miles off the coast of Fort Lauderdale, Florida.  He was among three survivors of a boating accident which killed 11 migrants fleeing Cuba.  The Coast Guard searched from Islamorada to Boca Raton, using a HU-25 and a HH-65 from Air Station Miami, a HC-130 from Air Station Clearwater, CGC Maui, and a 41-foot UTB from Station Fort Lauderdale.  The child later gained international notoriety when his father, a Cuban citizen, attempted to have him returned to Cuba, a desire that Elian's relatives in the U.S. fought through the U.S. court system all the way to the Supreme Court.  The Court ruled in his father's favor and the child was returned to Cuba.

 

November 26

1964  The Israeli passenger liner Shalom and the Norwegian tanker Stolt Dagali collided off Point Pleasant, New Jersey in a dense fog.  Nineteen tanker crewmen were killed in the collision which sliced the tanker into two pieces.  CGC Point Arden was the first on scene.  Five other cutters and "a fleet" of Coast Guard and Navy helicopters soon joined in the rescue and salvage operations, resulting in the rescue of 24 of the tanker's crew.  One injured Shalom crewman was airlifted by a Coast Guard helicopter for medical treatment and survived.  No one else from the liner was injured.

1968  While en route from Apia, Western Samoa to Pago Pago, Polynesian Airlines Flight 5WFAA sighted the wreckage of an overturned vessel and reported it to the Federal Aviation Agency Flight Service at Tafuna, American Samoa.  CGC Cape Providence, moored at Pago Pago on search and rescue standby, was notified of the sighting.  With an assist from the Polynesian airliner, the cutter located the disabled fishing vessel named Main Sun No.2 and found 17 survivors clinging to the overturned hull.  Despite the rough seas breaking over the hull, the Cape Providence rescued 13 of the survivors, while 4 more were retrieved from the water by the fishing vessel Chie Hong No.20, which had arrived on scene to assist.  Two members of the 19-man crew, however, had been trapped in the engine room on the capsized vessel and had perished.

1995  Coast Guardsman Michael E. Earley rescued a 12-year old boy who had fallen from the Astoria-Megler Bridge into the frigid, swiftly flowing waters of the Columbia River.  Petty Officer Earley was on liberty and driving along the highway towards the bridge when he noticed several people on the bridge waving their arms.  When he stopped to offer assistance, he saw a young boy struggling to stay afloat in the strong flooding tide of the river.  Without hesitation, Petty Officer Earley hurried to the shoreline, tied a rope to his belt, and disregarding his own safety, plunged into the churning 52-degree water and rescued the young boy.  He was awarded a Gold Life-Saving Medal for his heroic action.

1996  A Coast Guard HC-130 located a grossly overloaded Haitian freighter off the coast of Haiti.  Crewmen from the cutters Dauntless, Chandelier, Monhegan, and Nantucket helped to transfer the largest group of Haitians ever found on a vessel to CGC Northland.  One Haitian died of severe dehydration, the other 581 were repatriated.

1997  Two crewmen died when the Japanese freighter Kuroshima ran aground in a storm near Dutch Harbor.  Eighteen other crewmen were rescued by Coast Guardsmen who used a tow rope to haul a life raft to safety.  The Coast Guardsmen were from CGC Midgett that was fortuitously in Dutch Harbor for a mid-patrol break.  The freighter was later refloated.

2002  President George W. Bush signed into law a bill that created the Department of Homeland Security, the largest reorganization of the federal government in fifty years.  The Coast Guard was one of a number of agencies that transferred to the new Department; the transfer was scheduled to go into effect on March 1, 2003.

 

November 27

1883  The schooner Maggie W. Willard with a crew of five men struck on Sea Horse Rock about two miles west of the Crumple Island Station (First District) on the coast of Maine at 1 o’clock in the afternoon.  She was discovered by the station crew, who offered assistance.  Finding the vessel in a very dangerous position and leaking the crew’s effects were saved and they were taken to the station.  All efforts to get the vessel off failed.  That night the schooner drove over the reef and sunk in deep water, becoming a total loss.

 

November 28

1889  The crew of the Evanston, IL, Life-Saving Station earned the Gold Lifesaving Medal for the rescue of the crew of the steamer Calumet.   Most of the crew consisted of students from Northwestern University.

1942  Petty Officer Clifford Johnson was on liberty at the Coconut Grove Lounge in Boston on the night of November 28, 1942 when the lounge caught fire.  Over 490 persons perished in what was one of the worst fires in the nation's history.  Petty Officer Johnson repeatedly risked his life by entering the fire on four occasions to pull victims from the flames, receiving severe burns over his body.  He spent over two years in the hospital recovering from his injuries.

2014  CGC Stratton returned to its homeport at Coast Guard Island in Alameda, California, after a 140-day deployment to the Arctic and Central America.  Since departing in July 2014, Stratton’s crew completed a 24,000-mile deployment in support of the nation’s interests in the Arctic and joint counter-drug operations off the coast of California and Central America.  During this operational patrol, Stratton’s law enforcement crews seized and disrupted 6.6 tons of illegal narcotics valued in excess of $27.5 Million.  Stratton Coast Guardsmen assisted mariners in four separate search and rescue cases.  Furthering national strategic goals, the cutter’s crew patrolled the Arctic and conducted interoperability tests with new equipment.  Stratton Coast Guardsmen worked closely with the communities in isolated locations of Point Lay, Gamble and Barrow, Alaska.  The crew went ashore to schools and civic centers to teach water safety and provide life jackets to community members.

 

November 29

1808  Secretary of the Treasury Albert Gallatin requested 12 new cutters at a cost of $120,000 to enforce "laws which prohibit exportation and restrain importations" to support the embargo ordered by President Thomas Jefferson.  President Jefferson had ordered an embargo against most European imports and exports to protest the harassment of U.S. sailors by warring European powers.  The embargo did not work.  The United States went to war with England in 1812 but the Revenue Marine got the new cutters.

1877  The first annual report of the U.S. Lifesaving Service was submitted in published form to the Secretary of the Treasury.

1969  The German freighter Nordmeer ran aground on the Thunder Bay Shoal in Lake Huron. Most of her crew safely evacuated to a nearby ship but eight crewmen remained on board to attempt to save their vessel.  The weather quickly deteriorated, however, and they radioed for assistance.  A Coast Guard helicopter and the icebreaker Mackinaw responded and safely evacuated the eight men while the freighter broke up.

2013  CGC Waesche returned from a 109-day deployment in the Gulf of Alaska, Bering Sea and Arctic Ocean to its homeport at Coast Guard Island in Alameda, California on November 29, 2013.  While on patrol Waesche’s crew conducted a broad range of operations including maritime law enforcement, search and rescue, maritime surveillance and community outreach.  While underway, the crew was on scene for the opening of the red king crab fishing season to help ensure the safety and security of fishermen conducting operations in the Bering Sea.  The crew also enforced fisheries laws and regulations to ensure sustainable fishing is practiced in the Gulf of Alaska and Bering Sea.  The crew responded to five search and rescue cases including a removal of 14 mariners from a disabled fishing vessel, Alaska Mist, some 160 nautical miles northeast of Dutch Harbor in mid-November.  In Unalaska, Alaska, the crew participated in helping with maintenance and upkeep at a high school and several other community relation projects.

 

November 30

1837  Two early complainants on the efficiency of the American lighthouses, E. and G.W. Blunt, publishers of the famous Blunt’s "Coast Pilot," submitted a statement to the Secretary of the Treasury. They argued that the whole lighthouse system "needs revision, a strict superintendence and an entirely different plan of operation."

1920  The Navy minesweeper USS Swan ran aground on Duxbury Beach, Massachusetts.  Coast Guardsmen from three nearby stations rescued the minesweeper's crew with a breeches buoy.  CGC Androscoggin assisted in the rescue.  

December 1

1844  Captain Alexander Fraser, head of the Revenue Marine Bureau, reported to Congress on the failure of the service's first steam cutters Spencer and Legare.

1916  Second Lieutenant Russell R. Waesche was designated as the first Communications Officer for the Coast Guard, an office established at Coast Guard Headquarters.  The office was renamed Chief, Communications Division, soon thereafter.

1944  The Office of Air-Sea Rescue was set up in the Coast Guard. The Secretary of the Navy, at the request of the Joint Chiefs of Staff early in 1944, established the Air-Sea Rescue Agency, an inter-department and inter-agency body, for study and improvement of rescue work with the Commandant of Coast Guard as its head.

 

December 2

1883  The schooner Champion with a crew of two men stranded on Dick’s Flat, Plymouth Harbor, near Duxbury Pier lighthouse, at about 6 am. The shoal where she struck was about three miles west-southwest of the Gurnet Point Station (Second District), and the crew of the station were not sure she was aground until about 10 o’clock.  The life-saving crew therefore arrived on board a little before 2 o’clock in the afternoon.  They found one of the men, the captain, at the pumps and the other bailing from the hatch.  The vessel was leaking badly.  The two men on board were wet, cold, and very glad of the assistance of the life-saving crew.  The keeper, at the captain’s request, took charge.  The pumps were manned while another gang went to work bailing.  When she began to right with the incoming tide, they shifted the booms over and canted her the other way, so as to bring the leaky seams out of the water to chinse them with oakum and nail canvas over all to stop the leaks.  After doing this and getting most of the water out, they carried out an anchor into the channel, set all sail and by heaving hard on the hawser, they brought her on an even keel.  She was hauled off the shoal at about 4 o’clock and got safely under way.  As the weather looked bad, the captain concluded to remain in port for the night and accordingly anchored.

2012  BMCS Terrell Horne, III, CGC Halibut's Executive Petty Officer and Boarding Officer, was killed in action while carrying out law enforcement operations near Santa Cruz, California. The Coast Guard posthumously awarded BMCS Horne the Coast Guard Medal for his heroism that night.  His citation read, in part: "…Shortly after midnight, Senior Chief Petty Officer Horne deployed in HALIBUT's cutter boat with three other crew members to investigate a vessel loitering in the area without navigation lights.  Upon approaching the unlit vessel and identifying themselves as law enforcement officers, the vessel ignored commands to stop and instead rapidly accelerated directly toward them.  The boarding team immediately maneuvered to avoid the oncoming vessel and fired side arms in self-defense.  When impact with the oncoming vessel became unavoidable, Senior Chief Petty Officer HORNE, disregarding his own safety in order to protect a fellow crewmember, forcibly pushed the coxswain from the helm, directly exposing himself to the oncoming vessel.  The violence of the subsequent collision forcibly ejected him from the boat, and despite immediate recovery from the water and application of first aid by his shipmates, he succumbed to the severe injuries received during the incident.  Senior Chief Petty Officer HORNE demonstrated remarkable initiative, exceptional fortitude and daring in spite of imminent personal danger.  His courage and devotion to duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Coast Guard."

 

December 3

1852  The merchant ship Georgia grounded in a gale off Bonds, New Jersey with 290 persons on board.  The life car was used to affect their rescue and all survived.

1883  The schooner Pallas with a crew of three men encountered strong head winds and heavy seas off Cape Cod, Massachusetts.  About half past 5 in the morning, abreast of Nausett lights, she sprung a leak and became unmanageable.  Being close to the breakers, the crew was fearful they would be washed overboard as soon as she struck and took to their boat.  Fortunately, they were discovered by the Nausett Station keeper, pulling vigorously to keep away from the surf.  The surfboat was launched and the three men rescued.  They were brought ashore by the life-saving crew, though not without a thorough drenching because the station boat was nearly swamped on the bar.  The schooner meanwhile drifted into the surf, three quarters of a mile north of the station and soon broke up.

1982  MSO St. Louis took charge of the response when the Mississippi, Missouri, and Illinois rivers flooded their banks.  In all over 100 Coast Guardsmen took part in the relief efforts that covered an eight-state area.

2001  Coast Guard forces, including the cutters Chandeleur and Farallon, as well as aircraft from Air Station Miami and boat crews from Station Miami Beach rescued 185 Haitian migrants from the grossly overloaded 31-foot sailboat Simapvivsetz off Old Rhodes Key, Florida.

2013  CGC Polar Star departed Coast Guard Base Seattle for Antarctica in support of Operation Deep Freeze for the first time since 2006 with the task of resupplying the National Science Foundation Scientific Research Station in McMurdo, Antarctica.  During the summer of 2013, Polar Star conducted sea trials in the Arctic to test all of the ship's equipment and train the crew prior to embarking to Antarctica.  During the summer trip, Polar Star spent weeks in the Beaufort Sea north of Barrow, Alaska, testing propulsion machinery, conducting emergency drills, and qualifying crewmembers in individual watch-stations.  The cutter was recently out of a three-year, $90 million overhaul, part of the Coast Guard's plan to reactivate the heavy icebreaker.

 

December 4

1989  CGC Mesquite ran aground near Keweenaw Point in Lake Superior.  She was deemed damaged beyond repair and was sunk as an artificial reef.  There was no loss of life.

 

December 5

1933  Prohibition came to an end on this date when the 21st Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified.

1963  CG-40597 completed a record run of 450 miles from Baltimore, Maryland to Boston, Massachusetts in a running time of 20 hours.  The first of two prototype twin-screw 40-foot plastic utility boats, CG-40597, was powered by 350 HP Cummins VT-6 diesel engines and had a trial speed of 29 knots.  Endurance at 25 knots was 200 miles. 

1968  FN Heriberto S. Hernandez, a CGC Point Cypress (WPB 82326) crewman, was killed in action in Vietnam.

 

December 6

1917  The French freighter Mont Blanc, loaded with 5,000 tons of high explosives, collided with the Norwegian steamer Imo in the harbor of Halifax, Nova Scotia.  The resulting fire detonated the munitions, killing 1,635 people and leveling much of Halifax and its environs.  Coast Guardsmen from CGC Morrill landed to provide assistance.  This disaster led to the creation of captains of the ports for the major U.S. ports.  The Coast Guard was tasked with the new duty.

1918  Surfman L. E. Ashton of Station No. 305 in Nome, Alaska, departed his station with a dog sled and team loaded with medical supplies along with one other surfman on an expedition to assist natives who were suffering from influenza at Cape Prince of Wales, 160 miles from Nome and at villages between the two settlements.  He arrived at Cape Prince of Wales on 13 December, where he found 122 natives sick and 157 dead of the illness.  He converted the schoolhouse into a hospital and the post office into a dispensary and "otherwise perfected an organization by means of which he was able to care for all the sick."  He began burying the dead on January 11 and by February 20 when "the epidemic had spent its force" he returned to his station in Nome, arriving there on March 1, 1919.

1944  Coast Guardsmen participated in the landings at Ormoc, Philippine Islands.

1946  The number of Coast Guardsmen on active duty had been dropped to 22,156 in order to meet budgetary requirements.  Many lifeboat stations had to be placed in a limited caretaker or inactive status and some vessels tied up because they lacked complements .

1953  Coast Guard search and rescue facilities at the Naval Base in Bermuda were instrumental in rescuing four survivors and recovering 17 bodies from the Cuban aircraft Cubana 471, which crashed on take-off from the airport at Kindley Field, Bermuda.

1999  CGC Munro intercepted the vessel Wing Fung Lung loaded with more than 250 Chinese migrants headed for the Guatemala/El Salvador border.  After refusing permission to board, Munro tracked the vessel for three days when lookouts spotted flares over the ship.  When the Munro's small boat approached, panicked migrants began jumping into the water.  They were pulled to safety and returned to the Wing Fun Lung while boarding parties finally went aboard the crowded vessel.  Someone apparently tried to scuttle the vessel and the boarding teams were able to stop the flooding and dewater the engine room.  The threat to the Munro crewmen on the vessel was made worse because the migrants had not been fed or had water for more than a day.  They were at the point of total rebellion, according to the Munro's boarding team members.  Other boarding teams from CGC Hamilton then arrived and helped to control the situation.  The vessel was finally taken into Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala, where the migrants were taken into custody by INS agents.  The master of the vessel was arrested.

2013  CGC Mackinaw, loaded with more than 1,200 Christmas trees as 2013's “Christmas Ship,” arrived at Navy Pier for a two-day event re-enacting an annual Chicago tradition dating from the late 1800s and early 1900s. 

2013  Coast Guard Sector Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, commenced Operation Taconite for the winter season.  The annual operation was designed to prevent developing ice from hindering commercial navigation in the ports of Duluth, Minnesota; Superior, Wisconsin; and Thunder Bay, Ontario.  Operation Fall Retrieve, the annual operation to remove aids to navigation on the Great Lakes in preparation for the winter icing of the lakes, concluded soon after the start of 2013's Operation Taconite.  Coast Guard Sector Detroit prepared to launch Operation Coal Shovel, the annual ice-breaking operation in the eastern Great Lakes region.

 

December 7

1793  The first Revenue Cutter Service court martial occurred on this date aboard the cutter Massachusetts.  The offender, Third Mate Sylvanus Coleman of Nantucket, was summarily dismissed from the service for "speaking disrespectfully of his superior officers in public company…insulting Captain John Foster Williams [the commanding officer] on board, and before company…for keeping bad women on board the cutter in Boston and setting a bad example to the men by ordering them to bring the women on board at night and carrying them ashore in the morning…" and for writing an order in the name of the commanding officer.

1830  President Andrew Jackson announced an ambitious plan to add a large number of lighthouses to the federal system, with a total of 51 more lighthouse keepers.  In explanation, he supported the practice of offsetting the costs of keeping aids to navigation on the coasts, lakes and harbors "to render the navigation thereof safe and easy" since "whatever gives facility and security to navigation cheapens imports; and all who consume them are alike interested in whatever produces this effect.  The consumer in the most inland State derives the same advantage…that he does who lives in a maritime State."

1941  The Imperial Japanese Navy launched a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor and surrounding Army Air Force airfields in Hawaii.  Stationed in Honolulu were the Coast Guard's 327-foot cutter Taney, the 190-foot buoy tender Kukui, two 125-foot patrol craft, Reliance and Tiger, two 78-foot patrol boats, and several smaller craft.  At the time of the attack, Taney lay at Pier Six in Honolulu Harbor, Reliance and the unarmed Kukui both lay at Pier Four and Tiger was on patrol along the western shore of Oahu.  All were performing normal duties for a peacetime Sunday.  After the attack commenced Tiger conducted anti-submarine sweeps outside of Pearl Harbor and Taney opened fire on Japanese aircraft that appeared over Honolulu Harbor.

1968  CGC White Alder sank after colliding with M/V Helena near White Castle, Louisiana.  Seventeen Coast Guard personnel were killed.

1973  The first female enlistees were sworn into the regular U.S. Coast Guard, Y1/c Wanda May Parr and Y2c Margaret A. Blackman, at a ceremony held in Yorktown, VA.  On that date as well CWO Alice T. Jefferson became the first woman commissioned officer to be sworn into the regular U.S. Coast Guard.  Jefferson was sworn in by Admiral Chester Bender, Commandant, at a ceremony held at Coast Guard Headquarters.

1988  The Coast Guard hosted an international summit between Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev, President Ronald Reagan, and President-elect and then-Vice President George H. W. Bush on Governors Island.  The summit occurred after Gorbachev had addressed the United Nations.  In planning his trip to the UN, Gorbachev requested a meeting with Reagan and the White House selected the Coast Guard base at Governors Island as a meeting site since it was a secure military installation in the middle of New York harbor and just minutes away from the United Nations.  The leaders met for lunch at the LANTAREA commander's [VADM James Irwin] home.  The summit was characterized as "just a luncheon" and the meeting was the last time President Reagan and Gorbachev would meet during Reagan's remaining term.

2014  CGC Kukui returned from a 46-day law enforcement patrol where they exercised bilateral agreements and enforced fisheries regulations across the Pacific.  The 50-person crew participated in several significant regional operations to further enhance U.S. and international efforts in the protection of the ecologically and economically valuable fish stocks of the Pacific Ocean and participated in a number of multi-national operations, including Operation Kuru Kuru, which was a multinational operation orchestrated by the Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency.  Kukui exercised the Tongan bilateral agreement by embarking a Tongan ship rider to patrol that nation's EEZ.  Kukui crewmembers spent patrol time searching for potential EEZ incursions by vessels not transmitting their location or status in accordance with applicable fisheries regulations.  Another leg of their patrol included domestic fisheries boardings in the American Samoa EEZ and high seas boardings under the authorities established by the Western Central Pacific Fisheries Commission.

 

December 8

1904  An Executive Order extended the jurisdiction of the Lighthouse Service to the noncontiguous territory of the Midway Islands.

1941  Coast Guardsmen seized all nine Finnish vessels that were in U.S. ports and placed them in "protective custody" to "prevent the commission of any acts of sabotage" on orders from the Navy Department.  Twenty-four hours later the Coast Guard removed the crews from each of the vessels.  This action was ordered soon after the break in diplomatic relations between Great Britain and Finland.  The following Finish vessels were seized: SS Olivia, at Boston, Massachusetts; SS Kurikka, SS Jourtanes, and SS Saimaa at New York, New York; SS Advance, at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; SS Aagot and SS Marisa Thorden at Baltimore; SS Aurora, at Newport News, Virginia; and SS Delaware, at Galveston, Texas.

1983  Four cutters arrived off of the island of Grenada to replace U.S. Navy surface forces conducting surveillance operations after the U.S. invaded the island earlier that year.  The cutters involved were Cape Gull, Cape Fox, Cape Shoalwater, and the Sagebrush.

2004  The 738-foot freighter Selendang Ayu grounded and broke in two December 8, 2004, offshore of Spray Cape, Unalaska.  Fighting extremely adverse conditions, helicopter crews from Kodiak and the CGC Alex Haley, working with the crew of Haley, rescued all but six of the sailors.  AST3 Aaron Bean earned the Meritorious Service Medal and AMT3 Gregory Gibbons the Distinguished Flying Cross.  During the rescue high waves caused the crash of a Coast Guard HH-60J.

 

December 9

1899  A Treasury Order entrusted the Bureau of Navigation "with the duty of examining and disposing of petitions for the remission of fines, penalties, and forfeitures under the laws relating to navigation, vessels, steamboat-inspection, and passengers."

1959  At the request of the Russian Embassy, the crew of a US Coast Guard UF-1 amphibious aircraft removed an ill Russian seaman from the merchant ship Jana in the Bering Sea.  The plane, with an interpreter and a doctor aboard, landed in a blinding snow storm at Dutch Harbor, where the patient was transferred to a hospital.

1981  The icebreaker CGC Westwind departed her homeport of Milwaukee for the Caribbean.  She was assigned to relieve a high-endurance cutter on a counter-drug patrol.

1996  Two Coast Guard HH-60 helicopters with support from an HC-130, all from AIRSTA Elizabeth City, rescued the seven crewmembers of the 67-year old schooner Alexandria when she went down in a fierce storm 50 miles southwest of Cape Hatteras.

 

December 10

1905  "To evaluate its use in lighthouse work, radio equipment was installed experimentally on Nantucket Lightship in August of 1901.  On December 10, 1905, while riding out a severe gale, Lightship No. 58 on the Nantucket Shoals Station sprang a serious leak.  There being no recognized radio distress signal at that time, the operator could only repeatedly spell out the word "help".  Although no reply was received Newport Navy station (radio) intercepted the call and passed it on to the proper authorities.  The lightship tender Azalea was dispatched to the assistance of Lightship No. 58, and upon arrival at the scene passed a towline.  The long tow to a safe harbor began, but after a few hours it was quite evident that Lightship No. 58 was sinking.  Azalea took off her crew of thirteen men only minutes before she sank.  This pioneer use of radio had indeed proved Its worth in rescue operations."

1941  Germany and Italy declared war on the United States.

1981  A Coast Guard HH-52A landed on CGC Dependable's flight deck, marking the 5,000th helicopter landing on board the cutter.  According to Coast Guard aviation records, this was the most helicopter landings ever recorded on board a cutter.  The landing occurred off Dauphin Island in the Gulf of Mexico.

1993  Secretary of Transportation Andrew H. Card, Jr., awarded the military members of the Coast Guard the Humanitarian Service Medal and the civilian employees the Coast Guard Public Service Commendation for their services during the Haitian migrant crisis from October 1991 through November 1992.  During that period, a flotilla of over 27 Coast Guard cutters rescued 35,000 Haitian migrants from hundreds of overcrowded and unseaworthy vessels.

 

December 11

1881  Six men landed from a boat on Race Point, Cape Cod, and were soon after found, wet, chilled, and much exhausted, by the patrolman from Station No. 6, Second District.  He learned that they were the captain and crew of the Canadian schooner J .A. Hatfield that had been sunk in a collision with an unknown bark the previous night.  The patrolman conducted them to the light keeper's dwelling nearby.

2014  CGC Mellon returned to Seattle following a seven-week deployment in the Eastern Pacific Ocean after interdicting nearly 700 pounds of cocaine seized from seagoing drug smugglers.  The drugs, recovered during a single bust off the coast of Central America, were worth an estimated street value of $18.6 million.  Three suspects were detained during the operation. The more than 150-person crew of Mellon left Seattle on October 25 to conduct anti-narcotics and search and rescue missions along the coast of Mexico and Central America.  Their efforts resulted in six law enforcement boardings and the disruption of an additional 1,900 pounds of cocaine shipments headed for the U.S.  Just as Mellon began its journey homeward on November 24, 2014, the cutter was diverted to lead search and rescue operations in the case of a missing U.S. sailor.  The sailing vessel Seven Sisters was found capsized off the coast of Mexico with no crew present after the vessel was reported as overdue to the port of Acapulco.  Over the course of nearly a week, Mellon launched its attached MH-65 Dolphin helicopter and crew up to four times a day and covered more than 26,000 square miles of ocean while searching for the lost sailor.  Extra lookout watches were set aboard the cutter in hopes of finding him, but the case was suspended after the search efforts proved unsuccessful.  Another search and rescue operation involved a few unlikely survivors.  About 300 miles off the coast of Guatemala, Mellon’s crew spotted four sea turtles and a dolphin entangled in more than 100 feet of abandoned fishing line.  A small crew launched one of the small boats to rescue the animals and remove the debris from the water.  After nearly an hour of cutting the animals free, they were released and appeared to be uninjured.

 

December 12

1876  The first ever examination for Revenue Cutter cadets was held in Washington, D.C.

1965  Division 13, Coast Guard Squadron One (RONONE) was established for service in Vietnam.

1994  CGC Munro responded to a mayday from the Greek-registered 798-foot container ship Hyundai Seattle approximately 550 nautical miles south of Adak, Alaska.  The freighter reported an engine room fire that left the ship dead in the water.  An HH-65 attached to the cutter hoisted 27 crewmen to safety.  The freighter was later towed safely into Seattle.

 

December 13

1965  The Treasury Department received "official word" to commence a project to build a number of LORAN stations throughout Southeast Asia in support of the escalating U.S. efforts in the Vietnam War.  The LORAN project was code-named "Tight Reign."

2014  Coast Guard search and rescue crews were relieved by Republic of Korea assets in their search for 26 crewmembers from the fishing vessel 501 Oryong that capsized November 30, 2014, near Chukotka, Russia, in the Bering Sea. The Coast Guard completed more than 24 searches covering more than 4,576 square miles utilizing two cutters, two helicopters, and multiple airplanes.  Coast Guard crews will continue to partner with the Republic of Korea to provide search and rescue planning support.  Two Republic of Korea Navy P-3 Orion aircraft joined the search for survivors on December 6, 2014. The Republic of Korea vessel Sam-Bong arrived at the 501 Oryong's last known position and began their investigation.  The Coast Guard offered to assist the Kamchatka Border Guard Directorate and the Republic of Korea with their search for survivors and deployed the following assets: CGCs Munro, Alex Haley, HC-130s from Air Station Kodiak, and two SAR planners from Juneau deployed to Anchorage to work with South Korean Navy P-3 aircrews.  The Republic of Korea reported the 501 Oryong, with 60 crewmembers, was hauling in its catch when a wave hit and flooded the vessel's storage chambers with seawater.  Good Samaritans rescued eight crewmembers, but one died of complications, 26 bodies were recovered, and 26 crewmembers were reported missing.

 

December 14

1846  Revenue Captain Alexander Fraser protested in a report to Congress against "unjust imputations" made against the Service for its involvement in the failure of the first steam cutters.  He also requested the authority to employ medical aid on cutters and to provide pensions for personnel disabled in service.

1854  Congress authorized the appointment of the first lifeboat station keepers at $200 per year each and superintendents for Long Island and New Jersey serving under Secretary of Treasury who "may also establish such stations at such lighthouses, as, in his judgment, he shall deem best."

1911  President William Howard Taft proclaimed the Convention entered into between the United States, Great Britain, Japan, and Russia for the preservation of the fur seal and the sea otter.  As this treaty prohibited entirely the killing of seals, and sea otters, on the part of the four nations concerned, in the North Pacific Ocean and Bering Sea, it was necessary that the movements of the Revenue Cutter fleet that enforced the agreement "correspond generally" to the progress of the seal herd in its annual northern migration.  During the 1912 season the following cutters were assigned: Rush, Manning, McCulloch and Tahoma.  This was the first regular patrol in enforcement of the regulations issued pursuant to the International Convention proclaimed on December 14, 1911.  Prior to that date Revenue Cutter vessels enforced the regulations of the Paris Tribunal of arbitration decreed August 15, 1893 for the preservation of the fur seal.  The patrol of the North Pacific Ocean and Bering Sea was first inaugurated in 1895 for the enforcement of the provisions of the Act of Congress approved April 6, 1894.  The cutters Rush, Bear, Corwin, Grant, and Perry were the first cutters assigned to carry out this patrol which commenced in 1895.

1996  The 735-foot M/V Bright Field collided with the New Orleans Riverwalk, causing substantial damage and injuring over 100 people.  Coast Guard forces responded.

 

December 15

1835  The superintendent of the lighthouse system wrote to Winslow Lewis, "I perceive by a Mobile paper which I received this morning that the Mobile Point light has been fitted by you as a revolving light" similar to the nearby Pensacola lighthouse.  "I am very sorry that you have done so." Lewis was a contractor who – almost by himself a virtually controlled the administration of the lighthouse system.  The incident helped cause a Congressional investigation that ultimately created a modern lighthouse system in this country.

1839  Near Gloucester, Massachusetts, a storm from the southeast caught and dragged ashore or drove to sea over fifty vessels.  An eyewitness wrote: "From one of the beach to the other, nothing could be seen but pieces of broken wrecks; planks and spars...ropes and sails...flour, fish, lumber...soaked and broken..."  The local fishermen manned two boats, the Custom House boat and the newly launched Revenue Cutter Van Buren and "fearlessly risked their lives for the safety of their fellow creatures" and brought many safely to shore.

1943  Coast Guardsmen participated in the landings made on Arawe Peninsula, New Britain.

1944  Coast Guardsmen participated in the landings made on Mindoro, Philippine Islands.

1976  The Liberian-flagged 644-foot tanker Argo Merchant, with 7.5 million gallons of oil on board, grounded on a shoal 28 miles southeast of Nantucket.  Coast Guard helicopters from AIRSTA Cape Cod rescued her 38-man crew.  CGCs Sherman and Vigilant responded, along with other vessels, but heavy weather prevented the containment of the spill.  The tanker broke in two on December 21.

 

December 16

1831  Secretary of the Treasury John McLane ordered Revenue cutters to conduct "winter cruises."  The USRC Gallatin became the first cutter "directly authorized by the government to assist mariners in distress."

1960  A United Airlines DC-8 with 83 passengers on board collided with a TWA Super Constellation carrying 42 in the New York City area.  Coast Guard helicopters, working with the aircraft of the Army, Navy and New York Police Department, transported the injured passengers from the Constellation's wreck on Staten Island to a nearby hospital.  Coast Guard vessels also searched the New York harbor area.  The debris they picked up was used by the Civil Aeronautics Board in its determination of the cause of the mishap.

 

December 17

1897  The Overland Expedition, consisting of three officers from the Revenue Cutter Service, departed from the cutter Bear off Nunivak Island to rescue 300 whalers trapped in the ice at Point Barrow, Alaska.  The rescuers were First Lieutenant D. H. Jarvis, Second Lieutenant E. P. Bertholf (later commandant), and Surgeon S. J. Call.  The rescuers had to travel over 1,000 miles overland to reach the whalers.

1903  Life-Saving Service personnel from Kill Devil Hills Life-Saving Station helped carry materials to the launch site for the first successful heavier-than-air aircraft flight by the Wright Brothers at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina and then assisted the brothers in their flights that day.  The life-savers were John T. Daniels, W.S. Dough, and A.D. Etheridge.

1942  CGC Natsek, part of the Greenland Patrol, disappeared in Belle Isle Strait while on patrol.  There were no survivors among her 24-man crew.  It was thought that she capsized due to severe icing.  

1942  The Navy credited CGC Ingham with attacking and sinking the submerged U-626 south of Greenland.

1951  President Harry Truman presented the Collier Trophy to the Coast Guard, the Department of Defense and the "helicopter industry" in a joint award, citing "outstanding development and use of rotary-winged aircraft for air rescue operations."  Coast Guard Commandant VADM Merlin O'Neill accepted the trophy for the Coast Guard.

2014  President Barack Obama and Cuban President Raúl Castro announced the beginning of a process of normalizing relations between the two countries.  The Coast Guard announced its statement regarding the Cuba policy changes due to this change the following day, December 18, 2014.

 

December 18

1912  The Lighthouse Service suffered its first gas-powered buoy accident when one exploded during maintenance.  The explosion killed a machinist, John A. Dunbar, who was a member of the crew of the Lighthouse Tender Amaranth.

2014  The Coast Guard issued the following statement regarding "The Coast Guard on Cuba Policy Changes" announced by President Barack Obama on December 17, 2014: "Coast Guard missions and operations in the Southeast remain unchanged. The Coast Guard strongly discourages attempts to illegally enter the country by taking to the sea. These trips are extremely dangerous.  Individuals located at sea may be returned to Cuba."

 

December 19

1881  While the head keeper and six men of his crew were conducting drills away from their Gurnet Point, Massachusetts, Life-Saving Station, the surfman who remained in charge at the station saw a schooner standing inside of Brown’s Island Shoals.  He realized that unless the vessel was warned she would go aground.  So he rowed out to the schooner in a small boat and piloted her clear.  She proved to be the schooner Milton and had mistaken the channel entrance to Plymouth Harbor.

2014  CGC Decisive returned to its homeport in Pascagoula, Mississippi, following a six-week patrol in the Caribbean Sea supporting the Joint Interagency Task Force-South.  During the deployment, the 70-member crew of Decisive was primarily responsible for conducting counter drug operations in support of U.S. and international laws.  Decisive worked directly with federal and international partners at JIATF-S and the 7th Coast Guard District to combat transnational organized crime networks operating in the Caribbean Basin.  Decisive's efforts directly contributed to the prevention of more than 4,100 pounds of contraband from reaching American shores.  During Decisive's 39-day deployment, the cutter's crew also conducted a professional exchange with members of the Honduran Navy.  These interdictions were part of Operation Martillo, an international operation focused on sharing information and bringing together air, land, and maritime assets from the U.S. Department of Defense and the Department of Homeland Security, as well as Western Hemisphere and European partner nation agencies, to counter illicit trafficking.

2015  CGC Escanaba returned to its homeport in Boston following a successful 52-day deployment in the Eastern Pacific Ocean.  During the patrol, Escanaba steamed more than 11,200 miles, successfully transited the Panama Canal for the first time in more than 10 years, and interdicted 1,009 kilograms of cocaine, two vessels, and five narcotic smuggling suspects.  Escanaba's crew worked in partnership with an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew from the Coast Guard's Helicopter Interdiction Tactical Squadron, based out of Jacksonville, Florida, to pursue and conduct boardings of eight vessels in five cases.

 

December 20

1934  Coast Guard pilot CDR Elmer F. Stone set the world record for amphibian airplane speed.  Over a measured three-kilometer course at Langley Field CDR Stone attained a maximum speed of 196.89 miles an hour and an average speed of 191.17 while flying a Grumman JF-2 "Duck" amphibian, besting the previous record set by Alexander P. De Severesky the previous year.

1943  CGC Bodega grounded off the Canal Zone. No lives were lost.

1991  The United Nations adopted General Assembly Resolutions (UNGAs) 44-225, 45-197, and 46-215, thereby establishing a worldwide moratorium on all high seas drift net fishing that was to be in effect by December 31, 1992.

2013  CGC Alert returned to its homeport of Astoria, Oregon, following an 81-day deployment.  While away Alert covered more than 12,000 miles, conducting a counter-drug enforcement patrol in the Eastern Pacific and a rigorous training assessment by the Afloat Training Group in Everett, Washington.  Alert's crew conducted law enforcement operations off the coast of Central America in early October 2013.  An MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew and a fast response boat crew conducted multiple at sea boardings from Alert, disrupting more than 4,000 pounds of illegal drug shipments.  Additionally, Alert's crew rescued six Ecuadorian fishermen who had spent a week stranded adrift on the open ocean.  The crew participated in several community relations events, while taking time to resupply the cutter and provide crew rest.  While on a port call in Golfito, Costa Rica, Alert's crew competed against Costa Rican Coast Guard crewmembers in a soccer tournament.  In Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, Alert's crew helped complete a restoration and painting project for a local park.  After two months of conducting maritime law enforcement and search and rescue operations, Alert traveled to Everett to complete three weeks of required training.  Every 18 months, Coast Guard cutters undergo Tailored Ships Training Availability to ensure crew proficiency and readiness.  Experienced Coast Guard and Navy inspectors evaluated Alert's ability to respond to situations involving weapons proficiency, seamanship, navigation, damage control, emergency medical treatment, and engineering casualty response.  Alert successfully completed 118 drills and exercises with an impressive overall score of 96-percent, earning the coveted "Battle E" award for operational excellence in all mission areas.  As per tradition, Alert flew a broom from its port yardarm, signifying a "clean sweep" of certification in all mission areas.

 

December 21

1907  The Commandant, Captain Worth G. Ross, USRCS, by letter, advised the Chamber of Commerce of Baltimore, Boston and Philadelphia, the New York Maritime Exchange and the Navy's Chief Bureau of Equipment that wireless telegraph sets had been installed on the following Revenue cutters operating on the Atlantic coast and would use the following call letters: USRC Algonquin: RCA; USRC Gresham: RCG; USRC Mohawk: RCM; USRC Onondaga: RCO; & USRC Seminole: RCS.

1936  Executive Order No. 7521 authorized ice breaking operations by the Coast Guard.

1960  The tanker Pine Ridge, with 37 crewmen on board, reported it was breaking in two about 120 miles off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina.  Immediately, the Coast Guard dispatched aircraft and vessels to the scene and alerted nearby US Navy and merchant vessels.  After the arrival of a Coast Guard UF-2G amphibian aircraft, the bow section of the Pine Ridge capsized, throwing some members of the crew overboard; the stern section, however, remained afloat and upright.  Mountainous seas rebuffed every attempt of the tanker Artemis to rescue the seamen in the water.  Life rafts and emergency equipment, meanwhile, were airdropped, and the helicopters from the aircraft carrier Valley Forge successfully removed the 28 survivors from the still floating stern section.  Of the bow section and the 9 missing crewmen, only debris and lifejackets were found, despite a widespread air and surface search.

1971  The last two cutters of Coast Guard Squadron Three (RONTHREE) in service in Vietnamese waters during the war, CGC Cook Inlet (WHEC 384) and CGC Castle Rock (WHEC 383) were decommissioned and transferred to the South Vietnamese Navy.

 

December 22

1819  The Revenue cutter Dallas seized a vessel laden with lumber that had been unlawfully cut from public land in what was one of the first, if not the very first, recorded instances of a revenue cutter enforcing an environmental law.

1837  Congress authorized President "to cause any suitable number of public vessels, adapted to the purpose, to cruise upon the coast, in the severe portion of the season, and to afford aid to distressed navigators."  This was the first statute authorizing activities in the field of maritime safety, thus interjecting the national government into the field of lifesaving for the first time.  Although revenue cutters were specifically mentioned, the performance of this duty was imposed primarily upon the Revenue Marine Service and quickly became one of its major activities.

 

December 23

1904  Near Oak Island and Fire Island, New York the American schooner Frank W. McCullough ran aground on Fire Island Bar, 2 miles from the former station and 4 from the latter, at about 9 am.  The Oak Island crew reached the vessel at 10:30 am and the Fire Island crew a half hour later.  They found her pounding heavily and leaking badly. They manned the pumps and assisted the crew in throwing overboard the cargo of lumber; but on the flood tide the sea began to break over the wreck and they were obliged to give up for fear of being washed overboard.  The Fire Island surfboat filled in the seaway and foundered.  At midnight the sea moderated and all hands, 14 surfmen and 5 of schooner crew, abandoned the wreck in the Oak Island surfboat and at 2 a.m. reached the shore.  The vessel was lost.

2014  CGC Legare returned to its homeport of Portsmouth, Virginia following a 52-day patrol through the Caribbean and into the eastern Pacific Ocean.  During their patrol, Legare's crew transited through the Panama Canal and coordinated with multiple countries in Central and South America, along with partner agencies to stem the flow of illegal drugs into the United States.  The unified effort resulted in the interdiction of multiple suspected drug smugglers and vessels transporting approximately 1200 kilograms, or approximately 2,645 pounds of cocaine, worth an estimated estimated street value of $40 million.

 

December 24

1955  A Coast Guard helicopter was the first rescue unit to reach a flood disaster scene in Yuba, California.  Its crew hoisted 138 persons to safety within 12 hours.  The first 58 were made possible because of the light from a small handheld searchlight from positions of peril among chimneys, television antennas, and trees.  In all, the Coast Guard assisted Federal, state, and local agencies in saving over 500 persons by helicopters and boats.

 

December 25

1944  Allied forces liberated and occupied Palompon and Leyte in the Philippines.

1998  Coast Guard helicopters from Air Station Barbers Point rescued balloonists Richard Branson, a British billionaire, American millionaire Steve Fossett, and Per Lindstrand when bad weather forced them to ditch their balloon off Hawaii during their attempt to be the first balloonists to circle the globe.

 

December 26

1943  Landings at Cape Gloucester were conducted by Coast Guard-manned LSTs 18, 22, 66, 67, 68, 168, 202, 204, and 206.  The LST-22 shot down a Japanese "Val" dive bomber while LST-66 was officially credited with downing three enemy aircraft.  Two of her crew were killed by near misses.  LST-67 brought down one Japanese dive bomber while LST-204 shot down two and the gunners aboard LST-68 claimed another.  The LST-202 claimed three enemy planes shot down.

2004  Following a 9.0 magnitude earthquake off the coast of Sumatr