U.S. Coast Guard
"The Class of 1916"
The first Coast Guard aviation personnel, 22 March 1917.
General Coast Guard Aviation History:
Pilots & Aircrews:
"Best Shot": Coast Guard Surfman Gerrett Gregory, who joined the service in 1938,
transferred to aviation and flew in Coast Guard seaplanes. He wrote a
first-hand account of one of the rescues he participated in while
serving as a crewman of a Coast Guard Martin PBM.
Rescue Swimmer Program:
- A History of
SARWET: the precursor to the Rescue Swimmer program, written by CDR
Bill Thrall, USCG (Ret.). CDR Thrall noted that "SARWET
pre-dated the Rescue Swimmer Program by 13-plus years. It ran
successfully out of San Francisco for almost 6 years. . .Rescues were
made, lives saved and medals awarded. It was real."
"Eyes of the Icebreakers," a 1958 article by LTJG Gilbert Shaw that
describes the CGC Mackinaw and its use of a helicopter during
ice-breaking missions on the Great Lakes.
Biographies of Famous Coast Guard Aviators & Aviation
Elmer F. Stone
Benjamin A. Bottoms
Frank A. Erickson
William J. Kossler
Donald B. MacDiarmid
John A. Pritchard
Victor V. Utgoff
Carl C. Von Paulsen
Bobby C. Wilks
Coast Guard Aviators' Oral Histories & First-Person
- Captain William
Wishar, USCG (Ret.), the commanding officer of the Coast
Guard's first air station describes the early years of Coast Guard
aviation and personalities involved in his article entitled: "Some
Recollections of Early Coast Guard Aviation."
- Captain David
Oliver, USCG (Ret.): "My Life in the Coast Guard" a
narrative of his career as a Coast Guard aviation pioneer, including
helicopter development and operations in Alaska.
Radioman Second Class Jack Sutherlin: After graduating in the top of
his class at Aviation Radioman School, ARM2 Sutherlin served as an
instructor before being posted to Coast Guard Air Station San Diego for
the rest of the war. There he participated in ASW and SAR flights while
meeting some of the Coast Guard's most famous personalities along the
way, including Jack Dempsey, Donald B. "Cap'm Mac" MacDiarmid, Chester
R. Bender, and W. A. "Little Bull" Halsey, the grandson of Fleet Admiral
William F. Halsey.
- Bernard Bailey, USCG (Ret.): An oral history covering his service as a
Coast Guard aviator in World War II, including flight training, flying PBYs off the West
Coast, and operating on photographic survey flights with the Coast &
Warren Mitchell graduated from OCS in 1942 and serviced at COTP
Astoria where he boarded incoming Soviet freighters that supplied the
Soviet Army in its war with Nazi Germany. He then went to flight school
and served at air stations Elizabeth City and St. Simons Island where he
flew PBYs. Interview by Dr. Douglas Kroll, USCG AUX.
- "Best Shot": Former
Coast Guard airman Gerrett Gregory describes a rescue attempt of a
downed Navy pilot by a Coast Guard PBM-5 Mariner from Air Station San
Accounts & Documentation of Historic
Rescues, Flights, and/or Operations:
- "Cosmic Air": a
pictorial history of the Coast Guard's efforts to resupply the far-flung
chain of LORAN stations in the Pacific via Coast Guard aircraft.
A Summary of Action"
for a SAR case in
1978 when HC-130H CGNR-1500 assisted in the rescue off Alaska of the
crew of a ditched Navy P-3C (BuNo. 159892) on 26 October 1978. A
Soviet trawler, the Mys Sinyavin, also participated, making this
a unique case of cooperation by the principal antagonists of the Cold
- "27 Hours in the Cold Alaska Sea."
AD1 Greg King writes
about the rescue of the crew of the fishing vessel Clover Leaf in April,
1980 while serving as an HC-130 crewman based at AIRSTA Kodiak.
- 1937 rescue at sea
by a seaplane from Air Station
Salem: a period illustrated magazine article.
Historic Documents, Regulations, Flight Manuals & Other Professional