Daily Chronology of Coast Guard History

1 April

  • 1897- Under an Executive Order dated May 6, 1896, federal Civil Service rules were applied to the Life-Saving Service.
  • 1916-1 April 1916 marks the official birthday of Coast Guard aviation.  On this date in 1916 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.
  • 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.

2 April

  • 1924-Congress appropriated $13,000,000 for ten air stations and equipment.  Congress first authorized the stations on 29 August 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.

3 April

  • 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.

4 April

  • 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 28 January 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- On 4 April 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, WA, where McAdams was the OIC.

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

5 April

  • 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 15 March 1967.

6 April

  • 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, NC to Port Angeles, WA 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.

7 April

  • 1866-The first Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard, Ellsworth P. Bertholf, was born in New York City on this date in 1866.  He entered the Revenue Cutter Service as a cadet on 14 September 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.

8 April

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

9 April

  • 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.

10 April

11 April

  • 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 31 January 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.
  • 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.

12 April

  • 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.

13 April

  • 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.

14 April

  • 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. on the night of 14 April, 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-On 14 April 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.

15 April

  • 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.

16 April

  • 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.

17 April

  • 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.  

18 April

  • 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.

19 April

  • 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. 

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.

21 April

  • 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.
  • 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.

22 April

  • 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.

23 April

  • 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. 

24 April

  • 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.

25 April

  • 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.

26 April

  • 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-On April 26, 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.

27 April

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

28 April

  • 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 on 28 April 1919, Captain Harry G. Hamlet rescued a crew of 47 persons from USS James which was sinking at sea. "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."  For his actions that day he earned a Gold Lifesaving Medal.  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.

29 April

  • 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.

30 April

  • 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 in 1798.  Nevertheless, the United States Navy traces its origins to the Continental Navy, which the Continental Congress established on 13 October 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 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.

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