Daily Chronology of Coast Guard History
- 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. The Storis's
crew painted her hull number "38" in gold in recognition of
- 1996-Operation Frontier Shield commenced. It was the largest
counter-narcotics operation in Coast Guard history to date.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 5 October. Another walked out on his own to Hoods Canal
on 6 October 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
- 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.
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
- 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 6 to 10 October 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.
- 1986-An HC-130 from AIRSTA 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.
- 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 AIRSTAs New Orleans and Traverse City.
- 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.
- 1852-The Lighthouse Board, which administered the lighthouse system
until 1 July 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
- 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
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 9
October. 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
10 October 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.
- 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
- 1877-Captain Joseph Napier, Keeper of Life-Boat Station No. 6
Joseph, Michigan), earned a Gold Lifesaving Medal "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 10 October
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."
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 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 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 30 April 1798. In
1972, however, Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Admiral Elmo R. Zumwalt
authorized recognition of 13 October 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-On 13 October 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 7 May 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.
- 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
- 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
- 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 18 October and covered 286,225
square miles, no trace of the missing B-52 or its crew was found.
- 1846-USRC McLane ran aground while attempting to cross the bar
of the River Alvarado during the Mexican War in support of U.S.
- 1966-Coast Guard Port Security & Waterways Detail arrived for
service in Vietnam.
- 2001-On October 15, 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 deployed to Washington, D.C., while Gulf Strike Team 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.
- 1790-A contract was signed for the construction of the
"first" of the 10 revenue cutters, Massachusetts, at
- 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.
- 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."
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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
- 1944-Allied landings on Leyte, Philippine Islands commenced. Many Coast Guard
units participated in the landings, which marked the 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.
- 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.
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
2009-On 21 October 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.
- 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 22 October 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
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.
1818-USRC Monroe captured the armed brig Columbia
inside the Virginia Capes. Columbia had been "cut
out" of a Venezuelan fleet by pirates.
- 1907-On this date in 1907 the first wireless operator to join 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 30
October 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.
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 6 June 1985.
- 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
- 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 29
January 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 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 31 October entry below).
- 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 30 October entry above) when
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
- 1999-Egypt Air Flight 990 crashed about 60 miles southeast of
Nantucket. Coast Guard units, including the CGCs Monomoy, Spencer,
Reliance, Bainbridge Island, Juniper, Point Highland, Hammerhead, a
HC-130 from 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.