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Daily Chronology of Coast Guard History

1 December

2 December

3 December

  • 1852-The merchant ship Georgia grounded in a gale off Bonds, New Jersey with 290 persons on board. The life car was used to effect 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, MA. 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.

4 December

  • 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.

5 December

  • 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.

6 December

  • 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 11 January and by 20 February when "the epidemic had spent its force" he returned to his station in Nome, arriving there on 1 March 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.

7 December

  • 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.
  • On 7 December 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 on 7 December 1988.  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.

8 December

  • 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.

9 December

10 December

11 December

12 December

13 December

14 December

15 December

16 December

17 December

  • 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 Raśl 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, 18 December 2014.

18 December

  • 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 17 December 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."

19 December

  • 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.

20 December

  • 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- On 20 December 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 31 December 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.

21 December

  • 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.

22 December

  • 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.

23 December

  • 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 the 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.

24 December

  • 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.

25 December

  • 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.

26 December

  • 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 Sumatra, a massive tsunami and tremors struck Indonesia and southern Thailand, killing over 104,000 people in Indonesia and over 5,000 in Thailand.  CGC Munro, deployed as part of Expeditionary Strike Group 5 (ESG-5), along with the other units in the Group, responded.  The cutter shuttled more than 80 tons of humanitarian relief supplies from Singapore to USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD-6), also part of ESG-5, for distribution to the victims of the tsunami.

27 December

  • 1968-In October 1968, the United States Air Force requested additional LORAN-C coverage in Southeast Asia and by 27 December 1968 the Coast Guard had received authorization to proceed with the project.  This led to the construction a LORAN station at Tan My, South Vietnam, that supplemented the other LORAN stations in Southeast Asia first established in 1966 under an operation code-named Tight Reign.
  • 1977-The Coast Guard awarded Tacoma Boat-building Company, Inc., of Tacoma, Washington, a $110,207,245 contract for the detail design and construction of four 270-foot Medium Endurance Cutters.
  • 2012-Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Anchorage first received contact from the crew of the tug Aiviq, which was towing MODU Kulluk, a Royal Dutch Shell Company ice-strengthened oil drilling barge, back to its winter port of Seattle. In extremely heavy seas, the tow line parted and Aiviq requested Coast Guard assistance. CGC Alex Haley was diverted from its patrol and, after Aiviq experienced total engine failure, attempted to take both the rig and Aiviq under tow. The line parted and fouled Haley’s port propeller, forcing the cutter to return to Kodiak for repairs. CGCs Hickory and SPAR were dispatched to provide further assistance while Royal Dutch Shell sent three additional tugs to the scene. Coast Guard aircraft rescued the rig’s 18-man crew safely on 29 December and delivered spare engine parts to Aiviq. Despite these efforts Kulluk went aground at Oceans Bay, Alaska, on 31 December 2012. The rig was later refloated and towed to Unalaska. No injuries or pollution incidents were reported and ultimately Kulluk was scrapped.

28 December

  • 1835-The "Dade Battle" occurred when Seminole Indians ambushed and killed Major Francis Langhorne Dade and his Army command while they were on the march on Fort King Road from Fort Brooke to reinforce the troops at Fort King (Ocala).  This battle was the immediate cause of the Second Seminole War, a war in which the Revenue Cutter Service played an important role.
  • 1857-The light was first illuminated in the Cape Flattery Lighthouse, located on Tatoosh Island at the entrance to the Straits of Juan de Fuca, Washington. "Because of Indian trouble it was necessary to build a blockhouse on Tatoosh Island before even commencing the construction of the lighthouse. Twenty muskets were stored in the blockhouse, and then the lighthouse work began."
  • 1903-An Executive Order extended the jurisdiction of the Lighthouse Service to the non-contiguous territory of the Hawaiian Islands.
  • 2014-CGC Tahoma returned safely to its homeport of Kittery, Maine after a 55-day patrol conducting operations and training in the Gulf of Maine and Georges Bank. Tahoma's law enforcement teams conducted boardings of commercial fishing vessels to inspect safety gear and enforce marine resource management to ensure sustainable fisheries in the North Atlantic. On 1 December 2014 Tahoma's crew assisted the disabled F/V Madison Kate following an engine casualty. Tahoma's crew put the vessel in tow and safety and transferred it to a Coast Guard Station Brant Point motor life boat.

29 December

  • 1897-Congress prohibited the killing of fur seals in the waters of the North Pacific Ocean.  The Revenue Cutter Service was tasked with enforcing the law.
  • 1903-An Executive Order extended the jurisdiction of the Lighthouse Service to Guantanamo, Cuba.
  • 1998- The 578-foot cargo vessel Violetta caught fire in the Houston ship channel.  Twenty-three of her crew were rescued.  CGC Point Spencer spent several days fighting the fire on board the vessel.

30 December

  • 1876-The British ship Circassian was destroyed off Bridgehampton, Long Island, following a successful rescue of 49 persons on December 11 by the Life-Saving Service.  During later salvage operations in a storm the ship drifted out of the sand, resulting in the loss of 28 of its salvage crew including 12 Shinnecock Indians.
  • 1944-Coast Guard-manned USS FS-367 rescued survivors from USS Maripopsa at San Jose, Mindoro, Philippine Islands.
  • 1958- The 590-foot tanker African Queen ran aground and split in two 10 miles off Ocean City, Maryland.  Within two hours 15 helicopters from the nearby Coast Guard, Navy and Marine Corps bases evacuated all 47 crewmen successfully.  The Coast Guard Rescue Coordination Center at New York coordinated the operations.
  • 1997- The 493-foot freighter Merchant Patriot began taking on water in stormy seas.  Coast Guard air assets from AIRSTA Clearwater arrived on scene and, along with Air Force units, rescued the ship's captain and her 27 crewmen.  The vessel, however, remained afloat and was later towed to Freeport, Bahamas.

31 December

  • 1881-At 4 a.m. the patrolman from Station No. 34, Fourth District, New Jersey, discovered a vessel ashore on the south bar at Townsend’s Inlet, NJ about three miles south of the station and a mile offshore. He reported at the station at once and the vessel was boarded by the life-saving crew within an hour and a half. She proved to be the schooner Joseph F. Baker with a crew of eight persons. After endeavoring to work the vessel off with her sails, the keeper made preparations to run an anchor and heave her off. By this time a wrecking vessel came alongside, and her captain arranged with the master of Baker to take his vessel off. The life-saving crew, which had meantime been joined by the keepers of Station 33 and 35, finding they could be of no further service, left the vessel, taking ashore dispatches for the captain. A steamer towed the vessel off the bar
  • 1891-The Act of 1894 that created the office of Captain Commandant of the Revenue Cutter Service also had a provision that created the office of Engineer-in-Chief. Captain Russell John W. Collins, USRCS was the first RCS Engineer-in-Chief, being appointed to that position on 31 December 1891.
  • 1952- Sinbad, the canine-mascot of the cutter Campbell during World War II, passed away at his last duty station, the Barnegat Lifeboat Station, at the ripe old age of 15.  He served on board the cutter throughout World War II and earned his way into Coast Guard legend with his shipboard and liberty antics.  To date he is the most decorated mascot to have ever served in the Coast Guard.
  • 1980- The 14 remaining LORAN-A stations closed down at midnight, ending Loran-A coverage, which began during World War II.
  • 1985-Vice President George Bush paid an official visit to the officers and crew of CGC Steadfast while the cutter was in Nassau, Bahamas.  Accompanied by RADM Richard P. Cueroni, commander, 7th District and various other U.S. and Bahamian officials, the vice president officiated at an awards and wreath-laying ceremony in honor of the National Narcotics Border Interdiction System and the joint U.S. Bahamian operations.
  • 2014-Watchstanders at the Coast Guard Sector Honolulu command center received notification the morning of 31 December 2014 that the tour boat, Mahana Nai’a with 55 people on board was taking on water in the engine room near Kihei. A Response Boat-Medium crew from Coast Guard Station Maui was diverted to the scene where once on scene, two crewmembers from the RBM went aboard the Mahana Nai'a with a P6 pump and a damage control kit and successfully dewatered the port engine room. The RBM then safely towed the Mahana Nai'a to Pier 47 at Maalaea Bay.

Last Modified 3/8/2016