Daily Chronology of Coast Guard History
1977-CGC Cape George received a mayday broadcast from the motor tankship Chester A. Poling. The 281-foot tankship was breaking in half in high seas and sinking approximately eight miles ESE of Gloucester Harbor, Massachusetts, with seven POB. CGCs Cape George, Cape Cross, Firebush, Decisive and boats from CG Station Gloucester, Point Allerton, and Merrimack River and aircraft from Air Station Cape Cod all responded. Cape George arrived on scene and rescued two persons stranded on the bow section. A CG HH-3F rescued the first person from the stern of the tankship and a second crewman fell off the stern while attempting to jump into the rescue basket. At this time the stern section rolled over, throwing the remaining three survivors into the frigid seas. CGC Cape Cross moved in and rescued two of the crewmen while the HH-3F rescued a third. The six survivors were taken to Gloucester Station and transferred to a local hospital.
1836-A General Order from the Secretary of the Treasury prescribed that "Blue cloth be substituted for the uniform dress of the officers of the Revenue Cutter Service, instead of grey. . ." thereby ending a controversy that had brewed for years regarding the uniforms of the Service.
1947-The first helicopter flight to the base "Little America" in Antarctica took place. The pilot was LT James A. Cornish, USCG and he carried Chief Photographer's Mate Everett Mashburn as his observer. They flew from CGC Northwind.
1909-The schooner Roderick Dhu was discovered in distress on the bar by a Life-Saving Service patrol from the Point Bonita, California station. The schooner had been in tow by a tug, but parted hawsers when 5 1/2 miles SW of a LSS station. She hoisted a signal, and the keeper reported her condition to the Merchant's Exchange. A tug was sent out and the schooner was towed to sea. The next day she was towed into port, leaking badly, and convoyed by the USRC McCulloch.
1968-Seifu Maru, a Japanese refrigerator vessel, reported a fire and requested clearance to enter Dutch Harbor, Alaska to combat it. They also reported that two crewmembers had been overcome by smoke and requested their evacuation for hospital treatment. Clearance was granted and CGC Citrus was ordered to proceed and assist in fighting the fire. The burning ship arrived in Dutch Harbor on Jan 24 and advised that the fire was raging between the decks. Fire fighting parties from Citrus began assisting the crew of the Japanese vessel. Coast Guard aircraft evacuated three patients from Seifu Maru to Kodiak for hospitalization. The fire assistance rendered by Citrus in a four-day operation saved the Japanese vessel.
1984-MSO Memphis responded to what appeared to be a routine grounding when three barges being towed down river by the M/V Karman P. broke away 40 miles south of Memphis on 24 January 1984. Initial reports passed to MSO Memphis by way of Group Lower Mississippi River said the tank barge APEX-3506, with one million gallons of slurry-grade number six oil had grounded with "no damage and no pollution." After a boarding team arrived and found the barge sinking and having no means to lighter the cargo, they called in the Gulf Strike Team. Eventually, through the efforts of MSO Memphis, Gulf Strike Team, Atlantic Strike Team, National Strike Force Dive Team, and the Navy Superintendent of Salvage as well as a private salvage firm, the barge's cargo was lightered and the barge itself saved.
1940-The ocean station program was formally established on this date in 1940 under orders from President Franklin Roosevelt. The Coast Guard, in cooperation with the U. S. Weather Service, was given responsibility for its establishment and operation. The program was first known as the Atlantic Weather Observation Service and later by thousands of Coast Guardsmen who served after World War II as the "Ocean Station" (OS) program. Cutters were dispatched for 30-day patrols to transmit weather observations and serve as a SAR standby for transoceanic aircraft. The program ended in the 1970s.
2004-A helicopter crew from AIRSTA Detroit helped rescue 14 people stranded on an ice floe about one mile west of Catawba Island, Ohio.
1909-The schooner Nelson Y. McFarland issued a distress call after dropping anchor near the White Head, Maine, Life-Saving Service station. Although anchored against the tide, she was becalmed, yet her stern swung so close to the ledge that "a change of wind or tide would have thrown the vessel upon the rocks. A pulling boat and crew from the station responded to the call and the men rowed to the ship's aid. After a 3-hours' pull the surfmen succeeded in towing the schooner to a safe anchorage in Seal Harbor."
1993-Communications Station Guam received a mayday broadcast from the M/V East Wood. The ship's radio operator claimed that the vessel had been taken over by hijackers and that there were 400 people in the vessel's two main cargo holds. Another transmission claimed that 10 persons were going to be thrown overboard. The Coast Guard dispatched an HC-130 from AIRSTA Barbers Point and ordered CGC Rush to intercept. A boarding team from the Rush seized the vessel and escorted it to an Army installation on the Marshall Islands. There were 527 Chinese nationals and 10 crewmembers aboard. The Chinese nationals were repatriated to China and nine of the crewmen were sent to Indonesia. The 10th crewman was taken to Honolulu to investigate whether prosecution was possible under U.S. law.