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July

Daily Chronology of Coast Guard History


1 July


2 July


3 July


4 July


5 July


6 July


7 July


8 July


9 July


10 July


11 July


12 July


13 July


14 July

  • 1963-Pier 7 at Tacoma, Washington was engulfed in flames.  CG-82336, based at Tacoma, proceeded immediately to the scene to assist the first department in fighting the blaze.  The cutter towed the M/V Sanyo Maru away from the pier and was relieved of the tow by a tug.  CG-82336 returned to the pier and towed the M/V Kikulo Maru to safe anchorage.  The Tacoma fire department then requested CG-82336 to coordinate fire fighting efforts on the bay side of the pier, as the fire department was unable to cover the entire area because of the intensity of the fire.  Unable to fight the fire under the pier, CG-82336 proceeded to a local boat mooring and acquired seven rental boats to assist.  These boats, manned by local firemen and Coast Guard personnel, fought the fire under the pier.  The fire was brought under control the next morning and Coast Guard units were secured.  A fire Battalion Chief died and seven firemen were injured but there were no Coast Guard casualties.  
  • 1977-Ten Coast Guard women were selected and ordered to CGC Gallatin to report aboard on 26 October 1977."This action was in keeping with the Commandant's most recent program of placing women in afloat assignments" on CGCs Morgenthau and Gallatin.  Each of the women chosen were volunteers.  They were: ET2 L. D. Canatore; RM2 J.K. Shawdah; SK2 R.G. Burright; BM3 D.K. Skinner; HM3 D.K. Cummings; RM3 V.L. Robillard; YN3 M.F. Kelly; SA A. Clark; SA D.A. Collins and SA D.A. Hughes.

15 July

  • 1870-Congress directed that the revenue cutters on the northern and northwestern lakes, when commissioned, shall be specially charged with aiding vessels in distress on the lakes.
  • 1870-An Act of Congress (l6 Stat. L., 291, 309) directed the Lighthouse Board to mark all pierheads belonging to the United States situated on the northern and northwestern lakes, as soon as it was notified that the construction or repair of pierheads had been completed.
  • 1967-CGC Point Orient (WPB 82319) of Coast Guard Squadron One captured a communist trawler in Vietnam.
  • 1972-CGC Absecon was decommissioned and transferred to the South Vietnamese Navy. This was the last of the seven 311-foot Casco-class cutters to be transferred to the South Vietnamese.  She was commissioned as the Tham Ngu Lao (HQ-15) on 15 July 1972.  She was seized by the North Vietnamese when the South fell in 1975.  The North Vietnamese gave her the hull number HQ-1 but did not apparently name her.  She was refitted with two or possibly four SS-N-2 launchers.  Her current status remains unknown.

16 July

  • 1946-Pursuant to Executive Order 9083 and Reorganization Plan No. 3 the Bureau of Marine Inspection was abolished and became a permanent part of the Coast Guard.
  • 1965-Coast Guard 82-foot patrol boats assigned to Division 12 of Coast Guard Squadron One  (RONONE) depart Manila Bay on their own, bound for Vietnam and service with the Navy in Operation Market Time.  The cutters had been brought to the Philippines "piggy-backed" on board freighters.

17 July

  • 1893-Life-saving Station Keeper H .E. Wilcox of Cape Arago Life-Saving Station rescued 55 of 56 passengers of SS Emily that was capsizing in a raging sea. Persons were transported from the doomed vessel to the lifeboat via a life raft.
  • 1994-CGC Polar Sea departed from Victoria, British Columbia on operation Arctic Ocean Section 1994 and became the first U.S. surface vessel to reach the North Pole.  She then transited the Arctic Ocean back to her homeport in Seattle, Washington.
  • 1996-TWA Flight 800 crashed off New York with no survivors.  Numerous Coast Guard units conducted search and rescue operations and then aided in recovery operations.

18 July

  • 1818-The Revenue Cutter Active captured the pirate vessel India Libre in the Chesapeake Bay.
  • 1866-Congress authorized officers to search vessels and persons suspected of concealing contraband.
  • 1928-Clarence Samuels assumed command of Coast Guard Patrol Boat AB-15 on 18 July 1928, thereby becoming the second African-American to command a Coast Guard vessel, the first being Revenue Captain Michael Healy.

  • 2015-CGC Stratton seized a self-propelled semi-submersible vessel carrying more than 16,000 pounds of cocaine in the Eastern Pacific Ocean. Stratton's crew apprehended four suspected smugglers and seized 275 bales of cocaine worth more than $181 million wholesale from the self-propelled semi-submersible. A U.S. Navy maritime patrol aircraft detected the 40-foot semi-submersible vessel more than 200-miles south of Mexico. After removing 12,000 pounds of the narcotics aboard, Stratton attempted to tow the vessel to shore as evidence; however, the semi-submersible began taking on water and sank. Approximately 4,000 pounds of cocaine left in the SPSS vessel to stabilize it during the towing evolution sank in over 13,000-feet of water and is unrecoverable. Stratton interdicted or disrupted 15 different drug smuggling attempts since April 2015 including another self-propelled semi-submersible vessel carrying 5,460 pounds of cocaine 16 June. Stratton has seized more than 33,000 pounds of cocaine since May 2015. The 18 July semi-submersible seizure is the largest recorded semi-submersible interdiction in Coast Guard history. Stratton’s semi-submersible busts are also the first and second by a Legend Class Cutter. This is the first interdiction of two semi-submersibles in a single patrol at sea where Coast Guardsmen recovered both the narcotics and the vessels. CGC Mohawk from Key West, Florida, interdicted two semisubmersibles in the Caribbean in 2011; however, both vessels sank during the course of the interdiction. There have been 25 known semi-submersible interdictions in the Eastern Pacific Ocean since November 2006 when the first documented interdiction occurred. A semi-submersible is a vessel constructed for illicit trafficking that is mostly submerged with just a cockpit and exhaust pipe visible above water. These vessels are extremely difficult to detect and interdict because of their low-profile and ability to scuttle. U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office of Air and Marine also assisted by monitoring the semi-submersible using a maritime patrol aircraft during the course of the interdiction 18 July.


19 July

  • 2001-The first set of the newly authorized Helicopter Rescue Swimmer insignia, or "wings", were presented to the senior rescue swimmer in the Coast Guard, Master Chief Aviation Survival Technician (AST) Keith Jensen, at Coast Guard headquarters in Washington, D.C.

20 July

  • 1917- An Executive Order extended the jurisdiction of the Lighthouse Service to the non-contiguous territory of the American Virgin Islands.
  • 1942-The Herald-Tribune of July 20, 1942, carried the following story: "A new Coast Guard regiment, made up of tough, hand-picked men, all heavily armed and with the headquarters company mounting machine guns in speedy jeep cars, has been organized for extra protection of the Port of New York, it was announced yesterday.  Regimental offices of the commando-like outfit, led by Captain Francis V. Lowden, will be in the Barge Office at the Battery.  There will be five battalion headquarters -- one each in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Staten Island and New Jersey, and a floating one set up a harbor patrol craft.  The new contingent for sabotage precaution will be known as the Port Security Regiment . . . The selected men recruited for the Port Security Regiment are being trained in a variety of rough and rigorous combat tactics to fit them for meeting surprise actions.  Captain Lowden, on leave from his post as Mayor of Roselle, N.J., has had twenty years of experience in organizing protective services for the port properties of Standard Oil of New Jersey."
  • 1965-Division 12 of Coast Guard Squadron One (RONONE) arrived at Da Nang and Coast Guard Operation Market Time patrolling began.
  • 1979-President Jimmy Carter signed Executive Order 12148 that completed the establishment of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
  • 2007-The Coast Guard commissioned the newly organized Deployable Operations Group (DOG) at Fort McNair, Washington, D.C.  The DOG provided properly equipped, trained and organized Deployable Specialized Forces (DSF) to Coast Guard, DHS, DoD and inter-agency operational and tactical commanders. Formerly headquartered in Arlington, Virginia, it was  decommissioned on 1 October 2013.  Upon decommissioning, the units previously assigned to the DOG were split between Coast Guard Pacific and Atlantic Area commands.
  • 2015-CGC Mellon returned to its homeport of Seattle, WA, following a 14-week patrol that covered nearly 20,000 miles of the North Pacific Ocean. After leaving Seattle 13 April 2015, Mellon joined Operation North Pacific Guard and patrolled the high seas for illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing activity, including high seas pelagic driftnet fishing. Mellon’s crew coordinated with the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) and inspected five Chinese Taipei vessels. During the boardings, Mellon law enforcement team members educated fishermen about the importance of long-term fish stock conservation. The crew also participated in an intercultural community relations event in Yokosuka, Japan with the USO. Mellon volunteers tutored more than 120 Toyo Himeji High School students to help teach them English.

21 July

  • 1944-The attack and liberation of Japanese-occupied Guam commenced during World War II.  Participating vessels included the Coast Guard tender CGC Tupelo and the Coast Guard-manned Navy attack transports and cargo vessels included Cor Caroli, Aquarius, Centaurus, Sterope, Arthur Middleton, LST-24, LST-70, LST-71 and LST-207.
  • 1947-President Truman signed H.R. 3539, which became Public Law No. 209, authorizing the Coast Guard to construct a suitable chapel for religious worship by any denomination, sect or religion at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in New London.
  • 1952-CGC Mackinac, enroute from New York to Ocean Station ECHO, and the SS Gripsholm, removed 45 of the 49 persons on board the SS Black Gull, which had caught fire in a position south of Block Island, Long Island, New York.
  • 1965-Crewmen began painting the white hulls of the 82-foot patrol boats assigned to Coast Guard Squadron One in Vietnam Navy gray.
  • 1997-USS Constitution, "Old Ironsides," set sail in Boston Harbor for the first time in more than a century.  Prior to this her Navy crew received training in sailing a square rigger aboard Eagle.  The Coast Guard then enforced security and safety zones around the Navy frigate during her brief voyage around the harbor.  More than 800 Coast Guard personnel, 10 cutters, three helicopters and 81 small boats were involved in the operation.
  • 1999-Royal Caribbean Cruises, Ltd., agreed to pay a record $18 million criminal fine and pled guilty to 21 felony counts for dumping oil and hazardous chemicals in U.S. waters and then lying about it to the Coast Guard.  The investigation began in October of 1994 when Coast Guard officials noticed an oil slick behind the ship Sovereign of the Seas as it approached San Juan, Puerto Rico.  Between the day Coast Guard officials first boarded the ship and when they again boarded it four days later, crewmen had removed a bypass pipe which they had been using to dump hazardous material from the ship.
  • 2015-A Coast Guard rescue swimmer gained international acclaim when he swam 1,750 yards in 5-foot seas and 30-mph winds to rescue four people after their fishing vessel grounded near Cape Blanco. AS2 Darren Harrityindividually pulled each fisherman more than 250 yards in 57 degree water from their life raft to shore, where they were met by EMS. Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector North Bend received a report from the crew of Jamie K, a 52-foot commercial fishing vessel, via VHF-FM marine radio channel 16 at 0140 hours stating that they were taking on water and had lost power. The vessel subsequently ran aground, at which time the crew donned survival suits and abandoned ship into their life raft. An MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew from Air Station North Bend and two 47-foot Motor Life Boat crews from Coast Guard Search and Rescue Detachments Rogue River and Coquille River launched to assist. The aircrew arrived on scene at 0249 hours and lowered Harrity into the water next to the life raft. Shortly after, the aircrew reported experiencing mechanical issues with the helicopter and was unable to safely complete additional hoists. The aircrew remained on scene until all of the fishermen and rescue swimmer had safely made it to shore and then landed on the nearby beach.

22 July

  • 1881-A young man named Joseph Ryan, of Buffalo, New York, while bathing off the lighthouse pier at that place, was seized with cramps and sunk.  One of the surfmen belonging to Station No. 5, Ninth District, about a quarter of a mile distant, was on duty at the pier and saw him disappear. Without a moment’s hesitation, he plunged into the water and succeeded in grasping Ryan by the hair and brought him safely to the shore.

23 July

  • 1836-Seminole Indians attacked and burned the Cape Florida lighthouse during the Second Seminole War.
  • 1947-Congress approved Public Law 219 which provided for the integration of the personnel of the former Bureau of Marine Inspection and Navigation into the regular military organization of the Coast Guard.  This was effected during Fiscal Year 1948, "and the Service thus had a single unified organization to carry forward the correlated duty which prior to 1939 were divided among three different Federal agencies the Coast Guard, Lighthouse Service, and Bureau of Marine Inspection and Navigation."
  • 1967-CGC Northwind diverted from her Bering Sea Patrol to assist the Canadian Survey Ship Richardson which was beset in the ice off Point Barrow, Alaska.  Northwind freed the stricken vessel which was then taken in tow by the Canadian icebreaker CCGS Camsell.

24 July

  • 1915-SS Eastland was a Chicago-based passenger ship used for vacation and sightseeing tours.  On 24 July 1915, the ship rolled over at her dock while preparing to depart on a cruise.  A total of 844 passengers and crew were killed in what became the largest loss of life from a maritime disaster on the Great Lakes.  Surfmen from Station Old Chicago participated in the emergency response effort, making it the "modern" Coast Guard's first major rescue operation.
  • 1936-While on a cadet cruise through European waters CGC Cayuga was ordered to San Sebastian, Spain after the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War necessitated the evacuation of U.S. citizens. While on this deployment the U.S. ambassador to Spain and his staff came on board Cayuga and the cutter then served as the official U.S. embassy in Spain.
  • 1944-The assault on Tinian Island, one of the Marshall Islands, commenced.  Coast Guard-manned attack transports that participated included USS Cambria and Cavalier.
  • 1965-Division 11, Coast Guard Squadron One (RONONE) departed for An Thoi.
  • 1981-Station Brant Point received a call from the Nantucket Hospital requesting Coast Guard assistance in transporting a patient suffering from a brain tumor.  A Coast Guard HU-16 was dispatched to medevac the patient, Mildred "Madaket Millie" Jewett, a long-time friend of the Coast Guard and an honorary CWO4.

25 July

  • 1947-The Women’s Reserve of the Coast Guard Reserve (SPARS) was formally disestablished.
  • 1956-The Swedish liner Stockholm collided with the Italian liner Andrea Doria off Nantucket.  Coast Guard cutters and aircraft as well as other vessels responded.  Andrea Doria sank 10 hours after the collision, resulting in 52 deaths.
  • 1995-A LEDET under the command of LTJG Robert Landolfi out of Mobile first boarded the Panamanian registered fishing vessel Nataly I.  The LEDET seized the Nataly I when the team discovered 24,325 pounds of cocaine hidden on board, making this the largest U.S. maritime seizure of cocaine to date.

26 July

  • 1886- An Act of Congress (24 Stat. L., 148) authorized an increase in the number of lighthouse districts to 16 within the Lighthouse Establishment.
  • 1846- Revenue Cutter Woodbury put down a mutiny on board the troop ship Middlesex during the Mexican War.
  • 1948-President Harry Truman ordered the integration of the armed forces of the United States with Executive Order 9981, signed 26 July 1948.  By this time the Coast Guard had already opened up all of its rates to all qualified persons regardless of race.  The Coast Guard noted "the importance of selecting men for what they are, for what they are capable of doing, and insisting on good conduct, good behavior, and good qualities of leadership for all hands. . .As a matter of policy Negro recruits receive the same consideration as all others."

27 July

  • 1793-President ordered full complements for cutters and increased monthly pay to $40 for Captains, $26 for 1st mates, $20 for 2nd mates, and $18 for 3rd mates.  Captains to have subsistence of Captain in Army, three mates subsistence of Army Lieutenants and mariner’s subsistence not to exceed $10 per month.
  • 1868-Congress directed the Secretary of the Treasury to enforce the law prohibiting the  unauthorized killing of fur seals in Alaska.  Also the President was authorized to regulate traffic in firearms, ammunition and spirituous liquors in Alaska.  The President assigned the enforcement of those laws to the Revenue Marine, thereby establishing the service's close connection with Alaska.
  • 1957-A Captain of the Port patrol vessel discovered a fire of unknown origin at the Mystic Coal Yard in Boston, MA.  The Coast Guard Base, Boston, immediately rushed the CGC Cactus, 150 Coast Guardsmen, and portable fire-fighting equipment to the scene.  While the cutter moved a 450-foot Norwegian freighter away from the flaming dock, the shore party with the assistance of local agencies brought the fire under control.  Eight Coast Guardsmen were hospitalized because of the injuries they received while fighting the fire.
  • 2015-CGC Aspen and a team from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration established a new NOAA environmental buoy and serviced three existing buoys approximately 30 nautical miles west of Monterey Bay from 27-30 July 2015. The newly established buoy named 46FLO, referred to as “Flossie,” is a six-meter boat-shaped Navy Oceanographic Meteorological Automatic Device buoy. Funded by the Army Corps of Engineers and the Coastal Hydrology Lab, Flossie, contains three separate wave systems that will collect data and aid the Army Corps of Engineers in using 20 years of historical data from NOAA Data Buoy Center buoys. 46FLO was named Flossie in honor of Navy CDR Florence “Flossie” Van Straten, a pioneer in naval meteorology and oceanography and a key player in the development of the automated buoy systems the National Data Buoy Center currently uses. Aspen and the NOAA team also performed scheduled maintenance and hull reliefs on buoys 46042, 46013, and 46026 ensuring the continued transmission of critical weather data and surf forecasts, as well as providing tsunami alerts to the San Francisco and Monterey Bay areas. The Coast Guard and NOAA partnership originated in the late 1960s when buoy development and operations were conducted solely by the Coast Guard. The program was transferred to NOAA in 1970, but the Coast Guard continues to support buoy deployments, retrievals, and other maintenance.

28 July

  • 1884-The Senate approved the appointment of Captain Jarvis Patten as Commissioner of Navigation to direct the work of the organization of the Bureau of Navigation, under the supervision of the Secretary of the Treasury.
  • 1942-Coast Guard J4F Widgeon V-214, piloted by Chief Aviation Pilot Henry White and carrying crewman RM1c Henderson Boggs, attacked a surfaced German submarine off the coast of Louisiana with a single depth charge.  After the war, the U.S. Navy credited V-214 with sinking the Nazi sub U-166.  White was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and Boggs was awarded the Air Medal.  Nevertheless the U-166 was later learned to have been sunk a few days earlier by a Navy patrol vessel, USS PC-566.  White and Boggs had actually attacked the U-171, which reported in her war diary as having been attacked by an unidentified aircraft in the very location that White reported attacking a U-boat.  The U-171 escaped with no damage.
  • 2014-CGC Mellon returned to its homeport of Seattle, Washington, after an 86-day patrol of the Bering Sea that covered nearly 15,000 miles.  Mellon departed Seattle 10 May 2014 to conduct SAR and fisheries missions throughout the Gulf of Alaska and the Bering Sea. Those efforts included 41 law enforcement boardings and more than 100 hours aboard commercial fishing vessels. While patrolling the Aleutian Islands, the crew came to the aid of a fishing vessel crew following an engine-room fire. The cutter’s damage control team performed a thorough post-fire analysis and eliminated or isolated damaged engine-room wiring to mitigate the risk of the fire re-igniting. In an evolution that took more than 15 hours, the Coast Guardsmen escorted the fishing vessel safely to Dutch Harbor, Alaska. The crew also participated in community relations events while taking time in port to resupply the cutter. During a port call to Unalaska Island, Alaska, the crew helped with landscaping and painting at the Holy Ascension Russian Orthodox Church, a national historic site.

29 July

  • 1898-The Revenue Cutter Bear took aboard 97 survivors of whaling vessels, who had been caught in Arctic ice and rescued by the Overland Expedition, and transported them to San Francisco.
  • 1948-Congress approved Public Law 810 allowing retirement pay at age 60 for reservists with 20 years of service.  Some consider this to be the "birth" of the modern Coast Guard Reserve.
  • 1970-CGC Vigorous became the first 210-foot cutter to cross the Arctic Circle. This took place while she was part of the 1970 Cadet Cruise Squadron.  CDR George Wagner was the commanding officer.
  • 1997-MLB-44300, the first 44-foot MLB to enter service, suffered an engine casualty in response to a SAR mission conducted for Station Cape Disappointment.  She was retired from duty shortly thereafter.

30 July

  • 1965-Commander, Task Force 115 (Operation Market Time) was established for service in Vietnam.  Also on this date Division 11 of Coast Guard Squadron One (RONONE) arrived at An Thoi.
  • 1966- When the Coast Guard Station at Belle Isle, Michigan, received a report of a cabin cruiser afire at a boat dock, patrol boats were dispatched to the scene by radio.  Within minutes, they were alongside the burning vessel, spraying water on the fire.  The entire cabin cruiser was in flames, since its gas tanks had already blown up.  The patrol boats, to minimize the damage to nearby facilities, towed the burning craft out of the marina. When notified that a woman was still on board, two Coast Guardsmen boarded the flaming cruiser and checked the cabin, only to find no one.  As it turned out, the woman had already jumped overboard and made her way to shore safely.  The fire was eventually brought under control, but not before the expenditure of many gallons of foam.
  • 2014-CGC Waesche returned to port at Coast Guard Base Honolulu after spending three weeks at sea participating in Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2014 exercises. During the exercises Waesche demonstrated the Coast Guard's unique capabilities and partnership with Department of Defense entities and international partners along the Pacific Rim by serving as the Combined Task Force 175 commander. While in this role, Waesche led vessels from China, Brunei, Mexico, France, Brunei, and the U.S., through numerous multinational exercises including ship handling, boarding exercises, replenishment at sea, and a live-fire gunnery exercise.

31 July

  • 1876-Congress re-established Revenue Cutter cadet training after three years suspension and instituted promotion by examination.
  • 1894-The Treasury Department created the Division of Revenue Cutter Service with Captain of the Revenue Cutter Service as its Chief.
  • 1985-The Coast Guard conducted a fleet dedication ceremony in Lockport, Louisiana for the new 110-foot "Island Class" patrol boats.

Last Modified 8/19/2015