Daily Chronology of Coast Guard History
- 1875-On 1 May 1875 Captain Lucien M. Clemens and
his brothers Al and Hubbard
"displayed the most signal gallantry in saving two men from the wreck of
the schooner Consuelo" in an open rowboat. Five others on board
the schooner perished when the schooner capsized in the heavy seas "with
the wind blowing a gale from the northeast" before the brothers arrived
on scene. Their daring rescue resulted in the award of the Gold
Life-Saving Medals to each, the first time the medals were ever awarded.
- 1898-USRC McCulloch fought as part of the fleet under the
overall command of Commodore George Dewey, USN, at the Battle of Manila Bay
during the Spanish-American War. President John McKinley later
recommended that her commanding officer, Revenue Captain Daniel B.
Hodgson, be retired at full pay as reward of merit for "efficient
and meritorious services." A joint resolution of Congress was
so approved on 3 May 1900.
- 1900-The Lighthouse Board took charge of all
lighthouses in Puerto Rico.
- 1921-The first radio fog signals in the United States were placed in
commission on Ambrose Lightship, Fire Island Lightship,
and Sea Girt Light Station, New Jersey.
- 1935-By Department of Commerce authority, a readjustment of the
boundary between the 3rd and 4th Lighthouse Districts was made, by which
certain aids to navigation in the approaches to Delaware Bay, including Overfalls
Lightship, were placed under the jurisdiction of the 4th Lighthouse
- 1936-Congress passed the Whaling Treaty Act, which made it unlawful to
take right whales or calves of any whale. The act was enforced by
the Coast Guard.
- 1942-Two Coast Guard planes located a lifeboat with 13 survivors
and landed in open seas and took injured men ashore as others were rescued by
- 1973-The Coast Guard's Merchant Marine Detachment-Saigon, Republic
of Vietnam, was disestablished.
- 1992-CGC Venturous served as the patrol commander's on-scene
command platform for most of the International America's Cup Class World
Championship sailing races that took place off San Diego from 1 to 11
May 1992. The CGC Sherman took over that duty for 10 to 11
May. Coast Guard active duty, reserve, and auxiliary personnel
also assisted in perimeter patrols along the race course.
- 1999- A amphibious tourist boat (DUKW) sank in Lake Hamilton, near
Hot Springs, Arkansas, killing 13 persons. The Coast Guard
investigated the accident.
- 2013-CGAS Kodiak deployed a MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew and support
personnel to a forward operating location in Cordova, to safeguard
mariners in Prince William Sound and south central Alaska. The FOL in Cordova
was one of four seasonal Coast Guard FOLs in Alaska and was scheduled
to remain in operation until 30 September 2013. The forward deployed crews received
logistical support from Air Station Kodiak based HC-130 Hercules
airplane crews throughout their deployment. The previous year, FOL Cordova aircrews
saved nine lives and assisted 12 others during the 2012 summer season.
- 1882-An Act of Congress (22 Stat. L., 55, 58), in an attempt to
protect the Lifesaving Service from the evils of the "spoils
System," declared that "the appointments of District
superintendents, inspectors, and keepers and crews of life-saving
stations shall be made solely with reference to their fitness and
without reference to their political or party affiliations."
- 1932- Northern Pacific Halibut Act re-enacted Act of 7 June 1924,
after Convention with Canada and made it unlawful to catch halibut
between 1st November and 15th February each year in territorial waters
of United States and Canada and on high seas, extending westerly from
them, including the Bering Sea. Coast Guard enforced this Act.
- 1942-Coast Guard plane V-167 rescued two from a torpedoed
- 1942-Coast Guard prewar search and rescue procedure discontinued for
- 1943-CG-58012 exploded and sank off Manomet Point,
Massachusetts. No lives lost.
- 1995-Part of the Upper Mississippi and Missouri Rivers rose above the
flood stage, flooding areas in Nebraska, Iowa, Missouri, Illinois and
Kentucky. Coast Guard Disaster Response Units conducted SAR duties
and assisted local authorities. On 16 May MSO St. Louis closed all
366 miles of the Missouri River to all traffic. The
Secretary of Transportation authorized the involuntary recall of 300
reservists. However, only 143 were called to duty. Coast
Guard Forces Paducah was at the epicenter of flood-relief operations
with five DRUs working in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, and the Olive
Branch, Illinois, area. Coast Guard aircraft, including an HH-60
Jayhawk from AIRSTA Clearwater (the 2nd District had no air station)
provided daily over-flight and SAR missions. CGC Sangamon
was used as a staging platform for those working near Meridosa,
Illinois. Two DRU teams aided Meridosa and surrounding communities
with emergency evacuations, ferrying emergency supplies and reinforcing
threatened levees. Coast Guardsmen were also called in to Slidell,
Louisiana, where the evacuated 285 flood victims to safety.
1944- An acoustic torpedo fired by the U-371 hit and
destroyed the stern of the Coast Guard-manned destroyer escort USS Menges
while she was escorting a convoy in the Mediterranean, killing
thirty-one of her crew. [see 4 May 1944 entry] The Menges
was later repaired and returned to service. She assisted in the
sinking of the U-866 on 19 March 1945.
- 1882-The Secretary of the Treasury was authorized to discontinue any
lifesaving station, transfer apparatus, appoint keepers, etc.
- 1910-Congress required every passenger ship or other ship carrying 50
persons or more, leaving any port of United States, to be equipped with
a radio (powerful enough to transmit to a 100-mile radius) and a
- 1942- The Chief of Naval Operations, ADM Ernest J. King, ordered the
Coast Guard Auxiliary to organize into a anti-submarine patrol force,
which becomes known as the "Corsair Fleet" for service along
the east coast. The Corsair Fleet was made up primarily of private
yachts, crewed by their owners, and converted for ASW use.
- 1944-The Coast Guard-manned destroyer escort USS Pride
(DE-323), with three other Allied escort vessels, sank U-371 in the Mediterranean.
The U-371 had torpedoed the Coast Guard-manned USS Menges the
- 1963-CGC Morris and CG-95318 escorted the annual
Newport Harbor, California to Ensenada, Mexico Yacht Race which
commenced 4 May 1963 and upon conclusion of the race made an informal
visit to Ensenada.
- 1947-The first meeting of the permanent International Civil Aviation
Organization was held in Montreal, Canada with the Coast Guard being
represented by LT John M. Waters, USCG.
- 1950-Congress approved the Uniform Code of Military Justice for the
"government of the armed forces of the United States."
- 1973-The last Coast Guard personnel assigned to Vietnam departed for
the United States.
- 2004-On 5 May 2004 the Coast Guard presented the Purple Heart to BM3
Joseph Ruggiero in Miami for injuries sustained in action against the
enemy while defending the Khawr Al Amaya Oil Terminal in Iraq on 24
April 2004. Ruggiero's shipmate, DC3 Nathan Bruckenthal, was
killed in this same bombing and was posthumously awarded the Purple
Heart. They were the first Coast Guard recipients of the Purple
Heart since the Vietnam War.
- 1796-Congress increased the monthly compensation of Revenue Marine
officers to masters $50; first mates $35; second mates $30; third mates
$25 and mariners $20.
- 1896-President Grover Cleveland placed the Lighthouse Service
within the classified federal civil service.
- 1898-The cutter Morrill participated in an engagement at
Havana, Cuba on 6 and 7 May 1898 during the Spanish-American War.
Her officers were awarded Bronze Medals by the authority of a joint
resolution of Congress that was approved on 3 March 1901.
- 1945-The Coast Guard-manned frigate USS Moberly (PF-63), in
concert with USS Atherton, sank the U-853 in the Atlantic off
Block Island. There were no survivors.
- 1958-During her 50 plus year career, the Huron
Lightship WAL-526 at Port Huron, Michigan, survived many a Great Lakes
storm without the loss of a single crewmember until that date in 1958
when Seaman (Boatswain Mate Striker) Robert G. Gullickson lost his life
while attempting to swim for assistance to save another shipmate, CS1
Vincent Disch, after their small boat was swamped by a freighter's wake
and sank. Disch was rescued but Gullickson was lost at sea and his
remains were never recovered. Gullickson was posthumously promoted
to BM3 for his rescue attempt and for sacrificing his life for his
- 1994- The last HH-3F Pelican helicopter in Coast Guard service was
retired. This ended the Coast Guard's "amphibious era,"
as no aviation asset left in service was capable of making water
- 2003-CGC Walnut completed its 20-day humanitarian mission in
support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Walnut marked the navigational channel
of the Khawr Abd Allah waterway leading from the North Arabian Gulf to
Iraq’s critical port of Umm Qasr. The cutter completely
replaced 30 buoys and repaired an additional five along the 41-mile
waterway, vastly improving the navigational safety of the waterway for
humanitarian aid sailing to the port and providing a critical step
towards the economic recovery of the people of Iraq. The majority
of the equipment used in the navigational improvements was located in a
warehouse in Umm Qasr and was inspected and upgraded to ensure that the
buoys matched as closely as possible to the charted channel. Walnut
was originally deployed to the North Arabian Gulf with an oil spill
recovery system in the event the regime of Saddam Hussein committed any
acts of environmental terrorism. When those threats did not materialize
the cutter conducted maritime interdiction operations enforcing U.N.
Security Council resolutions, participated in the search for two downed
United Kingdom helicopters, and patrolled and provided assistance to
captured Iraqi offshore oil terminals.
- 2014-CGC Active returned to
its homeport of Port Angeles, Washington, following a 70-day deployment.
During their deployment, the cutter and crew covered more than 11,500 miles
on a counter-drug enforcement patrol in the Eastern Pacific, including
patrolling waters off the coast of Central America. The crew conducted multiple
at sea boardings, seizing more than 2,300 pounds of cocaine worth an estimated $37 million. While on a port call in Puerto Vallarta,
Mexico to resupply the cutter, Active's crew participated in a community
relations event where they painted and helped set up a playground at the
local Children’s Cancer Center.
- 1969-HC-130H CGNR 1453, stationed at Air Station
Kodiak, flew over the geographic North Pole, becoming the first Coast
Guard aircraft to do so. The aircraft commander was LCDR Melvin J.
Hartman and the copilot was LT Larry Minor. The purpose of the
flight was ice reconnaissance of a potential route for super tankers
from the North Slope of Alaska to the east coast of the U.S.
According to a summary of the flight published in the Commandant's
Bulletin: "COAST GUARD AIRCRAFT
FLIES AROUND THE WORLD NONSTOP. . .During the course of this flight, the
aircraft circled the north pole, crossing all meridians in eighty
- 1969-On 7 May 1969 CGC Southwind
Baltimore, Maryland after circumnavigating the globe, becoming only the
second cutter to do so.
- 1979-During a city-wide strike by tugboat operators and longshoremen
in New York City that began on 1 April 1979, Mayor Ed Koch of New York
asked for federal assistance. The Secretary of Transportation,
Brock Adams, at the behest of President Jimmy Carter, ordered the
Commandant, ADM John B. Hayes, to direct the commanding officer of the
Third Coast Guard District, VADM Robert I. Price, "to cooperate
with Mayor Koch in the movement of sanitation barges within the
harbor." Beginning on 7 May 1979, the cutters Sauk,
Manitou and Red Beech began moving 16 garbage scows from a
Staten Island landfill site to refuse pick-up points in Manhattan,
Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx. Although the Group received an
anonymous bomb threat that proved to be a hoax, the towing effort was
carried out without incident. These three cutters were relieved of
"garbage duty" in June by the cutters Snohomish and Chinook.
- 1992- Astronaut and Coast Guard CDR Bruce Melnick made his second
space flight when he served as a Mission Specialist aboard the space
shuttle Endeavour on her maiden flight, Space Shuttle Mission
STS-49, which flew from 7 to 16 May 1992. During this mission,
astronauts rescued and repaired the Intelsat VI satellite.
Melnick, by this point, had logged more than 300 hours in space.
- 2004-CGC James Rankin set the historic "Francis Scott
Key" buoy off of Fort McHenry, Maryland, near the Key Bridge in
Baltimore, Maryland. The buoy marks the spot where the British
warship on which Francis Scott Key, the author of the Star Spangled
Banner, was held aboard during the bombardment of Fort McHenry by the
Royal Navy during the War of 1812. Each year the buoy is set in
the spring, marking the historic location of the event, and is then
removed in the fall.
- 1919-First Lieutenant Elmer F. Stone, USCG, piloting the Navy's flying
boat NC-4 in the first successful trans-Atlantic flight, took off
from the Naval Air Station at Rockaway, New York, at 1000 hours on 8
May, 1919, together with the NC-1 and NC-3. Although the NC-1 and
NC-3 did not complete the journey, the NC-4 successfully crossed the
Atlantic and landed in Lisbon, Portugal on 27 May 1919. Stone was
decorated that same day by the Portuguese government with the Order of
the Tower and Sword.
- 1926-Congress standardized the retired pay of Coast Guard officers with that of
all the other armed services.
- 1985- CGC Chase was crippled by an engine room fire that
put the cutter out of service for almost six months. One crewman,
MK3 Nicholas V. Barei III, was killed during the incident.
- 1985-The largest cocaine seizure by the Coast Guard (to date) was made
when Coast Guard units seized the Goza Now with 1,909 pounds of
cocaine. The unlit speedboat, or "go-fast," was first located by the CGC Cape Shoalwater as
it raced towards Miami. An AIRSTA Miami helicopter was
dispatched to investigate and then began chasing it as it neared Miami
Beach. As they approached the shoreline, the three-man crew of the
go-fast jumped overboard and escaped but a TACLET seized the abandoned Goza
Now and her illicit cargo. District 7 got a "Bravo
Zulu" from Attorney General Edwin Meese.
- 1987- Coast Guard units, including CGC Ocracoke,
largest seizure of cocaine by the Coast Guard (to date). They
discovered 3,771 pounds (1.9 tons) aboard the La Toto off
the northwest coast of St. Croix.
- 1862-USRC Miami landed President Abraham Lincoln on
Confederate-held soil the day before the fall of Norfolk. The
President had decided "to ascertain by personal observation whether
some further vigilance and vigor might not be infused into the
operations of the Army and Navy" during General George McClellan's
Peninsula campaign. The President, Secretary of State Salmon P.
Chase, Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton, and Brigadier General Egbert
Ludovickus Viele departed Washington, D.C., on board the cutter on 5
- 1939- President Franklin D. Roosevelt announced Reorganization Plan II
that transferred the Bureau of Lighthouses to the Treasury Department
for consolidation with the Coast Guard. The plan took effect on 1 July
- 1942-CGC Icarus attacked and sank the
German submarine U-352 off
Moorehead City, North Carolina, and
then rescued and took 33 prisoners-of-war, the first German prisoners taken in combat by any
U.S. force in World War II.
- 1800-Congress forbade citizens to own an interest in vessels engaged
in the slave trade or to serve on such vessels.
- 1956-President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed Public Law 519, which brought all previously
uninspected vessels on navigable waters carrying more than six
passengers for hire under inspection laws. These were chiefly
party-fishing motorboats, excursion sailboats, and ferry barges. Public
attention had been focused on the inadequacy of existing inspection laws
by the hundreds of lives lost on uninspected vessels.
- 1966-CGC Point Grey was on patrol near South
Vietnam's Ca Mau peninsula
when her crew sighted a 110-foot trawler heading on various courses and
speeds. Suspicions aroused, Point Grey commenced shadowing the
trawler. After observing what appeared to be signal fires on the beach,
the cutter hailed the vessel, but received no response. The trawler ran aground
and Point Grey personnel attempted to board it. Heavy automatic
weapons fire from the beach prevented the boarding and two crew and one
Army passenger were wounded aboard Point Grey. CGC Point
Cypress, and U.S. Navy units came to assist. During the
encounter the trawler exploded. U.S. Navy salvage teams recovered
a substantial amount of war material from the sunken vessel. This
incident was the largest, single known infiltration attempt since the
Vung Ro Bay incident of February 1965 and was the first "suspicious
trawler interdicted by a Market Time unit."
- 1898-USRC Hudson towed the crippled USS Winslow from
certain destruction under the Spanish forts at Cardenas, Cuba during the
Spanish-American War. Congress later conferred a Gold Medal of
Honor on her commanding officer, Revenue First Lieutenant F. H. Newcomb.
His officers and crew were awarded Silver and Bronze Medals.
- 1908-The Revenue Cutter Service was authorized to enforce Alaska game
- 1945-On the morning of 11 May 1945, four days after Nazi Germany
surrendered unconditionally to the Allies, the Coast Guard-manned
destroyer escorts USS Vance and USS Durant, underway off
the Azores escorting their last convoy to the Mediterranean, sighted a
light ahead of the convoy. They closed to investigate. Durant
illuminated the target, which was the surfaced German submarine U-873,
which had been at sea for 50 days. Vance, while screened by Durant,
hailed the "erstwhile enemy" over her public address
system, established her identity, and then ordered her to heave to.
On board were seven officers and 52 enlisted men. Vance
placed a 21-man prize crew on board the captured U-boat and delivered
the prize at Portsmouth, New Hampshire, on 16 May 1945.
- 1963-Air Station San Francisco intercepted a teletype message from
Fort Point Lifeboat Station to CG Radio Station San Francisco stating
that the 36-foot F/V Pirate II had lost its engine and would be blown
onto Seal Rocks within twenty minutes. Coast Guard HH-19G
helicopter CGNR-1309 was dispatched to assist. The helicopter,
commanded by LCDR Warren S. Petterson, located the fishing vessel in
heavy surf and commenced "Operation Tugbird" by lowering a tow cable to
Pirate II. The helicopter then towed the vessel out of the surf
and to a distance of one-half mile off shore where CG-82328 successfully took
- 1906-In part due to the lobbying efforts of the Maritime Association
of the Port of New York, Congress authorized the construction of a
cutter "equipped to cruise for and destroy derelicts and
obstructions to navigation" for the Revenue Cutter Service.
The Service contracted with the Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock
Company to build this "derelict destroyer," which was
christened USRC Seneca. She was commissioned in 1908.
- 1938- Lieutenant C. B. Olsen became the first Coast Guardsman to be
awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross. He earned the award for
"heroism in removing Lieutenant Colonel Gullion, U.S. Army, who was
stricken with acute appendicitis, from the Army transport 'Republic'"
after making an open-water landing near the freighter.
1939- On 12 May 1939, Boatswain's Mate First Class Clarence Samuels
was appointed as a Chief Photographer's Mate (Acting), becoming the
first African-American photographer in the Coast Guard and only the second Coast
Guard photographer in the entire history of the Service.
- 1957- CGC Wachusett, on Ocean Station NOVEMBER, halfway
between Honolulu and San Francisco, rescued the two-man crew who had
bailed out of a U.S. Air Force B-57 because of a fuel shortage.
- 1984-The Coast Guard was a primary participant in the 1984 Louisiana
World Exposition in New Orleans. The Coast Guard Barque Eagle
was opened to the public and the fair's organizers also chose the Coast
Guard as the official honor guard for the exposition. The service
was also responsible for the exposition's waterfront security.
- 1905- An Executive Order extended the jurisdiction of the Lighthouse
Service to the noncontiguous territory of Guam Island.
1986-CGC Manitou stopped the 125-foot Sun Bird in
7th District waters and her boarding team discovered 40,000 pounds of
marijuana hidden aboard. The boarding team then located the
vessel's builder's plate and learned that the Sun Bird was the
decommissioned "buck-and-a-quarter" cutter Crawford.
The former cutter and her 14-man crew were taken into custody. A
newspaper article describing the incident noted: "If Crawford
was a person, Miami would have probably seen it blush . . . The ex-Coast
Guard cutter received more publicity for smuggling the drugs than for
its 20-year Coast Guard career."
- 1908-An Act of Congress (35 Stat. L., 160, 162) delegated to the
Lighthouse Board the duty of caring for and maintaining the anchorage
buoys previously placed by the United States in the harbors of New York
- 1951-USS Valcour was rammed by the collier Thomas Tracy.
CGC Cherokee responded and assisted in extinguishing the
resulting fires and towed the Valcour to Norfolk.
Thirty-seven Navy sailors perished.
- 1997- The 757-foot containership Ever Grade collided with CGC Cowslip
10 miles upriver from the mouth of the Columbia River near Astoria,
Oregon. The buoy tender suffered significant damage from a
glancing blow along her port side. Visibility at the time was less
than 20 yards due to thick fog in the area. The Cowslip was
repaired and returned to service.
- 1862-USRC Naugatuck participated in bombardment of
Drewry's Bluff (James River) after accompanying USS Monitor in
its engagement with CSS Virginia and engaging in an attack on
- 1931-Treasury Secretary Andrew W. Mellon laid the
cornerstone of Hamilton Hall, the first building under construction at the
"new" Coast Guard Academy in New London, Connecticut.
- 1934-The White Star Line passenger vessel RMS Olympic,
in a dense fog, rammed and sank the lightship LV-117 on the Nantucket Shoals station.
Olympic, which had been homing in
on the lightship's radio beacon very accurately, failed to steer clear
in time. Seven of the lightship's 11 crewmen were killed.
The White Star Line agreed to fund a new lightship.
- 1945-On 12 May the Coast Guard-manned frigate USS Forsyth
(PF-102) was called off her weather station to search through haze and
fog for a German submarine that was attempting to surrender. Three
days later Forsyth joined Sutton (DE-771) in accepting
the surrender of U-234 at 46º 39' N. x 45º 39' W. This submarine
was carrying a German technical mission and supplies, including a cargo
of uranium, to Tokyo. Earlier, two Japanese passengers on board committed suicide rather than surrender.
- 1975-CGC Modoc seized the Polish fishing vessel Kalmar
10 miles off Monterey, California, for fishing inside the 12-mile limit
and escorted her to San Francisco.
- 1996-The Coast Guard formally closed Governors Island. The Army
left the base in the early 1960s and the Coast Guard took it over on 3
June 1966 as a way to consolidate its operations in the New York Area.
At the height of Coast Guard involvement on the island over 4,600 people
lived and worked there.
- 1846-Eleven cutters were assigned to cooperate with Army and Navy in
the Mexican War. Cutters McLane, Legare, Woodbury,
Ewing, Forward, and Van Buren were assigned to the
Army. Cutters Wolcott, Bibb, Morris, and Polk
were assigned to the Navy.
- 1888-Secretary of Treasury was authorized to establish anchorage
grounds New York Harbor, adopt suitable rules and "take all
necessary measures" for their enforcement.
- 1963-The Honorable Douglas Dillon, Secretary of the Treasury, at a
ceremony at Cape May Receiving Center, awarded Life-Saving Medals to
three enlisted men of the Coast Guard in recognition of their heroic
action and performance of duty at the risk of their own lives.
Boatswain's Mate First Class John C. Webb, coxswain of CG-36455 was
awarded the Gold Life-Saving Medal and his crewmen, Engineman Third
Class Anthony D. Lloyd and Seaman Ray Dwayne Duerre were each awarded a
Silver Life-Saving Medal. The awards were based on their rescue of
three persons from a stranded pleasure craft disabled approximately two
miles northwest of Cape Alava, Washington, on 1 June 1962.
- 1999-The Coast Guard "kept the peace" when the Makah Indian
tribe hunted and killed a gray whale in Neah Bay, Washington. The
Makah were guaranteed the right to hunt whales in their 1855 treaty with
- 1920-Coast Guard officers and enlisted personnel were granted
the same pay, allowances and increases as the Navy.
- 1846-Secretary of Treasury Walker assigned Revenue Captain John A.
Webster to control movements of vessels assigned to Army and to
cooperate with the Navy in the War with Mexico.
- 1896-Congress authorized the Secretary of Treasury to patrol regattas.
- 1882-The lookout of Station No. 10 (Louisville, Kentucky), 9th
District, spotted two men and a skiff being swept toward the dam and
falls of the Ohio River. He sounded the alarm and "a boat at
once shot out from the station, and reached the men in time to save
them. They were quite ignorant of rowing . . . and were at the
mercy of the flood sweeping towards the dam. They were terribly
frightened and profuse in their thanks to their rescuers."
- 1999-CGC Bear arrived in Rota, Spain. She was
deployed to the Adriatic Sea in support of Operation Allied Force
and Operation Noble Anvil, NATO's military campaign against the
forces of the former Republic of Yugoslavia. Bear served in
the USS Theodore Roosevelt Battle Group providing surface
surveillance and SAR response for the Sea Combat Commander, and force
protection for the Amphibious Ready Group operating near Albania. Bear
provided combat escort for U.S. Army vessel's transporting military
cargo between Italy and Albania. This escort operation took Bear
up to the Albanian coastline, well within enemy surface-to-surface
- 1849-Revenue Captain Douglas Ottinger reported completing the
construction and furnishing of eight life-saving stations on the New
Jersey coast between Sandy Hook and Little Egg Inlet, marking the
beginning of Federal life-saving efforts.
- 1944-The Coast Guard-manned USS LST-69 exploded at Pearl
Harbor. None of her crew were killed but 13 were seriously
- 1951-The Coast Guard announced the formation, within the Washington,
DC area, of a new Organized Reserve Training Unit (Vessel Augmentation).
The mission of this new unit was to develop a force of experienced
personnel, well-trained in all shipboard billets, with particular
emphasis on anti-submarine warfare, and the use of radar, radio, and
other branches of electronics. Training was to be directed towards
readying personnel of the unit for immediate assignment to ships of the
Coast Guard and Navy in the event of mobilization.
- 1986-Japan's Maritime Safety Agency vessel Settsu arrived in
Juneau for three days of meetings with 17th District staff members, SAR
talks, softball games (against the crew of CGC Morgenthau -- the
MSA crew won one game out of three), and comparing operational notes.
The 348-foot Japanese vessel was homeported in Kobi, Japan.
1920- An Act of Congress, which provided a system of general
retirement for the civil employees of the US Government effective 21
August 1920, benefited those employees of the Lighthouse Service who were
not covered by the retirement law of 20 June 1918, which provided
retirement for certain classes of employees in the Lighthouse Service.
- 1926- An Act of Congress extended the benefits of the Public Health
Service to apply to light keepers located at isolated points, who
previously had been unable to avail themselves of such benefits, and
made provisions for medical supplies and hospital services for the crews
of the vessels of the Lighthouse Service, including the detail of
- 1959- Two US Air Force jets collided near Ocean Station ECHO,
patrolled at that time by the CGC Mendota. A U.S. Air Force
weather plane spotted both pilots in the water and, within two hours of
collision, the Mendota rescued them.
- 1967-CGC Barataria conducted the first fire-support mission for
the newly created Coast Guard Squadron Three in Vietnam. This force
initially consisted of five Coast Guard 311-footers used to support Market Time
- 1928-CGC Haida and the USLHT Cedar rescued 312
passengers and crew from the sailing vessel Star of Falkland near
Unimak Pass, Alaska after Star of Falkland had run aground in
the fog the previous evening. Both the cutter and the
tender managed to save all but eight from the sailing vessel. This
rescue was one of the most successful in Coast Guard history and was
also one of the few instances where the Coast Guard and one of its
future integrated agencies worked together to perform a major rescue.
- 1930-Lieutenant Commander Elmer F. Stone received a medal from
Congress for extraordinary achievement in making the first successful
trans-Atlantic flight in 1919. Stone was the pilot of the Navy's
- 1946-Commodore Edward M. Webster, USCG, headed the US Delegation to
the International Meeting on Radio Aids to Marine Navigation, which was
held in London, England. As a result of this meeting, the
principal maritime nations of the world agreed to make an intensive
study of the World War II-developed devices of radar, LORAN, radar
beacons, and other navigational aids with a view to adapt them to
peacetime use. This was the first time that the wartime technical
secrets of radar and LORAN were generally disclosed to the public.
[USCG Public Information Division News Release, 7 June 1946.]
- 1972-President Richard Nixon and the Chairman of the Presidium of
the Supreme Soviet of the USSR, N. V. Podgorny, signed the "Agreement on
Cooperation in the Field of Environmental Protection between the United
States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics."
Under the agreement, the U.S. Coast Guard was the lead U.S. agency, in
association with the EPA and MARAD, for the Task Group on Prevention and
Cleanup of Pollution of the Marine Environment from Shipping.
- 1830-Navy officers, under furlough from the Navy until April 1832,
were given commissions in the Revenue Service.
- 1941-CGC Modoc sighted the German battleship Bismarck
while the cutter searched for survivors of a convoy southeast of Cape
Farewell, Greenland. British Swordfish torpedo planes from the
Royal Navy aircraft carrier HMS Victorious circled Modoc
as they flew towards the German battleship. Modoc's
crew then spotted flashes caused by anti-aircraft fire from the Bismarck
and then sighted British warships on the opposite horizon. The
cutter then maneuvered to avoid contact with any of the warships and
managed to steam out of the area unscathed.
- 1977-On 24 May 1977 the Coast Guard issued a
request for female volunteers to serve afloat on board cutters as
members of the cutters' permanent crew. Beginning in late-September of that year the first of 24
women chosen for afloat assignments began reporting on board the CGCs
Gallatin and Morgenthau as members of their permanent crew.
Twelve women--two officers and 10 enlisted--served on board each cutter.
- 1877-The training of first class of Revenue Cutter cadets began on the
school-ship Dobbin at Curtis Bay, Maryland, with nine cadets,
three officers, one surgeon, six warrant officers and 17 crew members on
- 1963-On 25 May 1963 the first of the new class of 210-foot cutters,
CGC Reliance (WPC-615, later WMEC-615), was christened at Todd
Shipyard, Houston, Texas. The wife of the Commandant at the time,
Mrs. Edwin J. Roland, was the sponsor for the cutter. A news
report published at the time noted: "The CGC RELIANCE, to be stationed at
Corpus Christi, Texas, marks a significant milestone in the building
program of the Coast Guard as it is the first cruising cutter of any
size built for Coast Guard service in almost twenty years."
- 1906-Congress passed an act to regulate enlistments and punishments in Revenue Cutter
Service was passed.
- 1988-Admiral Paul Yost, Commandant, explained the new "Zero
Tolerance" initiative to Congress's Subcommittee on the Coast Guard
and Navigation. Yost noted: "The Coast Guard Zero Tolerance
policy is that, subject to statutory and jurisdictional limitations,
individuals possessing measurable quantities of controlled substances
aboard vessels will be subject to the full extent of available criminal
and civil sanctions. . .Zero Tolerance means that the Coast Guard, in
the course of its regular patrols, boardings and inspections, will now,
within the limits of the law, seize vessels and arrest individuals when
'personal use' quantities of illegal drugs are discovered."
- 1995-The Secretary of Transportation authorized the involuntary recall
of 300 reservists to assist in the relief efforts in the Midwest after
the Missouri and Mississippi rivers flooded. However, only 143
were called to duty. (See the 2 May 1995 entry.)
- 1919-The U.S. Navy's flying boat NC-4, piloted by First Lieutenant Elmer F. Stone, USCG, landed in the
Tagus River estuary near Lisbon, Portugal on 27 May 1919, thereby
completing the first successful trans-Atlantic flight. Stone
was decorated that same day by the Portuguese government with the Order
of the Tower and Sword.
- 1936-Public Law 622 reorganized and changed the name of the
Bureau of Navigation and Steamboat Inspection Service to Bureau of
Marine Inspection and Navigation (49 Stat. L., 1380). The Bureau
remained under Commerce Department control.
- 1943-Douglas Munro's posthumous Medal of Honor was given to Douglas
Munro's parents, Mr. and Mrs. James Munro of South Cle Elum, Washington,
by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in a ceremony at the White House on
Thursday, May 27, 1943. The citation read: "Awarded
posthumously to DOUGLAS ALBERT MUNRO, SIGNALMAN FIRST CLASS, U.S. COAST
GUARD 'For extraordinary heroism and conspicuous gallantry in action
above and beyond the call of duty as Office-in-Charge of a group of
Higgins boats, engaged in the evacuation of a Battalion of Marines
trapped by enemy Japanese forces at Point Cruz, Guadalcanal, on
September 27, 1942. After making preliminary plans for the
evacuation of nearly 500 beleaguered Marines, Munro, under constant risk
of his life, daringly led five of his small craft toward the shore.
As he closed the beach, he [signaled] the others to land,
and then in order to draw the enemy's fire and protect the heavily
loaded boats, he valiantly placed his craft with its two small guns as a
shield between the beachhead and the Japanese. When the
perilous task of evacuation was nearly completed, Munro was killed by
enemy fire, but his crew, two of whom were wounded, carried on until the
last boat had loaded and cleared the beach. By his outstanding
leadership, expert planning, and dauntless devotion to duty, he and his
courageous comrades undoubtedly saved the lives of many who otherwise
would have perished. He gallantly gave up his life in defense of
- 1954-The aircraft carrier USS Bennington (CV-20), with about
2,000 persons aboard, suffered an explosion and fire 35 miles south of Brenton
Reef Lightship, injuring some 100 persons. U.S. Coast Guard aircraft
from Salem Air Station and Quonset Point proceeded to the scene,
assisted in transporting medical personnel to Bennington and
provided air cover for all helicopter operations. One of the Coast
Guard’s helicopters made seven landings aboard the aircraft carrier and
transported 18 injured to the hospital; another transported 14 injured.
- 1965-Coast Guard Squadron One was commissioned for service with
Operation Market Time in Vietnam.
- 2008-CGC Dallas departed Charleston, SC for a
planned 4-1/2 month deployment to conduct maritime safety and security exchanges
with countries along the central and west coasts of Africa, the
Mediterranean and the Black Sea. It was an historic voyage that
included delivering relief supplies to Georgia after that country was
attacked by Russia in "Operation Assured Delivery (she was the
second U.S. military ship to deliver relief supplies to Georgia) and a
port visit to Sevastopol, Ukraine.
- 1813-Revenue Cutterman John Bearbere died of
pneumonia while being held as a Prisoner of War by the British after his
cutter, James Madison, was captured by the Royal Navy
frigate HMS Barbadoes near Savannah, Georgia on 24 November 1812 during
the War of 1812. He was one of five crewmen captured aboard the
cutter who died in captivity. James Madison had only
recently captured and seized the 300-ton, six-gun British brig Shamrock
in July, 1812.
- 1938-CGC Icarus, patrol boats CG-176 and CG-135 as well as motor
lifeboats from stations Rockaway Point and Sandy Hook responded to a
distress call after the collision of two vessels, the SS Acadia and SS
Mandalay, in New York Harbor. The Coast Guard vessels safely
transported to New York City all 325 passengers and crew from the Mandalay which sank
soon after the collision.
- 1947-The Coast Guard announced the disestablishment of all U.S. Coast
Guard Merchant Marine Details in foreign ports. During World War II, a
total of 36 foreign Merchant Marine Details had been activated for the
purpose of performing "on-the-spot" services in connection
with the preventive aspects of safety of life and property of the US
Merchant Marine. These functions reverted to the continental U.S. ports
in which there were located U.S. Marine Inspection Offices. The
Merchant Marine Details disestablished were located in the following
ports: Antwerp, Belgium; Bremerhaven, Germany; London, England; Cardiff,
Wales; Le Havre, France; Marseille, France; Naples, Italy; Piraeus,
Greece; Shanghai, China; Manila, Philippine Islands; and Trieste,
- 1984-The first Marine Safety Information System module was deployed
Coast Guard-wide. The Port Safety Module replaced the Interim MSIS
system, first established when the Port and Tanker Safety Act of 1978
was passed, to provide field units with vessel histories. The
replacement module was vital in the day-to-day execution of Port Safety
and Marine Violation functions.
- 1995-A request from the Commander in Chief of Naval Forces Europe led
to the deployment of CGC Dallas, under the command of Captain
Joseph Jones, USCG, to the Mediterranean. She departed Governors
Island on 29 May 1995 and visited ports throughout the Mediterranean and
Black Sea, including Istanbul and Samsun in Turkey; Durres, Albania;
Varna, Bulgaria; Constanta, Romania; Koper, Slovenia; Taranto, Italy;
and Bizerte, Tunisia. The crew trained with naval and coast guard
forces in each country. She deployed for a few days with the Sixth Fleet
and served as a plane guard for the USS Theodore Roosevelt.
The crew was also able to coordinate schedules with six NATO and
non-NATO nations to conduct boardings. She returned to the U.S. in
August and arrived at Governors Island on 28 August 1995.
- 1767-The Charleston Lighthouse was built on Morris Island, South
Carolina. The first stone of the tower was laid on this date.
- 1996-On 30 May 1996 the 8th and 2nd Coast Guard Districts were
combined to form the new 8th Coast Guard District.
- 1996-CGC Yocona was decommissioned in Kodiak, Alaska.
She had been in Coast Guard service since 1946.
- 1947-Authority of the U.S. Coast Guard for the establishment and
disestablishment of prohibited, restricted, and anchorage areas,
conferred by the Espionage Act (50 U.S.C. 191) and Proclamation No. 2412
of 27 June 1940 was terminated by Proclamation No. 2732, signed by the
President on this date.
- 1948-The Coast Guard assumed command of the former Navy base at Cape
May, New Jersey, and formally established its east coast recruit
training center there the next day.
- 1963-The Commandant authorized the disestablishment of Light Station
- 1983-Former world heavyweight boxing champion Jack Dempsey passed
away at the age of 87. He served in the Coast Guard during World
War II and achieved the rank of commander.
- 1988-The first search and rescue agreement with the Soviet Union was
signed at a summit in Moscow. The agreement set a general line, or
boundary, separating SAR regions and provided for exchange visits to SAR
coordination centers in both countries, joint SAR exercises, and regular
- 1988-CGC Fir became the oldest cutter in
commission after CGC Ingham was decommissioned this day in 1988.
- 2009-CGC Boutwell arrived in the port of
Tubruq, Libya, during her around-the-world cruise, becoming the first
U.S. military ship to visit Libya in more than 40 years.
- 2013-Coast Guard Group Humboldt Bay, the Coast Guard command
responsible for operations from the California-Oregon border south to
the Mendocino-Sonoma county line, was renamed Coast Guard Sector
Humboldt Bay during a formal ceremony held on 31 May 2013.