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November

Daily Chronology of Coast Guard History


1 November


2 November


3 November


4 November


5 November


6 November


7 November


8 November


9 November


10 November


11 November


12 November


13 November

  • 2005-The first rescue using the new Rescue 21 command, control and communications system took place off Ocean City, Maryland.  All three persons on board a swamped 20-foot fishing boat were safely rescued.
  • 2014-The first Alenia C-27J to complete the Coast Guard’s regeneration process arrived at the C-27J Asset Project Office in Elizabeth City, North Carolina on this date in 2014, where it was to be used to train and qualify Coast Guard aircrew and maintenance personnel, as well as develop flight and maintenance procedures for Coast Guard-specific mission profiles. Ultimately the aircraft would receive the equipment and systems needed to perform the full spectrum of Coast Guard missions.

14 November

  • 1963- Coast Guard air and surface rescue craft responded immediately when the freighter Fernview and the tanker Dynafuel collided in Buzzards Bay. While helicopters removed the injured aboard the stricken ships, surface craft extinguished the fires. These Coast Guard units had completed the evacuation of all aboard the disabled vessels before the Dynafuel capsized and sank.
  • 1990- PSU 302, staffed by reservists from Cleveland, Ohio, arrived in the Persian Gulf in support of operation Desert Shield.  They were stationed in Bahrain.
  • 1991- An HH-60J Jayhawk from Aviation Training Center Mobile participated in a search and rescue operation off the coast of Alabama, the first such case conducted by an HH-60J, which was just beginning to enter Coast Guard service.
  • 2008-The Coast Guard received a report of a homemade migrant vessel heading north towards the Marquesas Keys 30 miles west of Key West, Florida. An RB-M was dispatched from Sector Key West to intercept the vessel, with a smaller special purpose boat capable of making shallow water pick-ups following the RB-M to the scene. A Special Purpose Craft – Law Enforcement (SPC-LE) was also dispatched to assist. The RB-M arrived first on scene to find the small, outboard-driven vessel about two miles southwest of the Marquesas Keys making an attempt to go ashore. Though the vessel proved to be fairly agile and was quickly closing the distance to shore, the RB-M used its speed and maneuverability to “shoulder” the vessel, keeping it in deeper water until it could be disabled. Using a boat hook, the RB-M crew disconnected the fuel line to the outboard engine, rendering it inoperable. The fourteen migrants aboard were then safely removed from the vessel.

15 November

  • 1860-The light in the massive stone Minot's Ledge Lighthouse, which was built on the original site of the one lost in 1851, was exhibited. Work on the new lighthouse commenced in 1855 and finished in 1860. "It ranks, by the engineering difficulties surrounding its erection and by the skill and science shown in the details of its construction, among the chief of the great sea-rock lighthouses of the world."
  • 1929-On the night of 15 November 1929, the SS Briton came ashore at Point Abino, Lake Erie, and was in danger of breaking up.  Coast Guard patrol boat CG-164, under the command of BMC Clarence C. Kimball, safely rescued all 27 persons on board the stricken vessel.
  • 1977-Coast Guard UTB-41332 from Station Cape Disappointment capsized in the Columbia River during a night training exercise.  The UTB sank after the current swept it past the Columbia River Lightship.  Three Coast Guardsmen were killed in the accident: BM3 Greg Morris, BM3 Ray Erb and SN Albin Erickson.
  • 1977-CGC Polar Star departed Seattle en route Antarctica for ice tests and operational tasking in connection with Operation Deep Freeze.  Polar Star recently completed installation of modified propellers and open water engineering trails in the Seattle area.

16 November

  • 1929-CGC Itasca slid down the ways of the General Engineering and Drydock Company in Oakland, California on this date in 1929.  Ms. Jean Lyans christened the new 250-Lake Class cutter.  Ms. Lyans was nominated for the task by Representative Homer Hoch, of Kansas, a "great friend of the Coast Guard."  The Lake-Class cutters, ten in all, were designed in-house by the Coast Guard and were propelled by a turbine-driven electric motor.  All ten were transferred to the Royal Navy under Lend Lease in the spring of 1941.
  • 1950-The Serpen's monument in Arlington National Cemetery was dedicated on 16 November 1950.  The monument was placed on the gravesite of those who lost their lives on the night of 29 January 1945 when USS Serpens was destroyed off Lunga Beach, Guadalcanal. This was the largest single disaster suffered by the Coast Guard in World War II.
  • 1992: CGC Storis became the cutter with the longest service in the Bering Sea, eclipsing the U.S. Revenue Cutter Bear which had held that distinction since 1929. Bear was decommissioned in 1929 after serving in the Bering Sea for 44 years and two months.

17 November

  • 1791-Secretary of Treasury Hamilton fixed the value of rations at a "generous" 12 cents per day for each man in Revenue Marine.  
  • 1973-The "Largest Icebreaker in the Western World," CGC Polar Star, was launched.
  • 1982-President Ronald Reagan visited the CGC Dauntless and awarded the cutter and crew the Coast Guard Unit Commendation for their work during the period of July, 1980 to July, 1982.  President Reagan wrote in the Record of Inspections: "Aboard 'Dauntless' -- a proud ship with an impressive crew."  This was the first visit by a U.S. president aboard a cutter in 19 years.
  • 1983- LT Edith Munro, USCGR, a World War II SPAR veteran and the mother of Coast Guard hero Douglas Munro, passed away at the age of 88.

18 November

  • 1953- Heavy rains in the Coquille, Coos, and Willamette River Valleys of western Oregon caused flooding of the lowland areas and isolation of some towns through the blocking of highways by slides and high water, necessitating the evacuation of families and livestock.   A Coast Guard relief detail of boats, men, and aircraft participated in relief assistance measures, cooperating with the Red Cross and civil authorities.
  • 1999- The 605-foot Russian freighter Sergo Zakariadze, loaded with a cargo of cement dust, ran aground at the entrance to San Juan harbor, Puerto Rico.  Coast Guard Strike Team, MSO San Juan, Greater Antilles Section, among others, responded to the accident.

19 November

  • 1943-CG Air Station at Floyd Bennett Field, Brooklyn, New York, was designated as a helicopter training base.  The Coast Guard ran the training program during the war.
  • 1984- The Coast Guard accepted the new HH-65A Dolphin helicopter for service.
  • 2008-CGC Vigorous returned to its homeport of Cape May, New Jersey, after "a productive 56-day deployment in the Caribbean Sea. . .Patrol highlights include law enforcement boardings, search and rescue operations as well as successfully completing Tailored Ship’s Training Availability."

20 November

  • 1943-Landings commenced at Makin and Tarawa in the Gilbert Islands.  The Coast Guard-manned assault transport USS Leonard Wood, veteran of the landings made in the Mediterranean, participated.  She landed 1,788 officers and men of the 165th Combat Team of the U.S. Army's 27th Division, on Makin Island.  Coast Guard-manned LST-20, LST-23, LST-69, LST-169, LST-205, and the USS Arthur Middleton, and the following Navy ships with partial Coast Guard crews: USSs Heywood, Bellatrix, and William P. Biddle, participated in the bloody assault of Tarawa.

21 November

  • 1970-Two 378-foot cutters, CGC Sherman and Rush, combined with USS Endurance to attack and sink a North Vietnamese trawler attempting to smuggle arms into South Vietnam.
  • 1995-CGC Decisive located and began tracking a 75-foot freighter packed with Haitian migrants 30 miles off the northwest coast of Haiti on 19 November.  The cutter followed the freighter for two days as it maneuvered in and out of Cuban territorial seas, refusing to allow a boarding party aboard.  Finally, at noon, 21 November, with CGC Northland having joined the chase, the captain of the freighter allowed a boarding team to come aboard where they discovered 516 migrants.   Using small boats from both cutters, the migrants were brought aboard Northland and were repatriated.
  • 2014-Watchstanders at the Coast Guard 7th District command center received a report from a tug stating they heard a distress call from a vessel claiming to be taking on water off the coast of Great Inagua, Bahamas. A Coast Guard MH-60 crew deployed in support of Operations Bahamas, Turks and Caicos (OPBAT) launched and located the coastal freighter Calypso approximately 50 miles off the coast of Great Inagua. The helicopter crew lowered a rescue swimmer down with a dewatering pump. Calypso began to slowly transit to the coast of Haiti to investigate the source of the flooding. At approximately 12:30 p.m. CGC Charles Sexton arrived on scene and Coast Guard crewmembers were transferred to the freighter and assisted with the dewatering of the vessel. The freighter began to list on the right side due to the amount of water in the lower compartments. To ensure the safety of everyone aboard, all seven crewmembers were removed and transferred to the cutter Sexton with no medical concerns. CGC Thetis arrived on scene at approximately 7 p.m. and safely transferred the seven crewmembers from Sexton to Thetis.  At approximately 7:30 p.m., crewmembers from the cutter Thetis reported seeing the freighter Calypso continue to list on the right side before sinking approximately 45 miles north of Cap Haitien, Haiti.

22 November

  • 1906-At the second International Radio Telegraphic Convention, which was held in Berlin, the attendees agreed to adopt the wireless signal "SOS" as the internationally recognized signal for distress at sea.  Their thinking was that three dots, three dashes and three dots could not be misinterpreted.

  • 1953-A great boon to ocean navigation for aircraft surface vessels was the completion of four new LORAN stations in the Far East.  The stations were built at Mikayo Jima, Ryuku Islands; Bataan and Cantanduanes Islands, Philippines; and Anguar, Palau Island in the Carolinas chain. 

  • 1968- On 22 November 1968, a DC-8 with 107 persons on board disappeared from the radar during final approach to San Francisco International Airport.  Visibility was 3/4-mile in fog and the ceiling was 300 feet.  A Coast Guard helicopter located the aircraft in the water 6,100 yards from the runway with people on the wings boarding life rafts.  Within seven minutes, two additional helicopters and a Coast Guard boat were on the scene.  All 107 persons were saved.

  • 1993-NATO began enforcing United Nations' Resolutions 713 and 757 that set in place an embargo against the former Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro).  Four Coast Guard LEDETs were deployed to Southern Europe to support the operation and were placed aboard NATO warships.


23 November

  • 1942-The Coast Guard Women's Reserve, known as SPARs, was organized.

  • 1970-Simas I. Kudirka, a Lithuanian seaman, attempted to defect from his Soviet fishing vessel to CGC Vigilant.  The incident occurred during a meeting near Martha's Vineyard between the Soviets and the U.S. on fishing rights.  After consulting with the First District command, the cutter's commanding officer allowed Soviet crewmen to board the cutter and forcibly remove Kudirka.


25 November

  • 1968-M/V Triple Crown foundered off the coast of Southern California with a loss of nine lives while retrieving the anchor and chain of a large offshore drilling rig. The Coast Guard investigated.
  • 1999-Elian Gonzalez, a five-year old Cuban boy, was found on Thanksgiving morning clinging to an inner tube three miles off the coast of Fort Lauderdale, Florida.  He was among three survivors of a boating accident which killed 11 migrants fleeing Cuba.  The Coast Guard searched from Islamorada to Boca Raton, using a HU-25 and a HH-65 from Air Station Miami, a HC-130 from Air Station Clearwater, CGC Maui, and a 41-foot UTB from Station Fort Lauderdale.  The child later gained international notoriety when his father, a Cuban citizen, attempted to have him returned to Cuba, a desire that Elian's relatives in the U.S. fought through the U.S. court system all the way to the Supreme Court.  The Court ruled in his father's favor and the child was returned to Cuba.

26 November

  • 1964-The Israeli passenger liner Shalom and the Norwegian tanker Stolt Dagali collided off Point Pleasant, New Jersey in a dense fog.  Nineteen tanker crewmen were killed in the collision which sliced the tanker into two pieces.  CGC Point Arden was the first on scene.  Five other cutters and "a fleet" of Coast Guard and Navy helicopters soon joined in the rescue and salvage operations, resulting in the rescue of 24 of the tanker's crew.  One injured Shalom crewman was airlifted by a Coast Guard helicopter for medical treatment and survived.  No one else from the liner was injured.
  • 1968-While en route from Apia, Western Samoa to Pago Pago, Polynesian Airlines Flight 5WFAA sighted the wreckage of an overturned vessel and reported it to the Federal Aviation Agency Flight Service at Tafuna, American Samoa. CGC Cape Providence, moored at Pago Pago on search and rescue standby, was notified of the sighting. With an assist from the Polynesian airliner, the cutter located the disabled fishing vessel named Main Sun No.2 and found 17 survivors clinging to the overturned hull. Despite the rough seas breaking over the hull, the Cape Providence rescued 13 of the survivors, while 4 more were retrieved from the water by the fishing vessel Chie Hong No.20, which had arrived on scene to assist. Two members of the 19-man crew, however, had been trapped in the engine room on the capsized vessel and had perished.
  • 1996-A Coast Guard HC-130 located a grossly overloaded Haitian freighter off the coast of Haiti.  Crewmen from the cutters Dauntless, Chandelier, Monhegan, and Nantucket helped to transfer the largest group of Haitians ever found on a vessel to CGC Northland.  One Haitian died of severe dehydration, the other 581 were repatriated.
  • 1997- Two crewmen died when the Japanese freighter Kuroshima ran aground in a storm near Dutch Harbor.  Eighteen other crewmen were rescued by Coast Guardsmen who used a tow rope to haul a life raft to safety.  The Coast Guardsmen were from CGC Midgett that was fortuitously in Dutch Harbor for a mid-patrol break.  The freighter was later refloated.
  • 2002-President George W. Bush signed into law a bill that created the Department of Homeland Security, the largest reorganization of the federal government in fifty years.  The Coast Guard was one of a number of agencies that transferred to the new Department; the transfer was scheduled to go into effect on 1 March 2003.

27 November

  • 1883-The schooner Maggie W. Willard with a crew of five men struck on Sea Horse Rock about two miles west of the Crumple Island Station (First District) on the coast of Maine at 1 o’clock in the afternoon. She was discovered by the station crew, who offered assistance. Finding the vessel in a very dangerous position and leaking the crew’s effects were saved and they were taken to the station. All efforts to get the vessel off failed. That night the schooner drove over the reef and sunk in deep water, becoming a total loss.

28 November

  • 1889- The crew of the Evanston, IL, Life-Saving Station earned the Gold Lifesaving Medal for the rescue of the crew of the steamer Calumet.   Most of the crew consisted of students from Northwestern University.
  • 1942-Petty Officer Clifford Johnson was on liberty at the Coconut Grove Lounge in Boston on the night of 28 November 1942 when the lounge caught fire. Over 490 persons perished in what was one of the worst fires in the nation's history. Petty Officer Johnson repeatedly risked his life by entering the fire on four occasions to pull victims from the flames, receiving severe burns over his body. He spent over two years in the hospital recovering from his injuries.


29 November

  • 1808-Secretary of the Treasury Albert Gallatin requested 12 new cutters at a cost of $120,000 to enforce "laws which prohibit exportation and restrain importations" to support the embargo ordered by President Thomas Jefferson.  President Jefferson had ordered an embargo against most European imports and exports to protest the harassment of U.S. sailors by warring European powers.  The embargo did not work.  The United States went to war with England in 1812 but the Revenue Marine got the new cutters.
  • 1877-The first annual report of the U.S. Lifesaving Service was submitted in published form to the Secretary of the Treasury.
  • 1969-The German freighter Nordmeer ran aground on the Thunder Bay Shoal in Lake Huron. Most of her crew safely evacuated to a nearby ship but eight crewmen remained on board to attempt to save their vessel.  The weather quickly deteriorated, however, and they radioed for assistance.  A Coast Guard helicopter and the icebreaker Mackinaw responded and safely evacuated the eight men while the freighter broke up.
  • 2013-CGC Waesche returned from a 109-day deployment in the Gulf of Alaska, Bering Sea and Arctic Ocean to its homeport at Coast Guard Island in Alameda, California on 29 November 2013. While on patrol Waesche’s crew conducted a broad range of operations including maritime law enforcement, search and rescue, maritime surveillance and community outreach. While underway, the crew was on scene for the opening of the red king crab fishing season to help ensure the safety and security of fishermen conducting operations in the Bering Sea. The crew also enforced fisheries laws and regulations to ensure sustainable fishing is practiced in the Gulf of Alaska and Bering Sea. The crew responded to five search and rescue cases including a removal of 14 mariners from a disabled fishing vessel, Alaska Mist, some 160 nautical miles northeast of Dutch Harbor in mid-November.  In Unalaska, Alaska, the crew participated in helping with maintenance and upkeep at a high school and several other community relation projects.

30 November

  • 1837-Two early complainants on the efficiency of the American lighthouses, E. and G.W. Blunt, publishers of the famous Blunt’s "Coast Pilot," submitted a statement to the Secretary of the Treasury. They argued that the whole lighthouse system "needs revision, a strict superintendence and an entirely different plan of operation."
  • 1920- The Navy minesweeper USS Swan ran aground on Duxbury Beach, MA.  Coast Guardsmen from three nearby stations rescued the minesweeper's crew with a breeches buoy.  CGC Androscoggin assisted in the rescue.

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Last Modified 11/28/2014