African-Americans in the U.S. Coast Guard

Coast Guard Station Tiana, 1942-1944

A  Historic Photo Gallery



The following photographs of Coast Guard Lifeboat Station Tiana, on Hampton Bay, Long Island, New York, were provided to the Coast Guard Historian's Office by Mr. Kenneth Sutherland and SSgt. Thomas L. Johnson, USAF (Ret.).  They are a series of photographs taken between the years of 1942 to 1944, when the station was manned by an African-American crew.  They were commanded by an African-American chief petty officer, CBM Cecil R. Foster, who was the Officer in Charge of Lifeboat Station Tiana during those years.  Through these photos, one may glimpse at what life was like at a lifeboat station during World War II.  Unfortunately, little else is now know of the history of the station or the men who manned it.  But these photos demonstrate that Station Pea Island was not the only Coast Guard station manned by an African-American crew prior to the full integration of the service.

We extend our heartfelt thanks to Mr. Sutherland and Staff Sergeant Johnson for insuring that this important piece of Coast Guard history was preserved for future generations.


A photo of Tiana lifeboat station

"FRONT VIEW OF TIANA LIFEBOAT STATION."

Coast Guard Lifeboat Station Tiana, sometime between 1942 and 1944.  This station was manned by an African-American crew during World War II.

Courtesy of Kenneth Sutherland.


A photo of Tiana lifeboat station

"CBM FOSTER, OFFICER IN CHARGE OF TIANA LIFEBOAT STATION."

Chief Boatswain's Mate (R) Cecil B. Foster, O.I.C, Coast Guard Lifeboat Station Tiana from 1942-1944.  

Courtesy of Kenneth Sutherland.


A photo of Tiana lifeboat station

"THE MOTOR SURFBOAT ANSWERING A CALL FOR ASSISTANCE."

Courtesy of Kenneth Sutherland.


A photo of Tiana lifeboat station

"SEMAPHORING AT TIANA LIFEBOAT STATION."

Courtesy of Kenneth Sutherland.


A photo of Tiana lifeboat station

"CHOW TIME AT TIANA LIFEBOAT STATION."

Courtesy of Kenneth Sutherland.


A photo of Tiana lifeboat station

"APPLYING ARTIFICIAL RESPIRATION TO 'VICTIM' AT TIANA LIFEBOAT STATION."

Courtesy of Kenneth Sutherland.


A photo of Tiana lifeboat station

"APPLYING ARTIFICIAL RESPIRATION TO 'VICTIM' AT TIANA LIFEBOAT STATION."

Courtesy of Kenneth Sutherland.


A photo of Tiana lifeboat station

"TIANA LIFEBOAT STATION'S BASEBALL TEAM."

Courtesy of Kenneth Sutherland.


A photo of Tiana lifeboat station

"TIANA LIFEBOAT STATION."

Courtesy of Kenneth Sutherland.


A photo of some crewmen from Station Tiana

"Knight (second from left); CBM Foster (holding paper); C.B. Johnson (far right)."

Courtesy of SSgt. Johnson.


Two crewmen from Station Tiana

No information available.

Courtesy of SSgt. Johnson.


Crewmen from Station Tiana and a girlfriend

No information available.

Courtesy of SSgt. Johnson.


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Last Modified 1/9/2013