CGC Bertholf on the ways during the
early morning hours of 11 September 2006.
Courtesy of Gordon Pierce, Northrop Grumman.
We're pleased to present an oral history of retired Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard Charles "Skip" Bowen. The oral history was conducted by his daughter, Kristen: "MCPOCG Charles "Skip" Bowen's oral history." Thank you Kristen!
Our Atlantic Area Historian, Bill Thiesen, just published an article on Coast Guard hero Heriberto "Eddie" Hernandez entitled "Skill, courage under enemy fire, and devotion to duty: Bronze Star Medal Recipient Heriberto 'Eddie' Hernandez and Coast Guard Small Boat Operations in Vietnam" that was recently published in The Quarterdeck Log.
Ribbon-cutting ceremony at the new Coast Guard
Headquarters at St. Elizabeths, 29 July 2013.
Auxiliarist Doug Kroll has completed another oral history with a Coast Guard veteran of World War II. Seaman First Class James Gabriel, Jr., joined the Coast Guard in 1943 and after recruit training at Manhattan Beach was assigned to the USS Woonsocket (PF-32) and later saw service in a LORAN construction battalion.
Auxiliarist Bill Nelson has provided us with a copy of his list of all Coast Guardsmen who were killed in action during the Vietnam War along with rubbings of their inscribed names from the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C.
We've scanned the entire 1952 official U.S. Coast Guard Paint and Color Manual (CG-263)--ever wonder what the official colors of the interior of a light station were? Here's your answer.
We've added more material to our Project Sea Hunt page: find out more about the Coast Guard's unique SAR experiments with pigeons!
"Allen's Wrench" an article about (then) Vice Admiral Thad Allen & Hurricane Katrina by James Kitfield for the National Journal with photos by FEMA as published in the 2005 special edition of Coast Guard Magazine.
Living To Fish: Fishing Vessel Casualty Task Force Report, March, 1999; Captain James D. Spitzer, USCG, Chairman.
We've added three articles written by noted Coast Guard historian and veteran GMCM William R. Wells, II, regarding the history of the early Revenue Cutter Service. In these important articles he exploded some of the more famous and cherished myths from Coast Guard history, shed light on the sailors who crewed those early cutters and finally examined the origins of the Coast Guard's law enforcement mission.
Auxiliarist Dr. Doug Kroll just submitted more oral histories of World War II Coast Guard veterans. This time from aviator Captain Warren "Mitch" Mitchell who flew PBYs during the war and MM2c Marion Nichols, who survived the destruction of his subchaser, USS PC-590, after a deadly typhoon swept over Okinawa in late 1945. Read all about a seaman who spent a remarkable life at sea.
Auxiliarist Dr. Doug Kroll has just completed another oral history with a World War II Coast Guard veteran--this time with Machinist's Mate 3c Steven J. Seward who served in the Pacific Theatre on board the USS LST-763 and participated in the invasions of Iwo Jima and Okinawa.
Laying the keel of the CGC Duane, 1935.
Recently the Deputy Historian interviewed CDR Ralph Eustis, USCG (Ret.), the commanding officer of CGC Vigilant during the attempted defection of Lithuanian radio operator Simas Kudirka from his Soviet fish processing vessel Sovietskaya Litva. The incident occurred during a meeting at sea while both vessels were anchored near Martha's Vineyard on 23 November 1970. In the video interview, CDR Eustis describes his Coast Guard career before discussing what became one of the most controversial incidents in Coast Guard history. The video was shot by Mr. Telfair Brown of the Coast Guard's Multi-Media Products Division. This is one of the first of what we hope to be many such video interviews relating to Coast Guard history.
A report on the nation's lighthouses, dated 18 October 1799: We've just posted a PDF copy of a wonderful document that details the lighthouses taken over by the federal government. The report was signed by William Miller, Esquire, Commissioner of the Revenue, & Benjamin Lincoln, Superintendent of Lighthouses and Buoys. Our thanks to our friend and dedicated lighthouse researcher Candace Clifford, who provided the Historian's Office with a scan of the original (the original is on file in the National Archives and Records Administration).
"LORAN SYSTEM: Summarization of Loran Program up to V-J Day." Roger Connor, Curator, Aeronautics Division, National Air and Space Museum provided us with a copy of this important report. He was researching the history of LORAN for the National Air and Space Museum's new exhibit on the history of navigation entitled "Time and Navigation." The original report is in National Archives (Office of the Secretary of War records, Record Group 107, Entry 118, Box 7).
We located within our collection and scanned a manuscript entitled "Hunting the Hun with the Coast Guard." It was written by Coast Guardsman and World War One veteran Able Seaman Hamilton Cochran, USCG, who served on convoy duty out of Gibraltar on board the cutter "USS Algonquin, CG." His is the only memoir we have on file from a Coast Guardsmen who served at sea during that terrible "War to End All Wars."
Here's a comprehensive collection of documents that detail the Revenue Cutter Service's response to the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake. This includes a letter from then-President Theodore Roosevelt commenting on the service provided by the crews of cutters who assisted in the aftermath of that terrible event. Read about some extraordinary and unorthodox work done by the Service.
"SPARs on Film": here are a number of PDF copies of Coast Guard Public Affairs' photographs of SPARs taken from 1955 to 1975 along with the photo captions (if any). View some photos that capture something of what it was like to serve in the Coast Guard Women's Reserve after World War II through the mid-1970s.
United States Coast Guard Standard Aircraft Characteristics (CG-332), dated 4 August 1961. An illustrated manual that describes the fleet of aircraft in Coast Guard service in 1961.
"U.S. Coast Guard Standard Boats, Allowance List for," dated 29 November 1944. See how many different types of small boats were in the Coast Guard's inventory during World War II.
We've updated our uniforms section, including: the first regulations for SPAR uniforms as published in 1943; a guide for 1957 reserve enlisted uniforms (showing how your uniform was supposed to look when you went on liberty--for both men and women); the 1972 Coast Guard amendments to the U.S. Navy's uniform regulations; a 1973 SPAR uniform guide; the 1974 Commandant's Instruction on the "new" Bender Blue uniform & a complete copy of the 1980 Coast Guard Uniform Regulations (COMDTINST M1020.6).
We've scanned and posted a few documents related to the Coast Guard's law enforcement mission, including: United States Coast Guard Maritime Law Enforcement Program, an overview pamphlet, circa 1997; U.S. Coast Guard Air Interdiction Program, 1989, an informational overview of the program; U.S. Coast Guard General Law Enforcement Digest of Interdictions Statistics (compiled by G-OLE-1, 30 September 1989) & U.S. Coast Guard General Digest of Law Enforcement Statistics (compiled by G-OLE-1, "Thru 3/31/91").
Auxiliarist Dr. Doug Kroll has completed another oral history with a World War II Coast Guard veteran--this time with Coxswain Dale Palmer, who piloted landing craft from the assault transport USS Hunter Liggett at both Guadalcanal and Bouganville.
Rear Admiral Russell R. Waesche's speeches as Commandant, 1936-1939.
Coast Guard Surfman Gerrett Gregory, who joined the service in 1938, just in time to serve at a lifeboat station during the Great Hurricane of 1938, recently wrote an article regarding his experiences of serving as a landing craft operator and instructor while assigned to a Navy attack transport that saw service in the South Pacific theatre. After the war he transferred to aviation and served as a crewmen on board Coast Guard PBMs. Surfman Gregory recently crossed the bar and as such we're pleased to have obtained his first-hand narratives he wrote of some important times during his distinguished Coast Guard career.