Coast Guard Port Security & Captain of the Port Operations:

A Historic Photo Gallery, Volume I


The following are official U.S. Coast Guard photographs that illustrate the Coast Guard's port security mission as it has evolved since its introduction during World War I.



A photo of Coast Guard Port Security forces.

CAPT Godfrey L. Carden, USCG.  Original caption unknown, photo number/date/photographer unknown.  Possibly 1918?

During World War I, CAPT Godfrey L. Carden, commander of the Coast Guard's New York Division, was named COTP in that harbor.  The majority of the nation's munitions shipments abroad left through New York.  For a period of 1 1/2 years, more than 1,600 vessels, carrying more than 345 million tons of explosives, sailed from this port.  In 1918, Carden's command was the largest single command in the Coast Guard.  It was made up of 1,400 officers and men, four Corps of Engineer's tugs and five harbor cutters.  His pioneering work defined the Coast Guard's port security mission for the next 60 years.


A photo of Coast Guard Port Security forces.

"Worn by COTP Port Security Specialists During World War II."  Photo number/date/photographer unknown.  The rate insignia for a Coast Guard Port Security Specialist, First Class.


A photo of Coast Guard Port Security forces.

"Coast Guard Police check identification in a restricted area."  Photo number/date/photographer unknown.  The WWII History of Port Security, USCG, Seattle, noted: "On August 4, 1942, the District Coast Guard Officer, 13th Naval District, was directed by Headquarters to enroll, as a special group of Temporary Reservists, private plant guards in facilities where Naval construction or construction of interest to the Navy was being carried out.  The primary purpose of the establishment of the Coast Guard Police was to give the facilities involved a certain amount of military protection, large military immunity, and the law enforcement power of the Coast Guard."  [Page 85]


A photo of Coast Guard Port Security forces.

Original caption unknown, photo number/date/photographer unknown.

A Coast Guard port security patrol in New York utilizing the ubiquitous Jeep.


A photo of Coast Guard Port Security forces.

"PORT SECURITY'S A COAST GUARD JOB: Credentials, please.  Safeguarding the ports of the United States from sabotage is an important duty of the Coast Guard.  Here at the gateway to a busy embarkation port Coast Guard shore patrolmen and Army military police both stand guard, checking credentials of all seeking entrance."  Coast Guard photo 1673; no date; photographer unknown.


A photo of Coast Guard Port Security forces.

"A Marine Inspection Officer boarding a ship from a boat manned by Temporary Reservists."

Photo number/date/photographer unknown. 


A photo of Coast Guard Port Security forces.

Original caption unknown; photo number/date/photographer unknown.

One of the many harbor craft utilized by Coast Guard port security patrols.  This was an example of a 30-foot Hanley fire boat, one of many built between 1942-1943, that had four 500-gallon-a-minute fire pumps.  Note the Coast Guard ensign flying from the makeshift staff.


A photo of Coast Guard Port Security forces.

"Loading explosives."  25 May 1944; Norfolk, Virginia; photographer: Kendall.


A photo of Coast Guard Port Security forces.

"The club swinging member of the CGB-48's Shore Patrol is on duty outside the Barge Office, South Ferry, N.Y."  

Photo number/date/photographer unknown. 


A photo of Coast Guard Port Security forces.

"Loading munitions under Coast Guard supervision at Caven Point."

Photo number/date/photographer unknown. 


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Last Modified 1/26/2012