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Coast Guard History and Culture - Coast Guard Reading List

Little ErrollLittle Erroll: The Story of Admiral Erroll M. Brown, First Black Coast Guard Admiral, by Shameen Anthanio-Williams (ISBN: 978-1501028250)

Little Erroll is an inspiring children’s biography of Admiral Erroll Brown who despite many challenges growing up, always found a way to prevail. Examples include scenarios from his childhood as a schoolboy living in a small town, as an adolescent of the Civil Rights Movement and as a Cadet at the Coast Guard Academy. The book not only provides a simple lesson on responsibility but It reminds young readers that they can achieve anything with faith, determination and hard work. CG core values of Honor, Respect and Devotion to Duty emanate across each page and illustration; both the young and mature reader will find this book refreshing.

The Sol E Mar TragedyThe Sol E Mar Tragedy Off Martha's Vineyard,
by CAPT W. Russell Webster (Ret.) (ISBN: 978-0312363727)

On March 22, 1990, local fishermen Hokey Hokanson and his teenage son, Billy, set sail for Cape Cod in the Sol e Mar. When disaster struck three days later, Billy transmitted a brief, heavily garbled radio distress call. A hoax call immediately followed Billy's cry for help, and believing that the two were connected, the U.S. Coast Guard did not launch rescue units for several days. The Hokansons' deaths prompted a new anti-hoax law and changed United States Coast Guard search and rescue procedures. Historian Captain W. Russ Webster, U.S. Coast Guard (Ret.), and journalist Elizabeth B. Webster chronicle the fascinating story of the Sol e Mar and its crew and explain the psychology of hoax callers and Coast Guard technological advancements since the tragedy.

USCG Air Station and Group AstoriaUSCG Air Station and Group Astoria, by Suzan L. Glen.
(ISBN: 978-0738589206)

This book is a pictorial history of the Air Station and associated group from 1964 until it became Sector Columbia. The book is a good introduction to the area and the facilities as although the name has been changed, the location remains the same.

Guardian of GuadalcanalGuardian of Guadalcanal: The World War II Story of Douglas A. Munro, United States Coast Guard, by Gary Williams
(ISBN: 978-09848351-4-0)

In Guardian of Guadalcanal, Gary Williams, with the complete cooperation of the Munro/Sheehan family and the Coast Guard Historian’s Office, has penned the biography of the Coast Guard’s only Medal of Honor recipient who personified the Coast Guard Core Values of Honor, Respect, and Devotion to Duty.

The Thousand Mile WarThe Thousand Mile War: World War II in Alaska and the Aleutians,
by Brian Garfield (ISBN 13: 9780912006833)

A powerful story of the battles of the United States and Japan on the bitter rim of the North Pacific, has been acclaimed as one of the great accounts of World War II. Brian Garfield, a novelist and screenwriter whose works have sold some 20 million copies, was searching for a new subject when he came upon the story of this "forgotten war" in Alaska. He found the history of the brave men who had served in the Aleutians so compelling and so little known that he wrote the first full-length history of the Aleutian campaign, and the book remains a favorite among Alaskans and those who have been there.

Coast Guard in MassachusettsCoast Guard in Massachusetts, by Donald J. Cann and John J. Galluzzo (ISBN: 978-0-7385-7562-9)

The Coast Guard’s deepest roots run through Massachusetts, the ancestral home to three of the five predecessor agencies that make up the service today. The Coast Guard formed in 1915 and since that time has served the citizens of the Bay State at lifeboat stations, air stations, lighthouses, LORAN stations, and radio stations, as well as on lightships and cutters of all sizes. They have protected the Massachusetts coastline during numerous wars, performing some of the most dramatic rescues in American history -- from the Pendleton to the Argo Merchant to the Etrusco and more. The story of the Coast Guard in Massachusetts is one of heroism, honor, respect, and devotion to duty.

Camp Edwards and Otis Air Force BaseCamp Edwards and Otis Air Force Base,
by Donald J. Cann and John J. Galluzzo (ISBN: 978-0-7385-7214-7)

When land started to run out in central Massachusetts, the state's National Guard units began to search for sufficient space on which to hold their annual training. They found what they needed on Cape Cod. This land would become Camp Edwards and later the Massachusetts Military Reservation and the Otis Air National Guard Base. When World War II loomed, the reservation became a significant training area for units heading overseas, a proving ground for amphibious operations landing vehicles and equipment, and a major duty station in the lives of thousands of America's military men and women.

Lucky ThirteenLucky Thirteen: D-Days in the Pacific with the U.S. Coast Guard in World War II, by Ken Wiley (ISBN: 978-1932033533)

In this book, Ken Wiley, a Coast Guardsman on an Attack Transport in the Pacific, relates the intricate, often nerve wracking story of how the United States projected its power across 6,000 miles in the teeth of fanatical Japanese resistance.

The Metal Life CarThe Metal Life Car: The Inventor, the Imposter, and the Business of Lifesaving, by George Buker (ISBN: 978-0817316082)

This book presents a fascinating story of American ingenuity and struggle against bureaucracy and chicanery. Buker details the conflicting claims of Joseph Francis, a prominent Boston inventor and businessman, and Captain Douglass Ottinger, U.S. Revenue-Marine, who battled for decades for the rights to this keystone invention.

Mind the Light, KatieMind the Light, Katie: The History of Thirty-Three Female Lighthouse Keepers, by Mary Louise Clifford and J. Candace Clifford
(ISBN: 978-0963641274)

A collection of stories on the lives of thirty-three female lighthouse keepers between the years 1830 and 1947.

A Perfect LadyA Perfect Lady: A Pictorial History of the U.S. Coast Guard Barque Eagle, by Tido Holtkamp (ISBN: 978-0979594922)

A pictorial history of the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Barque Eagle with over 280 photographs. Since 1946, the U.S. Coast Guard has used the Barque Eagle for training their cadets and officer candidates.

Two Tankers Down: The Greatest Small-Boat Rescue in U.S. Coast Guard HistoryTwo Tankers Down: The Greatest Small-Boat Rescue in U.S. Coast Guard History, by Robert Frump (ISBN: 978-1599213378)

Off the coast of Cape Cod in 1950, a February blizzard tore not one but two oil tankers in half. This is the suspenseful true story of a U.S. Coast Guard captain and his small crew who were called out to rescue the tanker crews without a cutter or chopper or a sea plane. But Captain Bernie Weber knew well the infamous Coast Guard motto: “You have to go out. You don’t have to come back.” He took a small boat and crew out in 60-foot waves and rescued 30 men. Weber’s subsequent gold medal for valor is still revered within the U.S. Coast Guard, and this thrilling first-ever narrative is a gripping adventure story for fans of The Perfect Storm and The Hungry Ocean.

Lifeboat Sailors: The U.S. Coast Guard’s Small Boat StationsLifeboat Sailors: The U.S. Coast Guard’s Small Boat Stations,
by Dr. Dennis L. Noble (ISBN: 978-1574883367)

This the first book on the distinguished past, hazardous present, and uncertain future of an organization whose roots extend back nearly 200 years. Despite the fact that small boat stations are the very symbol of rescue upon the water, the public knows little about what takes place in them and about the professionals who put their own lives at risk in this way every day.

Archived Recommendations - Coast Guard Reading List
Last Modified 1/12/2016