U. S. COAST GUARD AUXILIARY AND TEMPORARY RESERVE
ANNIVERSARY OF THE
U. S. COAST
GUARD —AUG. 4,. 1790-1944
Friday 4 August 1944 will mark the l54th anniversary of the founding of the United States Revenue Cutter Service, which later became, known as the United States Coast Guard.
a whole, the men of the Coast Guard are far too busy fighting in
practically every corner of the globe to hardly pause to celebrate the
birthday of their
Appropriate steps are being taken to observe the anniversary by the
various Public Relations Offices in the country. Newspapers and radio will
bring the occasion to the attention of the public in all parts of the
Boston is foregoing the mammoth celebration of the past two years
on the Charles River Esplanade. Instead all efforts were turned toward
an Invasion Show at the same location on the Fourth of July in conjunction
with the Fifth War Loan.
nearly three years since Pearl Harbor have brought the name of the Coast
Guard to the American public as never before: starting with the capture of
the armed Norwegian fisherman Busko off
Greenland in 1941 and the presence of the cutlet Taney at
Pearl Harbor on the morning of 7 December 1941 as
sitting in a
grandstand seat (unintentionally, of course as
we were not then at war) at
the “kill” of the
the German Grand Fleet by British naval
after Pearl Harbor, the surf stations were stripped of their best Surfmen
who later appeared as the spearhead of the invasion forces in the South Pacific. What
those men did and how well they did the job has
been recorded time and again in the columns of the press of the
honors and citations became the routine rather than the
unusual on Coast Guard uniforms in the South’ west Pacific. Others
found heroes’ graves
in the steaming jungles of Guadalcanal and the coral-ribbed
waters off the
and boys who had joined the Coast Guard, hoping for a soft touch for the
duration, found themselves in one of the fightingest outfits afloat
or ashore. The name has mislead them as it has
most of the public in the past.
Day after day and month after month the list of invasions grew: Doug Munro’s name blazed in the press and he took his place in
death, amongst the
nation’s heroes with his dying query. “Did They Get Off?” in
reference to a
group of Marines he had been evacuating from a hot corner of
a Pacific atoll.
Icarus the Spencer and the Duane, and
the Campbell smashed out at the
Nazi wolf packs in the Atlantic.
Ships were lost and members of their crews answered the last muster. The Hamilton, Escanaba Natsek and Muskeget
The commissioning of the first Coast Guard Cutter, the Massachusetts,” at which time Hopely Yeaton of New Hampshire assumed command and became the first Master to be commissioned in the United States. This event opened the way for a long line of cutters which have written history in six wars as well as in the years of peace.
were lost in the North Atlantic,
the Acacia in southern waters.
Navy ships manned in part
by Coast Guardsmen in the Pacific were lost. More recently, Coast
Guard-manned DEs have gone down as the result of enemy action.
Guard men and ships ranged from European waters to Greenland, Attu, Kiska
and the Pacific. The Carolines, the Marianas, Tarawa, and other Pacific
battles became synonomous with the name of the service. Some, jokingly,
called the Coast Guard the nation’s secret weapon: so far-reaching and
effective was it’s battle actions.
6, 1944 found the waters of the English Channel off the Normandy coast
churned white with
the beat of propellers of Coast Guard invasion craft. Everything
transports to supply ships and cutters: the 83-footers and the
specialized invasion craft of she “Alphabet Fleet.”
happened that day and how well the Coast
Guard carried out its assigned duties was heralded by the war
correspondents of the American press and does not need repetition here.
is not the Coast Guard’s first war; far from it; history lists a
total of six, starting with the
War of 1812.
Yraton. the Coast Guard’s fist commissioned officer and master
of the first cutter, the Massachusetts, may well look down on his successors in arms over the
span of 154 years with pride for they have upheld the best traditions of
the service which he established.
times the men of the Coast Guard have taken on combat duty in addition
to the mercy work of peacetime as exemplified by the Midgett family of
life savers on Cape Hatteras.
The War of 1 81 2 saw the
original Icarus take the first enemy prisoners off the
East coast while the Jefferson took the first prize of the war in the British brig Patriot.
Mexican War saw a fleet of Coast Guard Cutters assigned to General
Zachary Taylor who used them
as transports and supply ships in this campaign, the Jackson
the first assigned, followed by the Spence,
Legar, McLane, Ewing, Woodbury, Van Buren and Forward.
Harriet Lane was with
Commodore Stringham’s squadron off Hatteras Inlet when the attack was
made on two Confederate forts.
High winds and seas came up after 300 of 800 troops
aboard three transports had shoved off for shore. The transports
were driven offshore and the
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