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Special Edition                                                                                                                                                       Flotilla 201, Portland. Maine                                                     August 4, 1944

154th 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.

   As 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 Service. 

    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 nation.

     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. 

The 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 well as the Modoc sitting in a grandstand seat (unintentionally, of course as we were not then at war) at the “kill” of the Bis­mark of the German Grand Fleet by British naval forces.

Shortly 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 nation. 

Battle 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 Solomons. 

Men 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.  

The 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 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.  

Coast 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.

 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.

 June 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 from the transports to supply ships and cutters: the 83-footers and the specialized invasion craft of she “Alphabet Fleet.”  

What 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.

This is not the Coast Guard’s first war; far from it; history lists a total of six, starting with the War of 1812.

Hopely 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. 

Several 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. 

The 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 being the first assigned, followed by the Spence, Legar, McLane, Ewing, Woodbury, Van Buren and Forward. 

The 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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