Archive for the 'Coast Guard' Category

Apr 21

Surprise in the Archive: A Distinctive ‘do in ’62

Thursday, April 21, 2016 12:01 AM


A distinctive 'do. Naval Institute Photo Archive.

Sometimes in the routine work of the photo archives, you come across something surprising. In this case, in the process of sleuthing out information enough to adequately describe a group of uncaptioned and undated photographs from the U. S. Coast Guard Academy revealed a surprise amidst a crowd gathered aboard USCGC Eagle (WIX-327). Though one man’s face was hidden, his very distinctive hairdo unveiled the context of the otherwise an uncaptioned scene. That hair was recognized as belonging to President John F. Kennedy. Armed with that knowledge, the story of the photo quickly unrolled itself. It was warm and cloudless… Read the rest of this entry »

Apr 14

Taming Atalanta

Thursday, April 14, 2016 12:01 AM


Atalanta alongside Ericsson, New London, Connecticut, October, 1926. Naval Institute Photo Archive.

Hail thou: but I with heavy face and feet Turn homeward and am gone out of thine eyes. — Algernon Charles Swinburne, “Atalanta in Calydon” Atalanta of Greek mythology was a swift-footed huntress who, unwilling to be tethered down by marriage, only agreed to marry he who could outrun her in a footrace — but those whom she overtook in the race, she killed. But Melanion, who was “so peerless in love of toil,” knew he could not beat her by speed alone, and he finally bested her by using her own temptation against her. Three golden apples were her… Read the rest of this entry »

Apr 4

100 Years of U.S. Coast Guard Aviation

Monday, April 4, 2016 10:22 AM



In honor of the 100th Anniversary of U.S. Coast Guard Aviation, we present its history through photos. Lieutenant Elmer Stone arrives at the Naval Aviation School at Pensacola on 1 April, an event the service recognizes as the birth of Coast Guard aviation. Stone piloted the Navy flying boat NC-4 on the first successful airborne crossing of the Atlantic. The Coast Guard used the Chance Vought UO-4 to help catch rumrunners during Prohibition. The service also used the Loening OL-5 to enforce Prohibition along the coast. The Aviation Flying Life Boat PJ-1 specifically was designed for the Coast Guard to… Read the rest of this entry »

Feb 15

The Flying Banana

Monday, February 15, 2016 12:01 AM


Marines fan out after disembarking from Piasecki HRP-1s during a demonstration at Quantico, Virginia. Twelve of the fabric-covered helicopters served with the Marine Corps between 1948 and 1952. (U.S. Marine Corps)

The Piasecki HRP Rescuer—usually called the “flying banana”—was the first U.S. helicopter developed under a military contract. The nickname came from the “bent” fuselage with overlapping tandem rotors at either end, the latter a characteristic of Piasecki helicopters. The HRP-1 design was the second helicopter developed by Frank N. Piasecki’s P. V. Engineering Forum, the first being a single-seat, single-rotor craft. A privately built Piasecki demonstration helicopter with tandem rotors—designated HRP-X—flew on 7 March 1945. The Navy had ordered two XHRP-1 models on 1 February 1944, with the flight-test aircraft delivered in June 1947. The second XHRP-1 was used for… Read the rest of this entry »

Nov 5

The Atomic Buoy Experiment

Thursday, November 5, 2015 12:01 AM


The Atomic Buoy being readied for deployment. Curtis Bay, Maryland, December, 1962. USCG Photo. USNI Archives.

It’s not every day that the deployment of a navigational aid is attended by great fanfare, but that is exactly what happened on December 15th, 1961 at the Coast Guard Yard in Curtis Bay, Maryland. That afternoon, the U. S. Coast Guard launched its grand experiment for the world of tomorrow: the new Atomic Buoy. Wait–the new what? Eight years earlier, on December 8th, 1953, President Dwight D. Eisenhower stepped to the podium in the U.N. General Assembly hall in New York City to deliver an address on a topic that had been weighing heavily on the minds of many… Read the rest of this entry »

Oct 29

Anatomy of a Tragedy: The Sinking of the USS S-4

Thursday, October 29, 2015 12:01 AM


S-4 washington

At 3:50 P.M. on the afternoon of December 17, 1927, the commandant of the Boston Navy Yard received a flash radio message from the U.S. Coast Guard Destroyer Paulding: “Rammed and sank unknown submarine off Wood End, Provincetown.” Within minutes, the worst fears of many were realized when it was confirmed that the submarine was the USS S-4. Though rescue efforts immediately began in earnest, it was too late for the 39 crewmen and a civilian observer aboard S-4. Most had already perished; six men trapped in the torpedo compartment would not be rescued in time. While the events that… Read the rest of this entry »

Aug 6

Sailing into the Future with the United States Coast Guard

Thursday, August 6, 2015 6:57 AM


USCG Eagle Mode.

In honor of the United States Coast Guard, which turned 225 years old this week, the Naval History Blog offers a selection from a speech delivered by A. Denis Clift, Vice President for Planning and Operations at the United States Naval Institute. In 2002, the United States Coast Guard formally entered the United States Intelligence Community, building on a long and distinguished career in law enforcement, defense, and myriad other maritime operations. In this October 2000 speech, as president of the Joint Military Intelligence College, Clift told the cadets at the Coast Guard Academy in New London, Connecticut, of the… Read the rest of this entry »

Aug 4

Semper Paratus

Tuesday, August 4, 2015 9:00 AM


Signalman First Class Douglas Munro

Semper Paratus As the daughter of a Coast Guard officer and in honor of Coast Guard Day, I present the story of Signalman 1st Class Douglas Munro, USCG. SM1 Munro is the U.S. Coast Guard’s only Medal of Honor recipient. He was awarded the nation’s highest honor posthumously for his service in World War II during the battle of Guadalcanal.

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