Archive for the 'Coast Guard' Category

Aug 15

White Hulls: Coast Guard Punches Above Its Weight

Thursday, August 15, 2019 12:01 AM

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Happy birthday to the United States Coast Guard! The Coast Guard is the sea service that everyone counts on during people’s worst days, and 4 August 2019 marked the service’s 229th birthday. Though the modern Coast Guard is an amalgamation of other federal sea-going agencies, it traces its origins to the Cutter Revenue Service established in 1790. On 20 January 1915, Congress merged the Revenue Cutter Service with the Life-Saving Service to form the Coast Guard in the “Act to Create the Coast Guard.” The Coast Guard maintained the ocean-going component through the new service’s combined fleet of cutters, but… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Apr 30

The Brotherhood of the F.B.I.

Tuesday, April 30, 2019 12:01 AM

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For the men, Iceland was a bleak and often inhospitable place to be. Navy air crews of Patrol Squadron 84 (VP-84) endured seemingly endless flights over thousands of square miles of ocean often under appalling weather conditions. Life for pilots of the 342d Composite Group stationed at Keflavik Air Base patrols were occasionally enlivened by encounters with Luftwaffe Condors or Ju 88 bombers flying from bases in Norway. As hard as it was for the troops and flight crews, the escort ship sailors had it worse. The anchorage in Hvalfjödur (a.k.a. Valley Forge) proved as dangerous as the open ocean…. Read the rest of this entry »

 
Mar 26

Sinking and Submerged: Emergency Escape Equipment for Submarines

Tuesday, March 26, 2019 7:49 AM

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When I picture a naval rescue operation, my mind turns to men in life preservers, huddled together in a lifeboat as they watch their vessel sink beneath the waves. At least, that’s what I thought of until last week, when a stack of World War II naval rescue images crossed my desk, ready for research and processing. A good number were the images I was expecting: men in lifeboats; men soaked to the skin wearing life preservers; and men bobbing on the surface of the water, ship sinking in the background. Then, at the bottom of the stack, I came… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Sep 20

Operation Brushwood: Allied landings at Fedala, Morocco

Thursday, September 20, 2018 12:01 AM

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Admiral Merlin O'Neill, U.S. Coast Guard (Retired)

  On 8 November 1942, U.S. forces faced their first major opposed amphibious landings of World War II during Operation Torch, the Allied invasion of French North Africa. The Americans came ashore at three locations in French Morocco, with the largest contingent (19,000 GIs) arriving at Fedala, just east of Casablanca, in Operation Brushwood. In this excerpt from Admiral Merlin O’Neill’s Naval Institute oral history, he describes some of his experiences during Brushwood as commander of the Coast Guard–manned Navy attack transport Leonard Wood (APA-12). In 1921 O’Neill graduated from the Coast Guard Academy after a three-year shortened course resulting… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Nov 29

The Hudson River Chain

Tuesday, November 29, 2016 12:27 PM

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  We sometimes forget our parents were not born adults. They were children and teenagers first, who did silly things. When it comes to my dad, Tom Martin, the man who must follow the arrows in a parking lot, it is hard to imagine him pulling a prank, especially during his U.S. Coast Guard Academy years. Each year at the Coast Guard Academy, the fourth-class (freshman) cadets pull pranks the night before the first home football game. So during my dad’s fourth-class year in 1971, he and some classmates set their sights high. The Coast Guard Academy is home to… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Apr 21

Surprise in the Archive: A Distinctive 'do in '62

Thursday, April 21, 2016 12:01 AM

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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

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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 undoing, and she was left with no choice but to admit defeat and marry the cunning prince. The Atalanta of the Prohibition era was just as fast… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Nov 5

The Atomic Buoy Experiment

Thursday, November 5, 2015 12:01 AM

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

 
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