My Coast Guard

Saying goodbye to a Coast Guard trailblazer

By Chief Warrant Officer Allyson Conroy, photos by PA2 Brian McCrum

PRINT  |  E-MAIL

Capt. Eleanor L’Ecuyer was laid to rest in Arlington National Cemetery Nov. 12, 2020.

L’Ecuyer enlisted in the Coast Guard Reserve in 1944 and served as a pharmacist’s mate. In 1946 she was honorably discharged and went on to earn a law degree with the GI Bill she earned while serving in the Coast Guard. She then became the first woman to receive an active duty direct commission in the Coast Guard – women were not allowed to attend officer candidate school until 1973.

Thank you for your service, Captain. We have the watch.

Six horses pull a black artillery caisson on which sits a flag-draped casket containing the remains of U.S. Coast Guard Captain Eleanor L'Ecuyer in Arlington National Cemetery, Virginia, Nov. 12, 2020. L'Ecuyer was the first direct commissioned female officer in the Coast Guard. (U.S. Coast Guard Photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Brian McCrum)
U.S. Coast Guard members in attendance of Capt. Eleanor L'Ecuyer's burial at Arlington National Cemetery, Virginia, salute as her remains are brought to her final resting place, Nov. 12, 2020. Approximately 70 Coast Guard members were in attendance. (U.S. Coast Guard Photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Brian McCrum) An all-female firing party of the U.S. Coast Guard Ceremonial Honor Guard fires a three-volley gun salute during Capt. Eleanor L'Ecuyer's full military honors burial at Arlington National Cemetery, Virginia, Nov. 12, 2020. L'Ecuyer was one the first female direct commissioned officers in the Coast Guard and was helped to pave the way for women in the Coast Guard today. (U.S. Coast Guard Photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Brian McCrum)
U.S. Coast Guard Ceremonial Honor Guardsmen prepare to fold the flag of Capt. Eleanor L'Ecuyer at Arlington National Cemetery, Virginia, Nov. 12, 2020. L'Ecuyer, who passed away at 97, was a trailblazer for women in the Coast Guard during her long career. (U.S. Coast Guard Photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Brian McCrum The Commanding Officer of the U.S. Coast Guard Ceremonial Honor Guard salutes the burial flag of Coast Guard Capt. Eleanor L'Ecuyer and delivers it to her family, Arlington National Cemetery, Virginia, Nov. 12, 2020. L'Ecuyer served her country from 1944 until 1971 and was the first direct-commissioned female officer in the Coast Guard. (U.S. Coast Guard Photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Brian McCrum)

Resources: