My Coast Guard
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Tag: The Long Blue Line

Jan. 14, 2022

The Long Blue Line: “Men against the Sea”—anatomy of a Coast Guard cutter lost at sea

[This essay is adapted from the non-fiction book chapter “Men against the Sea,” Sea, Surf and Hell: The U.S. Coast Guard in World War II (New York: Prentice-Hall, 1945), 72-78.]The Coast Guard patrol craft Wilcox was lost off the Mid-Atlantic coast Sept. 30, 1943. The following account is taken from the statement made by its commanding officer, Lt.

Jan. 7, 2022

The Long Blue Line: Captain Handy—savior of the Coast Guard Reserve!

Learn about Capt. Handy's rich career saving the Coast Guard Reserve.

Dec. 31, 2021

The Long Blue Line: Station Nome—saving lives near the top of the world!

Of all the lifesaving stations in Coast Guard history, by far the most remote station was located at Nome, Alaska, on the northern Bering Sea coastline. The Life-Saving Service station at Nome was in operation from 1905 to 1947 and its isolation resulted in a unique history.Established in the summer of 1899, the coastal town of Nome was the

Dec. 24, 2021

The Long Blue Line: Lest we forget—the Triumph-Mermaid tragedy 60 years ago

At approximately 4:15 p.m., on Thursday, Jan. 12, 1961, Coast Guard Station Cape Disappointment, at the mouth of the Columbia River, received a radio call from Roy Gunnari, skipper of the fishing vessel Jana Jo. Gunnari advised that he was relaying a mayday call from the fishing vessel Mermaid, a 34-foot crab-fishing boat from Ilwaco, Wash., owned

Dec. 17, 2021

The Long Blue Line: The Persian Gulf War—a female officer’s experience 30 years ago

During 1990, I was assigned as the training officer for Reserve Unit Syracuse, New York. One of my responsibilities was to ensure that each member of the unit had committed to an appropriate two-week training period. That year, the district office in Cleveland, Ohio, forwarded a request to fill 25 billets at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va., for a

Dec. 10, 2021

The Long Blue Line: Teenage Coast Guardsman Morris Dankner, the African-American experience in World War II

When the United States entered World War II, it became clear that for the nation to prevail, it would take a whole national effort. Understanding that the need to draw from all elements of society, a drive to recruit underrepresented elements of our society to the cause was of the utmost importance.When it came to the Coast Guard and its

Dec. 3, 2021

The Long Blue Line: The attack on Pearl Harbor—“a date that will live in infamy”—80 years ago

In his war declaration speech, President Franklin Roosevelt labeled Dec. 7, 1941, as a “date that will live in infamy.” On that day, without forewarning or a declaration of war, forces of Imperial Japan attacked the U.S. Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. In the battle, Coast Guard units served alongside the Navy firing anti-aircraft barrages

Nov. 26, 2021

The Long Blue Line: Charleston—over 230 years of Coast Guard service and growth in South Carolina!

The City of Charleston, S.C., has been a Coast Guard base of operations for over 230 years and its importance to the service has increased throughout its history.The nation’s first Treasury Secretary, Alexander Hamilton, founded the U.S. Revenue Cutter Service in 1790, stationing one of the “first fleet” of 10 cutters, the South Carolina, in

Nov. 12, 2021

The Long Blue Line: Harold Tantaquidgeon, Chief Boatswain’s Mate and Chief of the Mohegans

Prohibition was an era of illicit liquor, bootleggers, and adventure on the high seas, most notably on the East Coast. It became illegal to produce, sell, or transport liquor for consumption on Jan. 17, 1920. The United States Coast Guard had its share of the action searching for bootleggers offshore and along the U.S. coastline and inland

Nov. 5, 2021

The Long Blue Line: “Sooner Squadron”—First Native American Women to enlist in the Coast Guard 

At least six women from Oklahoma’s tribal nations served in the U.S. Coast Guard Women’s Reserves (“SPARS”) during World War II. They enlisted for the same reasons as other American women and performed the same duties, yet newspaper reporters sensationalized their stories with popular culture stereotypes. These SPARS allowed male Coast Guardsmen