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Military Quotes

Anyone who has ever looked into the glazed eyes of a soldier dying on the battlefield will think hard before starting a war.

-- Otto Von Bismarck

Historic daily events in Coast Guard history, listed by month

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1 January

1831- A contract was made to provide the Portland Harbor (Barcelona) Lighthouse, on the south shore of Lake Erie in New York, with natural gas "at all times and seasons" and to keep the apparatus and fixtures in repair at an annual cost of $213.00.
1850- The light in the Minots Ledge Lighthouse was first shown. This lighthouse was the first one built in the United States in a position directly exposed to the sweep of the open sea. It was destroyed and two keepers were killed in a great gale in April 1851.
1937- Effective this date, the dividing point between the 6th and 7th Lighthouse Districts on the east coast of Florida was moved northward from Hillsboro Inlet to St. Lucie Inlet. This change was made so that the trans-Florida waterway through Lake Okeechobee so that the entire waterway would be under one jurisdiction.
1946- The U.S. Coast Guard, which had operated as a service under the U.S. Navy since 1 November 1941, was returned to the U .S. Treasury Department, pursuant to Executive Order 9666, dated 28 December 1945.
1946- The International Load Lines Convention, which had been suspended since 9 August 1941, was restored to full effectiveness by a Presidential proclamation dated 21 December 1945. The U .S. Coast Guard resumed assumed the enforcement of the convention?s requirements in the interest of safe loading.
1954- The "Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea, 1948" commonly known as the "Revised lnternational Rules of the Road" became law. These were a result of the International Conference on the Safety of Life at Sea, 1948.
1958: The U.S. Coast Guard ceased listening continuously for distress calls on 2670 kilocycles. Although the countries of the world had agreed at the Atlantic City Convention of the International Telecommunication Union in 1947 to use 2182 kilocycles for international maritime mobile radiotelephone calling and distress, the U.S. Coast Guard had continued listening on the old frequency until the public had had sufficient time to change to the new one.
1985- The cutter Citrus was rammed by the M/V Pacific Star during a boarding incident. The Pacific Star then sank after being scuttled by her crew. There were no casualties. The seven crewmen were arrested on drug charges.


2 January

1909- Cleveland, Ohio, Lake Erie, the gas launch Junk Boy was damaged in the ice and started a bad leak. It was drifting before the wind when discovered by the keeper. He went to the aid of the occupant who had kept the launch afloat by bailing. The keeper towed the launch to the dock, passed straps under the hull, and hoisted her out. He then patched the leaks with sheets of tin and the owner ran his boat up the river.
1956- Captain Chester Edward Dimick, retired professor, died of a heart attack at age 75 on Jan. 2 at his home in Twin Gates, Tryon, North Carolina. As instructor and Head of the Mathematics Department of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy at New London, CT from 1906 to 1945, he contributed more to the education and development of Coast Guard officers than any other officer in the Service. He was affectionately known as the "Dean" to the cadets.


3 January

1882- The watch at Station No. 13, Second District, Massachusetts, reported at about 4 p.m., the collision of two schooners, two and a half miles east southeast of the station. Launching the surfboat, the crew proceeded to the vessels. The smaller vessel, the British schooner Dart, was boarded first. She was out from Saint John, NB and bound for New York with a cargo of lumber and a crew of four persons. The vessel was badly damaged, having her bowsprit, jib boom, and headgear carried away. The life-saving crew at once set to work. They cleared away the wreck and weighed her anchor, which had been let go in the collision. By this time, the steamer Hercules, of Philadelphia had come alongside and Dart?s master arranged for a tow to Vineyard Haven. The life-saving crew ran the hawser from the schooner to the steamer and sent them on their way. The other schooner, in the meantime, had sailed away.
1944 -CDR Frank Erickson flies plasma in a Coast Guard HNS-1 helicopter from Brooklyn to a hospital in Sandy Hook, NJ in the first recorded mission of mercy conducted by a rotary wing aircraft.


4 January

1897- Assistance to lost persons near Oak Island, New York. At 8:30 p.m. the keeper received word by telephone that about a gentleman and two ladies, who had left the station at 4 p.m. In a small boat making for the mainland, they had not yet reached their home. As the weather was foggy and with the bay full of floating ice, it was feared they were lost. He at once set out to their assistance with one of his crew in a rowboat and carrying a shotgun. With frequent gunfire the bewildered party was located and assisted in reaching their destination.


5 January

1883- At 1 o?clock in the afternoon, the crew of the Quoddy Head Station discovered a schooner at anchor. The weather was bitter cold, with a gale from the northwest. The men got the boat out and pulled to the vessel. She proved to be Clara Dinsmore from Boston. There were four men on board, one of them a passenger. With her sails iced up and splitting, she was in need of assistance. The keeper took charge and got the vessel under way with the sails she had left and beat her up the bay to her destination at 6 in the evening


6 January

1934- The United States Line SS Washington came within inches of ramming the new Light Vessel No. 117 on the Nantucket Station. The liner scraped the lightship?s side, shearing off davits, a lifeboat, antennas, etc. Five months later it was sunk by RMS Olympic with the loss of seven men.
1973- The USCG Academy at New London, Connecticut, announced that its cadets were served "meals for the first time by female civilian employees." The Academy had "recently became the first of the nation?s service schools to contract their food services to a civilian company." Previously, USCG personnel had done the serving.


7 January

1877- The French steamer Amerique grounded off Sea Bright, New Jersey. 189 persons were rescued by the USLSS crew, three died.
1947- Icebreaker Northwind successfully completed first major rescue mission involving a submarine. Stennet and supply ships Yance and Merrick were stuck in ice flow at Antarctic Circle.
1994- The barge Morris J. Berman, carrying a cargo of 750,000 gallons of oil, struck a reef off Puerto Rico. Coast Guard units including the National Strike Force responded.


8 January

1958- The Coast Guard LORAN Station at Johnston Island began transmitting on a 24-hour basis, thus establishing a new LORAN rate in the Central Pacific. The new rate between Johnston Island and French Frigate Shoal gave a higher order of accuracy for fixing positions in the steamship lanes from Oahu, Hawaii, to Midway Island. In the past, this was impossible in some areas along this important shipping route.


9 January

1945- Invasion of Luzon, Philippines.
1952- The SS Pennsylvania broadcasted that she had sustained a 14-foot crack in her port side. A tremendous sea was running, and the wind exceeded 55 miles per hour. The master advised that the vessel was foundering and that 45 men were abandoning ship in four lifeboats 665 miles west of Cape Flattery, WA. The Coast Guard used all the facilities at its command in the area, as well as coordinating the use of U.S. Navy, Air Force, and Royal Canadian Air Force facilities in an attempt to locate and rescue the survivors of the vessel. Fifty-one aircraft from all services and 18 surface vessels participated in the search. Some of the debris was located, including one over-turned lifeboat, but no survivors were found.


10 January

1844- First annual report of newly organized Revenue Marine Bureau transmitted to Congress by Alexander Fraser.


11 January

1882- At 9 a.m during a thick snowstorm, the schooner A .F. Ames of Rockland, Maine, was bound from Perth Amboy to Boston with a crew of seven persons. She stranded during a thick snowstorm five hundred yards east of Race Point and one mile and three-quarters west of Station No. 6, Second District. The vessel was discovered by the patrol and the life-saving crew boarded her at 9:15 o?clock. She was leaking and pounding heavily. The pumps were manned to keep the water down. The vessel was floated on the rising tide and made sail. She was piloted into deep water. The leak, however, was gaining rapidly. After consulting with the captain, the vessel was put on the beach. The crew was sheltered at the station until the 13th when the keeper sent them to Boston.
1991- After receiving a distress call from the sinking fishing trawler Sea King off of Peacock Spit, near the mouth of the Columbia River, a Coast Guard helicopter and the motor lifeboat [MLB] 52314 "Triumph II" from the Cape Disappointment Lifeboat Station were dispatched to the rescue. The crew of the helicopter transferred three of the Triumph II's crew and several pumps to the sinking trawler despite the 20-foot seas. They then began hoisting the trawler's crew to safety and managed to hoist one safely. On the next attempt, however, the rescue basket's cable became entangled in the trawler's rigging and snapped, injuring the fisherman being hoisted. Another Coast Guardsman from the Triumph II jumped onto the trawler to assist him. The Triumph II then took the Sea King, with the emergency pumps operating, under tow. But while waiting for the tide to ebb before heading in the Sea King sank. The Triumph II's crew pulled the four Coast Guard personnel and two of the trawler's remaining crew out of the water. Nevertheless, one of the Coast Guard personnel and one of the trawler's crew succumbed. Another crewman from the Sea King went down with the trawler and was not recovered.


12 January

1850- The wreck of Ayrshire on Squan Beach N.J. 201 of 202 persons on board were saved by the life car. First use of the life car in the U.S.
1923- Title "Commandant" authorized. He was to be selected from active list of line officers not below grade of commander.
1943- Landings at Amchitka, Alaska
1961- Two Coast Guard craft from the Cape Disappointment Lifeboat Station [LBS], CG-40564 and CG-36454, answered a call for assistance from the 38-foot crab boat Mermaid, with two crew on board, which had lost its rudder near the breakers off Peacock Spit. CG-40564 located the Mermaid and took her in tow. Due to adverse sea conditions the crew of CG-40564 requested the assistance of CG-52301 "Triumph," stationed at Point Adams LBS, which took up the tow upon her arrival on scene. Heavy breakers capsized CG-40564 and battered the CG-36454 but the 36-foot motor lifeboat [MLB] stayed afloat. The crew of 36454 then located and rescued the crew of the 40564 and then made for the Columbia River Lightship. The crew of the 36454 managed to deposit safely all on board the lightship before it too foundered. Soon thereafter a heavy breaker hit the Triumph which parted the tow line, set the Mermaid adrift, and capsized the Triumph. The crew of the Mermaid then rescued one of the six crewman on board Triumph. CG-36554 and CG-36535, also from the Point Adams LBS, then arrived on scene and 36535 took the Mermaid in tow. Another large breaker hit, snapping the 36535's tow line and sinking the Mermaid. The cutter Yocona arrived on scene soon after CG aircraft UF 2G No. 1273 from Air Station Port Angeles and began searching for survivors. Other CG aircraft, including UF 2G 2131, UF 2G 1240 and HO 4S 1330, arrived and began dropping flares. Foot patrols from the life-boat stations searched the beaches as well and recovered one Coast Guard survivor. Ultimately five Coast Guard crewman, all from MLB CG-52301 Triumph, drowned, as did both of the Mermaid's crew.


13 January

1853- The ship Cornelius Grinnell grounded in a heavy surf off Squan Beach New Jersey. A surf car was used to rescue all 234 persons on board.
1925- Alaskan Game Law enforced by Coast Guard.
1982- Air Florida Flight 90 crashes into the Potomac River. Coast Guard units, including the cutters Capstan and Madrona, assist in the rescue of surviving passengers and the recovery of the aircraft's wreckage.


14 January

1942- Coast Guard plane, a Hall PH-3 No. V-177, dropped food to raft with 6 persons.


15 January

1966- When winds of 30 to 50 knots hit the southern California coast, surface craft off the 11th Coast Guard District rendered assistance to six grounded vessels, three disabled sailboats, and three capsized vessels. They also responded to seven other distress cases. A U.S. Coast Guard helicopter played a prominent role in one of the cases by evacuating the five-man crew of the vessel Trilogy that had gone aground and broken up on Santa Cruz Island.
1974- The first group of women ever enlisted as "regulars" in the U.S. Coast Guard began their 10-weeks of basic training at the Coast Guard Training Center in Cape May. Thirty-two women were in the initial group and formed Recruit Company Sierra-89.
1983- A C-130 from Air Station Barbers Point makes the first aerial seizure in Coast Guard history when it ordered the Japanese fishing vessel Daian Maru #68 to sail to Midway Island to await a Coast Guard boarding team.
1993- In response to a massive increase in the number of Haitians fleeing their country beginning in October, 1991, President William Clinton orders the commencement of Operation Able Manner, the largest search and rescue operation ever undertaken by the Coast Guard prior to this time.


16 January

1948- The list of nominations for appointments and promotions of Coast Guard officers transmitted to Congress by the President on this date represented the first permanent advancements of U .S. Coast Guard regular officers since the summer of 1942.
1988- Coast Guard units responded to a report of a murder on board the container vessel Boxer Captain Cook. The ship's first officer apparently murdered the captain and threw his body overboard. A boarding party from the cutter Northland, offloaded onto the cutter Cape York, boarded the vessel on the high seas and captured the suspected murderer and collected evidence of the crime.
1990- The CGC Mellon fires a Harpoon missile, the first cutter to do so.


17 January

1832- Secretary McLane discontinued practice of using naval officers in Revenue Marine. Ordered vacancies filled by promotion.
1994- Coast Guard units and family members assist those in need after an earthquake hits Los Angeles, CA.


18 January

1953- A Coast Guard PBM seaplane crashed during takeoff after having rescued 11 survivors from a ditched U .S. Navy aircraft shot down off the coast of mainland China.


19 January

1937- USCG units initiate flood relief operations in the Mississippi and Ohio River valleys. These operations lasted until 11 March and resulted in the rescue of hundreds of citizens along and thousands of farm animals.
1946- Staged jointly by the USCG and USN, the first public demonstration of LORAN was held at Floyd Bennett Field in New York.
1949-The tanker Gulfstream collided with USCGC Eastwind. The collision and resulting fire resulted in the deaths of 13 men, 9 of whom were chief petty officers.
1969- The USCGC Absecon, while on ocean station duty, was directed to assist the sinking M/V Ocean Sprinter. The Absecon launched a small boat and rescued all of the merchant vessel's crew. The five Coast Guardsmen manning the small boat received the Coast Guard Medal for their actions.
1996- The tug Scandia and its barge, the North Cape, ran aground on the shore of Rhode Island, spilling 828,000 gallons of oil. This was the worst spill in that state's history. The Coast Guard rescued the entire crew, pumped off 1.5 million gallons of oil and conducted skimming operations.


20 January

1914- International Ice Patrol Convention signed.


21 January

1881- The light was first shown at Tillamook Lighthouse, located 19 miles south of the Columbia River entrance.
1897- Secretary of Treasury empowered to bestow life-saving medals.
1969-USCGC Point Banks while on patrol south of Cam Rahn Bay received a call for help from a 9-man ARVN detachment trapped by two Vietcong platoons. Petty Officers Willis Goff and Larry Villareal took a 14-foot Boston whaler ashore to rescue the ARVN troops. In the face of heavy automatic weapons fire, all 9 men were evacuated in two trips. For their actions Goff and Villareal were each awarded the Silver Star for their actions. The citation stated, "The nine men would have met almost certain death or capture without the assistance of the two Coast Guardsmen." (Alex Larzelere, The Coast Guard at War: Vietnam, 1965-1975; Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press,1997, p. 86)


22 January

1944- Anzio-Nettuno Landings.
1987- The Coast Guard established a new aviation facility, named the Air Interdiction Facility at Norfolk Naval Air Station. The aircrews flew Navy E-2C Hawkeye aircraft on narcotics interdiction patrols.


23 January

1909-The schooner Roderick Dhu was discovered in distress on the bar by a Life-Saving Service patrol from the Point Bonita, California station. The schooner had been in tow by a tug, but parted hawsers when 5 1/2 miles SW of a LSS station. She hoisted a signal, and the keeper reported her condition to the Merchant's Exchange. A tug was sent out and the schooner was towed to sea. The next day she was towed into port, leaking badly, and convoyed by the USRC McCulloch.


24 January

1968- Seifu Maru, a Japanese refrigerator vessel, reported a fire and requested clearance to enter Dutch Harbor, Alaska to combat it. They also reported that two crewmembers had been overcome by smoke and requested their evacuation for hospital treatment. Clearance was granted and USCGC Citrus was ordered to proceed and assist in fighting the fire. The burning ship arrived in Dutch Harbor on Jan 24 and advised that the fire was raging between the decks. Fire fighting parties from Citrus began assisting the crew of the Japanese vessel. USCG aircraft evacuated three patients from Seifu Maru to Kodiak for hospitalization. The fire assistance rendered by Citrus in a 4-Day operation saved the Japanese vessel.


25 January

1799- Congress made first reference to "revenue cutters" in legislation.


26 January

1953- U .S. Coast Guard forces assisted civilian authority in evacuating 191 persons from the Coxuille Valley flood area.
1991- Upon receiving a request from the Saudi government, the Bush Administration determines that the Coast Guard will head an interagency team that will assist the Saudi government in an oil spill assessment and plan for a clean-up operation.


27 January

1909-The schooner Nelson Y. McFarland issued a distress call after dropping anchor near the White Head, Maine, Life-Saving Service station. Although anchored against the tide, she was becalmed, yet her stern swung so close to the ledge that "a change of wind or tide would have thrown the vessel upon the rocks. A pulling boat and crew from the station responded to the call and the men rowed to the ship's aid. After a 3-hours' pull the surfmen succeeded in towing the schooner to a safe anchorage in Seal Harbor."


28 January

1885-Keeper Marcus Hanna of the Cape Elizabeth Light Station saved two men from the wrecked schooner Australia. For this rescue Hanna was awarded the Gold Lifesaving Medal. He was also awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions at Port Hudson in 1863. He is the only person to have ever received both awards.
1915- President Woodrow Wilson signed into law the "Act to Create the Coast Guard," an act passed by Congress on 20 January 1915 that combined the Life-Saving Service and Revenue Cutter Service to form the Coast Guard (38 Stat. L., 800).
1980- The CGC Blackthorn sinks in Tampa Bay after colliding with the tanker Capricorn. 23 Coast Guard personnel are killed in the tragedy.
1986- NASA's space shuttle Challenger exploded after lift-off, killing the entire crew. Coast Guard units, including the cutters Dallas, Dauntless, Harriet Lane, Bear, Tampa, Cherokee, Sweetgum, and Point Roberts conducted the initial search and rescue operation and later assisted in the recovery of much of the shuttle's wreckage. Other units included personnel from Station Port Canaveral, air stations Miami, Clearwater, and Savannah as well as Coast Guard reservists and Auxiliarists. The Dallas served as the on-scene commander for what was a joint Coast Guard, NASA, Navy and Air Force search and recovery operation.


30 January

1861- Secretary John A. Dix of Treasury ordered Lt. Caldwell "to arrest Capt. Breshwood (Confederate sympathizer) assume command of cutter (McClelland) and if anyone attempts to haul down the flag, shoot him on the spot." [emphasis added] The message was not delivered by the telegraph office. Breshwood turned McClelland over to the State of Louisiana.
1942- The capsized hulk of the USCGC Alexander Hamilton is sunk by the US Navy after she was torpedoed off the coast of Iceland by the U-132 the previous day. She is the first cutter sunk by enemy action during World War II. 26 of her crew perish.
1942- USS Wakefield (USCG-manned), having disembarked 20,000 British troops, was bombed by the Japanese in Singapore. Five were killed. The ship later evacuates 500 women and children to Bombay before the port falls to the Japanese.


31 January

1942- HMS Culver (ex-USCGC Mendota--she was one of the "Lake" Class cutters transferred to the Royal Navy in 1941 under the Lend-Lease program) was torpedoed with 13 survivors.
1948- Mrs. Fannie M. Salter, keeper of the Turkey Point Lighthouse in upper Chesapeake Bay since 1925 and the last woman keeper of a lighthouse in the United States, retired from active service. This ended nearly 150 years during which women were employed as keepers of United States lighthouses.
2001- Alaska Airlines Flight 261 crashes off the coast of California near the Channel Islands, killing all 88 on board. Coast Guard Channel Island Station crewmen respond.



1 February

1871- Using his administrative authority, Secretary of the Treasury George S. Boutwell re-established a Revenue Marine Bureau and assigned Sumner I. Kimball as the civilian Chief with the duty of administering both the revenue cutters and the life-saving stations.
1938- The Lighthouse Service Radio Laboratory was moved from the shops of the lighthouse depot in Detroit, MI, "to the Lazaretto Lighthouse Depot in Baltimore, Md., where a building had been constructed providing more adequately for this Important branch of the work of the Service."
1942- Enlistees after this date were restricted to enlistment in the USCG Reserve. This was done to prevent having too many enlistees in the service at war?s end.
1944- Namur Island, Kwajalein Atoll Invasion.


2 February

1944- Saldor, New Guinea landings.


3 February

1801- Treaty of peace with France ratified ending Quasi War with France, in which Revenue Marine had rendered outstanding service.

1880- Date of a terrific gale on the NJ coast. Six vessels came ashore with 47 persons on board all but 2 survived. Nineteen USLSS crewmen won Gold Life-Saving Medals during the wreck of George Taulane.

1943- The torpedoing of the transport Dorchester saw USCGC Comanche and Escanaba respond. The crew of Escanaba used a new rescue technique when pulling survivors from the water. This "retriever" technique used swimmers clad in wet suits to swim to victims in the water and secure a line to them so they could be hauled onto the ship. Although Escanaba saved 133 men (one died later) and Comanche saved 97, over 600 men were lost, including the Four Chaplains.
A Lockheed Electra, with 67 passengers and 5 crew members, crashed in the East River about midnight, while making its final approach for landing at La Guardia Airport. Two Coast Guard helicopters, three vessels, and thirteen small craft assisted throughout that night in rescuing nine survivors and recovering twenty-two bodies.


4 February

1859- U.S. signs "Treaty of Friendship, Commerce and Navigation" with Paraguay at Asuncion after the revenue cutter Harriet Lane, as part of a US Navy expedition, forces the opening of the Paraguay and Parana Rivers.

1863- Commissioned officers of the Revenue Cutter Service to be appointed by President by and with advice and consent of the Senate. This act contains first statutory use of term "Revenue Cutter Service." Previous laws referred only to "revenue cutters".

1982- The Attorney General, William Smith, declared at a press conference that Operation Tiburon was "the most successful international marijuana interdiction effort to date." The operation began in November, 1980, and accounted for the seizure of 95 vessels. It was a combined operation that included elements of the Coast Guard, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Customs Service and various state and local law enforcement agencies.


5 February

1882- The schooner Mary L. Vankirk, bound for Philadelphian from South Creek, Pamlico Sound, NC. carrying a crew of five men, encountered heavy weather. She lost sails and sprung a leak, so that before long she became water-logged and almost unmanageable. In this condition it was determined to run to leeward and seek refuge in Hatteras Inlet. Matters, however, became worse and it was decided to beach the vessel. She was discovered heading for the land by the crew of Station No. 18, Sixth District (Chicamicomico, NC. The surfboat was run out, but the life-saving crew returned to the station for the breeches-buoy apparatus. The latter arrived abreast of the schooner at 8:15, fifteen minutes after she struck the bar about half a mile north of the station. The schooner was so close that the keeper was able to wade out into the water and cast a heaving-line to those huddled in the rigging. As quickly as possible, the men in the rigging hauled off the whip-line. The breeches-buoy was soon rigged and went spinning out to the vessel. All five men were safely landed.

1946- Four Coast Guardsmen from Willapa Harbor Lifeboat Station perish while searching for two crab fishermen feared lost in Williapa Bay. The men were: BMC Joseph W. Miller, USCG; MM 1/c Geloyd J. Simmons, USCG; Coxswain James R. Graves, USCG; S 1/c Howard W. Hampton, USCG.


6 February

1893- Secretary of Treasury authorized to define and establish anchorage grounds for vessels in harbor of Chicago and adjacent waters of Lake Michigan.

1942- USCGC Nike rescued 38 persons from China Arrow off Ocean City, Maryland.

1996- Alas Airlines Flight 301 crashes off the Dominican Republic and Coast Guard units conduct search and rescue operations.

1996- Coast Guard units respond to calls of assistance due to severe flooding throughout the Pacific Northwest.


7 February

1942- Presidential order creates the War Shipping Administration which assumed control over all phases of merchant marine activities.
1969- USCGC Tern, commissioned on this date and stationed in New York, embodied an advanced concept in servicing aids to navigation. Her over-the-stern gantry system of handling buoys is unique. The automation and modernization of over-age, isolated lighthouses and light stations showed significant progress this year. A new, more effective version of the LAMP (Lighthouse Automation and Modernization Project) plan was promulgated in this year.

1980- The CGC Cape Horn saves all six crewmen of the F/V Hattie Rose in a dramatic night-time rescue. The crew was forced to abandon their 75-foot fishing vessel in 25-foot seas and 45-knot winds, 15 miles east of Provincetown. The fishing vessel Paul and Dominic also aided in the rescue by directing the Cape Horn to the men in the water.


8 February

1958-A U.S. Navy P5M aircraft enroute from San Juan to Norfolk lost one engine and changed course to the island of San Salvador, British West Indies, to attempt a night ditching. AIRSTA Miami sent up a Coast Guard UF amphibian plane, later reinforced by a second amphibian. After contacting the disabled US Navy plane, the pilot of the first amphibian talked the Navy pilot out of attempting to ditch without benefit of illumination and alerted the commanding officer of the Coast Guard LORAN station on San Salvador for assistance after ditching. Through the use of a borrowed truck and an 18-foot boat, the commanding officer managed to be on the scene 1 1/2 miles offshore, when the US Navy plane landed with two minutes of fuel remaining. While one of the amphibian provided additional illumination, the US Navy plane was guided through a dangerous reef to a mooring, using her operative port engine. There were no casualties.


9 February

1965-A commercial CD-7 with 84 persons on board exploded in midair off Jones Beach, Long Island. Despite an extensive search by 7 Coast Guard cutters, 6 Coast Guard aircraft, and a US Navy tug, no survivors were located. Only 9 bodies and various pieces of debris were located and recovered.
1968-USCG vessels helped thwart a Communist attempt to run four trawlers through the Market Time blockade. The defeat of this attempted re-supply was hailed as "the most significant naval victory of the Vietnam campaign." (Robert E. Johnson, Guardians of the Sea: History of the United States Coast Guard, 1915 to the Present. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press, 1987, p. 336).


10 February

1940-USCGC Bibb and Duane make first transmissions as weather stations.
1992- Retired Coast Guard Chief Journalist Alex Haley, internationally noted author and the first person to ever hold that rate in the Coast Guard, dies of a heart attack.


11 February

1973-Due to "Vietnamization" the post of Senior Coast Guard Officer, Vietnam was discontinued.


12 February

1802- Revenue Marine (Revenue Cutter Service) has 38 commissioned officers in service, 9 captains, 10 first mates, 9 second mates and 10 third mates.

1986- Rains begin in northern California that last for a week, causing severe flooding. Coast Guard units participate in rescue and relief operations.

1997- Three of four crewmembers of MLB 44363 out of the Quillayute River Motor Lifeboat Station were lost when responding to a distress call from the sailing vessel Gale Runner.


13 February

1960- A Coast Guard RSD aircraft from Honolulu dropped a pump to the Japanese training vessel Toyama Maru, which had radioed that it was taking on water and was in danger of sinking off Palmyra Island. The pump controlled flooding until the arrival of USCGC Bering Strait, whose crew made repairs to the Japanese vessel, using 2,500 pounds of sand and cement parachuted by a Honolulu-based SC-130B plane.

1969- The National Transportation Safety Board issued its "Study of Recreational Boat Accidents, Boating Safety Programs, and Preventive Recommendations".

1991- Two HU-25A Falcon jets from Air Station Cape Cod, equipped with Aireye technology depart for Saudi Arabia for the Inter-agency oil spill assessment team use. They were accompanied in flight by two C-130 aircraft from Air Station Clearwater carrying parts and deployment packages.


14 February

1903- An Act of Congress (31 Stat. L., 826, 827) that created the Department of Commerce and Labor provided for the transfer of the Lighthouse Service from the Treasury Department. This allowed the Secretary of Commerce and Labor to succeed to the authority vested in the Secretary of the Treasury under the existing legislation.


15 February

1911- Congress transferred Fort Trumbull, New London, CT from War Department to Treasury Department for the use of the USRCS.

1943- USCGC Calypso removed 42 persons from lifeboat of SS Buarque (Brazil) east of Cape Henry.

1980- The 70-foot fishing vessel Donna Catalina sinks 40 miles south of Nantucket Island. After pumps lowered to the four-man crew failed to keep up with the flooding, a Coast Guard helicopter lifted the crew to safety.


16 February

1926- Congress authorized Secretary of Treasury to acquire a site at New London, CT, without cost to United States, and construct thereon buildings for the United States Coast Guard Academy at a total cost not to exceed $1,750,000.

1993- The Haitian passenger ferry Neptune sank, sending 1,215 Haitians to their deaths. Coast Guard units participated in the search and rescue operation but found no survivors. They then assisted in recovering the bodies of those killed.


17 February

1944- Eniwetok and Engebi, Marshall Island Invasion.

1956- The USCGC Casco saved 21 persons from a US Navy seaplane that was forced to ditch 100 miles south of Bermuda and delivered both the survivors and the disabled aircraft to the Naval Air Station at St. Georgia Harbor, Bermuda.


18 February

1842- The House of Representatives passed a resolution requesting the Committee on Commerce to make an inquiry into the expenditures of the Lighthouse Establishment since 1816. This was to explore the possibility of cutting down on expenses, to examine the question of reorganizing the establishment and administration, and also to ascertain whether the establishment should be placed under the Topographical Bureau of the War Department.

1952- During a severe "nor?easter" off the New England coast, the T-2 tankers SS Fort Mercer and SS Pendleton broke in half. U .S. Coast Guard vessels, aircraft, and lifeboat stations, working under severe winter conditions, rescued and removed 62 persons from the foundering ships or from the water with a loss of only five lives. Five Coast Guardsmen earned the Gold Lifesaving Medal, four earned the Silver Lifesaving Medal, and 15 earned the Coast Guard Commendation Medal.

1979- Coast Guard HH-3F helicopter 1432 crashes 180 miles southeast of Cape Cod, killing 4 of its 5 occupants. The helo was preparing to airlift a 47 year old crewman from the Japanese fishing vessel Kaisei Maru #18.


19 February

1845- Lighthouse establishment transferred to Revenue Marine Bureau. Metal buoys were first put into service. They were riveted iron barrels that replaced the older wooden stave construction.

1862 Congress authorized cutters to enforce law forbidding importation of Chinese "coolie" labor.

1941 Coast Guard Reserve established. Auxiliary created from former Reserve.


20 February

1845- President Tyler vetoes bill providing that no cutter be built nor purchased unless appropriation first made by law, on grounds that sanctity of contract of those already contracted for should not be overridden by Congress. Congress overrides veto March 3. 1845.


21 February

1943- The USCGC Spencer received credit from the U.S. Navy for attacking and sinking the U-225 in the North Atlantic. The British have since recorded that the U-225 was actually destroyed by the Liberator "S" of RAF No. 120 Squadron on 15 February and they have changed the official British records to reflect this change. The renowned German historian, Professor/Dr. Jurgen Rohwer states that the Spencer "probably" attacked and sank the U-529 on this date, although the Spencer has not received official credit for this sinking.


22 February

1944- Parry Island (Marshall Islands) invasion.

1943- The USCGC Campbell rammed the U-606 in the North Atlantic after the U-boat was forced to surface after being attacked by the Polish destroyer Burza. The Campbell rescued five of the U-606's crew.


23 February

1822- Congress authorized cutters to prevent unauthorized live oak cutting on Florida public lands.


24 February

1964- A U.S. Coast Guard ice skiff rescued 25 persons from an ice flow that had broken loose from the shore near Camp Perry, Ohio. A similar rescue took place almost simultaneously at St. Clair Shores, Michigan when another Coast Guard ice skiff and a police helicopter removed five more from an ice flow.

1989- Coast Guard units search for survivors of United Airlines Flight 811 after it crashes off the coast of Hawaii.


25 February

1799- President Adams authorized by Congress to place revenue cutters in the naval establishment.

1925- Congress empowers Revenue Marine to enforce state quarantine laws.

1942- Wartime port security delegated to Coast Guard by Executive Order 9074.


26 February

1793- Alexander Hamilton, first Secretary of the Treasury, submits to the Senate the first list of cutters with stations, officers names, rank and dates of commission.


27 February

1925- An Act of Congress authorized the purchase of rubber boots, oilskins, etc., for the use of personnel while engaged in lighthouse work requiring such equipment. Actually, this legislation simply confirmed an existing practice.

1925- An Act of Congress repealed the law providing a ration allowance for keepers of lighthouses and increased their salaries correspondingly. This change was not only advantageous to the light keepers, but also simplified office work.

1949-Aerial ice observation flights by long-range aircraft operated from Argentia, Newfoundland. An International Ice Patrol by vessels was neither required nor established during the 1949 season, and it was the first time that aircraft alone conducted the ice observation service.

1953-The USCGC Coos Bay, on Ocean Station Echo, about half-way between Bermuda and the Azores, rescued the entire crew of 10 from the US Navy patrol plane that was forced to ditch in the Atlantic Ocean.


28 February

1867- Each officer of Revenue Cutter Service, while on duty, entitled to one Navy ration per day.

1942- Certain duties of former Bureau of Marine Inspection and Navigation transferred to Coast Guard temporarily by Executive Order 9083. Made permanent July 16, 1946.

1942- U S. Maritime Service transferred to Coast Guard from War Shipping Administration.


29 February

1944- Los Negros, Admiralty Islands invasion commences.



1 March

1876- Nuova Ottavia, an Italian Ship, grounded off the Jones Hill North Carolina Life-Saving Station. The rescue resulted in the loss of seven USLSS surfmen, the first since the service started with paid crews in 1870. Among the dead was African-American Surfman, Lewis White.
1902- The first regular light stations in Alaska were established at Southeast Five Finger Island and at Sentinel Island. Both on the main inside passage between Wrangell Strait and Skagway.
1905- The first regular light stations in Alaska were established.
1927- A system of broadcasting weather reports by radio on four lightships on the Pacific Coast was put into effect.
1933- In the interest of administrative economy and efficiency, the 13th and 14th Lighthouse Districts were consolidated with the 15th Lighthouse District. Also, the aids to navigation on the entire Mississippi River system were placed in charge of a civilian lighthouse engineer as superintendent. This relieved the Army engineers detailed for that duty. The offices at Rock Island, IL and Cincinnati. OH were discontinued and all the river work was placed under a single office at St. Louis, MO.
2003- Administrative control of the Coast Guard transferred to the newly created Department of Homeland Security from the Department of Transportation, where it had served since 1 April 1967.


2 March

1792- Congress first authorized cutters to fire on merchant ships who refuse to "bring " (See also Act of March 2, 1799).
1799- Congress authorized that "Revenue Cutters shall, whenever the President of the United States shall so direct, cooperate with the Navy of the United States during which time they shall be under the direction of the Secretary of the Navy, and the expenses thereof shall be defrayed by the agents of the Navy Department.
1799- Congress authorized revenue cutter officers to board all ships of the United States within four leagues of the United States, if bound for the United States and search and examine them, certifying manifest, seal hatches and remain on board until they arrived in port. Also to search ships of other nations in United States waters and perform such other duties for the collection and security of the Revenue" as directed by the Secretary of the Treasury.
1799- Congress authorized cutters and boats to be "distinguished from other vessels by an ensign and pendant" with the marks thereon prescribed by the President of the United States, to fire on vessels who refused to bring to after the pendant and ensign had been hoisted and a gun fired as a signal, masters to be indemnified from any penalties or actions for damages for so doing, and be admitted to bail if any one is killed or wounded by such firing. On August 1, 1799, Secretary Wolcott prescribed that the " ensign and pennant?? should consist of "Sixteen perpendicular stripes, alternate red and white, the union of the ensign to be the arms of the United States in dark blue on a white field." There were sixteen states in the Union at that time.
1799- Congress authorizes President to sell cutters unfit for service and the Secretary of Treasury to apply an unexpended balance of proceeds in purchase and construction of revenue cutters. (This authority revoked March 3, 1845).
1807- Congress outlaws the importation of slaves into the United States.
1868- By Act of Congress (15 Stat. L., 249), the Lighthouse Board was "authorized, when in their judgment, it is deemed necessary, to place a light-vessel, or other suitable warning of danger, on or over any wreck or temporary obstruction to the entrance of any harbor, or in the channel or fairway of any bay or sound."
1889- Secretary of Treasury authorized to keep rivers clear to afford access to spawning grounds.


3 March

1819- Cutters authorized by Congress to protect merchant vessels of United States against piracy; seize vessels engaged in slave trade.
1837- An Act of Congress (5 Stat. L., 181, 185) laid down certain restrictions, by providing that the construction of the large number of new lighthouses, lightships, etc., for which this law was appropriating the necessary funds, would not be begun until examined by Board of Navy Commissioners. They reported to Congress those cases where the "navigation is so inconsiderable as not to justify the proposed works." The Navy detailed 22 officers to this duty and, before the end of the year, their recommendations resulted in the deferment of the construction of 31 lighthouses already appropriated for.
1839- Congress directed that Captain Ezekial Jones, commanding cutter Washington in the Seminole War, be allowed the same pay as a lieutenant in the Navy would receive for like services.
1845- Congress authorized President to appoint six engineers (later amplified by Act of February 4, 1863) and six assistant engineers, one of each to be assigned to each steamer then in the service. Engineers to receive same pay as first lieutenants and assistant engineers same pay as third lieutenants.
1845- Congress directed no person be appointed revenue cutter officer "who does not adduce competent proof of proficiency and skill in navigation and seamanship."
1845- The duties of the Fifth Auditor of the Treasury as Superintendent of Lights was first put on a statutory basis by an Act of Congress (5 Stat. L., 752. 762), which prescribed that "the Fifth Auditor of the Treasury, shall continue to superintend the several matters and things connected with the light-houses, beacons, buoys, and public piers, as heretofore, of the United States, and to perform all the duties connected therewith, under the direction of the Secretary of the Treasury, until otherwise ordered by law."
1847- Congress appropriates $5000 "for furnishing lighthouses on the Atlantic Coast with means of rendering assistance to shipwrecked mariners." This was the first appropriation for rendering assistance to the shipwrecked from shore. It was not used until 1849 when it was turned over to Massachusetts Humane Society for boathouses on Cape Cod.
1847- An item added to the lighthouse appropriation bill for 1848 (9 Stat. L., 175, 176) provided for "furnishing the lighthouses on the Atlantic coast with means of rendering assistance to shipwrecked mariners." This was the first appropriation by the national government for rendering assistance to the shipwrecked from the shore.
1849- Office of Commissioner of Customs created. Collectors take over control of cutters.
1859- An Act of Congress (11 Stat. L., 423, 424) authorized the Lighthouse Board to use its own discretion in the discontinuance as necessary of such lighthouses as might become useless by reason of changes in commerce, alteration in channels, or other causes.
1873- Signal Corps of Army established storm signal service for benefit of seafaring men, at several life-saving stations and constructed telegraph lines as original means of communication.
1875- Secretary of Treasury authorized by Congress to acquire by donation or purchase, right to use and acquire sites for life saving and life boat stations.
1885- Congress authorized Secretary of Treasury to detail officers and men of Revenue Marine Service to duty under commissioner of Fish and Fisheries of Bureau of Fisheries when they can be spared for such duty.
1899- An Act of Congress (30 Stat. L., 1121, 1152) required that, whenever a vessel, raft, or other craft was wrecked and sunk in a navigable channel, It became the duty of the owner to immediately mark the sunken craft with a suitable buoy or beacon during the day and a lighted lantern at night. Previously, the Lighthouse Establishment had been authorized by Congress to place, when considered necessary, a lightship or other suitable warning of danger on any wreck or temporary obstruction to the entrance of any harbor or In the channel of any bay or sound.
1905- Congress authorized Secretary of Treasury to acquire a suitable site in the State of Maryland upon which to establish a depot for the Revenue Cutter Service; subsequently became Coast Guard Yard.
1915- An Act of Congress (38 Stat. L., 926, 928) provided for cooperation between the Lighthouse Service and the Forest Service in the management of the forest land on lighthouse reservations.
1918- By Act of Congress (38 Stat. L., 928), the protection afforded the aids to navigation maintained by the United States government was extended to those established and operated by private individuals.
1947- The SS Oakey S. Alexander reported being in distress 22 miles east of Portland, Maine, with a hatch stove in and shipping water. The Coast Guard cutter Cowslip immediately proceeded on orders from Portland to assist. When she began breaking up, the ship's commanding officer decided to beach at Cape Elizabeth. The cutter Cowslip arrived on the scene, but was unable to approach the beached vessel because of heavy seas. All 32 crewmembers, however, were removed safely from the ship by breeches buoy by Coast Guardsmen from the Cape Elizabeth Light and Lifeboat Station.


4 March

1907- Congress appropriated $30,000 for installing wireless telegraph on not more than 12 Revenue Cutters.
1915- Secretary of Treasury authorized to detail cutters to enforce anchorage regulations in all harbors, rivers, bays and other navigable waters of United States.
1925- An Act of Congress (43 Stat. L., 1261), for the first time, provided for disability retirement within the Lighthouse Service.
1929- Congress appropriates $144,000 for seaplanes and equipment for Coast Guard.
1952- An air detachment consisting of three helicopters and necessary personnel, established as the first unit of its type on a test basis at the air station, Brooklyn, New York, began operating in support of port security operations.
1977- Ensign Janna Lambine, USCG, became the Coast Guard's first female pilot when she graduated from naval aviation training at NAS Whiting Field, Milton, Florida.


5 March

1881- On this date the crew of Life-Saving Station No. 10, Ninth District (Louisville), won acclaim with a great rescue at the wreck of James D. Parker, a well-known river boat lost in the Indiana chute of the Ohio Falls. She was a stern-wheel steamer of over 500 tons owned by the Cincinnati and Memphis Packet Company and bound from Cincinnati to Memphis. Her crew numbered fifty, including the captain, and she had fifty-five passengers on board, a number of whom were women and children.


6 March

1896- Secretary of Treasury authorized to detail cutters to enforce anchorage regulations St. Mary?s River.


7 March

1883- A dramatic rescue was performed by the crew of Assateague, Va. Life-Saving Station using a surfboat through a howling storm to save the ten persons stranded on the sinking barkentine, Wolverine.


8 March

1942- Coast Guard plane located lifeboats of SS Arubutan off North Carolina coast and directed USCGC Calypso to them.
1973- The first "Coast Guard-controlled drug seizure" took place when the cutter Dauntless seized the sport fishing vessel Big L which was carrying an illicit cargo: one ton of marijuana. (Taken from Charles M. Fuss, Jr. Sea of Grass. Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 1996, p. 11).


9 March

1944- Coast Guard-manned USS Leopold (DE-319) was torpedoed off Iceland by the U-255. It was one of the first successful attacks made by a new German acoustic torpedo. All 13 officers and 148 (out of 186) enlisted men on board were lost. The 28 survivors were rescued by the USS Joyce (DE-317), another Coast Guard-manned destroyer escort.
1946- The Coast Guard-manned LST -767 was damaged in a hurricane near Okinawa. She was later declared a total loss and was decommissioned.
1966- USCGC Point White, on duty with Coast Guard Squadron One, Division 13, in Vietnam, captured a Vietcong junk after a running firefight. Point White was in Vietnam only a month when she started conducting patrols on a VC-controlled area of the Soi Rap River. Point White used a plan of steaming out of the patrol area and covertly returning. On 9 March she spotted a junk crossing the river and attempted to stop it. The junk opened fire with small arms, including automatic weapons. Point White returned the fire and rammed the junk throwing the occupants into the water. The cutter?s commanding officer, LTJG Eugene J. Hickey, rescued a survivor who turned out to be a key VC leader of the Rung Sat Secret Zone. During March, three WPBs of Division 13 killed twenty-seven VC in action, captured seven more, and confiscated considerable contraband.


10 March

1909- Fishers Island. N.Y. The British barkentine Ladysmith, during a thick fog, stranded 3 miles WSW of the station. The keeper was notified by telephone and the life-savers, in surfboat, proceeded to the scene. They landed the master, his wife, and 9 seamen.

1983- The Coast Guard retires the last operational HU-16E Albatross, ending the era of seaplanes for the service.


11 March

1941- The Lend-Lease Program was inaugurated.


12 March

1955- Effective this date, all foreign and domestic ships are required to give 24-hour advance notice to the local U.S. Coast Guard Captain of the Port before entering U.S. ports. This order was designed to improve the U .S. Coast Guard's port security program without "material inconvenience" to shipping.
1965- The beginning of the US Navy?s Operation Market Time to interdict resupply of Communist forces in South Vietnam by river and coastal routes. The initiation of this campaign led to the Navy?s request for USCG vessels and crews to participate in riverine and coastal patrols during the Vietnam War.


13 March

1882- At 7 P.M. the schooner Annie L. Palmer bound for New York from Baracoa, Cuba, with a cargo of fruit, and a crew of six persons, stranded about two hundred yards off-shore, one mile north of Station No. 16, Fourth District, New Jersey. The patrolman reported it to the keeper. The life-saving crew boarded the vessel by 8 o?clock and found that she had grounded at low wa
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