Memorial Day, 2013

Coast Guard Rescue Flotilla One

Photo: Photo No. 3743 (06-17-44 (02)
Photographer unknown.
USCG-20 (83401) and USCG-21 (83402) off the coast of Normandy.

Great little story about one man’s Coast Guard experience in WWII as CO of an 83 foot patrol boat assigned rescue duty for the Normandy invasion.

“Preserving D-Day Memories with a Tattered Flag,” LA Times

Unfortunately there are many stories of Naval battles during WWII when it seems we forgot to look for survivors after the battle. Fortunately President Roosevelt insisted that Coast Guard boats be sent to accompany the invasion fleet for the Normandy invasion. There were 60 of the wooden hulled gasoline powered boats sent England for the invasion.

Despite their apparent vulnerability, I have never heard of one being lost to enemy action. There were 15 Coast Guardsmen killed at Normandy on June 6, 1944. None were aboard the 83 footers. 11 were on the three Coast Guard manned LCI(L)s, Landing Craft Infantry (Large), that were lost that day: Coast Guardsmen killed in action on D-Day.

Coast Guard Rescue Flotilla One

Photo: No date listed; probably June 1944.
No photo number.
Photographer unknown.

Apparently, with the target rich environment the Germans were presented, they concentrated on the vessels bringing troops ashore and the shore bombardment vessels that were shooting at them.

When we consider how our cutters might be used in future conflicts we might keep this experience in mind.

And lastly a bit of showmanship:

1 thought on “Memorial Day, 2013

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s