Heritage

(Note this is a work in progress and therefore always incomplete)

The Cutter

When she steams into the harbor
People don’t flock ’round like bees;
For she ain’t no grim destroyer,
No dark terror of the seas.
And there ain’t a load of romance
To the guy that doesn’t know,
In a ship that just saves vessels
When the icy northers blow.

But the men that sail the ocean
In a wormy, rotten craft,
When the sea ahead is mountains
With a hell-blown gale abaft;
When the mainmast cracks and topples,
And she’s lurching in the trough,
Them’s the guys that greet the “Cutter”
With the smiles that won’t come off.

When the old storm signal’s flyin’,
Every vessel seeks a lee,
“Cept the “Cutter”, which ups anchor
And goes ploughing out to sea,
when the hurricane’s a-blown’
From the banks of old Cape Cod
Oh, the “Cutter”, with her searchlight,
Seems the messenger of God.
– author unknown

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Coast Guard’s Song “Semper Paratus”

The Meaning of “Semper Paratus” (pdf)

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Alexander Hamilton, Letter of Instructions to the Commanding Officers of the Revenue Cutters, 4 June 1791

They will always keep in mind that their countrymen are freemen, and, as such, are impatient of everything that bears the least mark of a domineering spirit. They will, therefore, refrain, with the most guarded circumspection, from whatever has the semblance of haughtiness, rudeness, or insult. If obstacles occur, they will remember that they are under the particular protection of the laws and that they can meet with nothing disagreeable in the execution of their duty which these will not severely reprehend. This reflection, and a regard to the good of the service, will prevent, at all times a spirit of irritation or resentment. They will endeavor to overcome difficulties, if any are experienced, by a cool and temperate perseverance in their duty–by address and moderation, rather than by vehemence or violence.

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“The Coast Guard We Once Knew”

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HEROES

Hero Names for the OPCs

55 Coast Guardsmen Awarded the Navy Cross, with citations

Twelve CG recipients of the Silver Star, Vietnam War, with citations

Coast Guard Compass Series on the heroes Fast Response Cutters were named for

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The following was lifted whole cloth from the following site:http://www.flagguys.com/coastguard.html

Some definitions and thoughts on the meaning and importance of the US Coast Guard:

“The Coast Guard occupies a peculiar position among other branches of the Government, and necessarily so from the dual character of its work, which is both civil and military. Its organization, therefore, must be such as will best adapt it to the performance of both classes of duties, and as a civil organization would not suffice for the performance of military functions, the organization of the service must be and is by law military. More than 120 years of practical experience has demonstrated that it is by means of military drills, training, and discipline that the service is enabled to maintain that state of preparedness for the prompt performance of its most important civil duties, which are largely of an emergent nature.”

Captain Commandant Ellsworth P. Bertholf [as quoted in Robert Johnson, Guardians of the Sea (Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 1990), p. 33.

Bertholf discussed the inherent differences between the Coast Guard and the Navy as well as indicating why the Coast Guard should still, however, remain a “military service”:

“. . .the fundamental reasons for the two services are diametrically opposed. The Navy exists for the sole purpose of keeping itself prepared for . . . war. Its usefulness to the Government is therefore to a large degree potential. If it performs in peace time any useful function not ultimately connected with the preparation for war, that is a by-product. On the other hand, the Coast Guard does not exist solely for the purpose of preparing for war. If it did there would be, of course, two navies–a large one and a small one, and that condition, I am sure you will agree, could not long exist. The Coast Guard exists for the particular and main purpose of performing duties which have no connection with a state of war, but which, on the contrary, are constantly necessary as peace functions. It is, of course, essentially an emergency service and it is organized along military lines because that sort of an organization best enables the Coast Guard to keep prepared as an emergency service, and by organization along military lines it is invaluable in time of war as an adjunct and auxiliary to the Navy. . . .while peace time usefulness is a by-product of the Navy, it is the war time usefulness that is a by-product of the Coast Guard.”

[As quoted in Robert Johnson, Guardians of the Sea, (Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 1988), p. 59.]

What is the origin of the saying “You have to go out, but you do not have to come back”?

A: A letter to the editor of the old Coast Guard Magazine written by CBM Clarence P. Brady, USCG (Ret.) which was published in the March 1954 (page 2) issue, states that the first person to make this remark was Patrick Etheridge. Brady knew him when both were stationed at the Cape Hatteras LSS. Brady tells the story as follows:

“A ship was stranded off Cape Hatteras on the Diamond Shoals and one of the life saving crew reported the fact that this ship had run ashore on the dangerous shoals. The old skipper gave the command to man the lifeboat and one of the men shouted out that we might make it out to the wreck but we would never make it back. The old skipper looked around and said, ‘The Blue Book says we’ve got to go out and it doesn’t say a damn thing about having to come back.'”

Etheridge was not exaggerating. The Regulations of the Life-Saving Service of 1899, Article VI “Action at Wrecks,” section 252, page 58, state that:

“In attempting a rescue the keeper will select either the boat, breeches buoy, or life car, as in his judgment is best suited to effectively cope with the existing conditions. If the device first selected fails after such trial as satisfies him that no further attempt with it is feasible, he will resort to one of the others, and if that fails, then to the remaining one, and he will not desist from his efforts until by actual trial the impossibility of effecting a rescue is demonstrated. The statement of the keeper that he did not try to use the boat because the sea or surf was too heavy will not be accepted unless attempts to launch it were actually made and failed (underlining added), or unless the conformation of the coast–as bluffs, precipitous banks, etc.–is such as to unquestionable preclude the use of a boat.”

This section of the Regulations remained in force after the creation of the Coast Guard in 1915. The new Instructions for United States Coast Guard Stations, 1934 edition, copied Section 252 word for word as it appeared in 1899. [1934 Instructions for United States Coast Guard Stations, Paragraph 28, page 4].

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General Coast Guard History:

Coast Guard Historian

Timeline for evolution of the Coast Guard: http://www.uscg.mil/history/faqs/when.asp

Coast Guard Firsts, Lasts, and/or Record Setting Achievements

What Should Every Coast Guardsman Know About Our History?

Jack’s Joint

US Coast Guard history and images

Coast Guard Air Tragedies

Fatal Coast Guard Aircraft Accidents

CG Aviation Casualties (CG History)

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Before there was a Coast Guard (prior to 1915):

“Prudence, Activity, Vigilance, and Strict Integrity are the desiderata,”Hopley Yeaton, the First Commissioned Sea-Going Officer of the Federal United States?–Bill Wells

July 7, 1798, the Quasi-War with France

The Long Blue Line: Combat Captain Hugh Campbell and the Cutter Eagle in the Quasi-War, Part One, Part Two

US Revenue Cutters Captured in the War of 1812, By William R. Wells

The Long Blue Line: William Ham, Cutter Jefferson, and the War of 1812

The Long Blue Line: Samuel Travis, Cutter Surveyor and the Battle of Gloucester Point

The Long Blue Line: Cutter Vigilant and Master John Cahoone

The Revenue Cutter Service: Nine Cutters and the War of 1812
By Scott E. Walden, September 21, 2008 (pdf)

Female Lighthouse Keepers

Revenue Cutter Ingham (1835)

The Coast Guard’s (Civil War) Ironclad

The “Coast Guard” in the Spanish American War

“IN THE FACE OF THE MOST GALLING FIRE: The Revenue Cutter HUDSON at Cardenas Bay,” William R. Wells, II ©1997

Commodore Frank Hamilton Newcomb: Seaman, Patriot, Lifesaver, Joint Warrior

Tribute to Hudson’s CO: USS Newcomb DD-586


USCGC_Argo_WWII

Formation through WWII (1915-1945):

The “Black Tom Island” incident, Genesis of the US port security program (pdf)

92nd Anniversary of the Loss of the Cutter Tampa with all Hands

Sept. 26, 1918, Cutter Tampa Lost with all Hands

September 1918, Seneca and Tampa

The Long Blue Line: River Cutter Yacona Pioneers Desegragation in the Deep South

The Ice Operations Mission

A Footnote in CG History Sinking the Rum Runner I’m Alone

Seaplane Arcturus

A Footnote in CG History from 1935-38

Coast Guard and CG Manned Vessels Lost During World War II

The Top-Secret Story of Coast Guard Code Breaking

327s, Why Were They So Successful?

Lake Class Cutters in WWII

CG at Pearl Harbor: http://www.uscg.mil/history/Pearl_Harbor_Index.asp

The Coast Guard and the North Atlantic Campaign (pdf)

NOB Cactus, Guadalcanal, 1942

The Long Blue Line: The “Gold Dust Twins” and the Battle of Guadalcanal

Douglas Munro

“This man is the only US Coast Guard recipient of the Medal of Honor”

The Battle for Convoy ON-166, 25 February 1943

USCGC Spencer (WPG/WAGC/WHEC-36) Legacy

Navy Accepts Their First Helicopter, 16 Oct. 1943 (Coast Guard Pilot)

Coast Guard Manned Frigates in WWII

The West Loch Disaster

D-Day, 6 June 1944

D-Day, Normandy Remembered

Operation Dragoon, the Invasion of Southern France, 15 Aug. 1944

The Great Atlantic Hurricane, Sept. 1944

Loss of USS Serpens (AK-97), Jan. 29, 1945

18 March, 1945, CG Manned DEs Sink U866

A Coast Guard Woman of World War II

Integration in World War II

U-boat Sunk by Coast Guard Escort Division Found off Nantucket

Video, Coast Guard Convoy Operations

The Long Blue Line: Coast Guardsman Eliot Winslow, Nazi Johann-Heinrich Fehler and the Surrender of U-234, part 1, part 2

History of Convoy and Routing (1945)

The Book of Valor–List of awards for service in WWII
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After WWII (1945-present):

Helicopters in the USCG

Cutter accidents

Video, “USCG Alaska Patrol(1958)”

The Coast Guard Shipbuilding Program, 1964

“Market Time” Naval History and Heritage Command

WAR IN THE SHALLOWS, U.S. NAVY COASTAL AND RIVERINE WARFARE IN
VIETNAM, 1965–1968

The United States Coast Guard in South East Asia During the Vietnam Conflict, by Eugene N. Tulich, USCG

Vietnam, Two short histories of Coast Guard Operations:

Point Welcome, Attack by “friendly” aircraft

Coast Guard Aviators in Vietnam

The United States Coast Guard’s Piggyback 81mm Mortar/.50-cal Machine Gun
By Chief Gunner’s Mate William R. Wells II USCG, Vietnam Magazine August 1997

Mk 2 Mod 0 and Mod 1 .50 Caliber MG/81 mm Mortar

Memorial Service for Pt. Welcome Hero and Survivor BMC Patterson

Shades of Douglas Munro-22 Jan. 1969

All CG Vietnam Vets, Presumed Exposed to Agent Orange

Passenger Vessel Prinsendam Fire/Sinking–520 passengers and crew rescued without loss of life.

Formation of the HITRON

The Long Blue Line: Coast Guard Operations During the Persian Gulf War

Sept. 11, 2001

How We Got in this Mess, a Short History of CG Shipbuilding

Guardians of the Gulf: A History of Coast Guard Combat Operations in Support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, 2002-2004 (pdf)
William H. Thiesen, PhD, June 2009

Hurricane Katrina

PATFORSWA: Guardians of the Arabian Gulfby Lt. Eric D. Nielsen

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The Dutch in the Medway

1664-72

Rudyard Kipling

If wars were won by feasting,
  0r victory by song,
Or safety found in sleeping sound,
  How England would be strong!
But honour and dominion
  Are not maintained so.
They're only got by sword and shot,
  And this the Dutchmen know!

The moneys that should feed us
  You spend on your delight,
How can you then have sailor-men
  To aid you in your fight?
Our fish and cheese are rotten,
  Which makes the scurvy grow--
We cannot serve you if we starve,
  And this the Dutchmen know!

Our ships in every harbour
  Be neither whole nor sound,
And, when we seek to mend a leak,
  No oakum can be found;
Or, if it is, the caulkers,
  And carpenters also,
For lack of pay have gone away,
  And this the Dutchmen know!

Mere powder, guns, and bullets,
  We scarce can get at all;
Their price was spent in merriment
  And revel at Whitehall,
While we in tattered doublets
  From ship to ship must row,
Beseeching friends for odds and ends--
   And this the Dutchmen know! 

No King will heed our warnings,
  No Court will pay our claims--
Our King and Court for their disport
  Do sell the very Thames!
For, now De Ruyter's topsails
  Off naked Chatham show,
We dare not meet him with our fleet--
  And this the Dutchmen know!

 “Waters Deep” by Eileen Mahoney

“In Ocean waves no poppies blow
No crosses stand in ordered row
Their young hearts sleep beneath the wave
The spirited, the good, and the brave,
But stars a constant vigil keep,
For them who lie beneath the deep,
‘Tis true you cannot kneel in prayer,
On a certain spot and think he’s there
But you can to the ocean go
See whitecaps marching row on row;
Know one for him will always ride,
In and out with every tide,
And when your span of life is passed
He’ll meet you at the ‘Captain’s Mast’
And they who mourn on distant shore,
For sailors who will come home no more,
Can dry their tears and pray for these
Who rest beneath the heaving seas,
For stars that shine and winds that blow
And whitecaps marching row on row
And they can never lonely be,

For when they lived They choose the sea.”

3 thoughts on “Heritage

  1. Pingback: Happy Coast Guard Day | Chuck Hill's CG Blog

  2. I see Scott E. Walden in his September 21, 2008 paper ignored earlier research. He took the low hanging fruit and repeated many of the same mistakes made in more contemporary books and articles. Such as the James Madison did not capture THE Snow but rather captured A snow named Shamrock. For a better look at the cutters in the War of 1812 see my piece published in The American Neptune. http://www.berthdeck.com/Articles/War_of_1812_cutters.pdf

    • While the US had some victories in the War of 1812, it really was a disaster for US Maritime interests. Once the Royal Navy started paying serious attention, they essentially blockaded the US coast.

      Bill, I am adding your article to the list.

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