In August 1942, during the initial stages of the World War II’s Guadalcanal campaign, the waters of Iron Bottom Sound concealed numerous Japanese submarines. Coast Guard-manned landing crafts carried out nightly anti-submarine patrols to defend against this silent but deadly menace. Coxswain Robert “Bob” Canavan volunteered to pilot one of the anti-submarine patrol boats along with three other Coast Guardsmen and two U.S. Marines. Only one man would return from the journey.
Being named a plankowner in the nautical realm means you are part of a ship’s original crew, serving during the building process and commissioning, bringing it into active service to the nation. The National Coast Guard Museum, which aims to respect the past, engage the present and look to the future, is respecting the past by creating an original plankowner certificate for its supporters.
The story of von Paulsen’s career is a lesson in adapting to change and getting the job done with the assets at hand. From his native Montana, he traveled to the four corners of the world. He also fought two world wars and a war against the Rum Runners, and he helped save countless lives.
We continue the story of El Estero, the greatest man-made disaster in American history that never happened.
The terms “Pearl Harbor,” “9-11,” and “Katrina” conjure up disastrous images for many Americans. But, how many have ever heard the name “El Estero”? To New Yorkers in particular, this term should strike a chord. It was the greatest man-made disaster in American history that never happened.
This year marks the 25th anniversary of “The Perfect Storm,” also known as the “Halloween Nor’easter” because it struck in late October 1991. It was the third major weather event to hit the East Coast in an unusually active month. By October 28, two large weather systems collided off the East Coast. Hurricane Grace had formed the day before and was moving from the southeast on course for an un-named extra-tropical cyclone. The two weather systems spawned a much larger and more powerful storm. By October 30, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration data buoys reported sustained winds of over sixty miles per hour with gusts well over 70 mph, and waves as high as 40 feet.
If any battle marked the turning point of World War II in the Pacific, most experts agree that the six-month land, sea and air battle for Guadalcanal was the one. American naval strategists drew a line in the sand at Guadalcanal because enemy aircraft flying from that island could cut-off Allied supply lines to Australia. During the Guadalcanal offensive, the U.S. Coast Guard served an important role through its specialties in maritime transport, amphibious landing and small boat operations. On ‘the Canal,’ the Coast Guard worked seamlessly with its U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps counterparts and, for the first time in its history, commanded and manned a U.S. Naval Operating Base, or NOB. Coast Guard Lt. Cmdr. Dwight Hodge Dexter commanded NOB “Cactus,” the code name for Guadalcanal’s naval base.
For years, the U.S. Life-Saving Service boasted the unofficial motto of “You have to go out, but you don’t have to come back.” This phrase refers to the fact that Life-Saving Service personnel often braved the worst sea and weather conditions to save the lives of others–many of them lost their own lives in the process. Such was the case in the Great Galveston Hurricane of 1900, the worst natural disaster in U.S. history.
Considered the father of the United States Coast Guard, Hamilton played an integral role in the formation and development of the government of the United States. When the new government got under way in 1789, Hamilton was appointed the first Secretary of the Treasury. He began at once to place the nation’s disorganized finances on a sound footing. In addition, he was the driving force behind Congress’ creation of a revenue marine service, the precursor to the modern-day Coast Guard.
Domenic A. Calicchio was one of the U.S. Coast Guard’s many unsung heroes whose career embodied the Service’s core values of honor, respect and devotion to duty. The Coast Guard’s Inspections & Investigation School named the Calicchio Award for him due to the significant impact he had on the U.S. marine industry and the Coast Guard as a senior marine casualty investigator.