The Coast Guard’s Pacific Tactical Law Enforcement Team was embarked aboard the U.S. Navy destroyer USS Kidd in support of the Oceania Maritime Security Initiative and the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission. Together, with their defense partners, the six-member law enforcement team led fisheries enforcement programs designed to assist Pacific island nations with bolstering their economies through the management and protection of vital fish stocks. Due to the historic significance of the South Pacific, these servicemembers thought about the magnitude of their setting; they were transiting waters that were host to some of the most famous battles in U.S. military history.
National African American History Month, celebrated in the U.S. during February, is an international annual observance for the remembrance of important people and events in the history of the African people living outside the continent of Africa. The Coast Guard honors those who have faced adversity and overcome not just this month, but every month as Coast Guardsmen face peril in emergency situations every day keeping our waters safe.
Capt. Winslow Buxton is 100 years young today! Living in Bellevue, Wash., he remains affable, pert and active. He was born in New London, Conn., and attended the Coast Guard Academy from 1934 to 1938. Before the war he served as deck officer aboard Coast Guard Cutter Mojave and executive officer of Coast Guard Cutter Tallapoosa, working on search and rescue cases out of Key West, Fl. In honor of his birthday, Coast Guard historian Dr. Dave Rosen sat down with Buxton as the veteran recounted his WWII adventures.
Commissioned in 1944, Blackthorn began her service as a seagoing buoy tender, served as a Great Lakes ice breaker, and soon afterwards patrolled the warmer waters off California, eventually serving Gulf ports in Galveston, Texas, and Mobile, Ala. Refurbishment brought the ship to Tampa Bay for her final, fateful voyage. Today, Blackthorn’s legacy lives on.
Jacob Lauri Arthur Poroo was a Hospital Corpsman 1st Class who was stationed at Adak Island, Alaska. On the morning of June 2, 1968, he entered a burning cabin to attempt a rescue. When fire erupted about 3: 30 a.m., it engulfed the doorway of the old recreation building. Poroo, together with seven other men, successfully escaped. Hearing shouting and believing it to be a cry for help from a trapped companion, Poroo re-entered the flaming cabin to render assistance with complete disregard for his own safety.
Master Chief Petty Officer Donald H. Horsley served the Coast Guard though 44 years of continuous service from age 17 to 62, enlisting Aug. 4, 1942. He served on active duty for 44 years, four months and 27 days. His career spanned three wars and saw service aboard 34 vessels.
Benjamin B. Dailey was the keeper of the Cape Hatteras Lifeboat Station on Dec. 22, 1885, when he and his crew, assisted by Keeper Patrick H. Etheridge of the Creed’s Hill station, rescued nine men from the foundering ship Ephraim Williams, five miles off the Outer Banks. Those aboard Ephraim Williams were distraught and hungry, having been battered by the weather for more than 90 hours. In one of the most daring rescues by the Life-Saving Service, Dailey’s seven-man crew pulled for two hours through heavy seas to reach the vessel. Only by relying on his expert boat-handling skills was Dailey able to bring all the survivors and his own crew back safely.
On Dec. 21, 1900, the schooner Jennie Hall had run aground in a severe winter storm off the coast of Virginia Beach, Va. Upon notification of the grounding, the Dam Neck Station Life-Saving Station keeper, Bailey T. Barco proceeded to the scene and took command. Realizing the use of the surfboat was dangerous, if not impossible, Barco directed the assembling of the beach apparatus and soon a breeches buoy had delivered all but one of the survivors to safety.
Boatswain John F. McCormick was Officer-in-Charge of the wooden 52-foot motor lifeboat Triumph out of Station Point Adams at the mouth of the Columbia River. On March 26, 1938, Triumph proceeded out to the bar and stood by while several crab boats crossed in. The tug Tyee with a barge load of logs in tow was attempting to cross out. Tyee passed too closely to the lifebuoy and the barge drifted into the outer break on Clatsop Spit. While attempting to assist Tyee, Triumph was carried broadside on the face of a wave with the masts completely submerged.
Lawrence O. Lawson was keeper of the Evanston, Il., Lifeboat Station. Nov. 28, 1889, he and his crew, made up entirely of students from nearby Northwestern University, came to the aid of the foundering steam vessel Calumet. In the course of affecting the rescue, Lawson and his crew traversed 15 miles through a gale by train, by horseback and by foot. After two failed attempts to conduct the rescue by firing a line to the vessel, Lawson decided to launch the surfboat. Under near-impossible icy conditions, the crew was finally able to launch.