U.S. Coast Guard Lt. Akaninyene Inyang proudly bears the U.S. Army 333rd Field Artillery Battalion flag in the annual U.S. Memorial Wereth ceremony in Wereth, Belgium, April 28, 2018. The ceremony honors the 11 African-American soldiers killed by Nazi SS troops at the Battle of the Bulge in World War II. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

U.S. Coast Guard in Belgium! Why?

On April 28, 2018, members of the U.S. Coast Guard Activities Europe attended the annual U.S. Memorial Wereth ceremony in Wereth, Belgium, to honor 11 African-American soldiers murdered by Nazi SS troops during the second day of the Battle of the Bulge. Each year members of the U.S. armed forces throughout Europe, including many members of U.S. Coast Guard Activities Europe, gather in the tiny hamlet of Wereth, Belgium, to help honor and pay respect to the 11 G.I.s from the U.S. Army 333rd Field Artillery Battalion and all African-American G.I.s who fought in Europe during WWII.


The “Duck” memorial: Remembering WWII heroes

Members of the Coast Guard, volunteers, and surviving family members attended a memorial ceremony in Greenland in August to commemorate the lives of Lt. John Pritchard, Petty Officer First Class Benjamin Bottoms, and U.S. Army Air Corps Cpl. Loren Howarth. A plaque was permanently installed outside the Kulusuk Airport.


The Long Blue Line: Juan del Castillo – Coast Guard officer and humanitarian

Juan del Castillo was a Coast Guardsman who distinguished himself in the service and in civilian life. From becoming the first Coast Guardsmen of Hispanic heritage to complete Reserve Officer Training, now known as Officer Candidate School, to inventing the formula for Corn Soy Milk, considered one of the most important high protein foods ever developed, del Castillo dedicated his life to helping others.


The Long Blue Line: Quentin Walsh’s long, colorful career

Capt. Quentin Walsh experienced one of the most colorful careers in the history of the U.S. Coast Guard. From chasing rumrunners, to enforcing whale treaties, planning D-Day operations and liberating a port during World War II, Walsh made his mark on our service.


Coxswain Robert “Bob” Canavan

The Long Blue Line: Coxswain Bob Canavan’s deadly odyssey on Iron Bottom Sound, Guadalcanal

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.


Dexter’s men and landing craft kept critically needed supplies flowing to the First Marine Division on Guadalcanal. U.S. Navy photo.

The Long Blue Line: Dwight Dexter with the first Marines at Guadalcanal

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.


The Long Blue Line: Lt. John Pritchard and his World War II rescues

The Long Blue Line: Lt. John Pritchard and his World War II rescues

There are so many Coast Guard men and women whose devotion to duty has put them in harm’s way that it would take a lifetime to write-up each and every story. Like many of these selfless Coast Guardsmen, Lt. John A. Pritchard went in harm’s way to save the lives of others only to sacrifice his own.


The Long Blue Line: SN1 Florence Finch

The Long Blue Line: SN1 Florence Finch

Of the thousands of women who have served with honor in the United States Coast Guard, one stands out for her bravery and devotion to duty: Florence Smith Finch.


Remembering Munro

Remembering Munro

“Upon regaining consciousness his only question was ‘Did they get off?’, and so died with a smile on his face and the full knowledge that he had successfully accomplished a dangerous mission.” Read more about Signalman 1st Class Douglas Munro’s heroism during the Battle of Guadalcanal.


225 Years of Service to Nation

225 years of Service to Nation: Defense Readiness

For 225 years, the Coast Guard has served as the nation’s lead Federal maritime law enforcement agency, protecting our shores each and every day. The Coast Guard also serves as one of the nation’s five armed forces, assisting in the defense of our nation during times of war.


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