Photograph of the USS Sea Cloud. (U.S. Coast Guard photo)

The Long Blue Line: Cutters Sea Cloud and Hoquiam—Barrier-breaking ships in U.S. Desegregation

In 1943, the Coast Guard-manned USS Sea Cloud had served as the federal government’s first deliberate test of desegregation aboard a U.S. ship. A year later, USS Hoquiam followed suit in barrier-breaking efforts allowing white and black crew members to serve in various capacities, share sleeping quarters and eat at the same mess table. This opened the door for black Coast Guard members to reach new heights including commanding cutters.