Honoring History: Revenue Cutter Pickering

The story of the U.S. Revenue Cutter Pickering is one of the many lost chapters in Coast Guard history. This is not a story about a cutter, but about her brave commander and crew.

Cutter Mercury & the thwarting of British privateers

Before the War of 1812, revenue vessels already enforced trade laws, interdicted smuggling, facilitated the operation of lighthouses and performed rescue operations. During the war, the revenue cutters cemented many of the combat and homeland security missions performed today by the U.S. Coast Guard, including port and coastal security, convoy and escort duty, shallow-water combat operations and intelligence gathering.


The sinking of U-175

This month marks the 70th anniversary of a decisive victory for the predecessor of Coast Guard Cutter Spencer. In the uncertain days of World War II, the Coast Guard-manned USS Spencer steamed alongside convoy ships maintaining long lines of food, men and war machines destined for the front lines of Europe. These ships faced a new, elusive enemy: U-boats. These submarines harassed the Allies’ supply lines, attacking at night and vanishing just as quickly. The crew of Spencer lived under constant threat of attack.

On patrol

Mounted beach patrol: When the service saddled up

Beach patrols were normally done on foot, going back as early as 1871, when the Life-Saving Service, a predecessor of the modern Coast Guard, used foot patrols to watch the coastlines for ships in distress. The service used horses to haul boats from storage sheds to the launching point to rescue crews from ships run aground. After the attack on Pearl Harbor, the wartime beach patrol was put into action and the seagoing service saddled up in 1942, when horses were authorized for use to patrol U.S. beaches. Using the horses allowed the patrols to cover far more territory faster and more easily than men on foot.

Lt. Jack Rittichier

Lt. Jack Rittichier and the legacy of Vietnam

A 34-year-old Coast Guard pilot flew above the war-torn Republic of Vietnam with many uncertainties on his mind. While he and his fellow servicemembers faced the unknown, he was sure about one thing. “I just want to save lives as […]


D-Day through the eyes of a Coast Guardsman

It was June 6, 1944, when Allied forces began the largest amphibious invasion of all time – D-Day. Today, on the anniversary of D-Day, Compass would like to share the story of Motor Machinist’s Mate 1st Class Clifford W. Lewis, […]

ItCG-Stories honoring WWII veterans, the Saturday image a veteran returns to France

Today it seems fitting to focus on the Coast Guard veterans who participated in the invasions of D-Day which happened 65 years ago today. The Coast Guard, which was serving as a part of the Navy during the conflict, fought […]

Memorial Day

Memorial Day. Besides the barbecues, the fireworks, the long weekend out on the boat, do you take the time to sit and think about what Memorial Day means? Will you take the time to thank the veterans that you know, […]