The Long Blue Line: Florence Finch—Asian-American SPAR and FRC namesake dons uniform 75 years ago!

Florence Smith Finch supplied food and medicine to American POWs in the Philippines then became a Coast Guard SPAR late in World War II. (Coast Guard Collection)

Florence Finch Smith was the first Asian-American woman to don a Coast Guard uniform. In 1995, the Coast Guard honored Finch’s service by naming the administration building for her at Coast Guard Base Honolulu. She passed away in 2016 at the age of 101. Of her wartime activities, she stated “I feel very humble because my activities in the war effort were trivial compared with those of people who gave their lives for their country.”

2020 Coast Guard’s Professional Development Reading List

COAST GUARD READING LIST 2020

This year’s list covers a wide array of topics that have direct links to today’s Coast Guard including mental and physical health, military leadership, financial wellness, Coast Guard history, and many more thought-providing subjects. Their recommendations also highlight the outstanding talent we have throughout our ranks and the tremendous value of everyone’s unique perspectives and interests.

The Long Blue Line: Lt. Pease recounts the loss of Cutter Morris in the Key West Hurricane of 1846

Based on historical data, this University of Georgia map shows the storm track of Key West Hurricane of 1846 through Cuba and Florida Keys. (University of Georgia Extension)

Through the ages, many hurricanes have struck the Florida Keys, however, the Key West Hurricane of 1846 is believed to be one of the worst, destroying the city and killing over 250 residents. This recounting of the storm was written by eyewitness and U.S. Revenue Cutter Service officer, Lieutenant William C. Pease.

The Long Blue Line: 55 years ago, the Coast Guard joined the fight in Vietnam

The 82-foot patrol boats of Squadron One (RONONE) deploying from Subic Bay in the Philippines to the theater of operations in Vietnam. (U.S. Coast Guard)

Today, fifty-five years after the Service joined the fight in Vietnam, we commemorate the Coast Guardsmen who went in harm’s way, several of whom paid with their lives in a land far from home. In all, 8,000 Coast Guardsmen served in Vietnam. Their efforts curtailed maritime smuggling and enemy infiltration, saved hundreds of lives, and proved vital to the U.S. war effort in Vietnam.