Author: mamanning1

The Long Blue Line: RM3 Floyd Wilvers—Coast Guard destroyer escort veteran

A collection of Coast Guard memorabilia that is displayed on a shelf in Mr. Wilvers’ home. (MST2 Jeffrey McConnell, USCG)

For most 17-year-olds, the years of graduating high school, attending college or trade school, and beginning the first steps into adulthood are a time of unbridled optimism and possibility. For Wilmington, North Carolina native Floyd Wilvers, now 92, turning age 17 meant a voyage into the unknown laced with fear, but also a sense of patriotism and duty.

The Long Blue Line: C.W. Lawrence—tamer of America’s maritime frontier and first PACAREA cutter

Painting of Captain Ottinger and crewmembers from the Lawrence putting down the mutiny on board the Challenge. (Coast Guard Collection)

The crew of the Lawrence, the Pacific’s first revenue cutter, put down mutinies, interdicted smugglers, saved vessels in distress, charted the California coast and tamed America’s maritime frontier, all in the vessels short 4-year lifetime.

The Long Blue Line: Leyte liberation—Merry Christmas from the General and the dead of LST-66

Photo of LST-66 anchored in the San Francisco Bay after her return from the war. The black and white image shows the effects of the kamikaze attack on her aft starboard side. (U.S. Coast Guard Collection)

Seventy-five years ago, on December 25, 1944, after a six-week campaign to liberate the Philippine island of Leyte, Allied forces under General Douglas Macarthur were mopping up the last vestiges of Japanese resistance. The invasion of the Philippines was one of the last major land battles of the Pacific War leading up to the surrender of Japan. By the 26th, MacArthur announced the end of organized resistance on Leyte. It was a fitting Christmas gift to the Philippine people and MacArthur’s forces would pursue the enemy back to the island nation’s capital in Manila.

The dynamic damage controlman

Petty Officer 2nd Class Stefan Toren attempts to start a portable dewatering pump aboard Philippine Navy ship BRP Andres Bonifacio (PS 17), near Puerto Princesa, Philippines, Oct. 15, 2019. Stefan and fellow damage controlmen from Coast Guard Cutter Stratton worked with the Philippine crew to repair a total of five dewatering and firefighting pumps aboard the ship. U.S. Coast Guard photo by PA1 Nate Littlejohn

Damage controlmen are experts in shipboard emergency systems and procedure. They are professional plumbers, welders, fire fighters and first responders to a host of potential shipboard crisis. DCs call upon a precision skill set and concoct crafty solutions to difficult problems and are disciplined, with the ability to think quickly and outside the box.

Coast Guard removes navigation hazards from New Jersey ICW

Aids to Navigation Team Cape May crewmembers hoist channel marker wreckage onto a stern loading utility boat (BUSL) in the New Jersey Intracoastal Waterway (NJICW). U.S. Coast Guard photo by Senior Chief Petty Officer Elijah B. Reynolds.

Coast Guardsmen from Aids to Navigation Team Cape May, N.J. and Coast Guard divers from around the country removed 22 aids to navigation, thousands of pounds of damaged steel, from the New Jersey ICW during a nine-day operation.ANT Cape May crewmembers then replaced the damaged ATON with seasonal foam buoys.

The Long Blue Line: Early African American service—first to serve and first to sacrifice

Very rare and faded photograph showing the original Pea Island Life-Saving Station crew and keeper, Richard Etheridge, on the left side. (U.S. Coast Guard)

African Americans comprise the longest serving minority in the United States Coast Guard. They were the first to serve and, in many ways, were the first to sacrifice, pioneering the way ahead for all minorities in the Coast Guard, U.S. military, and the nation.

Coast Guard co-hosts emergency management training

NEMBA students complete week one of the program (“Foundations of Emergency Management”) at the Old Dominion University Virginia Modeling, Analysis & Simulation Center in Suffolk, VA.

Members from the Coast Guard Office of Emergency Management and Disaster Response, Coast Guard 5thDistrict and the Virginia Department of Emergency Management recently collaborated to bring an exciting emergency management training opportunity to the field: a CG-VDEM pilot of the National Emergency Management Basic Academy.