Category: History

The Long Blue Line: Reliance—historic, revolutionary and OPC namesake

The Revenue Cutter Service purchased the first Reliance at the start of the Civil War. Since then, the service has commissioned three cutters bearing the namesake “Reliance.” Soon, the fifth cutter to bear the name Reliance as one of the Coast Guard’s newest 360-foot Offshore Patrol Cutters. Learn more about Reliance’s distinguished history in this week’s Long Blue Line blog.

The Long Blue Line: Coast Guard geography lesson – Districts Areas

Chart showing Coast Guard districts in their current configuration. (U.S. Coast Guard)

The U.S. Coast Guard’s predecessor service, U.S. Life Saving Service, headed by Sumner Kimball was divided into a unique district system to administer its network of boat stations. By 1881, the Life Saving Service had 183 stations that were organized into 12 districts. Today the Coast Guard operates with nine districts that make up the Area command structure (Atlantic and Pacific areas). Learn more about the changes in organization in this week’s Long Blue Line blog.

Remember the Tampa! Purple Heart Initiative

After a German U-boat torpedoed Coast Guard Cutter Tampa, the ship sank with all 130 men in 1918 off the coast of England. In 1952, President Harry S. Truman signed an executive order to allow the awarding of the Purple Heart to be retroactive for actions after April 5, 1917, an award that had been restored to use 14 years after Tampa sank. However, Tampa was overlooked until 1999. In May 2019, 10 families of Tampa crew members were presented Purple Hearts to honor their family members’ service to the country.

Legacy of Light: Last-of-a-kind lighthouse shines over Chesapeake Bay

The Thomas Point Shoal Light is the last screw-pile lighthouse in its original foundation in the United States and the last lighthouse that Coast Guardsmen served in on the Chesapeake Bay. It represents a shared history with both Aids to Navigation and maritime and Coast Guard ATON crews maintain the aid with the same dedication as the crews that came before them for the last 230 years.

The Long Blue Line: Ensign Charles Duke and seizure of rum runner Greypoint

In 1925 during the height of Prohibition, Coast Guard Ensign Charles L. Duke make the most famous single-handed seizure in Coast Guard history. Duke gave no quarter to the crew of the SS Greypoint who were bound for Nassau with 1,400 50-gallon drums of alcohol worth an estimated half a million dollars.

The Long Blue Line: Stone-Coast Guard Aviator #1 sets the record 100 years ago

Coast Guard aviators have always been at the forefront of technological change. So it should come as no surprise that 100 years ago, Elmer F. Stone became a driving force behind early Coast Guard aviation and served as a pilot in the Navy’s NC Seaplane Squadron One where he became the first man to pilot an aircraft across the Atlantic.