Category: History

Cutter Mackinaw to mark 20th Chicago Christmas Ship anniversary

The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Mackinaw (WLBB-30) delivers Christmas trees from northern Michigan to Chicago every year as a part of Chicago’s Christmas Ship program. The one-of-a-kind icebreaker and its predecessor, USCGC Mackinaw (WAGB-83), have delivered more than 25,000 Christmas trees to Chicago families in the past 20 years. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Cmdr. John M. Stone.

Continuing a 20-year tradition, the Coast Guard Cutter Mackinaw will deliver 1,200 Christmas trees as part of Chicago’s Christmas Ship program. The annual tree delivery dates back more than a century when brothers August and Herman Schuenemann sold and gave away Christmas trees from the Chicago waterfront.

Legacy of Light: Tallest Georgia lighthouse marks Tybee Island

Two Coast Guard Air Station Savannah MH-65 Dolphin helicopters fly in formation in front of the Tybee Island Lighthouse. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Ryan Dickinson.

Tybee Island Light, the oldest and tallest lighthouse in Georgia, guides mariners into the Savannah River and welcomes visitors to this resort destination. The barrier island beacon is not only a popular tourist attraction but also an active Aid to Navigation that lights the way for mariners into the Port of Savannah.

The Long Blue Line: Coast Guard Cutter Bear and NOAA hunt for the Bear

Painting depicting USCGC Bear (WMEC-901) and namesake USRC Bear together in one illustration. (Coast Guard Collection)

Last summer, after several months of preparation, the Coast Guard Cutter Bear received a mission objective for 14 days of its 72-day patrol off the coast of New England. CGC Bear was tasked with serving as a research vessel, facilitating a search for the wreck of the original United States Revenue Cutter Bear.

The Long Blue Line: Joseph Toahty (Le-Tuts-Taka)- Pawnee warrior of Guadalcanal

Coast Guard enlistment photograph of Joseph R. Toahty at age 21. (National Archives)

Joseph Toahty, half Pawnee and half Kiowa Indian, joined the Coast Guard in 1941. He was the first Pawnee Indian to go to sea, the first Native American to participate in a U.S. naval offensive operation and the first to set foot in enemy territory during the World War II.

The Long Blue Line: America’s first ice ships and icebreakers

Color photograph of Northland, with cut-down masts, sitting in the ice in World War II’s Greenland Patrol. (U.S. Coast Guard)

During the Age of Sail, the seasonal pattern of icebound winters froze-in merchant vessels and reduced the wintertime demand for revenue cutters on the Great Lakes, in the Northeast and in the Mid-Atlantic States. In some cases, cutters were decommissioned in December, winterized and their crews dismissed until the spring thaw.

The Long Blue Line: Coast Guard—the “North Carolina Navy”

Photo of the new Fast Response Cutter Richard Etheridge, named for the famed North Carolina Lifesaving Station keeper. (Coast Guard photo)

The Coast Guard’s history is closely tied to the State of North Carolina. This connection dates back to 1790 and the men and women who have served at the many stations and bases along the coast and eastern side of North Carolina.

The Long Blue Line: DC3 Bruckenthal’s “Brick”

Work began in February. The brick was scrubbed and wire brushed and washed for preparation. A coat of off-white primer was applied and let dry and a second coat applied. The stenciling happened over several nights in between underway duty and watches. We worked and listened to music and drank coffee late into the night to finish our labor of love and respect. We thought we had until the end of our deployment to finish the brick.