Tag: Black History Month

The Long Blue Line: Coast Guard “River Cutter” pioneered desegregation 100 years ago

Nearly 100 years ago in the Deep South, in an area that held the nation’s worst records of discrimination and violence toward blacks, the Great 1913 Flood killed between 600-900 people and left 250,000 Americans homeless. Ironically, the Coast Guard made history by enlisting an all-black crew aboard river cutter Yocona, not to set records but because they were the best-qualificed watermen near Yocona’s homeport of Vicksburg, Mississippi, rescuing and transporting disaster victims from the Great 1913 Flood. Yocona proved to be the first federal vessel in peacetime manned by a racially integrated crew and set a precedent to desegregate the nation’s sea service vessels.

The Long Blue Line: A history of African-Americans in Coast Guard combat

This image shows minority Lt. j.g. Joseph Jenkins and Lt. j.g. Clarence Samuels aboard Coast Guard operated USS Sea Cloud in the North Atlantic in World War II. Coast Guard photo.

African-Americans have served in every conflict fought by the Coast Guard and its predecessor services, and currently comprise the longest serving minority in the service. Today, we commemorate the achievements and sacrifices of hundreds of thousands of African-Americans over the course of the service’s 228-year history.

A Bear of a sea story

CGC Bear featured image

Revenue Cutter Bear before WWI. U.S. Coast Guard photo. Written by Lt. Cmdr. Jamie Frederick, Atlantic Area public affairs. Coast Guard Cutter Bear fittingly celebrated 30 years of commissioned service with a recent return to homeport after a successful eight-week patrol in the Caribbean Sea. Bear is the oldest of the Famous-class medium endurance cutters

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Dr. Olivia Hooker: Veteran trail blazer

Dr. Olivia Hooker

Dr. Olivia Hooker, 97, addresses an audience at a Women's History Month celebration in Manhattan's Federal Hall on Wednesday, March 30, 2011. Dr Hooker, who went on to earn her doctorate in psychology, joined the service as a SPAR – Semper Paratus, Always Ready – the acronym used for female service personnel during World War

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Guardian of the Week – LTs Hannah Bealon and Randall Black

Lt. Black was awarded the Department of Defense African American History Month Recognition Award, last week in Atlanta. (Coast Guard photo) Lt. Bealon was awarded the Department of Defense African American History Month Recognition Award, last week in Atlanta. ( Photo courtesy of Lt. Bealon) Last Wednesday Lieutenants Randall Black and Hannah Bealon where recognized

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Black History Month: Honoring the service of African American Guardians

As part of the Coast Guard Compass’ ongoing celebration of Black History Month, we bring you the following article by Coast Guard Atlantic Area Historian William H. Thiesen. Mr. Thiesen’s piece on the history of African American service is a reminder not only of how far we’ve come as a nation, but also of the

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