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.
This Christmas letter was created using quotes from Hamerschlag’s narrative in the book “Three Years Behind the Mast”, quotes from newspaper articles, and stories relayed by the descendants of Unit 21 SPARs.
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.
A holiday poem and resources for Coast Guardsmen and their families during the holiday season.
Although we may live in communities for just a few years, Coast Guard families find ways to make it home, and that often means finding ways to give back. This year, four holiday events from locations spanning nearly 13,000 miles join service members and their communities in unique ways as the celebrate the season.
The Coast Guard Band recently performed with several celebrities, special guests and the President of the United States during the 93rd annual National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony in Washington, D.C. Members of the band gave insight in the preparations and overall excitement of the band during their visit to the nation’s capitol.
For the past 15 years, the annual re-enactment of the original Christmas Ship, Rouse Simmons, by Chicago’s maritime community and the Coast Guard has resurrected a storied tradition dating back to the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. People have come to know the Coast Guard Cutter Mackinaw as the modern day Christmas Ship, and some await its arrival the same way people did on the banks of the Chicago River more than 100 years ago.
A Christmas tree in honor of the Coast Guard stands in the vice president’s residence side-by-side with trees celebrating the other military branches. Coast Guard families had the opportunity to join with Dr. Jill Biden at a reception at the residence celebrating military families.
On most days, Coast Guard Cutter Mackinaw keeps Great Lakes channels and harbors open to navigation to meet the region’s winter shipping needs. Saturday was not like most days. Mackinaw served once again as this year’s “Christmas Ship.” Loaded with more than 1,200 Christmas trees, the icebreaker played homage to an annual Chicago tradition from the late 1800s and early 1900s.
Loaded with more than 1,300 Christmas trees from northern Michigan, the crew of Coast Guard Cutter Mackinaw once again served as Chicago’s Christmas Ship, continuing a tradition from the late 1800s in Chicago and resurrected 13 years ago. The original Christmas Ship, the schooner Rousse Simmons, made the same transit down Lake Michigan each year, bringing trees and wreaths to the people of Chicago. Setting up shop along the Chicago River in downtown, Capt. Herman Shuenamann and his crew became a well known and expected group as each Christmas season neared.