Dr. Olivia J. Hooker was a pioneer in the history of women and minorities in the Coast Guard and the nation. She believed that her military service taught her “a lot about order and priorities” and “how to better form relationships, and how to deal with people without bias and prejudice.” Despite experiencing hatred and racism in her own life, she devoted her life and her career to serving the needs of her community and her nation.
Oliver Tony Henry, Jr. was an African American who led the Coast Guard toward greater diversity during World War II and the postwar era by shattering color barriers in the U.S. military.
As it has for other enlisted heroes, the United States Coast Guard will be commissioning a new Fast Response Cutter in honor of William Chadwick, recipient of the Congressional Gold Lifesaving Medal. This essay tells the story of Chadwick, including his life, his service in the United States Lifesaving Service and his famous rescue of the George Taulane, which pitted man against Mother Nature.
Master Chief Angela M. McShan, a 20-year veteran of the Service, was the first African-American woman to achieve the enlisted rank of master chief and was a distinguished role model for the Coast Guard’s core values. Later this year, she will be honored as namesake of the new Fast Response Cutter Angela McShan.
In a time of unrest, when U-boats patrolled the icy waters of the North Atlantic, a crew of three bravely volunteered to serve the hazardous duty of rescue swimmer aboard Coast Guard Cutter Escanaba. Second Class Officer’s Steward Warren Deyampert worked on the cutter to develop a system of tethered rescue swimmers that ultimately saved well over 100 lives after an enemy submarine torpedoed U.S. Army transport Dorchester. Despite his secondary status in a segregated service, Deyampert placed the needs of others before his own and was posthumously awarded the Navy & Marine Corps Medal and Purple Heart Medal.
The Foundation for Coast Guard History presented an individual achievement award to Cmdr. Bill McKinstry for volunteering to serve on the fast response cutter naming tiger team. The team helps identify and locate relatives of former enlisted personnel heroes who were under consideration as possible FRC namesakes.
Coast Guard Art Program artist Robert Selby deployed with Coast Guard Cutter Joseph for two weeks in May 2018. While aboard, Selby executed an artist’s sketchbook in preparation for a painting that will take the work of the Coast Guard at Sector San Juan as its theme.
In July, Oliver Berry’s crew set a new milestone by deploying over the horizon to the Republic of the Marshall Islands. The 4,400 nautical mile trip marked marking the furthest deployment of an FRC to date for the Coast Guard and is the first deployment of its kind in the Pacific.
The Coast Guard recently released the names of the newest Fast Response Cutters to be commissioned. Each FRC is named after a Coast Guard hero. One such Coast Guardsman is Maurice Jester, a WWII hero.
The Coast Guard is building a class of cutters similar to the Morris-class designed to serve a multi-mission role. The “Sentinel”-class Fast Response Cutters (FRC) perform drug and migrant interdiction; ports, waterways and coastal security; fishery patrols; search and rescue; national defense; and much more. The Fast Response Cutters will form the mainstay of the Coast Guard’s coastal patrol fleet, providing multi-mission capabilities and interagency interoperability.