The story of the U.S. Revenue Cutter Pickering is one of the many lost chapters in Coast Guard history. This is not a story about a cutter, but about her brave commander and crew.
Before the War of 1812, revenue vessels already enforced trade laws, interdicted smuggling, facilitated the operation of lighthouses and performed rescue operations. During the war, the revenue cutters cemented many of the combat and homeland security missions performed today by the U.S. Coast Guard, including port and coastal security, convoy and escort duty, shallow-water combat operations and intelligence gathering.
This month marks the 70th anniversary of a decisive victory for the predecessor of Coast Guard Cutter Spencer. In the uncertain days of World War II, the Coast Guard-manned USS Spencer steamed alongside convoy ships maintaining long lines of food, men and war machines destined for the front lines of Europe. These ships faced a new, elusive enemy: U-boats. These submarines harassed the Allies’ supply lines, attacking at night and vanishing just as quickly. The crew of Spencer lived under constant threat of attack.
Beach patrols were normally done on foot, going back as early as 1871, when the Life-Saving Service, a predecessor of the modern Coast Guard, used foot patrols to watch the coastlines for ships in distress. The service used horses to haul boats from storage sheds to the launching point to rescue crews from ships run aground. After the attack on Pearl Harbor, the wartime beach patrol was put into action and the seagoing service saddled up in 1942, when horses were authorized for use to patrol U.S. beaches. Using the horses allowed the patrols to cover far more territory faster and more easily than men on foot.
Henry Rittichier visits the Vietnam Memorial Wall where the name of his brother Coast Guard Lt. Jack Columbus Rittichier's name is listed on Oct. 5, 2003. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Tom Sperduto. A 34-year-old Coast Guard pilot flew above the war-torn Republic of Vietnam with many uncertainties on his mind.
A Coast Guard-manned LCVP from the USS Samuel Chase disembarks troops of Company E, 16th Infantry, 1st Infantry Division on the morning of June 6, 1944 at Omaha Beach. U.S. Coast Guard photo by CPHOM Robert F. Sargent. It was June 6, 1944, when Allied forces began the largest amphibious invasion of all time –
Today it seems fitting to focus on the Coast Guard veterans who participated in the invasions of D-Day which happened 65 years ago today. The Coast Guard, which was serving as a part of the Navy during the conflict, fought hard along side the other American service members, as Coast Guardsmen have been fighting in
"The Jaws of Death." A photo by CPHOM Robert F. Sargent, USCG. A Coast Guard-manned LCVP from the U.S.S. Samuel Chase disembarks troops of the First Division on the morning of 6 June 1944 at Omaha Beach. USCG Photo. Memorial Day. Besides the barbecues, the fireworks, the long weekend out on the boat, do you