Tag: WWII

The Long Blue Line: Jim Evans–veteran of the World War II’s Greenland Patrol and Cutter Northland

Colorized black and white photo from 1942, showing newly enlisted recruit Jim Evans in his dress whites. (Courtesy of the Evans Family)

In April 1943, Evans was assigned to Coast Guard Cutter Northland in the famed Greenland Patrol. Evans sailed on three missions on board Northland, which escorted vessels to Greenland twice, and then to Iceland on his final mission.

The Long Blue Line: Icarus – WWII combat cutter, OPC namesake

Photograph of the 165-foot cutter Icarus. (U.S. Coast Guard)

In 1942, the crew of Coast Guard Cutter Icarus, commanded by Lt. Maurice Jester, sank German U-352 off the coast of North Carolina. Shortly after sinking, the Coast Guard crew rescued 33 survivors of the 48-man crew – they were the first enemy combatants captured by U.S. forces in World War II. The cutter was decommissioned in 1948 but will soon live on as the namesake of the sixth in the first flight of Offshore Patrol Cutters in the “Heritage”-class.

A big band coastie and his Italian prisoners go to town in WWII

Tony Agresta, second from right, plays the trumpet with a band. Photo courtesy of the Agresta family.

This is a story of a young seaman during WWII who befriended POWs over Betty Gable movies, played trumpet in the United States Coast Guard orchestra band in Charleston, South Carolina, and spent his later years performing with the likes of Duke Ellington and Tommy Dorsey. It’s not a story well-known, but a story worth knowing.

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The Long Blue Line: Pritchard and Bottoms – Last of the Coast Guard’s MIAs

Pritchard’s Grumman Duck in the icy waters of Greenland before taking flight on his final rescue mission. (U.S. Coast Guard)

Like many selfless Coast Guardsmen, Lt. John Pritchard and Petty Officer First Class Benjamin Bottoms, a radioman, went in harm’s way to save lives only to sacrifice their own. During World War II, the Coast Guard ran the Greenland theatre of operations. It was one of the war’s deadliest battlegrounds, where men fought not only the enemy, but the elements as well.

U.S. Coast Guard in Belgium! Why?

U.S. Coast Guard Lt. Akaninyene Inyang proudly bears the U.S. Army 333rd Field Artillery Battalion flag in the annual U.S. Memorial Wereth ceremony in Wereth, Belgium, April 28, 2018. The ceremony honors the 11 African-American soldiers killed by Nazi SS troops at the Battle of the Bulge in World War II. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

On April 28, 2018, members of the U.S. Coast Guard Activities Europe attended the annual U.S. Memorial Wereth ceremony in Wereth, Belgium, to honor 11 African-American soldiers murdered by Nazi SS troops during the second day of the Battle of the Bulge. Each year members of the U.S. armed forces throughout Europe, including many members of U.S. Coast Guard Activities Europe, gather in the tiny hamlet of Wereth, Belgium, to help honor and pay respect to the 11 G.I.s from the U.S. Army 333rd Field Artillery Battalion and all African-American G.I.s who fought in Europe during WWII.