ET1 Kenneth (Ken) Fron, U.S. Coast Guard (1969-1974)

April Runner Up


The following Reflection represents ET1 Kenneth Fron’s legacy of their military service from 1969 to 1974. If you are a Veteran, consider preserving a record of your own military service, including your memories and photographs, on (TWS), the leading archive of living military history. The Service Reflections is an easy-to-complete self-interview, located on your TWS Military Service Page, which enables you to remember key people and events from your military service and the impact they made on your life.

Can you recount a particular incident from your service, which may or may not have been funny at the time, but still makes you laugh?

During the time spent on Lampedusa records were kept about issues, shortages, and other things that impeded progress. There always seemed to be a shortage of parts and it wasn’t certain why that was. In the event of another ATLS deployment, the brass wanted to be sure that most of the shortage issues encountered on Lampedusa would be avoided. To accomplish this, a small group of us were selected for a temporary duty assignment at NAD Hawthorne NV where the remaining two ATLS were stored. This assignment pre-empted my assignment at RADSTA Miami for about four months. Our task was to inventory the two ATLS in storage and make sure any shortages were filled.

One night while at a local watering hole and eatery the five of us got into a conversation with some of the local residents who were curious about what the heck the USCG was doing in the middle of a desert. We told them in no uncertain terms we were the lead surveying team that was investigating possible locations for lifeboat stations along the California-Nevada border. The locals gave us the strangest look and couldn’t believe what we were saying was gospel. We reiterated our statement with straight faces and told them a sea story (desert variety).

In the early 1970s billionaire, Howard Hughes was buying up lots of Las Vegas and Nevada property. There was also a rumor at that time that California would fall into the Pacific Ocean due to an earthquake. We informed the locals that Hughes had purchased a great deal of property along the California – Nevada border that was soon to become ocean front property after California slid into the Pacific Ocean! It was only natural the CG prepared for this by determining locations for lifeboat stations.

Surprisingly they bought it! Even our OIC Mr. Bhend was in on this desert sea story. We eventually came clean and the local cowboys weren’t upset at all and bought us a round of drinks (probably more than one round). I still laugh at this today. This was probably the biggest whopper I ever told. 

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Tags: ATLS, Howard Hughes, NAD Hawthorne


  1. Stephanie

    To see their faces, lol

  2. Bob Kusek 67-71

    Similar to the story about a GIRL behind every tree on Attu Island Loran station. Of course there were no TREES on Attu.


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