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Posts tagged ‘US Coast Guard’

1
May

National Coast Guard Museum

Since 1790, the brave men and women of the United States Coast Guard have been standing the watch for you. Night and day, in good weather and bad, its devoted members have been the first responders when disaster strikes at sea. For 226 years, the Coast Guard has tirelessly answered the call for our Nation, saving lives, enforcing maritime law, combating terrorism, and protecting the environment from oil spills and pollution.

As the oldest continuous seagoing service within the five branches of the U.S. Armed Forces, the U.S. Coast Guard is responsible for the day-to-day protection of the United States and waterways around the globe. Some of the most impactful moments of our Nation’s history would not have been as successful were it not for the Coast Guard.

Remarkably, the Coast Guard is the only armed service branch without a national museum. When opportunities arose to receive Federal funding, this traditionally underfunded agency has consistently prioritized operations over building a museum. It will take all of our efforts to bring a museum to life.

We will add a National Coast Guard Museum to our Nation’s most sacred military heritage sites. The first of its kind museum will give the U.S. Coast Guard the venue it deserves to showcase its rich and important history, while educating current and future generations about the value of this military branch. The museum will provide the Coast Guard with a national platform to share its crucial role in saving and protecting lives and commerce along America’s waterways.

The National Coast Guard Museum will be constructed on the historic waterfront of downtown New London, Connecticut. The Coast Guard has celebrated a presence in New London since 1791 and will incorporate the nearby Coast Guard Academy and USCG Research and Development Center in the Museum;s story. Additionally,: America’s Tall Ship”, the Coast Guard Barque EAGLE will adorn the waterfront while home ported at the New London City Pier adjacent to the Museum.

Once built, museum patrons will have a place to witness the founding of the U.S. Coast Guard, participate in some of the service’s most dramatic rescues, explore longtime industry and civic partnerships, and see firsthand what it is to be Semper Paratus: Always Ready.

The museum will provide an immersive educational experience for visitors of all ages. In particular, the museum’s STEM Learning Center will be a physical hub inside the museum with a global reach via its on-site, outreach, and virtual programs, that will engage and support today’s youth inspiring them to become tomorrow’s critical thinkers, problem solvers, and innovators. We envision the STEM Learning Center’s programs will complement school curriculum to inspire student’s early interest in STEM fields and will provide support in cultivating that interest as teenagers. Additionally, displays will connect museum patrons with real-time missions via streaming video. This virtual element will allow visitors to see servicemen and women conduct marine environmental inspections in Long Beach, California, rescue missions off the coast of New England, drug interventions along the Gulf Coast, and tug boat regulations on the Mississippi River. Interactive exhibits will engage the public in science and engineering challenges, using principles of aeronautics, propulsion, informatics, meteorology, navigation, and other Coast Guard-related sciences.

Under the direction of a distinguished Board of Directors and Honorary Board, the National Coast Guard Museum Association, Inc. launched a national fundraising campaign in June 2013 to build this museum. With a ceremonial groundbreaking in May 2014, the effort got underway with noteworthy gifts from J.D. Power III, founder of J.D. Power & Associates and Coast Guard veteran; Boysie Bollinger, founder of Bollinger Shipyards; and support from major American Waterway Operator companies. Augmented by a commitment of $20 million in funding from the State of Connecticut and recent changes in our Federal Authorization, we have embarked on a $100 million capital campaign as the project moves from the design to construction phase. We are taking great strides to generate the capital necessary to design and build a museum worthy of our Coast Guard and your philanthropy.  Discover more by visiting us at www.CoastGuardMuseum.org

31
Aug

MSTC John Murphy U.S. Coast Guard (1963-1971)

Read the Service story of U.S. Coast Guardsman:

profileMSTC John Murphy

U.S. Coast Guard

(1963-1971)

Shadow Box:

http://coastguard.togetherweserved.com/bio/John.Murphy
PLEASE DESCRIBE WHO OR WHAT INFLUENCED YOUR DECISION TO JOIN THE COAST GUARD?

After a year in college I was feeling restless and looking to go out in the world and do something productive. I had always enjoyed boats and being on the water so joining one of the sea services seemed like a natural. My career interests were in science and technology so I went to visit the Navy recruiter to discuss the nuclear propulsion field. I passed all the tests except one: I was too TALL. The height limit on subs was 6-4 in those days and I was already 6-5 and still growing. The recruiter suggested I go across the hall to see his Coast Guard counterpart as they were “always looking for guys over six feet tall.” Having fond recollections of Coasties zipping around in their forty footers in Montauk, performing rescues and saving pretty girls from their sinking yachts, I walked across the hall and met with the Coast Guard recruiter in New York. After hearing his pitch I was sold and signed up the same day.

WHETHER YOU WERE IN THE SERVICE FOR SEVERAL YEARS OR AS A CAREER, PLEASE DESCRIBE THE DIRECTION OR PATH YOU TOOK. WHAT WAS YOUR REASON FOR LEAVING?

After completing basic training in Cape May on my 19th birthday, I was sent to Key West to await the next class of Sonar School. I was a bit of a “sea lawyer” (wise-guy) so the Navy CMAA sent me to the Coast Guard base to work for “my own kind” instead of cleaning heads, mess-cooking or doing something else where I would have a chance to “mess up” HIS Navy. Spent the next month day working at the CG moorings and filling in for an injured crewman on one of the station’s 40 footers. Finished Sonar School second in my class, was advanced to PO3 and sent to the CGC Half Moon based at Staten, Island, New York. Enjoyed my two year tour on the Half Moon immensely. I made E-5 and attended the Class-C school for Oceanography, steering my career toward the Marine Sciences. I was transferred to the Coast Guard Oceanographic Unit in 1966 where I worked with early computer systems and then took over running the Unit’s marine chemistry lab.

I made a number of TAD cruises aboard Evergreen, Sweetgum, and Glacier as a member of the scientific party. I made E-6 in 1967 and then laterally transferred to Marine Science Technician when the rating came into existence. I was sent to the CG Institute to develop the rating quals and service-wide exams for the new rating and then transferred to Governor’s Island as an instructor in the new MST “A” School. I made Chief in 1969 and was assigned collateral duties developing the prototype of the first computerized Satellite/Loran shipboard navigation system – the forerunner of today’s GPS systems. I spent the last two years teaching “A” School students and developing computer programs for the CG’s Honeywell computer systems. I would have liked to stay in but family responsibilities dictated that I leave the service after a wonderful 8 years.

OF ALL YOUR DUTY STATIONS OR ASSIGNMENTS, WHICH ONE DO YOU HAVE FONDEST MEMORIES OF AND WHY? WHICH ONE WAS YOUR LEAST FAVORITE?

Fleet Sonar School – a tough six month school. CGC Half Moon – my favorite unit of all. A great ship with a great crew. I made a lot of patrols and visited some great liberty ports. Coast Guard Oceanographic Unit – highly challenging work. I learned computer programming and
ended up running the unit’s marine chemistry lab. CGC Evergreen – I made a number of oceanographic cruises aboard this research cutter including Ice Patrol off the coast of Greenland. CGC Sweetgum – made a trip where divers were checking on the wrecks of tankers sunk by U-boats during WW-2.

My job was to analyze the water in and around the wrecks looking for signs of residual oil seeping into the environment. No oil but some great fishing over the wrecks and a chance to help with the hard-hat diving ops. CGC Glacier – the cruise of a lifetime. DeepFreeze 68 to the Weddell Sea. The crew was awarded the Navy Unit Commendation Medal for meritorious service, literally going where no man had gone before. TRACEN Governor’s Island – really enjoyed instructing as well as my collateral assignment of developing the prototype GPS system. Awarded the CG Commendation Medal for this effort.

FROM YOUR ENTIRE SERVICE, INCLUDING COMBAT, DESCRIBE THE PERSONAL MEMORIES WHICH HAVE IMPACTED YOU MOST?

The research trip to Antarctica aboard CGC Glacier. Spent 6 months planning and making preparations for the scientific aspects of the trip. Once underway we had to set up a full multi-discipline research station aboard a ship including computers, physical, chemical, biological and geologic oceanographic equipment. We were the first ship to successfully penetrate the Weddell Sea ice since Shackleton in 1915. Once we passed the limits of where Shackleton had gone we were the first men to ever see the parts of the Antarctic coast we saw on portions of that trip.

WHAT ACHIEVEMENT(S) ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF FROM YOUR MILITARY CAREER? 
The Coast Guard Commendation Medal. It took a lot of teamwork and hard work. We all pulled together to complete a complex project. My Good Conduct Medals for almost 10 years of hard work, and our Navy Unit Meritorious Commendation for the team.

OF ALL THE MEDALS, AWARDS, FORMAL PRESENTATIONS AND QUALIFICATION BADGES YOU RECEIVED, OR ANY OTHER MEMORABILIA, PLEASE DESCRIBE THOSE WHICH ARE THE MOST MEANINGFUL TO YOU AND WHY?

The Coast Guard Commendation Medal as it was awarded in recognition of my work on a highly complex project – developing the first integrated Shipboard Navigation System consisting of Satellite, Loran-A and Loran-C components. We also implemented the first system capable of determining a ship’s position from only two Loran stations rather than the typical three, a big plus in polar waters where it was impossible to be within range of more than two.

WHICH INDIVIDUAL(S) FROM YOUR TIME IN THE MILITARY STAND OUT AS HAVING THE MOST POSITIVE IMPACT ON YOU AND WHY?

Chief Don Etzler, one of my instructors in Sonar School and later my Leading Petty Officer on Governors Island. He taught me about the technical aspects of my job, how to be a good Coast Guardsman, a good Petty Officer. He set a wonderful example of what it meant to be a Chief. In short he helped me become a man.

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?
On Ocean Station around Halloween we had a very superstitious lookout on the flying bridge. One of the DCs dressed up in an N-B-C suit and climbed up to the flying bridge where the lookout was stationed. The poor seaman freaked out and scrambled down the ladder to the bridge, explaining to the OD how a spaceman had landed aboard the ship. He refused to go back up saying he’d rather risk court martial than the chance of being abducted.

WHAT PROFESSION DID YOU FOLLOW AFTER YOUR MILITARY SERVICE AND WHAT ARE YOU DOING NOW? IF YOU ARE CURRENTLY SERVING, WHAT IS YOUR PRESENT OCCUPATIONAL SPECIALTY?

I worked in a variety of positions in the computer field for the 30 years after my discharge. Most were in the area of Systems Engineering, making a bunch of gadgets work together with a computer, something the CG taught me how to do well.

IN WHAT WAYS HAS SERVING IN THE MILITARY INFLUENCED THE WAY YOU HAVE APPROACHED YOUR LIFE AND YOUR CAREER?

The Coast Guard was an excellent environment in which to learn leadership skills along with the technical training associated with a particular rating. This proved to be invaluable in civilian life and provided a natural foundation for a successful career in middle management. As far as the influence on my personal life, the regimentation was highly useful when I found myself the father of six children. I have to admit that there have been times when my wife and children had to remind me I’m not a Chief in the Coast Guard anymore.

BASED ON YOUR OWN EXPERIENCES, WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO THOSE WHO HAVE RECENTLY JOINED THE COAST GUARD?
Above everything else – be true to the traditions of those who went before you. Learn from your leaders and utilize the training afforded you. In those unexpected situations where you haven’t been trained, use the common sense you were born with, the Coast Guard accepted you as one of their members as they have faith in your ability to make the right decision.

IN WHAT WAYS HAS TOGETHERWESERVED.COM HELPED YOU REMEMBER YOUR MILITARY SERVICE AND THE FRIENDS YOU SERVED WITH.

Keeping in touch with former shipmates and refreshing cherished old memories. An added bonus has been being able to show my grand-kids the kinds of things their grandfather did when he was a much younger man.

22
Jul

AECS Tom Wynn U.S. Coast Guard (Ret) (1972-1992)

Service Reflections is US Coast Guardsman:

profileAECS Tom Wynn

U.S. Coast Guard (Ret)

(1972-1992)

Shadow Box: http://coastguard.togetherweserved.com/bio/Tom.Wynn

PLEASE DESCRIBE WHO OR WHAT INFLUENCED YOUR DECISION TO JOIN THE COAST GUARD?

My father was in the Coast Guard. He asked me at 12 what I wanted to do for a living when I was grown up. I didn’t know at the time. He quickly said, “You better now, you only have a few more years to prepare”. So he began to ask me questions about what I like to do or learn. I told him several things like science and physics and electricity. Electronics like he did, (he was a AT1) and survival interests, like in the Boy Scouts. So he told me of all the rates that I might look at in the Coast Guard. I was set on ASM but it was not available to me at the time of choosing a class A school when I applied from my ship, the USCGC RUSH in CA. I was 17.5 years old when I joined and picked the Rush. If I had to go to sea I wanted to go on the biggest and best vessel type the Coast Guard had to offer. Later I would go on two Ice Breakers, one being the Polar Sea voyage to Antarctica in 1978. I went to AE school in Jacksonville Florida at the Naval Air Station. One of the last classes to go there before they moved it to Memphis. So I became an AE and was so glad of it. I enjoyed my career and loved the Coast Guard. My son was a third generation Coastie.

WHETHER YOU WERE IN THE SERVICE FOR SEVERAL YEARS OR AS A CAREER, PLEASE DESCRIBE THE DIRECTION OR PATH YOU TOOK. WHAT WAS YOUR REASON FOR LEAVING?

Boot Camp in CA. USCGC Rush for 5.5 months. AE A school in Naval Air Jax in Florida. Mobile Alabama Air Station for two parts, the Air Station and Pop-Div for a total of 4 years. Air Station Houston 3 years. ARSC 3 years. Air Station Detroit 3 years. Air Station San Francisco 2 years. Air Station Clearwater 3 years and finally just prior to retirement, CG unit at Panama City Florida for approximately 4 months before retirement. I was senior to the Senior Chief in charge so he sent me home and I only came to work to do paperwork for retirement and complete my terminal leave of 85 days. Loved it!

OF ALL YOUR DUTY STATIONS OR ASSIGNMENTS, WHICH ONE DO YOU HAVE FONDEST MEMORIES OF AND WHY? WHICH ONE WAS YOUR LEAST FAVORITE?

USCGC RUSH, not to fond of that. I was a Seaman and it was in CA. I was only 17. 5 years old. I was the second youngest person aboard. I was married and was a very sharp individual. So I only did 5.5 months aboard the vessel before departing for AE A school in Florida. Air Station Mobile Alabama. Including Pop Div. Polar Shipboard Ops Division. I ran the Battery Shop and the Tool Room was my first assignments. My mentors were my father AT1 T.W. Wynn Sr. a great man and lovely soul. AE1 John Reid, AE1 Buckmaster all has passed away now. AE2 Smokey Stover, Who I later replaced at Air Sta Clearwater when we were both Senior Chiefs. He was retiring and I retired three years later. I was Maintenance Chief there and later became the CEA of the Air Station for the last 2.5 years of my Great Career. I loved my work, helping the men and women I served with. I enjoyed my jobs in the Coast Guard and I departed very happy and full of joy I could finally see my dream of retirement at 20 at the door. That was nearly 20 years ago now. Time flies when you are having a good retirement life. Thank you LORD!! The Coast Guard is one on the Best jobs in the World. Saving lives for a living is the way to go.

Next I went to Air Station Houston and learned how to be a good mechanic and Electrician on the HH52A and my mentor there was Buckmaster again and AT1 B. Fletcher, who would follow me to Elizabeth City NC. We are still friends today. ARSC was my next stop. I loved it there, so many friends and mentors. AM1 Mark Sheafer, AD1 Jimmy Taylor and a few others where my best buddies on the HH52A QA team. just loved it there. Made Chief and off to Detroit. Hated! But I did take the time to get more education there and studied on how to retire as a young man. Freezing cold, nothing else to do. All indoor life, but the housing “Sucked”, sorry but there is no other way to say it. Air Station San Francisco. Love it there, had to go there for my son. He needed a heart operation. Great time there and love every minute of it. Great people to work with and I made Senior Chief. I wrote the number one test on the first try and made it in March. Only had three years until retirement. Off to Clearwater we went. I was happy all around. I really wanted Mobile. But oh well, God had other plans. I had a great tour there and off to Retirement. God’s Country North Florida. We have been here every since.

FROM YOUR ENTIRE SERVICE, INCLUDING COMBAT, DESCRIBE THE PERSONAL MEMORIES WHICH HAVE IMPACTED YOU MOST?

Too many to count brothers. Love my career 96 percent of the time. Great job and lovely hard working folks to be with, blood swear and tears came often as I moved from place to place, ship to ship, Air Station to Air Station. Lost a few shipmates over the years in Helo crashes. But over all, a great 20 year tour of love and kindness from all my co-workers. I loved my pilots and my crews. Everyone had a common goal. Save lives for a living. No better thing to do in this world. God Bless the US Coast Guard and their families. Love you!

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27
Apr

CWO4 Robert R Wilson U.S. Coast Guard (Ret) (1965-1989)

wilsonPersonal Service Reflections of US Coast Guardsman:

CWO4 Robert R Wilson

U.S. Coast Guard (Ret)

(1965-1989)

Shadow Box: http://coastguard.togetherweserved.com/bio/CWO4Wilson

(Veterans – record your own Military Service Story atwww.togetherweserved.com at no charge)
PLEASE DESCRIBE WHO OR WHAT INFLUENCED YOUR DECISION TO JOIN THE COAST GUARD?

I originally was trying to enlist in the Air Force. However, I knew that my draft was getting rather close and saw the sign for US Coast Guard Recruiting in the hall. I sat down and talked with the OIC of the office and was enlisted two weeks later.

The recruiter told me that I would not have to take a bus to Alameda for boot camp. He had sailed near the Cutter Eagle and never had a chance to go aboard. He said the ship was coming into San Francisco on my enlistment day and he was going to drive me down. When we arrived the ship was just coming into the bay. We watched as she moored and he knew a couple of Chiefs on board. We got invited to the Chiefs Mess for lunch. Damn, I thought, this outfit was great. Steak and baked potatoes and all the fixin’s and to boot, being served by the Cadets. And finally being called Sir. Had a great tour of the ship.

That afternoon, the Master Chief drove me to Alameda to get checked in. He told the JOOD to make sure and take care of me. I was being escorted to the forming barracks by a 2nd Class Petty Officer (can’t remember his rating), and as we were walking, just chatting along. Then all of a sudden, the PO grabbed me by my collar and told me very bluntly, “From now on the word SIR will be the first and last word, do I make myself understood.” I replied, “SIR YES SIR!!”

WHETHER YOU WERE IN THE SERVICE FOR SEVERAL YEARS OR AS A CAREER, PLEASE DESCRIBE THE DIRECTION OR PATH YOU TOOK. WHAT WAS YOUR REASON FOR LEAVING?

After I had been to Vietnam in 1968, I decided to stay for a career. Since I had done a lot of mechanical work prior to my graduation from HS, I had made up my mind that I was going to be an Engineman (EN).

While assigned to HQ I was promoted to MKC, Sep 1974. Then due to my assignment in Washington DC and had some good references, I decided to attempt to go into the Warrant Officer group. I was lucky and made CWO2(ENG) within 12 years.

I tried to get assigned to a ship and had orders to a 378 in Hawaii. The District Commander did not like a boot Warrant without any sea duty (or as little as I had) to be assigned to a cutter in his district. I finally ended up at Group Shinnecock, NY as GRUEO. Got reassigned to HQ in Jun 1981 and finally ended up as a GRUEO in Mayport FL.

I retired in Sep 1989.

IF YOU PARTICIPATED IN COMBAT, PEACEKEEPING OR HUMANITARIAN OPERATIONS, PLEASE DESCRIBE THOSE WHICH WERE THE MOST SIGNIFICANT TO YOU AND, IF LIFE-CHANGING, IN WHAT WAY.

As stated previously I was stationed on board the USCGC Point Grace (WPB82323) Mar 18, 1968. I remained aboard for my entire tour and the Division Commander approved an early rotation stateside Feb 18, 1969.

We were in combat an average of at least once a month and participated in the largest Naval action on a direct target when the CGC Bibb (WHEC31), CGC Point Cypress (WPB82327), 8 Navy PCF’s, 4 Navy LCVP’s, the USS Washoe County (LSMR1165) and all the SEALs in Vietnam attacked Viet Cong and North Vietnamese Army entrenchments along both side of the Song Bo De in IV Corps Area. This river had a reputation for not allowing friendly vessels to infiltrate without causing serious casualties. The river banks were covered with steel reinforced bunkers built by the Japanese during WWII. The SEALs duty was to infiltrate and destroy the bunkers and remove as many of the enemy as possible. What they couldn’t blow-up, they booby-trapped. The area was decimated to a point that no further damages were encountered subsequent to this action.

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