From the Bridge Wing 10-14-2013

Bridge Wing

This Day in Coast Guard History:

1801 – Secretary of the Treasury Albert Gallatin announced his decision to reduce the “Revenue Cutter Establishment. . .as near as circumstances will permit within its original limits” after the Quasi-War with France.  During that conflict the service had acquired larger cutters with more numerous crews.

1943 –  Coast Guard Cutter E.M. Dow grounded and was abandoned near Mayaguez, Puerto Rico. All hands were saved.

1944 – Coast Guard Cutter Eastwind and Coast Guard Cutter Southwind captured the Nazi weather and supply vessel Externsteine off the coast of Greenland after a brief fire-fight.  There were no casualties.  The Coast Guardsmen christened their prize-of-war USS Eastbreeze and placed a prize crew on board.  The prize crew was commanded by LT Curtiss Howard and consisted of 36 men, including some from Southwind.  After sailing with the Greenland Patrol for three weeks, Eastbreeze sailed on to Boston where the Navy renamed it as USS Callao. The Externsteine/Eastbreeze/Callao was the only enemy surface vessel captured at sea by U.S. naval forces during the war.  Eastwind and Southwind had gone farther north and returned under their own power than any vessel ever before.

1947 – Coast Guard Cutter Bibb rescued all 62 passengers and seven crew members of the transatlantic flying boat Bermuda Sky Queen in the mid-Atlantic after the flying boat made an emergency landing near the cutter.  The rescue was of the most dramatic rescues ever undertaken by the Coast Guard on the open ocean.

1961 – After an Air Force B-52G with eight persons on board was reported overdue and possibly down in the Atlantic Ocean somewhere off Newfoundland, the Coast Guard commander, Eastern Area, coordinated the extensive search that resulted.  Participating in it were 79 U.S. Coast Guard, Navy, Air Force, and Canadian aircraft, five U.S. Coast Guard cutters, and two merchant ships.  Despite this search that lasted through 18 October and covered 286,225 square miles, no trace of the missing B-52 or its crew was found.

Elsewhere

Spending squeeze threatens Coast Guard fleet modernization – Federal Times

More than a decade after awarding the first contract to modernize its aging fleet, the U.S. Coast Guard is making headway…

But tension is building as the service struggles to mesh the most ambitious shipbuilding plan in its history with tightening budgets. Two years ago, the Government Accountability Office called the modernization plan “unachievable” and urged the service to retrench.

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