Today in Coast Guard History – February 20th

  • 1845- President Tyler vetoed a bill providing that no cutter be built nor purchased unless an appropriation was first made by law, on grounds that sanctity of contract of those already contracted for should not be overridden by Congress. Congress overrode his veto on 3 March 1845.
  • 1964- The CGC Coos Bay rescued 11 of the crew of the foundering British freighter Ambassador in heavy seas, 1,000 miles east of Boston. Canadian Coast Guard aircraft from Air Station Argentia, Newfoundland, were first on the scene after the freighter issued an SOS on 18 February. The Coos Bay, on Ocean Station patrol 350 miles distant, steamed to the area and arrived there 24 hours later. In concert with the Norwegian freighter Fruen, they managed to get lines aboard the wallowing Ambassador in what was called one of the most dramatic rescues of the year. Demonstrating outstanding seamanship during the rescue, the cutter’s commanding officer, Commander Claude W. Bailey, was awarded the Legion of Merit. Many of his crew had volunteered to enter the frigid water to assist in the rescue as well. Two were awarded the Coast Guard Medal while seven others received the Coast Guard Commendation Medal.
  • 1967-The 378-foot high endurance cutter Hamilton, first in her class, was commissioned. This was the first class of major vessels in the U.S. government’s inventory that were powered by jet turbines.
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