Today in Coast Guard History – January 30th

  • 1861 – Secretary John A. Dix of Treasury ordered Lt. Caldwell “to arrest Capt. Breshwood (Confederate sympathizer) assume command of cutter (McClelland) and if anyone attempts to haul down the flag, shoot him on the spot.” [emphasis added] The message was not delivered by the telegraph office. Breshwood turned McClelland over to the State of Louisiana. She ended up in Confederate service.
  • 1942 – The capsized hulk of the CGC Alexander Hamilton was sunk by the US Navy after she was torpedoed off the coast of Iceland by the U-132 the previous day. She was the first cutter sunk by enemy action during World War II. 26 of her crew perished.
  • 1942 – USS Wakefield, the former passenger liner SS Manhattan converted to a troop transport and manned by a Coast Guard crew, transported British troops to Singapore. Having disembarked all the troops, she was bombed by Japanese aircraft while still in port. Five of her Coast Guard crew were killed, the first Coast Guard casualties of World War II. After quick temporary repairs, she evacuated 500 women and children to Bombay before the port fell to the Japanese.
  • 1982 – Coast Guard 8th District units responded to the flooding of the Calcasieu River near Lake Charles, Louisiana. Up river Coast Guard boats searched daily for stranded people and domestic animals. Downriver COTP Port Arthur and Marine Safety Detachment Lake Charles wrestled with the problem of strong currents and four run-away barges that destroyed one bridge and threatened two others.

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