Today in Coast Guard History – March 9th

  • 1944- The Coast Guard-manned destroyer escort USS Leopold (DE-319) was torpedoed off Iceland by the U-255. The attack was one of the first times the Germans used their newly developed acoustic torpedo successfully. All 13 officers and 148 (out of 186) enlisted men on board were lost. The 28 survivors were rescued by the USS Joyce (DE-317), another Coast Guard-manned destroyer escort.
  • 1946- The Coast Guard-manned LST-767 was damaged in a hurricane near Okinawa. She was later declared a total loss and was decommissioned.
  • 1966- CGC Point White, on duty with Coast Guard Squadron One, Division 13, in Vietnam, captured a Vietcong junk after a running firefight. Point White was in Vietnam only a month when she started conducting patrols on a VC-controlled area of the Soi Rap River. Point White used a plan of steaming out of the patrol area and covertly returning. On 9 March she spotted a junk crossing the river and attempted to stop it. The junk opened fire with small arms, including automatic weapons. Point White returned the fire and rammed the junk, throwing the occupants into the water. The cutter’s commanding officer, LTJG Eugene J. Hickey, rescued a survivor who turned out to be a key VC leader of the Rung Sat Secret Zone. During March, three WPBs of Division 13 killed twenty-seven VC in action, captured seven more, and confiscated considerable contraband.
  • 1996- The first “all-Coast Guard” Ceremonial Honor Guard carried out a wreath laying at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery.
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