Coast Guard Hero Passes Away

Marvin J. Perrett New Orleans – Coast Guard Sector New Orleans announced today the death of World War II Coast Guard Veteran Marvin J. Perrett. Mr. Perrett was found deceased in his residence at Metairie, Louisiana on yesterday. He was 91.

Mr. Perrett was born September 17, 1925 in New Orleans, where he attended Warren Easton High School. The day after his 18th birthday, September 18, 1943 he was sworn into the Coast Guard. He attended a rigorous six week boot camp at the Ponce de Leon Hotel is St. Augustine Florida and upon graduation was transferred to the Amphibious Training Base at Camp Lejune, North Carolina.

At Camp Lajune he was trained by Coast Guard and Marine Corps personnel to become a coxswain for Landing Craft, Vehicle, Personnel (LCVP). After completing training he attended Landing Barge School in Little Creek, Virginia where he learned to operate the Higgins Landing Craft.

After completing Landing Barge School, Mr. Perrett was assigned to the Coast Guard Manned Attack Transport USS Bayfield where he served as a coxswain of the of the Bayfield’s landing craft. During the invasion of Normandy, Mr. Perrett conducted two invasions of Utah Beach. Despite heavy gunfire from German Shore Batteries, he safely transported 36 soldiers in the first landing and Major General R. O. Barton, Commanding General of the 4th Infantry Division on the second landing.

Mr. Perrett also served as a coxswain during the invasion of Southern France.

Shortly after his European Campaign, Mr. Perrett continued his assignment on the USS Bayfield and participated in the invasion of Iwo Jima. During this invasion Mr. Perrett transported U.S. Marines to the beaches of Iwo Jima, but lost his boat during the first landing due to water over the stern. Stranded on the shores of the island, he was able to avoid gunfire from Japanese troops and obtain transportation back to the Bayfield.

Mr. Perrett also served as part of a diversionary tactical offense during the invasion of Okinawa.

Last week, Mr. Perrett hosted a week long Coast Guard symposium with hundreds of Sector New Orleans personnel, which included a Coast Guard history display, including several tours and trips onboard a Higgins type LCPV across Lake Pontchartrain and a 39ft RHIB from Textron Marine and Land Systems.

NEW ORLEANS - Marvin J. Perrett, a WWII Coast Guard veteran, pilots his Higgins type landing craft on lake Pontchartrain here, May 2, 2007.
Marvin J. Perrett pilots his Higgins type landing craft on lake Pontchartrain May 2, 2007.

The efforts of Mr. Perrett were little known, and the men who transported and landed troops on enemy beaches have been overlooked by historians, writers and film producers; however, without individuals such as Mr. Perrett, these invasions would not have been successful.

Bravo Zulu Boats.

Visit the Coast Guard Historians office for an Oral History of Mr. Perrett.

Thanks to Brown Hound for the tip.

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  1. james brooke says:

    My son, then 15 years old, and I met Mr. Perrett at Guam in 2005 — he was there for the 60th — an inspiring man for both of us!
    Jim Brooke

  2. Lorraine Carey. says:

    My father, JOhn Kolmacic was aboard from 42-46. I have heard exciting stories as he still can recount these with such passion! I have heard them talk about Marvin and his wonderful speeches he gave during many of the reunions.
    My father is still alive and doing well in Arizona with my mom.
    I live in Irvine, Ca.

  3. Christine Herbert Hartley says:

    I was doing some research about the USS Bayfield, where my father Jack Herbert also served as a radio operator. He too rode in on these landing craft devises relaying messages back to the mother hen as the ships were referred to. These men truly were members of the greatest generation. My dad passed away this past January. I am just reliving the stories he told thru various websites. Wow is all I can say.

  4. Julia Sansocie says:

    I am a coastie that was at small boat station New Orleans, la. Mr. Perrett was a wonderful man! He gave myself and a few others a ride and a chance to drive the Higgins boat. Its a moment in my life I will never forget. “Fair Winds and Following Seas”