The Internet Edition of

The Old Salt's Journal

Volume I - No. 2 Spring 1998

The Coast Guard Sea Veterans of America Quarterly Newsletter

OUR NEWSLETTER

This is our second issue of our Quarterly National Newsletter which we call the "The Old Salts Journal." It is published sometime during each of the four seasons of the year.

Disclaimer: Opinions expressed herein are those of the editor, columnists, or contributors and are not necessarily those of the U.S. Coast Guard or the Coast Guard Sea Veterans of America.


INSIDE: Reminisce With The Old Salts about the World War II Patrol Frigates (PF), Relive the era of the Horse Patrol in Verse, and Answer the Real Posers.

FROM THE FORWARD LOOKOUT

For Retirees: The new Department of Defense Dental Plan has been mailed to all retirees. This looks pretty good.

This will be the big year for the push to make over 65, Medicare eligible retirees eligible for the Government sponsored Federal Health Benefits Plan (FEHBP-65). Contact your senators and representatives requesting they support it.

COMMUNICATIONS CENTER

Old Salt's who have access to the Internet are encouraged to sign on at Fred's Place, THE site that contains names and addresses of more than 12,000 Coasties of all stripes. The email address is www.fredsplace.org You will also find an area aptly named The Reunion Hall which provides a place for each current and former cutter, station, etc. to be signed on to by former crewmen. Look into each unit you were ever on and maybe you will find an old shipmate or two.

The Home Page address of the Coast Guard SeaVets is www.sos.net/~kenlong/cgsva.html

National President, Larry Stefanovich at lasushl@webtv.net

National Secretary, Ken Long at kenlong@sos.net

News Letter Editor, Jack Eckert at jeckert@execpc.com

If you have an email address please contact either Mr. Long or Mr. Eckert so that you can be listed for easy contact.

 

A LETTER FROM OUR PRESIDENT

Winter 1988

Hello Fellow "GUARDIANS OF THE TRADITION":

Just a word or so about the present status of the CG SEA VETERANS.

We need our members to "re-up" and sign up new members if we are to remain afloat. We are a NON-profit organization and the only funds we have to run the CG Sea Vets comes from the annual dues and a small amount from the sale of caps and jackets. Nobody is paid for any of the work they do. Everybody's time is donated. Many of our Officers and members absorb the costs of long distance telephone calls, postage, email, printing and so forth because our small treasury will not support much more than mailings and some minor administrative costs. So those in arrears please pay your dues and again help us to bring new members into the fold.

Let's hear from you! Now how about a big THANK YOU to Jack Eckert for getting this newsletter started. Please drop him a line with some good input for printing in upcoming Quarterly OSJ's. I'm sure he will appreciate some good clean WAR STORIES, SEA STORIES, and SAND TALES. We would also like some of your opinions and suggestions sent in as "Letters to The Editor."

We would like to plan the East Coast Sea Veterans reunion this year in Milwaukee or somewhere in Northern Illinois. Please let me know personally of your thoughts and ideas on this reunion: Do you have a better place in mind? When should it be held? Will you help to get the reunion going? Reunions need a lot of advanced planning to make them work and be enjoyable for everybody. Write me, call me, or email me. Nothing is cast in stone today.

Semper Paratus and Help Guard the Traditions.

YOUR president,

Larry Stefanovich

FROM THE CHAPLAIN

A FINAL PRAYER FOR A COAST GUARDSMAN

To all here gathered, in person and in spirit:

As our shipmate sets sail and crosses over the bar on the final voyage into the Domain of the Ruler of All Seas.

We remember today and unto the future as a valued member of the Coast Guard Family.

Served family, friends, nation, and shipmates well in the time honored tradition of Semper Paratus

We wish fair winds and following seas on this final voyage.

We ask YOU, LORD OF ALL SEAS, bless our Shipmate with your comradeship for all eternity.

Amen

James F. Crissy

 

FROM THE GALLEY

Will some old "Belly Robber" please contribute a good recipe for Navy Bean Soup. In another vein, does anybody remember the Master Menu and wish to make comments on it for a future issue?

MESS DECK SCUTTLEBUTT

If you have something of interest to post submit it to the editor.

SAILING ORDERS AND RENDEZVOUS

We're looking for recommendations for possible reunions or get-together sites and dates. We're thinking of a Western location and an Eastern location Any ideas or offers to help host one of these potential soirees. Contact Mr. Ken Long, National Secretary for the Western Reunion or Mr. Larry Stefanovich, President for the Eastern Reunion.

USCG 255' Sailors Reunion

The first USCG 255 Sailors Reunion will be held at Jackie Gaughan's Plaza Hotel/Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, from Sunday, 27 September 1998, thru Wednesday, 30 September 1998.

For further information contact (before July 7,1998):

Doak Walker

255 Reunion Committee

P. O. Box 33523

Juneau, Alaska 99803

Phone: (907) 789-2579 FAX (907)789-2780

or e-mail to saad@ptialaska.net

USCGC CAMPBELL (W-32 and W-909) Reunion

The Thirteenth Annual Reunion of the USCGC Campbell Association will be held at Best Western Hotel & Conference Center in Baltimore, Maryland from 17 thru 21 May, 1998. All hands who served on her during the 45 years she served her country as well as those on the new USCGC Campbell (W-909) are invited to attend.

For further information contact:
David A. Blum, President
USCGC CAMPBELL ASSOCIATION
8341 Sands Point Blvd.
Tamarac, Florida 33321
(954) 722-8161

USCGC CASCO (WAVP-370) Reunion
The Third Reunion of the CGC Casco will be held at Coast Guard Base Boston between 11 and 13 September, 1998.
For further information contact:
Bill Matson
51 Whipple Road
Billerica, Massachusetts 01821:

SEA STORIES

PATROL FRIGATES

USS HURON (PF-19) - A Sister Ship to the USS HOQUIAM (PF-5)

 

The Patrol Frigate (PF) is not much more than a footnote in Coast Guard history. They were built for convoy escort duty and there were a lot of them, 75 built for the Navy and 2 older ones on loan from Great Britain. They were not Coast Guard Cutters in the true sense of the meaning but U.S. Navy ships manned by Coast Guard crews. They were not built to Navy General Specifications. Similar in size and armament to a Destroyer Escort (DE). Main Propulsion was by triple expansion steam engines. There were a lot of alignment troubles during sea trials and shake downs which caused some delay in putting them into service. Towards the end of their brief life some were used on Pacific Weather Patrol Stations. So that they could be identified as such the superstructures were painted yellow. After WWII the need for convoys and most of the Pacific Weather Stations no longer existed and they were decommissioned. Twenty Five of them were given to Russia under a lend lease program. None sailed under a U.S. Flag for more than a couple of years. One of our members served on the PF-5 in Alaska and is sharing some of his experiences with us. Here it is in his own words. - Editor

Westbrook, Connecticut

1944 aboard the USS HOQUIAM (PF-5):

"We left Seattle for sea and assignment at sea several hundred miles out. The old man came on the P.A. and told us where we were heading, Base of Operations, Adak, Alaska!

We made patrols in the Bering Sea and the North Pacific Ocean. We would lay into Kodiak Island to pick up a convoy coming from good old USA and take them wherever. Every six weeks we would pull a week on the circle run, several times in the Bering Sea and North Pacific Ocean we would run into what the Aleut's called a "Willawaw" equal to a typhoon. Oh boy wasn't that fun!

I remember being on the wheel as a helmsman one time when we were hooked in a Willawaw. I felt like Popeye, my feet were in the air more than on the deck. The Chief Quartermaster was in the Wheelhouse logging the event, he logged a 43 degree roll. The OD, "Salty Sam," was on the flying bridge. He "poof poofed" down the tube; "Helmsman, what is your heading?" I gave him the heading, he screamed, "get back on course." I kinda laughed to myself and thought if he could keep this ship afloat we'll all be lucky.

My buddy, Harold Corley who lived in Conyers, Georgia (died two years ago) we would stop on our way to Florida and visit. One time when visiting, he and I were reminiscing, I asked if he remembered one of the Willawaw's we were in, I was on the wheel and the Chief Quartermaster logged a 65 foot swell with a 7 foot cap, a monster white beard? He said that wasn't the biggest, don't you remember the 100 footers we were in? I said "come on Corley, there is only the two of us, you don't have to stretch it." He said don't you remember when it tore the steam kettles out of the deck and all we had to eat was sandwiches and coffee until we got in and the stanchions in the sleeping compartments tore loose from the deck? I had forgot, he was right!

Our motto was "you'll never survive on the PF5." Here I am writing to you. She was a sturdy ship, you could count every rib in her from the pounding she took 1/4 inch skin and if she took water down the stack it never put the fires out. The black gang probably had something to do with that.

There were bets taken every storm as to when the motor whaleboat and the smoke generators would tear loose and float away. The whaleboat would hit the props and wind up in pieces. Oh well, all in a day's work!!!" - CES

Editors Note - According to an authoritative source, the Hoquiam was the second ship manned by the Coast Guard that had an integrated crew. This was not a common practice at the time in any military service but it proved in practice to be successful

ON FRED'S PLACE:

01/17/98 Submitted by: Jack Eckert

In rummaging around the internet and in some WWI books I have seen references to the PF class ship. They carried USN hull designations but were manned by Coast Guard crews. They were either given away to Russia or otherwise disposed of after WWII. Anybody been on one or have any yarns to spin about 'em? Please contact me by email.

TO: Jack Eckert

FROM: Bill Whitehouse

Subject: re: Looking for WWII PF stories

My son found on Fred's Place your request for WWII stories as indicated below

"I was on the USS Pasco, a PF class ship in Alaskan waters during WWII. I don't remember the number (PF-6) - ed. She, along with the rest of the flotilla, were given to the Russians just before VJ Day in Cold Bay, Alaska. The only thing I can remember that might be of interest is in preparation for turning this ship over to the Russians, we had Russian engine room personnel on board. Because they stunk, we ran them through the laundry and the showers three days running.

On the fourth day in the passageway, I was loading up my pipe. One of the Russians stopped me and reached into a barrel and handed me a handful of his tobacco. The men carried their tobacco loose in their pants pockets and that was the stink we smelled. I went up to the ward room to see Mr. Hale, the Executive Officer, and had him take a whiff. That solved the mystery of the odor and we stopped being concerned about it. Whenever these Russians were asked their age they always said they were either 18 or 35, regardless of what their real age might have been. Actually, they were a great group of men.

I don't know if this is the type of information you are looking for.

Bill Whitehouse

Ed - It certainly is Bill. We appreciate your submission

From: ECarpen931@aol.com

Subject: Patrol Frigates (PF)

with interest on Freds Place your interest in the Frigates. I served as a Fire Controlman and Rangefinder Operator on the USS FORSYTH PF-102. Was on the ship from "ferry crew" on. Shakedown to Guantanamo, Cuba. Worked out of Argentia, Nfld on Anti-sub Weather Patrol.

Prior to WWII end a Prize German Submarine U-234 surrendered to us. Account listed in "THE GLOSSARY OF AMERICAN FIGHTING SHIPS." Was very proud of my Service aboard ship and in the USCG.

SEMPER PARATUS

From: ECarpen931@aol.com

Subject: More about PF-102

Greetings, Jack:

Thanks for your response so quickly. As to "sea stories" aboard the Forsyth. Since we were a 75% "green" crew and serving in the North Atlantic everything was a continual surprise. I belong to the "Coast Guard Combat Veterans Association." In the Spring issue of "The Quarterdeck Log" (CGCVA Publication) on page 10&11 it gives an account of the Forsyth's participation in the surrender of U-234. If you don't have access to this publication I will brief you on some of the particulars. The German submarine was carrying High Ranking Officers of the German Air Force, Battle plans and Aerial Maps of strategic targets in the USA. The sub was on its way to Japan. Two Japanese officials committed suicide when they we told the sub was going to surrender. It was the sub's intention to sail beneath a ship going through the Panama Canal. A Navy DE the USS Sutton participated with the Forsyth and one of the armed guards from the Sutton was accidentally shot when the Germans were being disarmed. He was shot with a German Mauser pistol. The German Doctor from aboard the sub examined the sailor and found he was in critical condition and due to the limited facilities aboard the sub and it being a 2 doctor job summoned the Forsyth's doctor. The USPHS Surgeon aboard the Forsyth examined the wounded sailor and confirmed the sub's doctor's findings. The wounded sailor along with the German doctor came aboard the Forsyth and the operation was performed. The wounded sailor was taken into Argentia in two days. He died a week later of internal bleeding. The German doctor "Hans Wagner" was not a Nazi, but a drafted professional from Austria.

My year aboard the Forsyth was quite an experience. After "Boot" Camp and COTP training I spent a year on "Mounted Beach Patrol" at Vero Beach, Florida, then 4 months at Tampa on Port Security Detail, then 17 weeks at Fire Control School then the Forsyth. That highlighted my 35 months with the USCG before Discharge. I am a retired Printer and a WEST VIRGINIAN.

Sure good to chat with you. Any further questions I would be happy to answer if I can.

THE HULL NUMBERS OF THE PATROL FRIGATES\

1 Asheville
2 Natchez
3 Tacoma
4 Sausalito
5 Hoquiam
6 Pasco
7 Albuquerque
8 Everett
9 Pocatello
10 Brownsville
11 Grand Forks
12 Casper
13 Pueblo
14 Grand Island
15 Annapolis
16 Bangor
17 Key West
18 Alexandria
19 Huron
20 Gulfport
21 Bayonne
21 Grand Rapids
22 Gloucester
22 Groton
23 Shreveport
24 Muskegon
25 Charlottesville
26 Poughkeepsie
27 Newport
28 Emporia
30 Hingham
32 Woonsocket
33 Dearborn
34 Long Beach
35 Belfast
36 Glendale
37 San Pedro
38 Coronado
39 Ogden
40 Eugene
41 El Paso
42 Van Buren
44 Corpus Christi
45 Hutchinson
46 Bisbee
47 Gallup
48 Rockford
49 Muskogee
50 Carson City
51 Burlington
52 Allentown
53 Machias
54 Sandusky
55 Bath
56 Covington
57 Sheboygan
58 Abilene
59 Beaufort
60 Charlotte
61 Manitowoc
62 Gladwyne
63 Moberley
64 Knoxville
65 Uniontown
66 Reading
67 Peoria
68 Brunswick
69 Davenport
70 Evansville
71 New Bedford
93 Lorain
94 Milledgeville
99 Orlando
100 Racine
101 Greensboro
102 Forsythe
PF's 72-92 
Transferred to 
Great Britain
PF's 95-98 Canceled

THE PATROL FRIGATE "PF"

In mid 1943, the first 303-foot, Tacoma class patrol frigate, or PF, joined the fleet. All but two of them were manned by Coast Guard crews. The PF's replaced many PC's as convoy escorts. The USS Tacoma was PF-3. They were not classified as Coast Guard Cutters but instead sailed under Navy Commission Pennants. They were named after small cities.

Following the end of the war, most of the patrol vessel fleet having outlived it's usefulness was either sold to Allied countries, mothballed or sold for scrap. By late 1970 all patrol vessels were stricken from the Naval Register. - From Official U.S. Navy Sources

Ten of the ships were temporarily commissioned as Coast Guard Cutters for a three to four month period in 1946 to man several Pacific Ocean weather stations during the period when troop transports were returning soldiers to the United States from the Asian theater. They sent out weather reports and were available for SAR When the need no longer existed they were decommissioned and returned to the Navy for disposition, - From U.S. Coast Guard Cutters and Craft from 1946-1990

The 1945 "Jane's" lists the "PF's" as the Ashville Class Patrol Frigates and says 77 were put into service. Twenty more (No's 72-92) were transferred to the Royal Navy under a lend lease scheme. PF-1 and PF-2, the Asheville and Natchez were originally built by the Canadian Vickers Ltd. and were of the British so-called "River Class Frigate" design and were manned by Navy Crews. Displacement: 1100 Tons. Complement 180 men. Dimensions: 304' (o.a.) x 37-1/2' x 12'. Guns: 3 - 3"50 cal, d.p., 1- - 20mm. AA, 4 D.C.T. Machinery: Triple Expansion. Two Shafts. H.P. : 5,500 = 18 kts. Contracts for three more of the class were canceled because of the war's end.

- From Jane's Naval Ships - 1945 Edition.

SAND TALES

Jack Denton, jr. submitted this poem which he has kept from the 1940's. The author is unknown. Maybe this will kindle memories for some and to others put in perspective what the Coast Guard was like to a wartime recruit.


THE BEACH PATROL BLUES
Listen civilians and you shall hear,
A tale that may sound rather queer.
'Twas the Second of June in '42,
That I raised my hand and said, "I Do,"
And the gold braid smiled and said, "That vow,
Means you are in the Coast Guard now."
He told us we would sail the shore,
Of seven seas and maybe more,
And that our duty was to keep,
Stern vigil on the briny deep.
He said we'd stand on stormy decks,
And search the sea for helpless wrecks.
That we would dress in Navy blue,
And join up with a good ships crew,
And to learn to face the ocean gale.
And heave a buoy across the rail.
He promised we would enjoy the
Gay life of a sailor boy.
Thus he did speak and sounded great,
But ah, the fickle hand of fate;
You'll find his audience today,
On horse patrol on Half Moon Bay.
They locked us up in quarantine,
And such a time you have never seen.
And the a fellow with a "crow,"
Told us things we had to know.
They showed us how to heave a lead,
But not a single thing was said,
To teach us how to hold a course,
Along a beach aboard a horse.
They taught us how to row a boat,
And why they sink and why they float.
But what is all this knowledge worth,
If you can't cinch a saddle girth?
We learned to tie a becket bend,
And which hand grips the bitter end.
But now I don't care which is which,
When I can't tie a halter hitch.
And how my horse stood a laughed,
When I first soogied down his aft.
I learned to talk with signal flags,
But just try them on these old nags.
By Bluejacket's Manual don't exactly say,
Just how to break a bale of hay;
And often I wished I knew,
How to reverse my horse's screw.
I used to think by now I'd be,
A salty sailor on the sea.
Our only salt I must assert,
Is what my horse eats for dessert.
Oh, I remember very well,
My maiden voyage on "Old Nell."
I climbed aboard; she her neck,
And I slid off her after deck.
The cutter's sail away to war,
And leave us "Sand Peeps" on the shore.
If Japs we should perceive,
We call the Army, then we leave.
But if we spot a saboteur,
We hide and watch until we're sure.
And then we mount our horse and run,
To get some bullets for our gun.
And once a week we dress in blues,
And shake the sand out of our shoes.
And then off to town, Ah that's the life,
To step out with some sailor's wife.
The ships sail on, but here we stand,
Among the seaweed on the sand.
And when at last the war is won,
And the people ask how it was done,
The whole wide world at last shall learn,
About the blisters on our stern.
So saddle up and mount your horse,
And steer him on his dandy course.
You're making history today,
On horse patrol at Half Moon Bay.

FROM THE FORECASTLE

The name of the cutter shown in the first issue was the USCGC DEXTER (WAVP-385) Sorry about the poor reproduction - ed -

Here are a few posers for all you Old Salts:

What was the name of the largest ship ever manned by a Coast Guard crew?

Which Light Ship was painted black with white letters?

Which two Coast Guard Cutters made the first Ocean Weather Station Patrols?

.What was the name of the 180' Buoy Tender that never saw a day of Coast Guard service?

In a standard beach cart drill who fires the Lyle gun?

Which USCG Vessel started out life as the "Horst Vessel?"

THE SLOP CHEST

The Coast Guard SeaVets has a number of items for sale. Call (360) 856-2171 to place your order

Garrison Cap for the SV Pin - $7.50

Ball Cap C.G.S.V.- $11.00

S.V. Pin - $5.00

S.V Patches - $5.00

S.V Jackets are SOLD OUT

REQUEST AND REPORT MAST

Members are requested to submit information and timely articles to the editor for inclusion in future issues of The Old Salt's Journal. Letters to the Editor are also invited and will be included in this department.

To The Editor:

Are you losing your grip Eckert? Talk sailor talk, not poetry!

A Friend

Editors Comment : My Friend, Didn't you ever hear of sea shanty's?

***

To The Editor:

Thought you might like this poem. I don't remember which organization had it in their news letter. All I kept was this poem.

Are there any crewmen from the CGC Matagorda (WAVP-373) or the Cook Inlet (WAVP-384) in the Sea Vet's?

Thank You.

Herbert J. Mercer

Kansas City, Mo.

Editors Comment: For sure. The Editor was stationed on the "Cookie Cutter" 1966-68. If other members were on these cutters please let yourselves be known. The poem, "The Cutter" has been around since the fifties. It is possible that the poem was originally written by CWO Floyd Stormer when he was on the CGC Duane but I can't confirm it now. Your submission came from the CGC Bibb Newsletter.

THE CUTTER

When she steams into the harbor
People don't flock around like bees:
For she ain't no grim destroyer,
No dark terror of the seas.
And there ain't a load of romance
To the guy that doesn't know,
In a ship that just saves vessels
When the icy norther's blow.
But the men that sail the ocean
In a wormy, rotten craft,
When the sea ahead is mountains
With a hell-blown gale abaft;
When the main mast cracks and topples,
And she's lurching in the trough,
Them's the guys that greet the "Cutter"
With the smiles that won't come off.
When the old storm signals flyin'
Every vessel seeks a lee,
'Cept the "Cutter," which ups anchor
And goes ploughing out to sea.
When the hurricane's a blowin'
From the banks of old Cape Cod,
Oh the "Cutter" with her searchlight,
Seems the messenger of God.

-Author Unknown-

Hello Jack,

You might want to run this old "Government Issue" writing in one of the future journals. All the guys and gals from WWII will remember it very well.

Dear Rod,

Thanks for the letter and enclosure. I will put it into either the Spring or the Summer "Old Salt's Journal." I am working on both simultaneously.

I am very pleased with the response from the first one. I am surprised as I just threw it together to get it started. It was no great literary tome. I have a lot of material for the Spring edition which will feature quite a bit about the Coast Guard manned Patrol Frigates from WWII. I have been doing a lot of digging into them and have received a lot of info from letters and the internet. There will be some good poetry and an editorial. In the Summer issue I will address the 255' Owasco (Fiasco) class cutters. Maybe a bit about Lightships. Trying to get things in it for all and stir up some interest in the organization. Admittedly I am a Johnny-come-lately to it.

Keep feeding me more to put in it.

Regards,

Jack

GOVERNMENT ISSUE

Sitting on my G.I. bed,
My G.I. hat upon my head,
My G.I. pants, my G.I. shoes,
I wish they'd give us G.I. booze.
G.I. razor and G.I. comb,
G.I. I wish that I was home.
They issue everything you need,
Paper to write on, books to read.
Your belt, your socks, your G.I. tie,
It's for free -- Nothing to buy.
They issue food and make us grow.
G.I'd like a long furlough.
You eat your food from G.I. plates,
Buy all you want at G.I. rates.
It's G.I. Joe and G.I. Mack,
It's G.I. work that breaks your back.
Everything is Government Issue,
G.I. wish that I could kiss you.

-anon-

THE STRAIGHT SKINNY

THE 255" OWASCO CLASS

The Old Salt's Journal intends to feature stories about these ships in the next issue. Members and others are requested to submit letters, and printable stories about these unique ships.

SPECIAL SEA DETAIL

In getting underway or entering port, a ship has a special sea detail. This is composed of experienced men for the different stations that have to be manned. The special sea detail is set about a half-hour before entering getting underway and remain so until the ship clears the harbor; or it may be set sometime before entering port and remain so until the ship is properly docked or anchored. Special sea detail takes precedence over anything else each man is assigned to. Coast Guardsman's Manual - Fourth Edition

RUMBLINGS FROM THE ENGINEROOM

A HISTORY LESSON -THE OLD GUARD(S) AND THE NEW GUARD.

an editorial opinion

Since 1920 there have been five different Coast Guard's. 1924 to 1934 was the era of the Rum War Coast Guard. After the repeal of the Volstead Act a stagnant, demoralized, Coast Guard existed with a small fleet and a large shore establishment. From 1937 until early 1949 there was the prewar, wartime and immediate postwar Coast Guard. From 1949 until 1974 there was the post war "Hot and Cold War" Coast Guard. In 1974 it has become the "Bender Blue" Coast Guard.

The restoration of the demoralized Coast Guard from the 1930's organization began before Pearl Harbor. It went under the Department of the Navy where there was a tremendous build up of men and hardware to fight in World War II. This was the "Citizen Sailor" Coast Guard. Unlike WWI, Coast Guard and Navy crews were not mixed together.

After the war there was trauma when it was returned to the Treasury Department and the service was drawn down in men and materials to prewar strength. Thousands of Citizen Coast Guardsmen went home with their ruptured ducks in their lapels. Those that remained faced another period of stagnation and slow promotions. Many career men who held higher ranks and rates during the war were demoted below what they held before. The "Coast Guard Magazine" of the times contained pages of inquiries from career men asking when they would have their rates restored. The shore establishment was particularly hard hit. Surfmen with an "L" designator wore their old single breasted blues in lieu of sailor suits. Recruits of the time assigned to stations were seldom promoted beyond Seaman.

During 1948 and 1949 fourteen Navy AVP's were commissioned for weather patrol service to join the six 327's, and the three former Navy AGP's. Edsall Class DE's came and went during the Korean conflict, and the venerable 255's were cranked up again. During the fifties and sixties 95 footers and 82 footers by the bushel joined the growing fleet. In the sixties new 210 footers and 378 footers were added. The Navy turned over all ice breaking operations to the Coast Guard along with their ice breakers. The sea going arm expanded and took their wartime readiness role seriously. Sea going rates opened and morale improved. Through the fifties, sixties, and early seventies, and as well as through two "wars" the service gradually expanded and became a small "Navy" that was larger than many Navies of the world. New ships were designed and built. Often ships operated with the Navy but as autonomous Coast Guard units. This was the "Golden Age" Coast Guard. Search and rescue improved, ice breaking operations were in full swing, the promotions picture was bright even though the shore establishment was being drawn down with the automation of the lights, the decommissioning of the light ships, and the closing of many of the lifeboat stations. Late in the period the Department of Transportation took over from the Department of the Treasury which influenced some of the thinking.

In 1974 the uniform was changed from the Navy type(s) with Coast Guard insignia to a new type similar in cut to the Air Force's class "A" uniform but of a deeper blue color with Coast Guard insignia. This either precipated the change or it marked the change. Search and Rescue as the main mission was down graded. Weather patrol died and the need for larger ships diminished. Several older "wartime" ships and 82 footers were left in Viet Nam. The Wind class and Glacier Ice Breakers were decommissioned when the two Polar Class breakers were built. The shore establishment shrank drastically and the Coast Guard took on a law enforcement role similar to that of the 1920's. Personnel began to think of themselves more as cops then as sailors. The gap between the Coast Guard and the Navy widened.

And that is where we are today. This may be why we Coasties of our respective eras feel like aliens when exposed to Coasties of other eras. This may be why the "Bender Blue Coast Guard" makes us uncomfortable. This may be why we think we have trouble maintaining the "Tradition." But that doesn't mean we can't give it our best Shot!

JAE

SEMPER PARATUS and GUARD OUR TRADITIONS

HOME PORTS

Current Coast Guard Sea Veterans of America Stations:

Station Number 1 - Milwaukee, Wisconsin; point of contact: Gordon Kelley - 414-425-1989

Station Number 2 - Chicago, Illinois; point of contact: Jude Domanski - 312-779-1204

Station Number 3 - Hurley, Wisconsin; point of contact: James Geller - 715-561-2801

Station Number 4 - Vicksburg, Mississippi; point of contact: William (Ski) Kucharski (w) 800-522-6937 ext 3512; (h) 601-636-8012

Station Number 5 - Western North Carolina; point of contact: Herb Reith (704) 667-0487 herb-reith@juno.com

Station Number 6 - Lexington South Carolina; point of contact: Rod Jernigan (803) 359-5073

Station Number 7 - NW Washington; point of contact: Donald Van Horn - (206) 857-5420

Station Number 8 - Stanford Kentucky; point of contact: Dr. Ed Booth - (606) 365-2326

Station Number 9 - Northern Illinois; point of contact: Mary Fenoglio - (847) 296-8136

FROM THE SHIPS OFFICE

Officers and Board Members for 1998 of the Coast Guard Sea Veterans of America:

Larry Stefanovich - President

Rod C. Jernigan - Vice President

Ken Long - Secretary

Roger Huff - Board Member

Richard T. McCombs - Board Member

John M. Nelson -Board Member

James F. Crissy - Board Member

Dennis Streng - Historian

FROM THE QUARTERDECK

We hope that you have enjoyed this edition of the "Old Salt's Journal." Your suggestions for improvement and your submission of timely and interesting materials will be greatly appreciated. Look for us again this Summer.

SUBMISSIONS BY JUNE, 1988

c/o Jack A. Eckert, Editor (Interim)
312 W. Washington St.
Port Washington, Wisconsin 53074-1839

Ken Long, National Secretary
8042 Avery Lane
Sedro-Wooley, WA 96284-9363

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