By John Davis



Murphy taught us if there is a way to do something wrong or screw something up there are fools who will find that way… Here it is – It was tough on all concerned – Here it is -- Believe It Or Not!


In December of 1964, just a few days after I reported aboard the Columbine, WAGL-208, at Yerba Buena Island, San Francisco as a YN3, the ship made a short jog across the bay to the Coast Guard Lighthouse on Angel Island, and used the ship’s boom to hoist aboard two pickup trucks and set them on the buoy deck.  Both trucks had their front ends slightly re-arranged.


At that time, Angel Island was pretty much unoccupied.  It had been a WWII hospital and camp for prisoners of war, and the island had about 20 miles of roads all over it.  The California State Parks system was in the process of building a state park on the island, but it was not yet open to the public. There were some State Parks employees living on the island, as well as a handful of Coasties at the Lighthouse.  There were only two vehicles on the island.  Right.  The two pickup trucks that we were hauling to San Francisco so they could both go to a body shop.  Only two vehicles on the island, and 20 miles of roads, and, you guessed it -- they had a head-on collision!


Return to Coast Guard Stories