Most of the time, when we think about the United States Coast Guard, we have images of things like their rescues of floundering pleasure craft or fishing boats at sea, or safety patrols on our coasts, rivers, and lakes, etc., but the United States Coast Guard has a long and distinguished legacy of frontline service in wartime as well. This video will give you a brief but important look at the distinguished, courageous, and important service from WWII to the present.
This video covers the USCG in the Pacific during WWII, but we must also remember that the USCG was engaged in the European Theater as well. They were at the landings at Normandy and Anzio, as well as many other locations in the war against the Nazis in Europe.
As for this video, you will see that the USCG was an integral, instrumental, and valuable participant in all of the landings in the island-hopping campaigns of the Allies in the Pacific. For example, they landed soldiers and Marines at Tulagi in the Solomons. On that occasion, four Coast Guardsmen were awarded Silver Stars for their heroic and meritorious actions in that landing campaign.
At Guadalcanal, Coast Guardsman Douglas Monroe was the first and only U.S. Coast Guardsman to be awarded the Medal of Honor for his heroic actions in helping to rescue Marines who were trapped by superior Japanese forces during one part of the battle to take Guadalcanal. I have written about him in the past for this site. It is one heck of a story.
In the landings at Saipan, because of the shallowness of the waters, it was Coast Guard landing craft and guardsmen, who had experience in such shallow waters, who brought the first waves of Marines to the landing beaches. On the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Saipan, both the Coast Guard and the Marines were honored for their parts in that liberation.
Fast forward to the present moment, and you will find that the USCG is on the frontlines in the Indo-Pacific region today, performing duties helping out where the U.S. Navy cannot, providing security and the protection of sovereignty rights that in recent times are being threatened by Chinese attempts to take control of and to set up military bases on various small shoals and island groups that belong to other nations in the area.
All of this is to say that the United States Coast Guard is more than you may have previously thought it to be. It is one of the most diverse services in our Armed Forces. It is a true partner with the United States Navy and Marine Corps in their mutual efforts to maintain peace around the world.
You go, Coasties! Semper Paratus!Whizzco