Writer's Guide to Government Information

Resources to inject real life detail into your fiction

Archive for the tag “Coast Guard”

Chronology of the US Coast Guard’s Involvement in the Persian Gulf War: 1990-1991

Chronology of the US Coast Guard’s Involvement in the Persian Gulf War: 1990-1991 – http://www.uscg.mil/history/articles/PersianGulfChron.asp

Representative questions that can be answered with this resource:

  • Why were ships loaded with tea prohibited from reaching Iraq during Operation Desert Shield?
  • What percentage of Iraq bound ship boardings was the Coast Guard responsible for?
  • What was the Coast Guard response to the destruction of oil facilities in Kuwait?

Description:

A short illustrated chronology of Coast Guard activities during Operation Desert Shield and the subsequent Operation Desert Storm. Date annotations range from a sentence to a few paragraphs.

USCG in Vietnam Chronology (Coast Guard)

USCG in Vietnam Chronology (Coast Guard) – http://www.uscg.mil/history/uscghist/USCGVietnamChronology.pdf

Representative questions that can be answered with this resource:

  • When was the US Coast Guard (USCG) first involved in operations in Vietnam?
  • What USCG ships were transfered to the South Vietnamese Navy?
  • When was the largest naval engagement of the war?

Description:

A four page PDF file chronicling milestones of Coast Guard involvement in Vietnam. Document notes creation and disbanding of units, ships lost or transferred and Coast Guard members killed in action.

US Coast Guard Cutter Campbell Cruise Book 1967-1968

US Coast Guard Cutter Campbell Cruise Book 1967-1968 – http://www.uscg.mil/history/WEBCUTTERS/Campbell_VTN_Cruise_Book.pdf

Representative questions that can be answered with this resource:

  • What sort of background might the captain of a 1960s USCG cutter have?
  • What operational sections did a Coast Guard Cutter have during Vietnam?
  • What sort of nicknames did enlisted men get on a cutter?
  • What did Guantanamo Bay look like in the late 1960s?
  • What did replenishment-at-sea look like?
  • What did the “crossing the equator” ceremonies look like?

Description:

From the introduction: “This is a story of a ship, and the men who serve aboard her. A remembrance of one year in the lives of the officers and crew of the US Coast Guard Cutter in Viet Nam.”

The book opens with a brief history of the ship, then has biographies of the captain and executive officer who served on the cutter during the year being documented. The biographies include state of origin, education and previous assignments. This section is followed by photographs of officers with notations of their assignments on the Campbell. Following photographs of the officers come descriptions of the ship’s different departments, including photos of enlisted and sometimes some personal detail about them.

The description of ship’s departments is followed by a large number of photographs broken up into sections, but minimal annotation and virtually no identification.

The sections are (pages refer to PDF file):

  • Departure and Training (p.27)
  • Operation Market Time (p. 30)
  • Replentishment at Sea (p. 37)
  • Gunfire Support (p. 50)
  • Medical Assistance Aboard (p.57)
  • Med Caps Ashore (p. 61)
  • Work Parties Ashore (p. 63)
  • Boardings (p. 67)
  • The Off Hours (p. 72)
  • Harold’s Night: Gambling in the Campbell’s Plush Floating Casino (p. 75)
  • Crossing the Equator (p.78)
  • Cookouts (p. 81)
  • Ships Parties (p. 83)
  • Personnel Inspection (p. 87)
  • Destruction of a Derelict (p.90)
  • Home Stretch (p. 92)

While the book definitely suffers from the lack of an index, table of contents or careful annotations of photos, writers ought to be able to construct a reasonable “life aboard” story from this cruisebook. At 102 pages, this is short enough to be browsable.

Coast Guard Recruiting Handbook, 1942

Coast Guard Recruiting Handbook, 1942 – http://www.uscg.mil/history/docs/1938RecruitingHandbook.pdf

Representative questions that can be answered with this resource:

  • What is the shortest or tallest someone could be and still accepted into the Coast Guard?
  • How many teeth did the Coast Guard require its recruits to have?
  • What the salary for a married apprentice seaman with three children?
  • Where can I find genuine WWII era Coast Guard application?

Description:

A hand illustrated, six page document describing the requirements and benefits of joining the Coast Guard.

Coast Guard Photography Page

Coast Guard Photography Page – http://www.uscg.mil/history/CG_Photo_Index.asp

Representative questions that can be answered with this resource:

  • What did Coast Guard rescue ships look like in World War II?
  • What role did horses play in beach patrols?
  • Where can I find pictures of antisubmarine actions in World War II?

Description:

A set of albums covering a number of eras. The albums related to World War II are:

  • Combat Cutters of World War II
  • Rescue Flotilla One at Normandy
  • Beach Patrol in World War II
  • CGC Spencer versus U-175 on 17 April 1943: The Spencer attacked and sank the German submarine U-175 on 17 April 1943 while escorting a convoy across the North Atlantic to Great Britain. Combat photographers captured the entire action on film, including the dramatic rescue of 41 of the U-boat’s survivors.
  • CGC Argo accepted the surrender of three U-boats: U-234, U805, & U-873 in May, 1945.
  • The Coast Guard at Pearl Harbor
  • D-Day: The Coast Guard at Normandy, 6 June 1944
  • The Coast Guard & the World War II Pacific Campaign

Photos will usually include captions. Some albums will come with an introduction up to a few paragraphs.

Coast Guard Oral Histories (World War II section)

Coast Guard Oral Histories (World War II section) – http://www.uscg.mil/history/oralhistoryindex.asp

Representative questions that can be answered with this resource:

  • What was it like to be a member of the Filipino Resistance under Japanese occupation?
  • What was it like to be on Coast Guard Picket Duty during World War II?
  • How would a Coast Guardsman react to finding Nazi saboteurs on American soil?
  • How were bed-wetters treated on some Coast Guard vessels?

Description:

This page links to histories from a number of eras. Scroll down to World War II to find over four dozen oral histories from the men and women who served in the Coast Guard in a number of different capacities during World War II. Some of the histories are illustrated with photographs and/or drawings.

Search Tip:

To search for an oral history that matches topics that you are interested in, visit your favorite search engine and do a search in the form of:
[your search terms] inurl:history/weboralhistory
If you use [”bed wetters” inurl:history/weboralhistory], you will retrieve the one oral history that deals with this topic. Note that searching will bring up any oral history that matches your terms, not just oral histories from World War II.

The above search on retrieved items from the Coast Guard Oral history site as of December 2013. If results from other sites appear in your search, do the search again and add site:uscg.mil to the end of it.

United States Coast Guard Roll of Honor, April 6, 1917 – – November 30, 1918

United States Coast Guard Roll of Honor, April 6, 1917 – – November 30, 1918 – http://www.uscg.mil/history/docs/USCG_RollofHonor1918.pdf

Representative questions that can be answered with this resource:

  • How many US Coast Guard members died from Pneumonia during World War I?
  • Where can I find an act of personal bravery in Coast Guard service during World War I?
  • Where can I find people with no next of kin who died during World War I?

Description:

From the introduction: ”A list of officers and men who were killed in action or otherwise perished during the war and those decorated during the war — a supplement to the Report of the Secretary of the Navy, 1919.”

This work is subdivided as follows:

  • List of Officers and Men
  • Killed in Combat with the Enemy – Entries list rank, date and place of death along with name and address of next of kin.
  • Died as Result of Accident, Collison, Drowning, etc – Entries list rank, type of death, sometimes with a sentence or two on how. Also includes name and address of next of kin.
  • Died from Natural Causes – Entries list rank, date and place of death along with name and address of next of kin.
  • List of Officers and Men Commended – All of the entries in the subsections below list list name, rank, assignment and date of action. Also includes comments regarding commendation that range from a sentence to a paragraph.
  • For Courageous and Heroic Action
  • For Efficient and Noteworthy Action
  • For Acts of Personal Bravery

Each section above is preceded by statistics on the number of officers and enlisted men in that area.

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