Coast Guard Historian’s Office – http://www.uscg.mil/history/default.asp
Representative questions that can be answered with this resource:
- What was it like to be among the first women to serve in the Coast Guard?
- What was it like to be among the first African-Americans to serve in the Coast Guard?
- What might a mascot for a Coast Guard unit look like?
- How long has the US Coast Guard been involved in Alaska and Hawaii?
The Coast Guard’s Historian’s office website is divided into a number of sections. The most helpful to those seeking instant gratification are:
Coast Guard History – This section could almost have its very own annotation because it has so many resources. The first part of the page is labeled website directory and contains some valuable links of its own, including oral history pages. The oral histories seem to be from World War II forward and include information perspectives on the racial integration of the Coast Guard as well as first person accounts of women serving. There are also accounts of battles and disaster recoveries such as TWA flight 800.
The rest of the page is a set of PowerPoints and other downloadable resources divided into the following topics:
- Overview Histories
- General Histories (by region, period, missions, etc.)
- Publications and History Post-2000:
- Traditions & Miscellaneous
Frequently Asked Questions – This is a section of seemingly random questions that are interesting for their own sake. A few that might be helpful in setting characters or the Coast Guard environment are:
- What about the history of women in the Coast Guard?
- What about the history of minorities in the Coast Guard?
- What are the lyrics to Semper Paratus (Always Ready)?
- What are some famous quotations about the Coast Guard?
- What other characters did Walt Disney create for Coast Guard units?
- What is the origin of the famous saying “You have to go out but you don’t have to come back?”
- What is the Creed of the United States Coast Guardsman?
- Who are some heroes of the Coast Guard?
- What celebrities & other famous persons once served in the Coast Guard?
Daily Chronology – Historic Coast Guard events listed by month. Annotations range from a few lines to a paragraph.
Photography – A browseable collection of captioned photographs. Here are the main subjects with highlights. The whole page is worth browsing:
- Historic Photo Galleries
- Combat Cutters of World War II
- Rescue Flotilla One at Normandy
- African-Americans in the Coast Guard
- Mascots of the Coast Guard
- Beach Patrol in World War II
- Uniforms of the Coast Guard, Revenue Marine/Cutter Service, Lighthouse Service, and Life-Saving Service
- “The Other Boatlift”: Camarioca, Cuba, 1965: a historic photo gallery of the first Cuban boatlift that took place in 1965 when Fidel Castro opened the Cuban port of Camarioca.
- U-boat Warfare in the North Atlantic During World War II
- Other World War II Photo Galleries:
- The Coast Guard at Pearl Harbor
- D-Day: The Coast Guard at Normandy, 6 June 1944
- The Coast Guard in Vietnam:
Unless otherwise noted all photographs in this section are in the public domain, and therefore available for your books, stories and websites.
Assets – This is the place to go to get detailed information on any of the types of assets (boats, lighthouses, etc) the Coast Guard owned:
Information here includes photos, ship histories and in many cases, line drawings and basic plans. If your story is set in a lighthouse, consider this section.
Missions – This section has information about the various missions of the Coast Guard. Of special interest is the Timelines, which shows when the USCG was assigned a specific task and the Search and Rescue section, which links to a number of different resources.
Personnel – This page slightly overlaps with the Frequently Asked Questions page and is broken into the following sections:
- General Overviews
- Casualties, including all the Cuttermen killed in the line of duty since 1917
- Medals & Awards
- Ranks and Ratings
- Official Documents, Manuals & Miscellaneous