The United States Coast Guard in World War II

A History of Domestic and Overseas Actions

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About the Book

At home and overseas, the United States Coast Guard served a variety of vital functions in World War II, providing service that has been too little recognized in histories of the war. Teaming up with other international forces, the Coast Guard provided crewmembers for Navy and Army vessels as well as its own, carried troops, food, and military supplies overseas, and landed Marine and Army units on distant and dangerous shores.
This thorough history details those and other important missions, which included combat engagement with submarines and kamikaze planes, and typhoons. On the home front, port security missions involving search and rescue, fire fighting, explosives, espionage and sabotage presented their own unique dangers and challenges.

About the Author(s)

A member of the United States Coast Guard Reserve from 1961 to 1969, Thomas P. Ostrom taught anthropology, geography, and history at Rochester Community College in Minnesota before retiring. He is a member of the U.S. Life-Saving Service Heritage Association, U.S. Navy Memorial, Foundation for Coast Guard History, and Naval Historical Foundation.

Bibliographic Details

Thomas P. Ostrom
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 260
Bibliographic Info: 30 photos, 10 maps, appendices, notes, chronology, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2009
pISBN: 978-0-7864-4256-0
eISBN: 978-0-7864-5371-9
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      ix
Foreword by John Galluzzo      1
Preface      3
Introduction      5

1: Prelude to Pearl Harbor      9
2: The Day of Infamy: Pearl Harbor      13
3: U.S. Coast Guard Organization      24
4: Port Security, Navigation, and Aviation      29
5: Coast Guard Crews and Navy Ships      38
6: Defense from the Great Lakes to the Oceans      51
7: Admiral Russell R. Waesche: Wartime Commandant      61
8: Coast Guard Air and Sea Warfare      66
9: The Greenland Patrol      76
10: The Atlantic War      86
11: Guarding the Convoys      95
12: The Mediterranean: North Africa, Sicily, Italy      108
13: D-Day at Normandy      117
14: The Aleutians and the Bering Sea      134
15: The Pacific Campaign      145
16: Pacific Reminiscences      155
17: Return to the Philippines and Victory      171

Epilogue      181
World War II Era Coast Guard Chronology      195

Documents
A Letter Home from LCI-91 (29 December 1943), by Robert Morris      201
A Letter to His Minister (13 January 1944), by Robert Morris      207
Operation Neptune, LCI(L)-91 (10 June 1944)      209
Letter to the Secretary of the Navy: Loss of Ship (19 June 1944)      211
Coast Guard Unit Commendation for D-Day (6 June 1944)      213
A Letter to Parents on the Death of Their Son Douglas Munro      214
Chapter Notes      217
Bibliography      233
Index      239

Book Reviews & Awards

“provides a thorough, comprehensive account of the Coast Guard’s wartime service”—Seapower; “extensively researched and well-written history”—Baird Maritime; “Ostrom gives us most enlightening lessons on the ‘Guardian of the Heartland’ that had previously been adequately recognized in U.S. combat history…World War II and Coast Guard history buffs alike will be pleased with Thomas Ostrom’s latest book. I can’t recommend this book highly enough”—Proceedings.