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Author Topic: THE LUCKY BAG: Stories about former CG vessels and Coasties  (Read 19871 times)
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BuoyJumper
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« Reply #15 on: August 02, 2009, 09:01:25 pm »

Here's more on this great story about 15-year old Adam Reid from New York Harbor Watch.

Much more in depth and with many photos of his day with the Coast Guard.
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« Reply #16 on: August 03, 2009, 01:02:21 pm »



64 years later, veteran's medals finally arrive
August 2, 2009


The United States Coast Guard Cutter Taney                                  88 year old RM2 Frank Genovese

As a radio operator second class on the United States Coast Guard Cutter "Taney" in the war against the Japanese in the Pacific, Frank Genovese had certainly earned the medals his commanding officers said he was due.

Eager as he was to get back to his loved ones, he was nonplussed when he didn't receive them. He'd get them later, he was told.

Much, much later, as it turned out. The trouble may have started when, in 1945, he was filling out the papers that would end his military service. He told the clerk he was from Patterson, New York, and she muttered, "This guy doesn't even know what state he lives in."

Later, when the medals never came, he began to wonder if she had changed his address to Paterson, New Jersey.

"We think that's how everything got discombobulated," says wife Jeanne, with whom he lives in Binghamton.  But life left little time for pondering. He built a career at NYSEG in Putnam County, and Jeanne worked as a registered nurse. They had one ... two ... three ... then seven children.

He thought about the medals once in a while and tried to get some answers. It turned out Frank's military records, as well as thousands of others, had been destroyed in a fire, leaving no evidence he had served at all.

Of course, he had the memories. The battle of Okinawa. Rushing to battle stations with his heart pounding out of his chest. Once even routing a coded message from President Harry S. Truman to General Douglas MacArthur.

He surely remembers the Taney. Frank and Jeanne saw her on exhibit at the Baltimore Maritime Museum, and according to the facility's Web site, www.balto maritimemuseum.org, the Taney is the last surviving warship still afloat from the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor. Converted to an amphibious command ship, she served as a flagship during the battle of Okinawa and was credited with downing four Japanese Kamikazes and one "Betty" bomber.

And Frank always enjoyed telling his kids and grandkids about the time when he was brand-new on the Taney and saw his name flash across a screen, telling him to report to the commander. In a hurry to obey, Frank flung open the steel door - and knocked down the admiral on the other side.  "It's okay, sailor, just help me get up ..." Frank remembers him saying.

Frank laughs hard about that incident now - but he surely wasn't laughing then.

But fortunately, Frank had more than stories to show he was deserving of his medals. He had his paperwork.

That, plus intervention from various individuals, resulted in forms from the Veterans Administration office appearing in the Genoveses' mailbox. Last month, Frank, 88, received a box. In it were three glistening gold medals: Asiatic Pacific Campaign, American Pacific Campaign and World War II.

He beams when he shows them off, no longer an 88-year-old veteran but a young man who just received the honors he was due.

UPDATE:  Frank R. Genovese, 89, of Binghamton passed away quietly at his home on Ayres Street in Binghamton, Friday, March 26, 2010.

Original Article
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« Reply #17 on: August 03, 2009, 01:32:55 pm »

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« Reply #18 on: August 04, 2009, 02:07:46 pm »

USCG Historian's Office:
75-foot Inland Construction Tender USCGC SPIKE WLIC-75308 (1966-1988)




Venerable Coast Guard boat draws new duty: artificial reef
Sunday, Aug. 2, 2009
By Jim Sutton

The Spike didn't go down easily after 44 years tending to inland waters. Maybe memories float.

The 76-foot Coast Guard boat was buried at sea July 17. The Spike spent two decades tending an 84-foot crane barge that built or repaired infrastructure along the Intracoastal Waterway, from Mayport south to Mosquito Lagoon.

The boat's life took an odd turn after being decommissioned in 1986 after it was determined her repair costs exceeded her working worth.


For almost twenty years Spike served the boys as a dormitory, galley and mess hall on her dry berth

The Spike wound up at Safe Harbor Boys Home in Mayport. The boat was transformed into a dormitory, galley and mess hall, tending to hundreds of teenagers who lived and learned life's lessons in the safety of the boat's belly.

When the Spike outlived her usefulness once again, she was headed for the salvage and a scrap heap.

The Spike got a chance for one more reincarnation, this time tending to sea creatures, from barnacles to barracuda.


The boys at the home stripped the Spike clean and then welders came in to weld up holes so she could be floated.

The Spike is Jacksonville's newest artificial reef, sunk about 26 miles east of the Mayport Jetties. And the Spike represents a new era, many hope, in the city's participation in the efforts to create these types of man-made bottom structures.

It's been around 10 years since the last reef was placed in local waters - too long a hiatus for many of the area's anglers, divers and environmentalists.

Basically, earlier efforts were permitted by the city in cooperation with the Army Corps of Engineers and various other organizations.

"But the hands and feet of the effort were all volunteers," said Dana Morton, Jacksonville's artificial reef coordinator and aquatic biologist.

Because of tighter permitting and liability issues in the late 1990s, the city's 21 existing artificial reef permits were allowed to expire.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission was, and remains, the middleman in reef permitting. Basically, its scientists in Tallahassee needed to work with scientists here. The recreation department had been handling the permitting, but it no longer had the expertise to satisfy the increasingly environmentally oriented process.

Morton became that connection point. And since that time, permits have been reissued and efforts at dropping artificial reefs have been reinvented locally, said Keith Mille, the FWC's artificial reef coordinator.

"I can't say enough about Dana's efforts," Mille said.

Morton's greatest strength, Mille said, is in "coordinating the efforts of all the groups involved and funneling all that energy to make it happen."

Historically, the Jacksonville Offshore Fishing Club spearheaded the efforts of building artificial reefs off Jacksonville.

"They'd been dropping on permitted sites for 20 to 30 years," Morton said.

The club is just as involved today. New help has emerged along the way in the form of the Jacksonville Reef Research Team.

"You can't overemphasize the importance of the local, grass-roots efforts," Mille said. "I can honestly say we wouldn't be pulling this off without them."

That's especially true in the case of the Spike.


The USCGC Kingfisher with many of the boys from Safe Harbor aboard to witness the Spike being sunk.

The Spike's final chapter came about by the direct efforts of the JOSFC. Its members identified the boat as a potential reef structure.

But the Spike wasn't one of the planned sites. In fact, all of the available permits covered only "clean" concrete and rock drops - not vessels. But Morton piggybacked the funding onto another reef project slated for late August and got the permit modifications necessary. The project was OK'd as an "opportunity reef" rather than a "planned reef."

Those efforts included volunteer organizations, government agencies, private businesses and a tangle of bureaucratic bankrolling. The project was financed through a grant by the FWC using funds from the United States Fish and Wildlife Service's Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Program, along with some matching funds from the city of Jacksonville.

A convoy accompanied the barge to the drop site, known as Harm's Ledge.  Most of the bottom areas permitted locally are drawn as boxes on maps, maybe a couple of miles square.  That convoy included the Coast Guard Cutter Kingfisher with many of the boys from Safe Harbor aboard.

But they're not random. Most are in proximity to previous drop sites or on pieces of natural bottom that are known to hold fish for one reason or another. Many were named for the old-timers who initially found these secret spots and were able to work them over pretty well before the rest of the commercial or charter anglers caught on.

This area was named for Gus Harms, who owned a gas station at the corner of what's now Hendricks Avenue and Prudential Drive downtown. The old service station was a local hangout for anglers.

The Spike had four 2-inch valves tapped into her hull and two 6-inch holes covered with soft patches cut above these. Opening the valves was supposed to set her low enough in the water for the soft patches to be removed and finish the job. But winds and currents conspired to list the stubborn hull away from the seas on the upwind side.

Luckily, a Jacksonville fire boat was among those in the convoy. It pumped water in from above, helping to drop her wounds below the waterline, where she finally scuttled and sank in about 100 feet of water. In an hour, it was all over.


The former cutter Spike releases the last bit of air trapped in her hull and disappears from sight.  Today she sits upright and it won't be long before she will be a local hot spot for kingfish and barracuda.

How long will it take before the Spike begins nurturing sea life? Mille said that a hull sunk off the Panhandle in June at a similar depth is already becoming a hot spot for local kingfish anglers.

Morton said that a diver surveying the Spike one week after its sinking reported schools of baitfish stacking up above it, and that barracuda were blistering them.

"The diver said there were scales falling like rain," Morton.

   
 Welding the holes       Push to sea and the scuttle

Original Article
« Last Edit: August 16, 2009, 02:09:36 pm by BuoyJumper » Logged

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« Reply #19 on: August 06, 2009, 04:21:31 pm »



Press Release
Date: March 17, 2009
Contact:  District 11 Public Affairs

World War II Veteran 
receives Commendation Medal



      VIEW VIDEO


LEFT:  Walter G. Firestone, 89, of San Anselmo helped save New York City from peril in April 1943 when a ship loaded with ammunition caught fire before heading to Europe during World War II.  RIGHT:  Vice Adm. David Pekoske, Pacific Area commander, presents the Coast Guard Commendation Award to Walter G. Firestone, a Coast Guard veteran, during an award ceremony on Coast Guard Island here March 17.
 


Walter's story:  How a San Anselmo veteran helped save New York City from destruction

ALAMEDA, Calif. ó The Commander of Coast Guard Pacific Area presented the Coast Guard Commendation Medal to World War II veteran Walter G. Firestone in a ceremony at Coast Guard Island.

Vice Adm. David Pekoske recognized Walter G. Firestone, 88, for his role in fighting an out-of-control fire aboard the munitions ship S.S. El Estero, a Panamanian-registered freighter docked at a New Jersey pier April 24, 1943.

Then-Fireman 3rd Class Firestone and his fellow crewmembers of Coast Guard vessel 39004 were preparing to depart on holiday liberty when word came that the El Estero was on fire. They rushed to the scene and began dousing the fire with water as railroad cars were removed from the pier. After several hours, the order came to scuttle the vessel. The freighter sank into the bay. No one died.

Roughly 5,000 tons of bombs, depth charges and ammunition were stored on El Estero and other nearby ships and railroad cars. It has been argued that, had the explosives ignited, the ensuing chain reaction would have devastated downtown New York and parts of North Jersey, with a death toll in the thousands.

The award ceremony was held in the Point Welcome Room at Coast Guard Island.

Press Release
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« Reply #20 on: August 09, 2009, 10:28:57 am »

This is another one of those stories that when I came upon it there really was no place to post it other than in the RM section of the Mess Deck.  Many have seen it there but unless you were an RM or an OS you probably never read this great story.  So now that we have a place for stories like this I decided to post it again for everyone to enjoy ........ Buoy



Feature Story
Date: December 23, 2008
Contact: D1 Public Affairs

A Radioman's Code
Story and photos by Seaman Sabrina Elgammal
First District Public Affairs

SOUTH PARIS, Maine - Louis Bakula sat in his room wearing large earphones. He turned the dials on his radio hoping to get a signal from a foreign country. He listened carefully as he received tones and began to jot down a cluster of characters in his notebook.


Louis Bakula, 98, lives at the South Paris veteran's home where his
daughter Carole, frequently visits and reminisces about her father
being a radioman in the military nearly 60 years ago.


Bakula isn't a secret agent trying to decipher codes and doesn't have a way to respond to the codes he picks up. At 98 years old, he simply enjoys the fact that after nearly 60 years of being out of the military as a radioman, he still understands Morse code.

"I knew from the very first time I heard the beeps and tones of the radio, this was the job for me," he said. "Though I don't wear a uniform anymore, I am still a radioman."

Bakula quickly discovered his love for radios when he joined the Naval Reserves in 1930. In 1935, he left the Naval Reserves to join the United States Coast Guard, where he was accepted into the Coast Guard Radio School in New London, Conn.

After he graduated, he reported aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Algonquin in Woods Hole, Mass., as a third class petty officer.

"I learned a lot and have some of the finest memories from my first unit," he said. "One of them was when I answered my first SOS signal."

As a young radioman, Bakula recalls being in charge of directing priority information on the ship and having to control all operations.

"I will never forget how nervous I was, but at the same time I was so proud of myself," he said.

After a tour on the Algonquin, Bakula served aboard the Coast Guard cutters Mojave, Chelan, and the General Greene, all in Massachusetts.

Aboard the General Greene, Bakula took part in his first North Atlantic international ice patrol. Their mission was to chart the movement of icebergs in the North Atlantic.

"This was the Ď30s, and we didn't have radar," he said. "The ship crept through the fog and we would wait until we could feel the temperature change."


Louis holds a photo of himself after graduation from
radioman school. He left the military nearly 60 years
ago, but still understands Morse code.


That meant an iceberg was nearby and they would continue slowly until they were close enough to see it. Bakula relayed the iceberg's position over the radio in Morse code to other ships.

During the same patrol, Bakula was standing a radio watch listening for codes. He recalls not hearing a single tone on the radio, when all of a sudden the famed German Airship Hindenburg began sending the message "CQ," which means "calling any ship." He responded to the call through Morse code. The airship crew then requested weather conditions and location, which Bakula gave them.

"I believe the Hindenburg was somewhere in our vicinity since the shortest route to Europe is over Newfoundland, and then down the coast," he said.

The next day while listening to the radio broadcast codes, Bakula heard a report stating the Hindenburg had burst into flames and crashed at the U.S. Naval Air Station in Lakehurst, N.J., while attempting to land.

"I felt a knot instantly in my stomach and realized I had to be one of the last radioman to talk to them," he said.

After serving in the Coast Guard, Bakula transitioned to civilian life and got a job as a sheet metal handler at the Boston Navy Yard. It was there that he met his wife and had three children.


Louis sits in his home at the South Paris veteran's home where he
picks up Morse code signals from foreign countries.


But times were tough.

"I had three small mouths to feed and a wife to take care of," said Bakula. "With the war going on, you didn't know when your next pay check was going to come."

Bakula re-enlisted in the Naval Reserves and resumed his role as a radioman. Soon after, he was ordered to deploy for the Korean War where he served aboard the USS Rochester in Japan.

After almost six months at war, Bakula came home to his family where he finished his enlistment in the Naval Reserves.

Now, half a century later, he lives in the South Paris Maine veteran's home where his daughter, Carole, frequently visits during the week.

When Carole visits, she often brings old photo albums and listens while her father reminisces about his adventures as a radioman.

"I remember growing up hearing all of his sea stories and how much my dad loved being a sailor," said Carole. "I just never thought he would be 98 years old and still call himself a radioman."

Original Story
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« Reply #21 on: August 15, 2009, 11:56:43 am »



Press Release
Date: May 19, 2007
Contact:  District 13 Public Affairs

Two WWII Coast Guard vets reunited
with their wartime patrol craft


SEATTLE ó Two World War II Coast Guard veterans who were aboard one of 60 rescue boats during the 1944 D-Day invasion of Europe at Normandy, France were reunited with each other and with their actual wartime patrol boat during Armed Forces Day ceremonies that took place at 10 am, Saturday, May 19, 2007 in Seattle's Lake Union Park.


Former Commanding Officer of USCG-11, LTJG Art Lehne on the left is reunited with his former Signalman SM3 Wilfred ďBudĒ Eberhart 63 years after their serving together during D-Day.

Former Lieutenant (junior grade) Art Lehne, 86, and former Signalman Third Class Wilfred ďBudĒ Eberhart, 85, both of whom live in Illinois, saw each other for the first time since they served together on the 83-foot patrol boat USCG-11 63 years ago during the D-Day landing at Omaha Beach. Both in their early 20ís during the war, Lehne was the boatís commander and Eberhart was the crewman who handled radio and signal flag communication duties.

Lehne is a retired deputy superintendent of the Chicago Public School system and lives in Arlington Heights in northern Illinois, and Eberhart is retired also and from Mitchell in the southern part of the state. Eberhart visited his patrol boat last June 6 during D-Day anniversary ceremonies and was thought to be its sole surviving crewman. However by coincidence Lehne, the boatís commander during the invasion at Normandy, was subsequently located as well. Although living relatively near each other in Illinois during their entire adult lives, Lehne and Eberhart lost track of each other after the WWII.

As part of the ceremonies that were held, the two WWII Coast Guard combat veterans went aboard the wooden patrol boat on which they served as part of Coast Guard Rescue Flotilla 1, a fleet of 60 vessels which saved more than 1,450 soldiers, sailors and others from the waters off the invasion beaches on D-Day and during the weeks afterward.


Signalman Bud Eberhart above left signaling other 83-footers in the flotilla.  USCG-11 as she looked while a part of Rescue Flotilla 1.  The crew of USCG-11 with Bud Eberhart in the middle in the USCG tee shirt and C.O. Art Lehne at the helm looking aft.        

Retired Rear Admiral John Lockwood, former commander of Coast Guard District 13 in Seattle, was the keynote speaker at the Saturday ceremonies. Early in his career, Admiral Lockwood was the commander of an 82-foot Point Class Coast Guard patrol boat during the Vietnam War and received the Bronze Star medal for his combat service.

Other speakers were Dan Withers, President, Combatant Craft of America; Gordon Myers; Lt. Commander, U.S.C.G Auxiliary, Coast Guard 83-Foot Sailors Association; Don Lashua, Air Force Crash Rescue Boat Association; Capt. Chris Bernard, U.S. Air Force Reserve, commander, 304th Rescue Squadron; and a representative from the U.S. Coast Guard Harbor Security Team, Seattle Sector.

Following its service at Normandy and in France, the D-Day combat-tested patrol boat was re-designated CG-83366. Built in 1942 in Brooklyn, New York, it returned to the Atlantic Coast and was sent through the Panama Canal to Santa Barbara, California for offshore patrol duty during the remainder of the war. It ended 20 years of Coast Guard patrol and rescue service in California in 1962, was purchased as government surplus by Ray Holland of Seattle and relocated to Puget Sound.


Following WWII USCG-11 was redesignated CG-83366 and assigned to Coast Guard station Santa Barbara, California.  After she was decommissioned in 1962 the patrol boat was purchased and converted into the private yacht Tiburon.

Holland converted the former military boat to a family recreational yacht, renamed it Tiburon and cruised the waters of the Sound and in San Juan Islands for more than three decades. Moored unobtrusively at Lake Union Drydock Company, the venerable boat and its famous WWII history were rediscovered in 2006 by Chuck Fowler of the Puget Sound Maritime Historical Society.

During the 10 am Armed Forces Day program, retired Coast Guard Capt. Earl McAuliffe, who also served during the D-Day invasion, was honored together with Lehne and Eberhart. A career officer, McAuliffe was the commander of an LCI (Landing Craft Infantry) during the famous WWII landing, and earlier in North Africa, Sicily, Corsica and elsewhere in the Mediterranean Theater of Operations. Lehne and McAuliffe on served separate vessels during the D-Day invasion in France and did not meet until afterward when assigned to additional Coast Guard training back in the United States. Subsequently however they and their wives became lifelong friends.

Lehne and Eberhartís Coast Guard D-Day patrol boat was exhibited at Lake Union Park along side her WWII era sister, CG-83527, which was stationed in Tacoma from 1945 until the early 1960ís. Both boats are the last of 230 similar wooden Coast Guard cutters built in the early 1940ís that are in basically original military condition.

The CG-83366 now Tiburon was built in 1942 by Wheeler Shipbuilding Company of Brooklyn, New York, the 67th under the companyís WWII total contract for 230 cutters. Its sister cutter, CG-83527, was built in 1944 and is the third from the last in the total production run.



Following its service in Florida, the CG-83527 was transferred through the Panama Canal to the Pacific Coast, ending up in Puget Sound and its permanent duty station at Tacoma. On active duty from 1945 until 1962, it provided Coast Guard patrol, search and rescue, and marine safety and enforcement services in the south Puget Sound area. It is now owned and under restoration by Combatant Craft of America (CCA), a Puget Sound-based nonprofit military maritime heritage and education organization.

In addition, the Seattle Maritime Academy, part of the Seattle Community College system, had on exhibot its 82-foot former Coast Guard patrol boat. Converted and now named Maritime Educator, the vessel is used to train on-board crew members for careers in the maritime industry.

While on active Coast Guard duty from 1963 to 1995 as the Point Divide, it was assigned to Corona del Mar for patrol and rescue service in southern California. A fleet of these 82-foot vessels served as combat patrol, interdiction and rescue craft in southeast Asia during the Vietnam War. It is the type of patrol vessel commanded during the Vietnam War by Admiral Lockwood.

Two other modern military fast response boats were exhibited during the Armed Forces Day event. The Coast Guard displayed one of its 25-foot harbor security craft at the Historic Ships Wharf. These familiar boats are assigned to Seattle, Tacoma and other key port areas in the Puget Sound region.

In addition the Air Force Reserve 304th Rescue Squadron from Portland exhibited its 30-foot boat used to retrieve aircraft crew members from river, inland and offshore waters. The unit consists of combat parachuters or ďPJísĒ who jump from aircraft and helicopters to recover and give medical treatment to crew members from aircraft downed in water and on land. Crews from both the Coast Guard and Air Force units were available to explain their patrol and rescue operations and answer questions.


Old shipmates stand together on their old patrol boat and speak of times past when they were young.  At right, Bud with tears in his eyes, looks up at the mast of his 83-footer as emotions well up from within of what it was like serving on an 83 during the D-Day invation.

Appropriately the Lake Union Park site, its moorage and Armory building served as the Naval Reserve Center in Seattle from 1941 to 1998, and was used for training hundreds of Navy, Marine and Coast Guard reservists. The formerly federal government-owned property was turned over to the City of Seattle in 2002 for development as a maritime heritage-themed waterfront park.

The two day exhibit of the two 83-foot, World War II era Coast Guard cutters, 82-foot former patrol boat and modern patrol and rescue boats at Lake Union Park was sponsored by Combatant Craft of America, a nonprofit education organization, in cooperation with the 13th Coast Guard District and Seattle Sector, Coast Guard 83-Foot Sailors Association, Air Force Reserve 304th Rescue Squadron and Army Air Force/ USAF Crash Rescue Boat Association. Other co-sponsoring organizations were the Center for Wooden Boats, Seattle Parks and Recreation Department, Puget Sound Maritime Historical Society, Museum of History and Industry, Seattle Maritime Academy, Virginia V Foundation and Northwest Seaport.

Photo Album & Audio of the 2007 Armed Forces Day celebration
Courier-Journal Photo Gallery of 2007 event
83-footers.org website crammed with lots of photos and stories
The restoration of 83527 sister ship to 83366
Coast Guard Warriors - The USCG in WWII

Press Release

NOTE:  I have edited the tense of the press
release from the future tense to the past tense.
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« Reply #22 on: August 15, 2009, 12:51:35 pm »

Now that is good stuff...
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« Reply #23 on: August 15, 2009, 03:40:03 pm »

I'll bet those two could tell some old guard stories.  Kudos ron  Thumbs Up

 
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« Reply #24 on: August 15, 2009, 04:07:06 pm »

For those that don't know, the 83' was a wooden boat with gasoline inboard engines.  Kinda like a bomb just waiting for the spark. 
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« Reply #25 on: August 16, 2009, 01:57:20 pm »

Ya know Stan, I am in awe of those of our men such as our member  Senior Chief Jack Read  who manned the wooden 83's and those that manned the wooden Higgins landing craft on D-Day.  I know they would most likely say "we were just doing our job" but holy crap, to face bombs, artillery and machine gun fire in a wooden boat.  

I'm going to contact Jack and ask him if there's anything he would like to add.  Meanwhile here's a letter written by Jack a few years ago to a British newspaper describing what it was like on D-Day aboard an 83-foot patrol boat that MCPO Bill Wells has posted on  Coast Guard Warriors - Jack Read's War.





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« Reply #26 on: August 16, 2009, 02:17:57 pm »

For those that don't know, the 83' was a wooden boat with gasoline inboard engines.  Kinda like a bomb just waiting for the spark. 

Hence the name "Matchbox Fleet"  Grin

Great post Ron  Thumbs Up
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« Reply #27 on: August 17, 2009, 12:32:05 am »

RON as always great job i know Capt sutherland,and kenny is very good friends with him, i see him out on patrol all the time, when i am out on the 450 boat some day i will have the450 boat in a little topic, and get the 40 boat sailor,s some reconigtion. Just havn,t figured it out yet but i will. every topic was great job WELL DONE

                                                                                                                                                            BUGSEY
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« Reply #28 on: August 21, 2009, 01:09:53 pm »

RON as always great job i know Capt sutherland,and kenny is very good friends with him, i see him out on patrol all the time, when i am out on the 450 boat some day i will have the450 boat in a little topic, and get the 40 boat sailor,s some reconigtion. Just havn,t figured it out yet but i will. every topic was great job WELL DONE

                                                                                                                                                            BUGSEY

Thanks Bugsey ... Knowing how much time, money and effort it took to maintain my Dad's 51-footer I can't imagine how Stew Sutherland can keep the Lady B maintained and running.  The overhead as you well know from the 40450 can cost some pretty big money year in and year out with having to pay for slippage, fuel and maintenance.  I hope he gets some help from his CG Aux Flotilla members. 

Bugsey ... do you have anybody helping you with some of those expenses for the 40450?  If you need some help, I'm sure some of the Forty Boat Sailors group would be willing to help so don't hesitate to ask.  You've done so much for that group with the outing at CGSTA New York.  If you would like some exposure for the 40450 I could contact District 5 public affairs and ask them to do an article for the CG Magazine or the district blog.  Just let me know and I will run with that idea. 
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« Reply #29 on: August 22, 2009, 01:12:56 am »

SHIPMATES ....
In posting the story about Lois Bouton, the Coast Guard Lady celebrating her 90th birthday this September, it brought to my remembrance that Chief Emil de Ocampo will be turning 102 on September 1st.  According to this article  Memories are vivid for Coast Guard retiree, 101  the old Chief is not doing so well.  According to the article "He is under hospice care at the Carmel Valley home of his devoted daughter and son-in-law, and he can see the light dimming."  If any of you reading this could get us an address for the old Chief, wouldn't it be great to remember him too on his September 1st birthday.  He lives with daughter Melissa and his son-in-law James and their last name is deOcampo-Vincents.




News Release
Date: August 15, 2008
CG District 11

The Coast Guard's oldest enlisted retiree
Story and photos by Petty Officer 1st Class Anastasia Devlin, PADET San Diego

Although he retired long before most of the Coast Guard's current members were born, Emil de Ocampo shows off a battered, weathered Coast Guard ring with the pride of a sailor just graduated from boot camp.

Like de Ocampo, the ring is old (photo inset below), but shines brightly.  

De Ocampo enlisted at the age of 23 in 1930 in New York. He became a steward's mate, personally attending to the commanding officers of famous Coast Guard cutters like the Walnut, the Spencer, and the Campbell over his 25-year career.  

The veteran now lives with his daughter and son-in-law, Melissa and James Vincent, in San Diego. His shadow box of medals and insignia gleams on the mantle, attributing to the retired chief's rich and story-filled history.



Even as he nears 101 years old, de Ocampo has fond memories of patrolling for bootleggers off the coast of New York, making delicious apple pies and steaks for captains, managing supply offices and the wardroom mess, and handing the Coast Guard's famous canine mascot, Sinbad.

"That dog used to go with us ashore, with the sailors," said de Ocampo, chatting with his son-in-law. "He'd stay with us under the table drinking beer. He was very respectful."

His son-in-law asked, "Did you give him any beer?"  
"Ehhhh," said de Ocampo with a wry smile. "He don't get drunk. The guys did."

He remembers taking Sinbad to play around the "air base" at Cape May while his ship, the Mohawk, was in port, washing him in the captain's shower room, and letting Sinbad eat from a "little scrap tub" of meat in the captain's cabin. Dating the story, he even mentioned that Sinbad liked to sleep on the "wooden decks" of the Coast Guard cutter.
 
In one story, de Ocampo talked about the commanding officer liking Sinbad so much that the dog got away with nearly everything, and being Sinbad's handler, so did de Ocampo.

"That dog, when he was playing, and he caught the stick, he'd bark. The officer [of the day] would be sleeping, would say, ĎShut up,' -- they'd be sleeping and they didn't like that.  They couldn't get too mad because it was the captain's dog, they'd get mad and they'd blame me, but they couldn't do anything to me, because it was the captain's dog."

De Ocampo talked about how much the crew loved Sinbad, and how much the dog's prescence increased the morale of the troops. Sinbad even knew tricks.  "Oh, lots!," said the World War II veteran, his eyes alight. "I'd just play with him. He could jump, [he'd do] anything you'd tell him."  

De Ocampo said the dog also seemed to have an understanding of the Coast Guard's serious mission. "When we were on patrol, that dog don't mess around," he said, remembering that the mascot would stay where he was supposed to within the ship's boundaries.
 
He speaks from a comfortable seat in his home, and his face becomes animated as memories from more than six decades ago flood back. Although more hard of hearing and restricted in movement than a year or two ago, the chief's age melts away when he recounts the stories
of the past, and his obvious pleasure at serving in the Coast Guard continues long past his days in uniform.  

Press Release
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