A Project of the Coast Guard Aviation Association

1935: Coast Guard Air station Salem Established

In February of 1935 the Coast Guard established a seaplane facility at Salem, Massachusetts because there was no longer space to expand the Ten Pound Island Gloucester air station.  Air Station Salem was located at Winter Island, an extension of Salem Neck which juts out into Salem Harbor. The aviation facilities consisted of a single … Read more

1934: Coast Guard Air Station Biloxi Established

Coast Guard PBY-5A with Air Rescue markings

During 1933 the Coast Guard was looking for a location to establish an Air station that would provide effective life saving and property protection in the upper Gulf of Mexico region. A site on the eastern edge of Biloxi Mississippi, with direct access to Biloxi Bay, was ideal for a seaplane operating area.  A team … Read more

1934: Coast Guard Obtains the Grumman JF-2 Duck

JF-2 Grumman “Duck”

Grover Loening formed his own company in 1928 when the original Loening Aeronautical Engineering Corporation combined with Curtiss-Wright. Grover submitted plans for a privately developed XO2L-1 amphibian to the Navy and requested evaluation. This amphibian retained many of the Loening OLs features but presented them in a more streamlined design.  It was received well but … Read more

1932: Coast Guard Air Station Miami Established

Dinner Key was originally an island in Biscayne Bay which was connected to the mainland with fill in 1914. In 1917 the Navy chose this site to become a Naval Air Station. The base was commissioned the following year and conducted flight training with 12 seaplanes and a dirigible. The Navy vacated the base after … Read more

1932: The Flying Life Boats

A Coast Guard Aviation Section had been established at Headquarters under the direction of CDR. Norman B. Hall in 1928. The potential of aviation had been proven and aircraft with increased capabilities were desired. A statement of requirements was presented to aircraft manufacturers: “An aerial ‘eye” capable of extended search, radio equipped to maintain constant … Read more

1929: Air Traffic Flight Following Established by USCG

The great expansion of the Coast Guard incident to anti-smuggling activities during the Prohibition years brought about a major expansion in radio communication capabilities. Prior to that time cutters were equipped with Navy type radio equipment and used Navy frequencies for handling ship-shore traffic. The need developed for a vast and far reaching radio communication … Read more

1926: The First Permanent Coast Guard Air Stations Established

The prohibition of the manufacture, importing, transportation and selling of alcoholic beverages had become the law of the land on January 16, 1920. Enforcement of the law fell to the Treasury Department and as part of the Treasury Department, the Coast Guard was tasked with the interdiction of maritime smuggling. There was a gradual increase … Read more

1919: NC-4 Transatlantic Flight

In the summer of 1917 the United States was fully engaged in World War I and was very concerned about the sinking of Allied ships by German submarines. The Navy was convinced that aircraft had real possibilities as an anti-submarine weapon and developed a steadily improving series of patrol planes capable of flying from the … Read more