Coast Guard Aviation Historical Narratives

These narratives supplement and contribute to the enrichment of Coast Guard Aviation History

Hank Pfeiffer

Hank Pfeiffer and the HO4S-3G 1305

Hank Pfeiffer and the HO4S-3G 1305 Henry J. Pfeifer was born in New Brunswick New Jersey on 15 February, 1915. The family moved west to California and Hank was schooled in the Los Angeles and San Francisco school systems. He graduated from Polytechnical high School 1n 1933 and joined the Coast Guard in 1935. Hank – …

A Job Well Done: Captain Michael D. Emerson USCG

A Job Well Done Captain Michael D. Emerson USCG A legacy is what someone leaves behind for others. Heritage is what one receives that’s come down to him from the past. Mike, born in Norfolk Virginia in 1962 was the eldest son of a Coast Guard Chief Petty Officer whose father served in the US – …

Casey Quinn: One of a Kind

One of a Kind LCDR James Casey Quinn USCG Casey had a captivating smile. He met everyone in a disarming way; likeable; .and as you got to know him, the bonding took place. Casey was born in Sparta, Michigan on Sunday, February 1, 1931. He spent his younger years in Escanaba, Michigan and relocated to – …

Cosmic Overseas Airways

Cosmic Overseas Airways A Coast Guard Aviation Story Introduction LORAN (LOng RAnge Navigation) was a terrestrial navigation system using ground-based transmitters. Hyperbolic LORAN lines of position (LOP) were formed by measuring the difference in reception times of synchronized signals. A LORAN net, or chain, required a master station, initiating the pulse, and a series of – …

Captain David Gershowitz USCG

“Gersh” Captain David Gershowitz USCG A Helicopter Pioneer Dave was born on 31 December 1938, In Brooklyn New York. He attended public school and was graduated in 1937 from Thomas Jefferson High School. Four years later he graduated from the New York State Agricultural College in Firmdale, Long Island. He enlisted in the Coast Guard – …

Making A Difference

John Bear Moseley, CGAA Historian

The story of CDR Lonnie L Mixon USCG John Bear Moseley, CGAA Historian Lonnie was born January 29, 1933 in Mobile, Alabama and grew up there. He graduated from McGill Institute High School in 1951. Lonnie said that in his senior year a Cadet from the USCG Academy made a presentation about the Coast Guard. – …

CDR Frank Lawler Shelly, USCG The HH-52A Helicopter

John Bear Moseley, Coast Guard Aviator # 743,

CDR Frank Lawler Shelly, USCG The HH-52A Helicopter On April 14, 2016 Coast Guard helicopter 1426 was dedicated at the National Air and Space Museum, Steven F. Udar Hazy Center in Chantilly, Virginia. The HH-52A helicopter with over 15,000 lives saved in its twenty-five years of service has the honor of having rescued more persons – …

On the Edge

John Bear Moseley, Coast Guard Aviator # 743

Clarence F. Edge was a unique blend of professionalism and individualism; An extrovert, amiable but strong willed, imaginative, bold and spontaneous. Edge was a major contributor to the growth and accomplishments of Coast Guard Aviation.

Walter C. Bolton: A Chronology of Events and Achievements

John Bear Moseley, Coast Guard Aviator # 743,

Walter C. Bolton Coast Guard Aviator “In Keeping With The Highest Traditions” Walter was a Coast Guard Aviator, a life saver, a risk taker and yet so very much more, He was a unique blend of talent, individualism and bonding that is difficult to understand unless you have “been there.” In an era when Coast – …

Coast Guard Aviation and the Drug War

John Moseley

The counter cultural movement of the 1960s is not America’s first experience with a resourceful drug culture. In many instances drugs that became illegal were first introduced by doctors as legal over-the-counter and prescription medications.


And That’s The Way It Was: Combat SAR in Vietnam

LCDR Joseph L. “Jay” Crowe USCG

The goal of the combat rescue and recovery units during the Vietnam conflict was to get to those in peril before the enemy did. Whether the mission was an extraction or the pickup of a downed airman, each time they were successful it was a win! They were the “Jolly Green Giants” normally referred to – …

Out of the Wreckage

By Alexandra Byers, CBC News

Last year, a Yukon couple investigated a crashed plane in the B.C. mountains near Alaska. What they uncovered solved another family’s 50-year-old mystery

The Coast Guard’s Air War At Sea

by CDR Mont J. Smith Jr. USCG and CDR James P. Sutherland USCG

By 1974 the Coast Guard law enforcement responsibilities started to expand at almost an overwhelming at rate. This was addressed using a combination of a Coast Guard Cutter with a helicopter aboard assisted by fixed wing aviation assets operating as a unit. The three assets operating together were far more effective than operating independently.

Rough Seas and Cigars

by Captain Robert B. Workman, Jr. USCG (Ret.)

Of many milestones occurring in naval aviation from mid 1940 through the 1950s, four determined the future of seaplane operations offshore: 1.) Large seaplane open sea landing and takeoff procedures were advanced to their zenith; 2.) Jet Assisted Takeoff (JATO) was born; 3.) Helicopters with adequate endurance and power were advancing; and, 4.) The last – …

alaskan monarch

Alaskan Monarch Trapped by Ice

by PAC Ed Moreth

Ice, an old time foe of Bering Sea vessels claimed another victim, but not before a Coast Guard Helicopter hoisted the ship’s crewmen back to safety.

Hafa Adai and Salty Dogs

John Moseley, Coast Guard Aviator 743

This story, in a sense an adventure, tells of our tour in Guam. It took place in a time and environment that is no more. As a family, we had a choice to either enjoy the tour or hate it. We chose to enjoy it. As for the Air Detachment: it was a close-knit group – …

Cape Christian C-130 Crash

Did You Really Do That?

Captain Art Wagner USCG (ret)

While at ARSC as the Chief of the Engineering Division, I was called upon for some zany missions. One of them was to proceed to the CG LORAN Station Cape Christian, Northwest Territories in Canada, and act as the Senior Accident Investigation Officer for the crash of C-130B CGNR 1345.

The end of the day for CGNR 1397

Betsy: The Other Hurricane

Captain Art Wagner USCG (Ret),

The night of 9 September was a night to be remembered. Betsy took a bead on the City and came ashore at Port Sulfur with sustained winds of 155 mph. It continued almost directly over the Mississippi River with the winds dying to about 107 mph by the time it reached New Orleans.

Genesis of the Coast Guard HH-65 Helicopter

Sperry Storm, CAPT USCG (ret.)

A detailed narrative of the process that began with the initial aircraft requirements and takes us through the selection and testing procedures up to the acceptance of the HH- 65.

The Sinking That Never Happened by an Airplane That Never Flew

By John "Bear" Moseley, CGAA Historian

At the 2010 Jacksonville CGAA Roost, I had the pleasure of meeting Ptero Jack, P-3166, and Merle Sutherlin. Jack was an Aviation Radioman (ARM-2) during WWII and was stationed at San Diego from July 1943 until the end of WWII. During this time, San Diego transitioned to an Air Sea Rescue unit molded on the – …

Cap’n Mac and Flying Coffins

By Barrett T. Beard

This is a copy of a paper delivered in a talk about Captain Donald B. MacDiarmid, USCG to the Port Angeles Historical Society, February 3, 2002.

JATO – The Early Days

As told by CWO-3 Jack Adams

Early one morning in 1944 the crew of a Navy PBM3C delivered to the Coast Guard San Diego Air Station a liquid propellant rocket motor system to be used in rescue seaplane landing and takeoff experiments.

Who Saw This Coming

By Tom Beard

The USCG provides assistance for the retrieval of 2 astronauts aboard the first Gemini 3 flight.