A Project of the Coast Guard Aviation Association

Historical Narratives

Chronicles of Coast Guard Aviation

A collection of documents giving compelling accounts of significant events and the biographies of pioneers in Coast Guard Aviation.

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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

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Making A Difference

The story ofCDR Lonnie L Mixon USCG John Bear Moseley, CGAA Historian Lonnie was born January 29, 1933 in Mobile, Alabama and grew up there.

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On the Edge

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.

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Coast Guard Aviation and the Drug War

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.

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HH-3E "Jolly Green" in distinctive camouflage detail.

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

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 as the “Jolly Greens.”

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Out of the Wreckage

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

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The Coast Guard’s Air War At Sea

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.

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Rough Seas and Cigars

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 Coast Guard large seaplanes were retired in 1960 ending an era.

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Hafa Adai and Salty Dogs

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 and morale was amazingly high.

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Cape Christian C-130 Crash

Did You Really Do That?

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.

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The end of the day for CGNR 1397

Betsy: The Other Hurricane

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.

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The Sinking That Never Happened by an Airplane That Never Flew

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 British model

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JATO – The Early Days

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.

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P5M-2G Marlin

Bernie’s Air Stories

“For those born after I ended my flying career in 1975, welcome to the old timers’ world of round engines and boat hulls, where piloting was as much art as skill, and good airmanship was indispensable.”

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USMC Captain Bill Gore, on my left, the test pilot for the JATO program, insisted that I pose with this august group.

U.S. Coast Guard Aviation Pilots

The Coast Guard Aviation Pilots (APs) had a very positive effect on Coast Guard aviation and contributed greatly to our heritage. There were a total of 223 Coast Guard Aviation Pilots with the first three completing training in 1917 and the last six earning their wings in 1946.

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Hurricane Katrina

We have struggled to find words which adequately express our admiration, respect, and appreciation for the Herculean efforts of the many, many Coast Guard men and women who made the Coast Guard air rescue
operations following Hurricane Katrina over Louisiana and Mississippi possible.

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A Different Time – A Different Environment

LORAN was a ‘Top Secret” project, directed by the Coast Guard during World War II, in response to the need of military ships and aircraft for a precise navigational system. The importance of LORAN to the war effort cannot be overstated. In the post war period LORAN became the primary electronic navigation system.

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A Hand Salute to an Outstanding Group

In August of 2002, during the ceremony making the contract award for the Integrated Deepwater System, (IDS), Coast Guard Commandant Admiral Thomas H. Collins described the critical need to upgrade and modernize the service’s force of cutters, aerial platforms, and support systems.

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Nostalgic Sea Language

The rich colorful vocabulary of the sea from generations past is still an invariant part of daily English language. Most people do not know the origins of words and phrases that have become colloquial expressions, and time has changed or distorted the meanings. A few examples are here.

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The Story of Coast Guard Aviation

Published in the June 1959 issue of the Naval Institute Proceedings is this article by LCOL Robert Rankin, USMC and Mr. Norman Rubin, former Aeronautical Engineer, USCGHQ title The Story of Coast Guard Aviation.

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The Future Of CG Aviation

This document was found in the archives of the USCG Historian and has been extracted herein along with some photos of Capt Kossler, awards presented posthumously and the final extract from his service record.

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Naval Air Station Sidney WWI

This publication provides the history and background for the establishment of a Naval Air Station at North Sidney, Nova Scotia in the fall of 1918 and was to be commanded by First LT Robert Donohue, USCG.

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HNS-1 CGNR 39047 coming aboard the CGC Northwind for landing.

First Helo Ice Breaker Deployment

This document is a photographic chronicle of the first helo deployment for the international ice patrol off of Greenland aboard CGC Northwind WAGB-282 and using HNS-1 CGNR 39047. The pilot was Aviation Pilot First Class John A. Olsen, CG Aviator Number 646.

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North Star J2F Duck

Captain Bob Workman, Av Num #914 submitted this image and documentation about the scout plane flying off of the CGC Northstar on the Greenland Patrol in WWII 1941 on to 1945.

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Sabena Crash Site Newfoundland

The Day I Was Ten Feet Tall

This is a narrative, an eyewitness participant in the very first helicopter rescue deployment in the world. When Sabena (Belgian) DC-4 Flight 00OCG crashed in Newfoundland in September 1946 the on-scene commander, Doctor Samuel Martin asked for a way to get the survivors out of the crash site in dense wooded remote muskeg area of Newfoundland and the U.S. Coast Guard had the only helicopters available that could reach the crash site in time to save lives.

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The First Transatlantic Flight

This article was taken from a speech by Captain Frank A. Erickson, USCG (Ret) at CGAS Houston in 1966 and printed in the USCG Academy Alumni Bulletin. Captain Erickson is enshrined in the US Naval Aviation Hall of Fame and the USCG Aviation Hall of Fame in Erickson Hall (named for him) the Simulator Training Building at CG Aviation Traing Center, Mobile, AL.

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CDR Frank Erickson USCG

A Brief History of Coast Guard Aviation

This article was taken from a speech by Captain Frank A. Erickson, USCG (Ret) at CGAS Houston in 1966 and printed in the USCG Academy Alumni Bulletin. Captain Erickson is enshrined in the US Naval Aviation Hall of Fame and the USCG Aviation Hall of Fame in Erickson Hall (named for him) the Simulator Training Building at CG Aviation Training Center, Mobile, AL

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The Norther

This publication “The Norther” was published as a testament to the USCG can do spirit for in 1969 the Northwind and her crew traversed both ways in the same season through the northwest passage. A world first! The air detachment was 2 HH-52A helicopters.

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C-123 Provider

Operation Tight Reign

Operation Tight reign was the classified project to instal and operate a special chain of Loran C in the southeast Asian area to enhance precision bombing. Included are three essays: Strategic Loran C Chain in Southeast Asia from 1965 – 1966, C-123 Flight Support and Con Son Loran.

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XHOS with Sonar transducer under water

Wolfpack and Sunday Comics

In January 1944, the British put 2 YR-4 helos on the British M/V Daghestan and Lt Stew Graham, USCG acting as pilot, completed the mission by successfully flying off the merchantman in convoy. The YR’s were delivered to a Royal Navy aerodrome near Liverpool as the first operational helicopters in England.

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CGAS Port Angeles WWII Diary

The CGAS Port Angeles War Dairy was uncovered in 1959, but it has taken until, now to get it preserved n digital format. The PDF document may be read on line or downloaded to your computer. It is a fascinating read fo those interested in the daily operations of a Coast Guard Air Station during World War II.

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Waco J2W-1 and El Paso Detachment

This story by AOM1 Jack Shea, former USCGR aviation member, is the only detailed document we have found about the Border Patrol and the establishment and short history of CGAD El Paso. It does not delineate the interplay between the start up at San Antonio nor the move to Del Rio, Texas before moving to El Paso.

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US Coast Guard and Goats In Greece

During the summer of 1969 Greece was under the tyrannical rule of the “Colonels.” Communists on all borders were ready to invade and the Turks continued to be always a nuisance. Strangers avoided talking to us. We were tasked with training the Greek Air Force to be modern “goat herders”

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History of Operations at USCGAS Biloxi

This short history of the CGAS Biloxi operations was written by LTC Ted Morris, USAF (formerly AM2, USCG) and permission was graciously given to reproduce it herein. Pictures have been added and greatly enhance the history of CGAS Biloxi.

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Mixon Engle

Coast Guard Aviation in Vietnam

This is the story of those Coast Guard aviators who flew as part of the U.S. Air Force Combat Rescue Forces during the Vietnamese Conflict. The men who wrote this virtually unknown chapter of Coast Guard aviation history exemplified the highest traditions of Coast Guard Aviation and the United States Coast Guard.

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