The Coast Guard at War

Prepared in the
Historical Section
Public Information Division
U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters
May 1, 1948


The Coast Guard at War

This edition is designed for service distribution and recipients are requested to forward corrections, criticisms, and comments to Commandant, Coast Guard Headquarters, Washington, D.C., Attention Historical Section, Public Information Division.


Table of Contents

Mission 2
Origin of the Reserve 2
Legislation 2
Text of Bill 4
Non-Military Organization 4
A Force of Men and Boats 4
Birth of the Auxiliary 6
Function of the Auxiliary 6
A Misconception 7
Organization of the Auxiliary 7
Early Uniforms 7
Status of the Auxiliarist 7
Utilization of the Auxiliary 7
Use by Captains-of-the-Port 7
Dangerous Situations 7
Accomplishments 8
The Flotilla Commander 8
      1st District 8
      2nd District 8
      3rd District 10
      4th District 10
      5th District 10
      6th District 12
      7th District 12
      8th District 13
      9th District 13
      10th District 13
      11th District 13
      12th District 15
      13th District 15
      14th District 15
      17th District 15
Future of the Auxiliary 15
1947 Survey--Auxiliary Activities 15
      13th District 15
      12th District 17
      11th District 20
      10th District 23
      9th District 23
      8th District 24
      7th District 266
      5th District 26
      4th District 27
      3rd District 27
      2nd District 27
      1st District 28


Admiral Russell R. Waesche, Commandant, USCG, 1936-1945
Admiral Russell R. Waesche
Commandant, USCG



There would be no immediate urgency to write the brief but creditable history of the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary were there not some possibility of that extraordinary organization changing its name. What it is called, is, however, less important than what it does. The oldest American sea-going service was first designated as the Revenue Marine, then as the Revenue Cutter Service and not until 1915 as the United States Coast Guard. The Coast Guard has been called "a sea-going handy-man for almost every department of the government." If this be accepted, the Auxiliary is the assistant handy-man to the handy-man.

Origin of the Reserve

Because of its spontaneous and informal origin informality has been adopted in describing its life and works. It began on 23 August, 1934; August, it wold seem, being a particularly significant month for the Coast Guard. The Pacific Writers' Yacht Club, a group of boat-owning writers living in and around Los Angeles, had just organized and were setting out on the first cruise. Most of the boats were moored in the Watchorn Basin, a part of the man-made Los Angeles harbor. There too were berthed the cutters Aurora and Hermes. The commodore of the writers' flotilla, Coast Guard minded since boyhood, had the revolutionary idea of asking the Coast Guard to inspect the boats before they sailed, a dock-side inspection then rather than perhaps a sudden glance backward to the end of a tow line later. Thus Commodore Malcolm Stuart Boylan, of the Pacific Writers' Yacht Club went aboard the Hermes, there to meed Lt. Comdr. (now Captain) C.W. Thomas, USCG, and thus on an August morning was born the idea of the United States Coast Guard Reserve out of which came the Auxiliary. Captain Thomas, the senior officer present, couldn't accept Boylan's invitation to make the cruise to Catalina Island, but he assigned Lieutenant Francis C. Pollard, USCG, commanding the Aurora, to accompany Boylan on the latter's yacht Chula. This he did and as a result of that fortuitous meeting and a cordial agreement of ideas on the subject, the following letter, now known as the Founder's Letter, was written to Lieutenant Pollard and sent by him through channels to Headquarters.

August 23, 1934

Lieutenant Francis C. Pollard, U.S.C.B.
Commanding Officer U.S.S. "AURORA"
Outer Harbor,
San Pedro, California

My dear Lieutenant:

I have been dwelling on our recent conversations concerning the Coast Guard and your most informative explanation of its origin, traditions and functions. Out of this the thought has come to me that the Coast Guard alone of all armed services has no organized reserve, whereas the Navy, the most comparable service, has in reserve sixty-five hundred officers and seventeen thousand enlisted men!



The proposal for a Reserve simmered mildly on the legislative stove for five years, being stirred by Boylan's occasional trips to Washington for the purpose; but never quite coming to a boil. The late Admiral Russell R. Waesche, however, never lost interest. As Assistant Commandant to Admiral Hamlet, and later as Commandant, he pressed the matter, slowly but surely like an ice-breaker battering the cold barricade of indifference. Then the way opened. On April 24, 1939, The Hon. Schuyler Otis Bland of Virginia, introduced House of Representatives Bill No. 5966 "To establish and Coast Guard Reserve to be composed of owners of motorboats and yachts." Even the title was ambiguous; but not more confusing that the bill itself and its subsequent amendments. Fighting for clarity and determined to put this potential force at the disposal of the parent service, Admiral Waesche appeared in many committee hearings until, on 3 June, 1939, he wrote Boylan in part as follows:


Lt. Comdr. (T) Malcolm Stuart Boylan, USCGR (Ret.)
Lt. Comdr. (T) Malcolm Stuart Boylan, USCGR (Ret.)
(Formerly Commodore, USCGA)
Founder of the Coast Guard Auxiliary



3 June, 1939

Dr. Mr. Boylan, I can appreciate the feeling of satisfaction which influenced your sending me your telegram of June 1st concerning the Coast Guard Reserve Bill, knowing as I do your interest in such a proposal long before it was placed in a bill form. The proposal still has to pass the Senate and receive the approval of the President. This I feel confident will eventuate.

I am inclosing a copy of the bill as it now stands, together with a copy of the hearing thereon. If and when it is enacted, we will prepare the necessary regulations governing its administration.

With kind regards,

Sincerely yours,
Rear Admiral, U.S. Coast Guard

Text of Bill

This monograph, in theory, deals only wit the Auxiliary, but because the Auxiliary was an outgrowth of the Reserve and was later overshadowed by the Temporary Reserve,1 it is almost necessary to follow the several bills and amendments through Congress.

Representative Bland's bill was as follows:

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That this Act may be cited as the "Coast Guard Reserve Act of 1939."

Sec. 2. In the interest of (a) safety to life at sea and upon the navigable waters, (b) the promotion of efficiency in the operation of motorboats and yachts, (c) a wider knowledge of, and better compliance with, the laws, rules and regulations governing the operation and navigation of motorboats and yachts, and (d) facilitating certain operations of the Coast Guard, there is hereby established a United States Coast Guard Reserve (hereinafter referred to as the "Reserve") which shall be composed of citizens of the United States and of its Territories and possessions, except the Philippine Islands, who are owners (sole or part) of motorboats or yachts, and who may be enrolled therein pursuant to regulations prescribed under the authority of the Act.

Sec. 3. The Reserve shall be a voluntary organization and shall be administered by the Commandant of the Coast Guard (hereinafter referred to as the "Commandant") under the direction of the Secretary of the Treasury, and the Commandant shall, with the approval of the Secretary of the Treasury, prescribe such regulations as may be necessary to effectuate the purposes of this Act.

Sec. 4. The Coast Guard is authorized to utilize in the conduct of duties incident to the saving of life and property and in the patrol of marine parades and regattas, any motorboat or yacht temporarily placed at its disposition for any of such purposes by any member of the Reserve: PROVIDED, That no such motorboat or yacht shall be assigned to any Coast Guard duty unless it is placed in charge of a commissioned officer, chief warrant officer, warrant officer, or petty officer of the Coast Guard during such assignment: PROVIDED FURTHER, That appropriations for the Coast Guard shall be available for the payment of actual necessary expenses of operation of any such motorboat or yacht when so utilized, but shall not be available for the payments of compensation for personal services, incident to such operation, to other than the personnel of the regular Coast Guard.

Sec. 5. Any motorboat or yacht, while assigned to Coast Guard duty as herein authorized, shall be deemed to be a public vessel of the United States, and, within the meaning of the Act of June 15, 1936 (49 Stat. 1514; U.S.C. Supp. IV, title 14, sec. 71), shall be deemed to be a vessel of the United States Coast Guard.

Sec. 6. The secretary of the Treasury shall prescribe one or more suitable distinguishing flags to be flown from the motorboats and yachts owned by members of the Reserve, and one or more suitable insignias which may be worn by such members. Such flags and insignias shall be furnished by the Coast Guards to members of the Reserve at actual cost, and the proceeds received therefor shall be credited to the appropriation from which paid. Any person who shall, without proper authority, fly from a motorboat, yacht, or other vessel, any flag of the Reserve, or wear any insignia of the Reserve, shall, upon conviction thereof, by punished by a fine not exceeding $100.

Sec. 7. No member of the Reserve, solely by reason of such membership shall be vested with or exercise any right, privilege, power, or duty vested in or imposed upon the personnel of the Coast Guard.

Sec. 8. The services and facilities of the Coast Guard may be employed in the administration and operation of the Reserve; and the appropriations for the Coast Guard shall be available to effectuate the purposes of this Act.

Non-Military Organization

With war a probability even at this date, it seems peculiar that the Reserve was pointedly deprived of any martial status. While it was not yet described as a non-military organization, as was the Auxiliary later, its only apparent purpose was to educate its members in safety at sea and the care of their small boats. It had, however, a distinctive flag and insignia bearing the words "U.S. Coast Guard" and a federal penalty was provided for the illegal use of either. Why the Reserve was not at once made a military organization, as was the intent of the originator, is even now not clear. Could there have been opposition from the Army, the Navy and the Marine Corps, each with a reserve; each seeking recruits? Was there an understandable desire on the part of older officers of the regular establishment to keep the Coast Guard small and highly specialized in the pursuit of its normal peacetime duties? Nevertheless, in April, 1939, the Coast Guard found itself with a Reserve.

A Force of Men and Boats

How Headquarters went about recruiting a force of men and boats of potential war value, but offering no rights, honors, or military recognition to


Lt. Comdr. Francis C. Pollard, USCG, with three Royal Canadian Air Force Fliers rescued from Greenland
Lt. Comdr. Francis C. Pollard, USCG, With Three Royal Canadian Air Force Fliers
Rescued from the Greenland Ice Cap by Lt. J.A. Pritchard, USCG,
Aboard a Coast Guard Cutter in the North Atlantic in 1941


the warriors, had been the subject of scathing criticism and sincere praise. Regardless of the justification for criticism, both praise and sympathy should go to those officers of the regular force who were sent out as missionaries to the various districts to put in effect a law written in double-talk. The success of the assignment depended entirely upon the personality and salesmanship of the individual officer. His job was to sell the average yachtsman the advantages of joining an organization which offered him no particular advantage in return. The yachtsman prospect being middle-=aged and affluent, and usually a stickler for keeping his boat in fine trim anyway, required hard selling. Men like Captain H.C. perkins, USCG (then Lieutenant Commander) did extraordinary work and it is interesting to note that all of these successful missionaries were equally good in converting the heathen when war sent them to sea in command of Coast Guard fighting ships. Perkins, under the immediate command of Admiral (then Captain) Stanley V. Parker in the 11th Naval District had a good year of it, as did many other able regular officers.

Birth of the Auxiliary

The Reserve was outgrowing its growing pains when, on October 17, 1940 was born, utterly unexpectedly, the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary. Its birth certificate as introduced by Senator Clark of Missouri, follows:


To provide for the establishment, administration, and maintenance of a Coast Guard Auxiliary and a Coast Guard Reserve.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That this Act may be cited as the "Coast Guard Auxiliary and Reserve Act of 1940."


SEC. 1. The Coast Guard Reserve Act of 1939, 53 Stat. 854 (U.S.C. Suppl V, title 14, ch. 0), as amended by Public Law Numbered 564, Seventy-sixth Congress, third session, is hereby repealed and in lieu of the United States Coast Guard Reserve provided for in such Act there is hereby created and established a United States Coast Guard Auxiliary (hereinafter referred to as the "Auxiliary").

SEC. 2. It is hereby declared to be the purposes of the Auxiliary (a) to further interest in safety of life at sea and upon the navigable waters, (b) to promote efficiency n the operation of motorboats and yachts, (c) to foster a wider knowledge of, and better compliance with the laws, rules, and regulations governing the operation of motorboats and yachts, and (d) to facilitate operations of the Coast Guard.

SEC. 3. The Auxiliary shall be composed of citizens of the United States and of its Territories and possessions, except the Philippine Islands, who are owners (sole or part) of motorboats or yachts, and who may be enrolled therein pursuant to regulations prescribed under the authority of this Act.

SEC. 4. The Auxiliary shall be a non-military organization administered by the Commandant of the Coast Guard (hereinafter referred to as the "Commandant") under the direction of the Secretary of the Treasury, and the Commandant shall, with the approval of the Secretary of the Treasury, prescribe such regulations as may be necessary to effectuate the purposes of this title.

SEC. 5. Subject to regulations prescribed under the authority of this Act, members of the Auxiliary may also be enrolled in the Coast Guard Reserve established by title II of this Act, and membership in the Auxiliary shall not be a bar to membership in any other naval or military organization.

SEC. 6. The Coast Guard is authorized to utilize in the conduct of duties incident to the saving of life and property, in the patrol of marine parades and regattas, or for any other purpose incident to the carrying out of the functions and duties of the Coast Guard which may be authorized by the Secretary of the Treasury, and motorboat or yacht placed at its disposition for any of such purposes by any member of the Auxiliary. No such motorboat or yacht shall be assigned to Coast Guard duty unless it is placed in charge of a commissioned officer, chief warrant officer, warrant officer, or petty officer of the Coast Guard or the Coast Guard Reserve established by title II of this Act during such assignment.

SEC. 7. Any motorboat or yacht, while assigned to Coast Guard duty as herein authorized, shall be deemed to be a public vessel of the United States, and, within the meaning of the Act of June 15, 1936 (49 Stat. 1514: U.S.C., Supp. V, title 14, sec. 71), shall be deemed to be a vessel of the United States Coast Guard.

SEC. 8. Appropriations of the Coast Guard shall be available for the payment of actual necessary expenses of operations of any such motorboat or yacht when so utilized, but shall not be available for the payment of compensation for personnel services, incident to such operation, to other than personnel of the regular Coast Guard or the Coast Guard Reserve established by title II of this Act. The term "actual necessary expenses of operation," as used herein, shall include fuel, oil, water, supplies, provisions, and any replacement or repair of equipment or any repair of the motorboat or yacht were, upon investigation by a board of not less than three commissioned officers of the regular Coast Guard, it is determined that responsibility for the loss or damage necessitating such replacement or repair of equipment or such repair of the motorboat or yacht rests with the Coast Guard.

SEC. 9. No member of the Auxiliary, solely by reason of such membership, shall be vested with or exercise any right, privilege, power, or duty vested in or imposed upon the personnel of the Coast Guard, except that any such member may, under such regulations as the Commandant shall prescribe, act in an advisory capacity to the Commandant in the administration of the Auxiliary. Any member performing such service shall, upon authorization by the Commandant, be entitled to actual expense of travel and to a per diem allowance not exceeding $5 per day while performing such travel from and to his home and while engaged upon such service.

SEC. 10. All orders, rules, and regulations, enrollments, privileges, or other benefits made, issued, or granted pursuant to the Coast Guard Reserve Act of 1939, as amended, and in effect on the date of the enactment of this Act, shall be applicable to the Coast Guard Auxiliary and shall continue in effect hereunder until modified or revoked in accordance with the provisions of this Act.

Function of the Auxiliary

The Auxiliary's only function was "to further interest in safety at sea and upon the navigable waters, to promote efficiency in the operation of motorboats


and yachts, to foster a wider knowledge of, and better compliance with the laws, rules and regulations governing the operation of motorboats and yachts and to facilitate operations of the Coast Guard." With the draft in effect and war literally at hand it might have been expected that interest in the new Auxiliary and its emphasis on yachting would have been hard to arouse. It did, however, arouse a strange and paradoxical interest.

A Misconception

The law was interpreted by many to mean that membership in the Auxiliary might keep young men out of the shooting. The very name of the Coast Guard and lack of public information added to this misconception. An amazing number thought that the sole function of the service was to guard the coast. How completely this was later disproved, is attested by the Coast Guard's role in World War II. Another questionable proviso of the bill, later modified, was that a member of the Auxiliary must be the owner, sole, or in part, of a boat. This could not be regarded in any other way than economic discrimination. The result was that many men, bought fabulously expensive boats for their sons and sent them into the Auxiliary. off-setting this was the fact that the Auxiliary offered thousands of men, unable to meet the physical standards for the regular service or the Reserve, an opportunity to get into the war. This they did, and well; as will appear later.

Organization of the Auxiliary

There was a fine flurry throughout the various districts as the flotillas were organized. Under the direction of each District Reserve and Auxiliary Officer, the Auxiliary was commanded by a commodore, a vice commodore, division captains and commanders. Theoretically, there were ten boats to a flotilla and, in may be said, that they were rigorously inspected before being accepted. Whatever the underlying purpose of the Auxiliary bill, the reaction of those who, by unexpectedly amended legislation, ost identity as Reservists and because Auxiliarists, grew increasingly resentful. This was, at first, largely a matter of the use of a word. It has been the fate of the Auxiliary to have it name bandied about. Even the dictionary is not flattering in its definition! It say: "An auxiliary is a person, or thing, that helps in a subordinate capacity. Allies are united as equals: auxiliaries are technically inferior, or subordinates." In his own mental attitude, however, the Auxiliarist was a member of the armed forces and a fighting man, regardless of the letter of the law. His conscious or subconscious desire was to act and look as much like a member of the regular establishment, or the suddenly elevated Reserve, as possible. This was reflected in the Uniforms of the Day.

Early Uniforms

Uniform regulations had been issued and, while they were focusing, the nevertheless reflected the tendency to keep the Auxiliary apart to the eye, if not from the heart, from the regular establishment of which the reserves had now become an integral part. For instance, a commodore commanding an Auxiliary Coast Guard District was supposed to wear three stripes on his sleeve, but no shoulder boards in any circumstances, and a cap device stamped out of the cheapest metal. To any naval observer he was a commander, but out of uniform; there being no gold on the visor of his cap. The sleeve insignia for ratings were that of the regular Coast Guard, but without the eagle.

Status of the Auxiliarist

Actual war was a year away and the new Auxiliary used the time well. Under the wise and inspirational over-all command of Commander (now Rear Admiral) Merlin O'Neill, USCG, as Director of Reserve and Auxiliary, the districts, divisions and flotillas took form and the confused members took heart. While it was still emphasized that the Auxiliarist was a civilian, the average member considered himself a member of the armed service. In him was reflected the peculiarly American spirit of the Minute Man or the Volunteer Fireman. This is the more remarkable because he was cut off by law from any military benefits whatsoever. Technically his government couldn't supply the flag to cover the casket if he were killed on a duty for which he received no pay and little recognition but which, nevertheless, helped win the war. It must be said, however, is discussing this strange relationship, that it wasn't entirely unilateral. If the Auxiliarist wished, he could go home. The government had no control over him, whatsoever. He could be disenrolled by his own flotilla, but he could also be thrown out of his yacht club for the same general reasons. This was the situation on December 7, 1941. It found the Auxiliary reasonably ready, able in an amateur way and fanatically willing.

Utilization of the Auxiliary

What to do with this ready, able and willing force of thousands of men and hundreds of boats was the sudden problem of all of the District Coast Guard Officers. To what extent they utilized this untried force depended almost entirely upon the individual District Commander. Generally it seems fair now to say that the District Coast Guard Officer regarded the Auxiliary as a nuisance. One thing is clear in turning the records back. The usefulness or uselessness of the Auxiliary depended almost entirely upon the willingness of the DCGO to use it or to ignore it. Both attitudes were manifested. The best results in the early war effort seem to have been when the DCGO threw away the book and used the Auxiliary fully according to the changing need of the moment.

Use by Captains of the Port

An examination of "First Narratives" as written by historical officers of the Auxiliary from personal experience and observation would also indicate that the Auxiliary functioned most effectively as a force when used under the direct command of the Captains of the Ports. Yet even among these officers there was a wide difference of opinion. On December 7, 1941, Lieutenant Commander Frank D. Higbee, USCG (now Rear Admiral, retired) ordered the Auxiliary to duty on the 11th Naval District and told them in effect "Come back with your shield; or on it!"

"Dangerous Situations"

In another District, by contrast, there was issued "Rules for Coast Guard Auxiliary Vessels on Patrol" and under the sub-heading of "Dangerous Situations" it read: "Whenever a dangerous situation arises, retire gracefully and call headquarters for assistance rather than endanger your lives." In a service dedicated to danger, such caution in the early days of war was scarcely calculated to inspire a volunteer. It would better be forgotten except as further apologia for the confusion besetting the flotillas. Nevertheless, the Coast Guard Auxiliary got into action. And with surprising success. Not amazing to those who did it; but astounding to those who didn't seem to know what to do with such an organization in the first place. They brought in survivors from sub-scuttled ships. They patrolled the waterfronts, They went off-shore in small boats in hurricane weather. A Seaman Second Class who was President of a bank, got into a fight over which was the senior service; the Coast Guard which offered him nothing or the Navy which was rushing him for Commander. He was busted to Seaman Third, and went out looking for submarines before he could whittle the stripe off his sleeve. Such


was the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary.


For a fair panorama of what the Auxiliary accomplished, wrong or right, from 7 December, 1941 on, this history must look to the individual First Narratives from the various districts. Written by Auxiliarymen and surprisingly modest, they err generally on the side of paucity. Another source of material is the Coast Guard War Diary, day by day reports of all Coast Guard activity from each district. In meticulous detail a War Diary might cover the Regular and Reserve but handles the Auxiliary as though dealing with a man whose invitation to the party is a little doubtful. Which indeed it was. Be it said for the local historians however that they did not hesitate to get up in meeting and complain. Each and every First Narrative sounded off with the basic grievance that the Auxiliarist, while participating in a shooting war, retained little military status. With the creation of the Temporary Reserve, the Auxiliary became its training school. Those who could pass a reasonable physical examination were enrolled as members of the temporary Reserve; those who couldn't, remained in the Auxiliary.

The Coast Guard's annual report for the fiscal year ending 30 June 19042, said:

At the end of the fiscal year, there were enrolled in the Auxiliary, a volunteer non-military organization of yacht and motorboat owners, approximately 11,500 members and 9,500 boats embraced within approximately 44 flotillas. Of the 9,500 boats mentioned above, 1,000 were taken into the Reserve to perform regular Coast Guard duties. In the majority of these cases, the owners or members of the crews of such boats were taken in as temporary members of the Reserve for service on their boats.

The constant emphasis on the term "non-military organization" is difficult to reconcile with an all-out war. The Auxiliary was clearly not a philanthropic or humanitarian organization such as the Red Cross. And it is doubtful if any German submarine captain would draw the fine distinction between the Auxiliaryman menacing him from the deck of his Idylhour Cruiser and a combatant. His uniform approximated that of a belligerent, and the light in his eye was even brighter. Only in the estimation of his own Service was the Auxiliaryman as harmless as the postman. The districts, divisions and flotillas were grouped under the various Naval Districts, later in 1946 changed to Coast Guard Districts. A map of these original divisions is here inserted, but for easier orientation the background for Auxiliary action will be additionally identified as "Boston District" or "New Orleans" or "Ketchikan District".

The Flotilla Commander

In securing for sea an Auxiliary Commander of Flotilla 76 had an immediate and personal problem in logistics. There being no authority for feeding him at public expense, although he was constantly bogged down with doughnuts by the kind and charitable ladies of the port. Also striding down the dock to board his own Idylhour Cruiser he must be accompanied by a Boatswains Mate, a rating of the regular establishment or the reserve who, once aboard the lugger, assumed command. All of this irritated the Commander. But all in all, he did a great job of it. Just what, when, and how is a matter of record. Just why, is filed in his own heart under Patriotism.

1st District

This area, spoking out from Hub, seemed from the start to have no educational or psychological hazards for the Auxiliary to hurdle. A man walking down the street carrying an anchor was immediately perceived to be carrying an anchor. It's men were born to the sea. The Auxiliary was a fine thing! A man didn't need to have spent his life drilling on the Common to snatch up his musket when the need arose. Only when it was rubbed in that the Auxiliary wasn't permitted to have a musket did he clear his throat in polite but startled inquiry. Nevertheless, the district had the largest enrollment in the country. There were about thirteen thousand Auxiliarymen keenly aware of a war in their own salty front yard. They broke ice in Salem harbor. They bent against the sand-blast of the beach as Coastal Pickets. They drummed up sixty sailing ships and forty powerful big motor vessels for offshore patrol. Man for man they stood watch-and-watch with any bell-bottomed britches from Boston to Bar Harbor. At Buzzard's Bay and at Wakefield there was set up an educational program calculated to make an Auxiliaryman into a Commando., He was to be given a gun, ammunition and a target; the three essentials for winning wars. Before he could be trusted with a gun, or go to school, however, he must enroll in the Temporary Reserve. There was no change in the man. But there was, strangely enough, an almost immediate change in regulations. The order of 31 December, 1942, barred Auxiliarymen from patrol craft. "There was little of the spectacular in the functioning of the Auxiliary of the First Naval District" the District historian concludes. "Certainly, the enrollment of 13,000 Auxiliarists, 10,000 of whom became Temporary Reservists, to represent the largest personnel respectively of any Naval District, was an outstanding accomplishment. The successful completion of the program for enrolling 60 sailing vessels and 40 large power vessels for the coastal picket fleet was a real achievement. Establishment of a total of 80 flotillas with concentration at Boston (which became the second port of the United States) and full geographical coverage of the District except for some areas of the Maine coast, was the result of untiring efforts of District and division officers. The recruiting effort of Flotilla 201, Portland, early in 1943 succeeded in a total enrollment of 431 members, making it the largest flotilla in the District. This was the outstanding record for Auxiliary recruiting. . . . Operationally the Auxiliarists went about their assigned tasks quietly and efficiently, there were no disasters in their patrol areas, and, considering the circumstances, their work was done to the satisfaction of all until the Temporary Reserve took over."

2nd District

It is not strange that the average man in the St. Louis area had little knowledge and less interest in the Coast Guard. Occasionally Coast Guard small craft came u river and once in a while a lad from the town would disappear for fur years into the Academy, but the service was relatively unknown except in the distant and unpleasant memory of prohibition enforcement. With the parent a stranger, it was doubly difficult to make his awkward son, the Auxiliary, a welcome guest. The regional Director of Reserve and Auxiliary, however, did a remarkable job. Flotillas were well organized and an intelligent training program set up. The disastrous flood of May, 1943, right in the middle of the war, gave the Auxiliary a workout in a way the St. Louis people could at once understand. All hands turned to in the rescue and the Auxiliary earned recognition and approval. A similar job was done in the floods of 1945. In the matter of war bonds, the Auxiliary in


Map: Coast Guard Districts Within Continental United States
Coast Guard Districts Within Continental United States
(As of 15 April 1946)


the St. Louis area got another "Well done." The members bought $157,000, or a per capita purchase of 118.00. By November, 1939, approximately 200 members and boats were enrolled in the "Reserve" (later in 1941 changed to the "Auxiliary"). In March, 1943, the Temporary Reserve began carrying out duties of the Coast Guard. Most of the original members of the Temporary Reserve units were Auxiliary members. By November, 1944, the Auxiliary of the St. Louis (2nd Naval) District had grown from 13 to 57 flotillas with a membership of 1,478 and by April, 1946, 1,671 members and 930 boats had been enrolled.

3rd District

The historian of the New York, or 3rd District, begins his narrative of the Auxiliary by saying, briefly, "During 1941 the Auxiliary had growing pains." He was quite right. Nor were the pains induced only by New York's fitful climate and the presence of enemy submarines not far off shore. Nevertheless, the flotillas took form and engaged in active maneuvers with the regular Coast Guard. They also worked out with the Army. In spite of an early lack of interest the outbreak of war found the Auxiliary going great guns; or rather great broom-sticks. There were enrolled at the end of 1941 a total of 1,155 vessels of various types, 1,354 members grouped into 46 flotillas by the end of 1945; 3,487 auxiliary vessels and 11,318 members. A considerable force of volunteers! It should have been, like the old designation of the cavalry, "an arm of inspiration; subject to the will of the commander" but, in his exhaustive and scholarly history of the district, the Auxiliary historian speaks of "the beginning of confusion." Specifically he mentions the directive of June, 1942, the metamorphosis of Auxiliary to Temporary Reserve and Auxiliary to civilian status. "T^his," he continued, "prevented the most effective war use of its personnel." The reader must be forewarned that this note will prevail throughout the histories of the districts. The only purpose in repetition is that it may offer a lesson for the future. Thus at the end of the fiscal year, 30 June, 1943, the annual report of Operations of the U.S. Coast Guard read: "Membership in the Auxiliary, a voluntary non-military organization of yacht and motorboat owners, and associate members, provided for pursuant to the Act of February 19, 1941, totalled 35,4844 at the close of the year. Vessel enrollment totalled 17,477, organized into 584 flotillas. An important service was rendered by this group in making their services and vessels available in the anti-submarine patrol along the coast, until the improvement in the situation permitted their release from such duty. Since May 25, 1943, the Auxiliary has directed its efforts primarily to qualifying members for active duty whenever needed as temporary members of the Reserve, principally for service in connection with port security. In order to standardize the training carried on in the various districts to promote proficiency in seamanship, navigation, engineering, etc., among auxiliary members, a Coast Guard Auxiliary Training Institute was established in New York, N.Y." Day by day, the Auxiliary found itself a feeder for the Reserve and a recruiting agency for the Spars and higher and drier as a sea going entity. Even so, the members hurled themselves into the task and, by and large, did a good job of it. The 3rd District Historian ends his account with this "Evaluation of the Auxiliary."

The Auxiliary has been of great service to the Coast Guard in both war and peace. It is of value in many ways, direct and indirect, potential and real. Despite the fact that the use of Auxiliary vessels by the Coast Guard has been discontinued, the Auxiliary still maintains its boating characteristic in this District and has nearly four thousand Auxiliary vessels on its rolls. These vessels are inspected each year, and full membership in the Auxiliary is contingent upon each vessel's passing that inspection. As a result, the Commander, Third Coast Guard District, in an emergency, is in a position to call upon any number of these vessels with the knowledge that they meet Auxiliary requirements. Another element is the ability of the Auxiliary to mobilize with dispatch a great number of men in any part of the District. During the week of October 26, 1943, a gale approaching hurricane force swept the Atlantic coast doing great damage along the shore line of New Jersey. Within an hour from the time the request was made, 200 Auxiliary members reported for emergency duty, in addition to the Temporary Reserves assigned for regular duty at the stations involved. Also in 1943, when a munition ship caught fire in Upper New York Harbor, 750 men and a number of Auxiliary vessels were mobilized for use of the Coast Guard. The Auxiliary is a large group of citizens who are interested in the Coast Guard, its problems and activities. They represent a cross-section of American life and their future interest in the Coast Guard is bound to be of benefit to the Service. Their influence and support as civilians is valuable to the Coast Guard's public relations. . . . The Auxiliary has established a close contact between boat owners and the Coast Guard. It is an excellent means of disseminating information regarding navigation, motorboat and yacht regulations and safety upon navigable waters. In addition to aiding in the prevention of distress at sea by education, Auxiliarymen have rendered assistance to other vessels many times, thus eliminating the necessity for an emergency call to the Coast Guard.

4th District

(No material on the Auxiliary in the 4th Naval District during World War II has been made available to the Coast Guard Historians.)

5th District

This area, including Washington, Baltimore and Norfolk might be said to have been the inner spring of the naval works. They were indeed Men of Marque and no Baltimore Privateer ever sailed more eagerly than these Joshua Barneys answered the called the call of their flotillas for duty. They prowled the Chesapeake and the inlets where there was water enough to float a skiff. When there wasn't, they went ashore and trudged the bleak beaches on eternal vigilance. They were a particularly fine band of Auxiliarymen in this strategic Fifth, with their ranks swollen to more than 2,500 members. Then the Temporary Reserve went into effect and, buy January 15, 1944, there was left of the Auxiliary 956 "regular" members and 185 "associate" members. There were, however, enrolled a considerable force of 841 boats of many varieties. Among the districts, the Fifth was earliest and loudest to ask that the Auxiliary be permitted to take regular rank within itself. An Auxiliary rescue party, saving submarine survivors from the deep off Hatteras, seemed to feel that the commander should be called "Commander" if he had the flotilla. "Immediately after the news of Pearl Harbor," the 5th District History of the Auxiliary reads, "telegrams from the organized flotillas began to pour in from the field. Flotillas in Washington, Baltimore, Norfolk, Newport News, etc., mobilized and instituted patrols, using their own craft and uniformed in the Coast Guard auxiliary uniform, they carried on their patrols, paid for their subsistence and fuel, went out into all kinds of weather and watched, waited, and prevented possibly many acts of sabotage by their presence and vigilance. Large numbers of men answered the Coast Guard's appeal for men . . . to enlist in the Temporary and Regular Coast Guard Reserve. . . ."


Pleasure boats at Corinthian Yacht Club, Washington DC
Pleasure boats at Corinthian Yacht Club, Washington, D.C.
Awaiting courtesy motor boat inspection.


"Others, not so well suited for Regular Service, remained at home as members of the Auxiliary; aided in recruiting for the Coast Guard; conducted Auxiliary Training Classes; assisted with Intelligence checks; performed volunteer Coast Guard patrols, air-sea rescue operations with their own vessels and assisted the Coast Guard with other operations."

6th District

Concerning this unusually active and successful Auxiliary force, an exhaustive and scholarly First Narrative, or contemporary history, has been written by Lieutenant E.W. Goode, USCGR(W). Subsequent and equally valuable material has been received from Lieutenant Commander Louis A. Hanson, USCGR, and from both sources the present writer will quote liberally. Writing informally, Commander Hanson says of the Cape Fear Division:

The Cape Fear Division of the Coast Guard Auxiliary was organized December 20, 1941, consisting of business and professional men in private life, who voluntarily and without pay, guarded the numerous inlets that break the southern North Carolina coast line for 24 hours at a stretch. A boiling hot sun during the day and sand files and other pests day and night did not add to the pleasantness of the task, which was to keep any unauthorized vessel from slipping through the inlet and to keep a sharp lookout for any signs of enemy activity. In addition to inlet patrols, boats of the Auxiliary played a vital role in maintaining army patrols and outposts along desolate beaches of the coast. They kept watch over the inland waterway and adjacent waterways, guarding ships and war plants from the water side and assisting in waterfront fires and rescues. The actual work of the Cape Fear Division began here in March, when the Division Commander was called at 3:00 A.M. by the Captain of the port to assist in the rescue of a tanker which was torpedoed sixteen miles off Wrightsville Beach. Two vessels manned by the Auxiliaries here circled the torpedoed vessel at 5:30, but a vessel from Southport was already on the scene to pick up the survivors. The Captain of the Cape Fear Division was appointed Director of the 6th Naval District, succeeding Lieutenant Commander C.A. Anderson, now Captain, and assumed his duties March 3, 1943. From the first the Auxiliary in the District were patrolling 26 inlets nightly and continued these operations until this work was ordered discontinued. During this time the Auxiliaries rescued and assisted approximately 300 persons from the marshes and adjacent waters between Wilmington, North Carolina and Fernandine, Florida. These rescues consisted of persons from crashed planes and small boats. We had approximately 75 of the Auxiliary to enter full time service of the Coast Guard during the emergency. During an attempted shelling of the Dow Chemical Company, located at the mouth of Cape Fear River, the Auxiliaries and boats of the Cape Fear Division took an active interest, 297 small boats, ranging from 23 footers to 65 footers were enrolled in the work in this District. Special commendations were received by the Auxiliarists for their rescues of victims of plane crashes from Savannah and Brunswick, Georgia units, and high commendations were received from each of the Captains of the ports in this District, for the cooperation and services rendered by the flotillas in their respective localities. In substantiation of this particular rescue, the Coast Guard War Diary of the date states: "At approximately 0210 EWT on 29 June, 1942, the British tanker SS Empire Mica was struck by two torpedoes in the approximate position 29°10;-85°20'W. The vessel was immediately enveloped in flames and the majority of its men trapped below decks. Thirty-three members of the crew lost their lives. At 0540 EWT the Coast Guard Auxiliary arrived at the scene but found no survivors. A lifeboat was sighted about four miles northeast of the burning ship and the Countess proceeded to that point and took the lifeboat containing fourteen survivors in tow. later they were transferred to the Sea Dream and landed at Apalachicola, Florida."

Primarily a Captain of the Port Force, the Auxiliary of the Sixth worked not only the inlets but took to the open sea as evidenced by the foregoing account. Its members, rich in land experience, were invaluable from Cape Hatteras to the Cape Fear Bar. To stimulate and sustain interest, the flotillas published a well edited and readable magazine under the title of Soundings.

7th District

The work of the Auxiliary in Florida waters is well described by the local historian who writes: "Not always efficient, but usually steady and reliable and willing to fight with whatever they had, on a battlefront as grim as any faced by our forces overseas, the Coast Guard Auxiliary in the Seventh provided the men and boats and guts needed to do the job." No one could ask more. The Floridan coast men were almost amphibious by nature, most owning boats of one sort or another, and all could offer invaluable knowledge of the intricate chain of keys and the countless hiding places for enemy submarines. The record of the Seventh for long hard and faithful service is enviable among the histories of the Auxiliary flotillas:

From Cape Canaveral the Florida shore forms one side of the Florida Straits which stretch 40 off miles east of the Bahama Banks. Here deep water flows close to the Florida shore. Lighthouses and other aids to navigation marks channels, shoals, reefs, and numerous hazards threatening the thousands of ships which annually travel the Gulf Stream, funneling through the straits. These narrow straits were a natural "happy hunting ground" for enemy submarines. Before sufficient naval strength was available to ward off undersea attacks, 24 ships had been sunk. From these ships, 504 men were saved. Lifeboat Stations and their crews were often the sole hope of submarine victims and they proved themselves worthy, time and again, but there were not enough regular Coast Guard boats and men to go around. The Coast Guard Auxiliary, an organization of commercial and sports fishermen, and their craft, filled the breach. Mr. William M. Mansfield, pone of the leading sportsmen on South Florida, volunteered his services to the Commanding Officer of the Fort Lauderdale Coast Guard Base on December 7, 1941. He was put to work interviewing and classifying hundreds of boat owners who, like himself, knew that war meant a need for boats and men. These men put themselves and their vessels at the Coast Guard's disposal. By September 12, 1942, small boat operating bases had been established at various ports, from St. Augustine to St. Marks. The total was 165 boats ranging in length from 30 to 100 feet. By June, 1943, at the peak, the total was 276. Time after time, these Auxiliarists took their tiny boats out, a few armed with rifles, others with boat hooks and flash lights, to haul drowning, burned, merchant seamen from the sea. In April, 1942, the German submarine commanders found the weakest spot in the whole armor of Florida coast defense. The focused their activities off Cape Canaveral, the most isolated stretch on the entire Florida coast.THere, Cape Canaveral Lighthouse marks the entrance to the Florida Straits and helmsmen use it to steer their vessels inshore in order to follow the Florida coast south to Miami and the Keys, thus minimizing the Gulf Stream's northward drift. Fifty miles from the nearest lifeboat station at Ponce de Leon Inlet, and almost that from any village or town,m Canaveral was truly the wolf pack's "Happy Hunting Ground." Lying off shore, U-boats picked up silhouettes of four ships in the flashing warning light and sent torpedoes crashing into all four. Within two weeks, 151 survivors had received first aid, medical assistance, food and clothing, at the lighthouse, which had become a veritable house of refuge. Coast Guard Auxiliary men


From Cocoa, and motor patrols from Ponce de Leon Inlet, patrolled the beaches, pulling in survivors in a steady stream as local fishermen in skiffs guided them towards shore. To remove the silhouettes, Canaveral Light was dimmed. Other merchant vessels were torpedoed off Boynton Inlet, off Jupiter Inlet and off Bethel Shoals. A tanker was hit on its way into Port Everglades in full view of the salvage fleet. Here Auxiliary and Coast Guard vessels from Lake Worth Inlet Lifeboat Station managed to pull 31 survivors from flaming wreckage and a debris littered sea, leaving the blazing tanker to drift northward, two days before it sank. When, late in May, two Mexican tankers were attacked, one off Miami and the other off the Florida Keys, three Coast Guard Auxiliary flotillas brought in 22 survivors of one of them and the CGC Nemesis brought in 28 survivors of the other. A few days later Mexico declared war on the Axis. Two more ships travelling in convoy from Key West in August, 1942, were the last on the list of submarine victims for nearly a year.

8th District

By the end of August, 1942, there were 220 part time vessels available in the 8th District, with 120 of them in operation. On 10 October 1942, fifteen Auxiliary flotillas were on patrol on the various Captains of the Port and 134 Auxiliary boats were being used a great part of the time. By December 31, 1945, 27 flotillas with 581 vessels had enrolled 2,618 members. The War Diary speaks of the Morgan City, Texas, patrol of the Auxiliary as being made up entirely of fishermen. Two hundred and thirteen of their commercial fishing vessels were enrolled and 122 were in active use. The War Diary further states: "The information derived from the operation of the five groups of Auxiliary patrols (coastal) was reported as proving of great value as an original source of information and the liaison between these groups and Naval Intelligence very effective." The District historian continues: "All members were regularly request to be on the lookout for and to report to the nearest Coast Guard unit any suspicious communication intercepted, or suspicious movements or operations of vessels observed. Throughout the duration of the war, even though the cruising area was restricted insofar as pleasure boating was concerned, all members did their best to assist the service by observation and report." Cast Guard Headquarters ruled on May 23, 1943: "The purpose of the Coast Guard Auxiliary for the duration of the war, or until further notice from Headquarters, will be that of a civilian organization which is engaged in the training of its members to qualify them for active duty, whenever needed with the Coast Guard as temporary members of the Coast Guard Reserve. . . ." A number of Auxiliary members were among the first commissioned in the regular U.S.C.G. Reserve. In the 8th District the Auxiliary Training Program was established in close cooperation with the Coast Guard training officer. The Auxiliary flotilla was the nucleus of the organization which subsequently became known as the Temporary Reserve Unit afloat, the units in each locality being joined together to form the Temporary Reserve Force afloat in that particular area. Two or more units constituted a force. A substantial percentage of the men who went into the various Temporary Reserve Forces Afloat, and who were the backbone of the various units, were Auxiliary members of long standing, who had served on the civilian auxiliary patrols in the early days of the war (1941-1943), or had been otherwise active in auxiliary circles. The Seamanship Training Corps program was very successful in giving practical training in seamanship to boys. In 1943-44, 18 schools participated, with 793 students completing the course and being awarded certificates. "It is obvious," the District historian concludes, "that the members of the Auxiliary performed excellent and important duty through the period prior to and during the war.  . . . To hold their interest and enthusiasm, now the war is over, Headquarters must give the auxiliary a program  . . . assigning a comprehensive, but not too technical, education course, and an operating plan to train for and use the Auxiliary in time of emergency."

9th District

The history of the Auxiliary in the 9th (Cleveland) Naval District, embracing completely the Great Lakes from Minnesota to the Appalachians, during the war, has not been written.

10th District

In the 10th Naval District (Puerto Rico) the Volunteer Port Security Force was the only non-regular Coast Guard activity.2

11th District

The Los Angeles District had three hundred miles of exposed coastline, spiked with oil derricks and studded with tanks. The Los Angeles-Long Beach Harbor area was the command center and there gathered a strange Auxiliary force. Captain H.C. Perkins, USCG, then Lieutenant Commander, was assigned the task of organizing the Auxiliary (then the Reserve) a year before Pearl Harbor. He worked under the authority and inspiration of Admiral Stanley V. parker, USCG, and made frequent rips from his office in San Francisco to Hollywood. Amiable and diplomatic and in a neat gray suit, he looked little like the officer who later commanded the Leonard Wood on her valiant shuttle through the war-waters and is now Coast Guard's splendid liaison officer in Korea. Nevertheless, by sheer force of personality he recruited, or perhaps ordained would be a better term, the amazing group which became the cadre of the Auxiliary. Nor did all of them join for the privilege of wearing the uniform in its many interesting variations. Over this colorful Auxiliary force of approximately a thousand men and four hundred boats there were four commodores, one after the other, of widely divergent origin and interests. First there was John D. Roche, distinguished commercial artist, typographer and advertising mogul. Then followed Malcolm Stuart Boylan, earlier mentioned as the Founder of the Reserve and Auxiliary, who, between wars, is a motion picture writer. Taking over from Boylan was Jack Cairns, a service station executive. Next, and last, came Donald Douglas, the aircraft manufacturer. It was under Douglas that the efficient Los Angeles-Long Beach Security Regiment was formed and by him commanded. Technically a Temporary Reserve Force, the regiment absorbed such members of the Auxiliary as qualified. This, however, was in the latter days, and not until after the Auxiliary had chalked up a long list of achievements and mistakes; both the result of high patriotic purpose. In reviewing the Auxiliary in all districts, it now seems clear that the effectiveness of the force depended almost entirely upon the sympathetic understanding of the hybrid by the various DCGO's and particularly the Captains of the port under whose more immediate command the flotillas functioned. if the 11th ran up a good score of rescue from sub-stricken ships and vigilant port security and beach patrol, it is due to the extraordinary personality of Rear Admiral (then Commander) Frank D. Higbee, USCG (Ret.). It has been mentioned before that his dispatching order to the


Left to Right: -- Mr. Charles E. Ford, owner of yacht 'Tempie', 
Calvin H. Dalby, Director of Public Safety, City of Norfolk, Virginia, 
and Mr. Fred Swink, inspect engine room abord yacht 'Tempie' 
berthed Southern Yacht Marine, Norfolk, Virginia
Ill 6. Left to Right: -- Mr. Charles E. Ford, owner of yacht Tempie,
Calvin H. Dalby, Director of Public Safety, City of Norfolk, Virginia,
and Mr. Fred Swink, inspect engine room aboard yacht Tempie
berthed Southern Yacht Marine, Norfolk, Virginia

Robert S. Paris, part owner of yacht 'Riptide' foreground and Coast Guard Auxiliary 
Inspector Flotilla #52, Ralph Bonniville, inspect stores aboard yacht 'Riptide' 
berthern Southern Yacht Marine at the Gramby Street Bridge, Norfolk, Virginia
Ill 7. Robert S. Paris, part owner of yacht Riptide, foreground, and
Coast Guard Auxiliary Inspector Flotilla #52, Ralph Bonniville,
inspect stores aboard yacht Riptide, berthed Southern Yacht Marine at the Gramby Street Bridge, Norfolk, Virginia


Auxiliary was: "Come back with your shield, or on it." With this inspiration he used the Auxiliary as a task force in this highly vulnerable war area and, as he officially stated, obtained completely satisfactory results.

12th District

San Francisco, famous for doing things in a large way and with a flourish, mustered an unusually efficient and enthusiastic Auxiliary. Much of this was due to the close personal attention of Admiral Stanley V. Parker and Commander H.C. Perkins, doubling between San Francisco and Los Angeles. From 7 December 1941, until the need ended, Auxiliary boats patrolled the bay, night and day and land-locked members fanned out through the waterfront in a vigorous and effective Port Security Patrol. Lieutenant Commander John J. Hallenbeck, USCGR, who followed Perkins as Director of Reserve and Auxiliary, is the historian of the district and has prepared a modest, but informative First Narrative. He mentions the tie-up between the Auxiliary, Reserve and Spar recruiting campaign with the newspapers and the radio stations as working most successfully. In the bond drive the San Francisco flotillas rang up $437,000 in 1944 and only slightly less in 1945. The flotillas logged a fine record for rescue work in the choppy waters of the bay and the dull, but necessary routine duty of clearing flotsam from the sea plane landing areas. Unique among all districts the San Francisco Auxiliarists conjured up a 35 piece band. On the day of the unfortunate Port Chicago explosion the Auxiliary went into action, winning a "well done" from Admiral C.H. Wright, USN.

13th District

"The lack of military benefits is a serious obstacle to the recruiting program," the historian begins after 210 fully manned Auxiliary boats were on patrol. "The provisions for including an Auxiliary in the Coast Guard was a new undertaking; and like all new growths the child suffered growing pains. There were no precedents for the Coast Guard to follow and no regulations for guidance. It can be stated truthfully that there was comparatively little interest in the new problem child of the Coast Guard among the majority of the members of the Regular Coast Guard staff. This lack of interest and the failure to provide definite organized plans for growth, development and use of the Auxiliary, accounted to a large extent for the problems that plagued the Coast Guard later. A factor wisely weighed by prospective Reserve members sought from the Auxiliary was that if they didn't respond to Auxiliary duty the worst punishment was disenrollment. By going into the Reserve, they became subject to military law." The order of 22 August, 1943, says the historian, "put 3,500 Auxiliarists and Temporary Reservists on the beach." "This," he says, "resulted in a terrible let down on the part of all members. They grouped around waiting for some explanation from someone in authority. The problem of holding the flotillas together became almost insurmountable. Directors of Auxiliary and Reserve travelled their districts frantically trying to persuade the flotillas not to disband; but they had nothing to offer except the vague assurance that the members would be called if they were ever needed." This was the low spot for the Auxiliary in the 13th and, it would seem, prevailed generally throughout the country. The historian makes another interesting point in his opinion that the various directors of the Auxiliary lacked rank and, consequently, authority. Incongruously the staff of Temporary Reserve usually outranked the Auxiliary Director. In spite of all this, the Auxiliary in the 13th mustered 2,684 members as of 1944 and 922 available boats.

14th District

There was not Auxiliary in the 14th Naval District during the war and there was no 15th and 16th District in Coast Guard organization.

17th District

In this Alaskan outpost, the Auxiliary had been integrated with the Civilian Defense Organization, well set up before 7 December. Senior Army, Navy and Coast Guard officers formed an advisory group to the director of Civilian Defense force. Representing the Coast Guard was Commander F.A. Zeusler of Ketchikan. Substitute headquarters were established in the event of an air raid should destroy the principal structure and a generally efficient station set up against the immediate danger of enemy action against the area. In this, the Coast Guard Auxiliary took an active and practical part. The historian briefly describes the Auxiliary as "a valuable adjunct to Army and Navy units stationed in Southeastern Alaska."

Future of the Auxiliary

What will the Auxiliary do with the future? What has been done is history; some of it pretty sorry, some of it on the splendid side; most of it highly confused. At this writing, in the middle of 1946, there are 24,273 active members of the Auxiliary; a considerable cadre of the Old Guard, well indoctrinated and capable of immediate and vast expansion. In the event of war, what will be done? Both the Auxiliary and the administration should have learned something from the last emergency. One of two courses will be followed. The first and, unfortunately the most likely, is that the Auxiliary will be activated by a cautious directive and ordered to the same duty. The second course, and the wiser if any lesson has been learned, will be to drop the name of "Auxiliary," call it simply The United States Coast Guard Reserve and split it into two classifications; the Regular Reserve for the young and rugged lads and the Temporary Reserve for the others. By mid-1947, there are more than 24,000 Auxiliarymen on the rolls. It would seem to the contemplative historian that something definite should be done to keep their enthusiasm at a useful pitch, rather than suffer iit to peter out under chilling indifference. With the other services actively seeking reservists the Coast Guard seems to have no interest at the moment in either the Reserve, the Temporary Reserve or the Auxiliary. Early in 1947, Headquarters passed the word that former members of the Temporary Reserve could be reenrolled. That was the only inducement, but it was enough. There was tremendous enthusiasm throughout the country. Then, for some unexplained reason, the project was dropped. The Auxiliaryman who was a Temporary Reservist and wants to be again, suffered a severe letdown.

1947 Survey Auxiliary Activities

This log of the Auxiliary has been a year and more in the compiling and writing and the earlier views of the various District Directors and Commodores have, perhaps altered. The historian will, however, try to reflect the ideas of each as a gauge of the present and a guide to the future. From Seattle, the wheelhouse of the 13th District, comes a forthright statement of the Auxiliary situation which unlike many other reports, seems to favor the Auxiliary as a strictly non-military organization "without benefit of the Temporary Reserve inducement." The Seattle Auxiliarists report follows:

13th District

The new Thirteenth Coast Guard District was born early in 1946. The term "new Auxiliary" means


Ill 8. Inspecting bow light on pleasure boat
Ill. 8. Inspecting bow light on pleasure boat.

Ill. 9. Robert S. Paris, part owner of yacht
Ill. 9. Robert S. Paris, part owner of yacht Riptide foreground and Coast Guard Auxiliary Inspector Flotilla #52, Ralph Bonniville, inspect running lights aboard yacht berthed Southern Yacht Marine at the Granby Street Bridge, Norfolk, Virginia.


that the organization could not continue as it was in wartime and will never revert to its old peacetime standing. A revitalized and stronger Auxiliary is being built up in the Northwest and should rise to unquestionable leadership in the small boat fraternity in this area.

Plain and forceful action was needed early in 1946 when the Auxiliary direction was assumed by a commander in the regular establishment. The ranks of the organization were swelled by a "paper membership" of 3,000 members. By far the greater majority of these were non-boat owning members of the wartime Temporary Reserve. In fact, the ghost of the Temporary Reserve will continue to haunt the local Auxiliary for some time to come. The men liked the more active roles they had in Coast Guard affairs while in this status and were hard to convince that this emergency program had served its purpose in a commendable manner and was completed.

Prior to the war, the Auxiliary in the District was one of the largest and most active in the nation. In 1942 the membership increased tremendously and when the Temporary Reserve program started they furnished more men than any other district. The new Director of Auxiliary issued, on 1 April 1946, a district Auxiliary circular which explained the demise of the Temporary Reserve and the necessity for a return to a sound peacetime organization along the lines prescribed by law. He also explained that the Auxiliary was a non-military organization based upon boat ownership and fostered by the Coast Guard for the primary purpose of greater safety in boating.

A program of education was started which outlined to the flotilla officers the steps that they must take in toward placing their organization back on a sound footing. Inactive members had to be disenrolled, new boat owning members sought, and inspections of Auxiliary craft completed. This work is still being done. The Auxiliary men were slow getting underway, probably because they couldn't fully comprehend just what the Auxiliary held for them in a peacetime role. Finally, however, new officers were elected and the process of weeding out the "deadwood" and the building of an aggressive Auxiliary gained speed.

The District Commander assigned a fifty foot patrol boat to the Director of Auxiliary for training purposes. This single action by the Coast Guard probably was one of the largest factors in speeding the re-organization program. It was evidence of real interest in the Auxiliary and intentions of making it a first quality reserve of trained men in the boating field. This craft, the 50038, has been used steadily to patrol sailing races, regattas, and other water events. There never has been a lack of enthusiastic Auxiliarists to help man it.

The Courtesy Motorboat Inspection program was another cohesive force on the Auxiliary in this district. The idea first met with lukewarm reception in this area and it was some time before it made any appreciable progress. Before it really gained any impetus, the Auxiliary directorship changed hands. Realizing the value of the Courtesy Inspections, both as an aid to safe boating and a boost to the Auxiliary, the new director emphasized this program locally. Pointing out the necessity for setting up the inspection stations as soon as possible, he used this as a lever to whip the flotillas into activity.

The Auxiliary men were sent to a training school for their job as inspectors. A boatswain's mate was the training officer. This man was already well known and respected by the Auxiliarists because of his position as officer in charge of the 50038. The first group of inspectors came from Flotilla 29. They set up shop at Eddie's Boat Sales on Lake Union in the heart of Seattle. t the present time every Auxiliary city has at least one inspection station and the system has been commended editorially in local newspapers. Radio station and newspapers as a whole have given considerable time and space to inform the public of the Courtesy Inspections. Through these mediums, the Auxiliary men can see that their efforts are known and appreciated.

The District Commander has assigned the cutter Atlanta to training cruises for the Auxiliary on various occasions. The value of these trips is inestimable in public relations as well as supplying a good basic knowledge of large ship handling and navigation to the small boat men.

Large scale marine events are plentiful and spectacular in this district and they require many patrol boats. It is fortunate for the Coast Guard and the boating public that an active and intelligent Auxiliary is on hand to lend aid in keeping their fellow boatmen in order. There still remains much to be done before the Auxiliary will be the organization that is desired. However, progress is being made and the day should not be far ahead when the Auxiliary will regain the position it once held in this district, a position once attained without benefit of the Temporary Reserve inducement.

12th District

San Francisco as noted above does things in a big way and, answering a request for a statement on the 12th District, the California Auxiliaryman sent in eleven pages of exhaustive data, spiced with vigorous optimism. Much if it is here quoted:

From is inception, the Coast Guard Auxiliary was intended to be a non-military organization of yachtsmen to further safe yachting through education. The exigencies of World War II, however, militarized the organization, and the exemplary manner in which the Auxiliarists responded is a matter of record. While this response to emergency added stature to a splendid organization, it was inevitable that there should be a severe post-war let-down. The excitement was over. It was difficult to think of Auxiliary without the incentive of its war-time importance and hazards. We had even forgotten that the Auxiliary had once been a non-military groups of yachtsmen. While many of us were blinded to the real future of Auxiliary, it is fortunate that our new District Director was not. Commander George H. Miller, who was assigned to the 12th District in San Francisco on 1 April 1946, said in an early address to some sixty dubious officers of the Auxiliary, "We will now turn from the fervor and fever of war to the practical problems of peace, to activities as important and no less interesting in the future." During the transition months, this has proved to be true. We have our bearings and a course has been set for the post-war Auxiliary.

The paramount purpose of the Auxiliary is to promote safety and efficiency in the operation of all motor boats and yachts. The Coast Guard depends heavily upon the Auxiliary to foster a program to reduce the hazards of boating, thus increasing the security and pleasure of yachtsmen, and at the same time eliminating from the Coast Guard's busy schedule many unnecessary accidents. The program at one time limited to self-instruction and self-regulation for members of the Auxiliary, has been expanded to include the general boating public. Our method for accomplishing this service to fellow yachtsmen embraces two fields--courtesy inspections and classroom instruction.


Courtesy boat inspection is made at the request of the boat owner. The flotillas in the various sections of Northern California have set up inspection stations, where, while a boat is at the dock, she will be completely inspected and her owner advised whether or not her equipment complies with the laws and whether or not she is in safe operating condition. This inspection is purely an advisory service--the Auxiliary has no police powers and no report of the inspection is made. However, if the boat passes, the owner is awarded a decal and a sticker is put on his windshield indicating that he has passed inspection. Such a boat, unless there were some open violation of the law, would not be boarded by the Coast Guard on routine boarding duty.

Members of the Auxiliary courtesy inspection teams are specially trained for this job, and are tactful and sincere in their efforts to help their fellow yachtsmen.

In addition to advising them as to whether or not their boats comply with the requirements of the law, they will also inspect such items as ground tackle, ropes, wire, steering gear, carburetor drip pan, electrical switches, hull and any other equipment which might affect the safety of the vessel or of those on board. The success of this program is of much concern to the Coast Guard. When it becomes widely accepted by the general boating public as a service with no obligations on the part of the owner, it is felt that the many tragic accidents caused by ignorance or neglect will be markedly reduced. We have a point of having our automobiles inspected to safeguard the lives of our families and ourselves--why not our boats?

Classroom instruction in various subjects related to boating is scheduled for all flotillas. These classes are open to the general public, and the large number of non-Auxiliarists in attendance demonstrates the interest of the boating public and need for carrying on this constructive activity. It is a matter of record that Auxiliary members soon become qualified instructors. Their training and experience in comparison with the new boat owner (or old) who has not had opportunity to study safe and intelligent boat-handling, make them so. And thought the instruction may be begun by a member of the Coast Guard, such as the District Director, the members eventually give the lectures. There are two semesters a year, the first from 15 January to 1 April and the second from 1 October to 15 December. The course consists of a series of ten lectures each semester, including the following subjects:

Special lectures are given on the radio direction finder, radio communications, and radar. Members of the Auxiliary also have available to them the various correspondence courses given by the Coast Guard Institute, New London, Connecticut, in more advanced nautical subjects such as celestial navigation. Upon completion of the regular course a non-member certificate is issued to all persons who obtain a mark of 75% on the final written examination.

We have our own boat inspections too. These are very rigid, the standards set for Auxiliary craft being far above normal requirements of the law. Each year prior to the first of April all Auxiliary craft are inspected by teams made up of members of the Auxiliary, and these inspection reports re forwarded to the Director of Auxiliary, Commander Miller, at the District Coast Guard Headquarters. It is mandatory that all vessels pass inspection in order to fly the Auxiliary blue ensign. Because of these strict inspections and the regular instruction and training we receive, we were able recently to secure a preferred rate of insurance from several large companies for boats owned by members of the Auxiliary. The new rate amounts to about a 40% reduction over prevailing rates and is of course a high tribute, a recognition of Auxiliarists as superior yachtsmen.

Most of use had several opportunities to make training cruises on the Coast Guard 83-footer, the 83397. Here we put into practice the things learned in class. The 83397 is completely outfitted with all navigation instruments and accessories, radio telephone and radar. A flotilla crew for a training cruise consists of twelve men assigned to specific duties in accordance with the Watch, Quarters and Station Bill aboard. Though these men execute the specific duties of Commanding Officer, Executive Officer, Navigation Officer, Communications Officer, Engineering Officer, Machinists Mates, and seaman for all standard drills and evolutions, their training is not limited to their particular assignments. All hands are instructed on each cruise in the practical aspects of navigation that will be invaluable to them on their own boats.

The CG-83397 is used exclusively for Auxiliary training and has a complete schedule throughout the year. Most of our cruising is limited to week-ends and holidays, but we operate summer and winter, and all flotillas manage to utilize the boat several times during the year. We are not observers, but actually man the boat. Some of learned the practical use of radar coming from Santa Cruz to San Francisco last July through eighty miles of pea-soup fog. The 83397 besides its regular training cruises, patrols all the regattas in this area, assisted usually by Auxiliary craft. As many as twelve boats owned by members of the Auxiliary have participating in patrolling one race. The operation plan for patrolling is drawn up by the District, and Auxiliary boats patrol designated areas.

Alert Auxiliarists have effected some thirty-five rescues in this area the past year, from towing in disabled yachts to actually pulling out of the water people who were in a critical situation after the boat had capsized. We have learned that not all those who go boating can swim! Ray Col, Commander of Flotilla 24, San Jose, while cruising in his Ratomba last April, rescued the crew of a Stanford University training shell which had swamped in the cold choppy waters off Palo Alto. One of the crew members was so cold and exhausted that only the timely arrival of the Ratomba averted a tragedy.

District plans include a radio network of amateur stations and radio telephones aboard numerous Auxiliary craft to assist in any major disaster. There are also plans for mobilizing Auxiliarists to assist the Coast Guard should any catastrophic condition arise. For example, the Sacramento flotilla has an annual problem with the flooding of the Sacramento and American Rivers. Much damage to small boats is averted by a simple plan the Auxiliary has developed. The sudden rises in these rivers after the low stages of summer bring down considerable heavy drift which endangers the moored boats. The vertical clearances in the "M" and "I" Street bridges at Sacramento are restricted in these rises with the result that boats


Ill. 10. First inspection (courtesy) of 1947 at Milwaukee Yacht Club. 
Left to right: Hilmar W. Beose, Vice Comm. Area M&S. 
Harvey Maresch, Flotilla 24-07 Inspection Committee, awarding first decal (CG-2902) 
to Harry E. Sanger, Vice Captain, Division XXIV, on Sanger's Vessel 'Rendezvous'
Ill. 10. First inspection (Courtesy) of 1947 at Milwaukee Yacht Club.
Left to right: Hilmar W. Beose, Vice Comm. Area M&S,
Harvey Maresch, Flotilla 24-07 Inspection Committee, awarding first decal (CG-2902)
to Harry E. Sanger, Vice Captain, Division XXIV, on Sanger's Vessel Rendezvous


of the cruiser type, when torn from their moorings by the heavy drift, pile up under the bridges and are seriously damaged or sunk.

Sacramento Flotilla No. 32 has pretty much controlled this situation with a valuable service which works this way: The state bridge tender at Knights Landing Bridge, some thirty miles up the Sacramento River from Sacramento, advises the California Division of Highways Maintenance Officer at Sacramento by telephone of any large amount of drift passing under the bridge. This information is relayed by phone to the Sacramento flotilla commander who also receives regular reports from the weather bureau station as to the approximate time and height of the crest of the river at Sacramento. If it is considered that the height of the rising river will not allow sufficient clearance beneath the bridges for the larger boats, the local radio stations are notified and they broadcast warnings to boat owners of the impending danger to their craft. At the same time the Auxiliary emergency stand-by crews go on duty to render whatever assistance is necessary to protect life and property on the river.

Another humanitarian activity in our district has been a series of cruises for disabled veterans, the flotillas at Stockton and Vallejo being particularly active in this work.

At the end of each calendar year, democratic elections take place, wherein district, division and flotilla officers are elected to take up the direction and responsibility of the Auxiliary for the ensuing year. It has now become standard procedure, immediately after installation of newly elected officers, to have a full day congress of officers for the purpose of outlining the program for the next year. Permanent committees are set up to follow through on the major activities of the year which need detailed planning and organizing. The program is printed and sent to all members of the Auxiliary. We know then what there is to accomplish, and when, to say nothing of the fact that when one sees the full year's program before him he realizes that in comparison with the limited business of most organizations, the Auxiliary has a wide variety of activities and usefulness.

As we cross the country from Seattle to Boston to report the war activity of the Coast Guard Auxiliary, let us now back-track to benefit from the spoken and written opinion of the district directors and the Auxiliarymen themselves as to the hope, or despair, for this unique organization.

11th District

In the 11th Coast Guard District, the Long Beach and Los Angeles, California area, Captain John L Steinmetz, the Director of Reserve and Auxiliary, answering a friend's inquiry concerning the Auxiliary and his evaluation of it, writes informally, as follows:

18 July, 1947

To one who had spent a greater part of his time at sea, the appointment as Director of Auxiliary for the Eleventh Coast Guard District in April, 1946, offered a new horizon in education as far as the various duties of the Coast Guard are concerned. Frankly, I did not know what it was all about, although in a radio commentary in 1942, I did compare the Auxiliary with the yachts of England which had evacuated the British and part of the French armies from Dunkirk. Also I had been impressed with the greatest concentration of Coast Guard uniforms that I had ever seen when the Eleventh District VRSF regiment was mustered out. Those were my only contacts with what has proved to be a most interesting outfit. Diligent, as well as interesting, I can attest from my own experience. To lend weight to my last assertion, there is quoted from the monthly report of May, 1947, a fair sample of what the members of the Coast Guard Auxiliary now do in their spare time: 24 May -- A Coast Guard Auxiliary Amphibian plane of the Air Flotilla sighted the disabled American motorboat Amon Ra with two men aboard, drifting about halfway between Catalina Island and the mainland. The pilot notified the Control Tower at 1845 which in turn notified the Coast Guard. The CGC Hermes at 2120 picked up the motorboat and its occupants and proceeded to San Pedro.

An average of four members per day augmented the crew of the CG 50032 at Newport-Balboa on a twenty-four hour bases. The CG 50032 reported twenty instances of assistance during May.

Members of Division VIII in Santa Barbara augmented the crew of the CG 50079 on a twelve-hour standby schedule during the month. Training cruises were taken over week-ends by the members. The CG 50079 had four instances of assistance.

Members of Division I in San Diego have been operating the CG 50067 on training cruises in conjunction with activities of the COTP. The CG 50067 reported two instances of assistance during May.

Members of Division XI in San Pedro and Long Beach have been standing four-hour watches in the operations and rescue control center in the District Operations Office.


The Ship to Shore Radio School was held at John Adams Junior High School, Los Angeles, with 1135 members and non-members receiving their third class operators permit for completing the three weeks course.

The Los Angeles Boat Show at the Coliseum got under way 30 May 1047, with members of the Auxiliary manning a 50x30- foot booth and putting on demonstration of air-sea rescue and fire fighting

During May, members turned in eighty Auxiliary Vessel Inspection Reports.

Members turned in one hundred and nineteen Auxiliary Courtesy Motorboat Inspection Reports during the month.

To the above, add flotilla meeting, division and district board meetings, several cruises and regatta patrols and you have the Auxiliary Today--able, ready, willing and eager!

The future! Qien sabe? Perhaps Congress in its infinite wisdom will see fit to endow the Coast Guard Auxiliary with the legal powers to enforce the requirements of the motorboat laws on all vessels at anchor and moored to docks. This proviso would probably do more than any other single act to impress on boat owners the requirements of the law which he violates now more through ignorance than design. One certainty is that the Auxiliary will become more and more a boat-owners organization, perhaps losing some of that willingness to serve which is its heritage from the Temporary Reserve. No matter where the Auxiliary goes or what course it chooses to steer, it is still the best and only real Coast Guard Reserve.

This able and sincere officer has held the Auxiliary in the 11th together by sheer force of his personality


and the profound respect the members have for him as a seaman and as an administrator. His command was high in efficiency and enthusiasm until, in early August it was necessary to send out one of those bulletins by which the wind has been so often taken out of the Auxiliary's sails. Referring to Newport Bay, the base for a picket boat and the scene of brisk Auxiliary interest, the bulletin read:

All orders for duty aboard the CG 50032 at Newport are being cancelled. This is due to the fact that subsistence for the men can no longer be furnished. We do not feel that our men should be sent to duty without knowing that they must support themselves while on that duty.&nbs;p. . . the boat has been doing some very important work and will be practically out of operation without our assistance at this time. Commodore Bennett, USCG, Commander of the 11th Coast Guard District, is most appreciative of the work performed by the Auxiliary in manning the CG 50032 as he has stated in individual letters to members who served on that vessel. The CG 50032 has played an important part in the Search and Rescue Operations in this district. The credit for maintaining this vessel is due to the Coast Guard Auxiliary whose member so unselfishly give their time, energy and ability to serve on board.

Captain Steinmetz added:

Commodore Bennett deeply regrets that due to the lack of Coast Guard appropriations for Auxiliary subsistence, the discontinuance of a service that has been so successful for the last fifteen months, is necessary.

In the same bulletin, as reflecting an immediate slacking off of interest, the director was forced to write:

The Director is chagrined to note that about 64 boats have been dropped from the rolls for failing to be inspected before August first. There has been ample time for all owners to have had this NUMBER ONE priority for Auxiliary members completed and their failure so to do indicates not only a lack of interest in their duties as Auxiliarymen but a failure to live up to their responsibility as first class yachtsmen.

Flotilla Commanders should consider the failure of any appreciable number of their facilities to be inspected as a reflection on their own competence, executive ability and interest.

Also in the same Auxiliary bulletin appeared:

The Auxiliary will join the Coast Guard League in giving a ball at the Casino Gardens in Santa Monica on the 29th of August. Tickets will be one dollar plus tax, and fifty cents of the admission price goes to the Auxiliary treasury. This is the first fund-raising project of the year and if successful it will be the last; so let's get behind it. There will be a beauty contest open to ex-Spars, regular and temporary; wives, daughters and sweethearts of all Coast Guard personnel, active, retired, discharged and disenrolled. Minimum age --- 18 years. A screen test is included in the list of valuable prizes.

In the 11th District, as in others, there continues a wide difference of opinion as to the future of the Auxiliary. Reflecting his official and personal sense of fairness in considering the present and future of the Auxiliary, Captain Steinmetz has given permission for the use of a letter from a Santa Barbara flotilla commander:

Thank you for your prompt and courteous reply to my letter.

In view of the fact that your position is Chief of the Reserve as well as the Auxiliary in the Eleventh District, I felt that I should express my sincere concern regarding the immediate organization of Companies of Class T Reservists throughout the entire District. I feel that this should be done "while the heat is on" by every other branch of the Service to build their reserve strength throughout the nation. A glance at the intentional picture further substantiates our need for trained Reservists! Our own vets, and other men interested in the Coast Guard are watching the Reserve program fully cognizant of its importance to the security of the Nation, and they wonder why a similar program has not been provided for the Coast Guard. These same men constitute a tremendous source of trained man-power, a large percentage of which I feel we could hold in Reserve because of the widespread interest being shown in the Reserve program together with the old adage that "once a Coast Guardsman always a Coast Guardsman."

It may be pointed out that the Auxiliary is an excellent outlet for a man's interest in the Coast Guard, but after having discussed this point with men now in the Auxiliary as well as veterans of the regular service, I maintain that the Auxiliary lacks the unity of purpose, the military efficiency, the authority to perform Coast Guard duties, the supervision of trained regulars, etc., that is to be found in a Reserve.

I am fully aware of our rather precarious financial position, and that re-enlistment in Class T Reserve as authorized by Washington early this year provided absolutely nothing in the way of pay, active duty, uniforms, etc., for the Reservist. However, the interest in that type of Reserve here in Santa Barbara I believe to be an indication of the potential national interest, and I urge your immediate action in its behalf.

The Santa Barbara Base is very shortly to receive an 83 footer to take over the regular Air-Sea Rescue duties in this area. Because of our man-power situation in the regular Service, it shall probably be necessary to man this vessel with a minimum crew. If we had a Reserve unit here, the program would be set up to permit the men to volunteer their time in order to augment the regular crew, and thereby be given an opportunity to keep abreast of developments within the Service and to take advantage of the training to be derived from said volunteer activity. I have mentioned this idea to the C.O. of the local Base, and he was very favorably impressed, indicating his willingness to cooperate in augmenting his crew if a unit of Reservists became a reality.

I trust the above is not too presumptuous on my part and that your favorable consideration and action will result.

Let us now consider the attitude of Auxiliarymen as well as the official opinion of the directors in the various other districts.


Ill 12. Reserve boats in formation
Ill. 12. Reserve boats in formation

Coast Guard Reserve boat
Coast Guard Reserve boat


Dropping down to Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, the Auxiliary situation is reported by the commodore as follows:

10th District

The Coast Guard Auxiliary of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands was organized in September, 1o46. The first meeting was held on the 19th of that month at which time the nucleus of the present Flotilla One was made up of boat owners of San Juan and vicinity. Shortly thereafter a radio flotilla was formed and the following month an aviation flotilla. From this group the Auxiliary has expanded to eight flotillas, six about the island of Puerto Rico and one each in St. Thomas and St. Croix.

Since that time the main program has been one of training and recruiting. During the summer months interest dropped off sharply but with the advent of the hurricane season the various flotillas have been very energetic in setting up hurricane plans to ensure security of their craft and for efficient use of their facilities for disaster relief.

The boat flotillas all set up designated sheltered anchorages and delegated individuals as contacts with the Coast Guard to assign any assistance missions they could undertake.

The radio flotilla has the only organized radio net of amateur operators and has been carrying out an active program of contacting all the amateurs in the area and inviting them to join its net for the most efficient relaying of distress messages. The civil communications of the island are above ground and prove to be disrupted during any severe storm and no radio communications exist outside of the armed services and the radio amateurs. This has always been the worst breach in the police headquarters to provide emergency communications until the police network is completed. However, the lack of a control station had been the biggest problem until the Auxiliary offered their net and control station in case of distress. The aviation flotilla has set up a good program and has had the practice of testing it recently. The members have been very SAR conscious and have participated in one search which made it plain to all who participated what [a] complex problem it is. They also have been conducting a survey of all the islands in the area for any possible emergency landing fields and urging the authorities to assist them in improving these and the fields in use at the present time.

At present the aviation and radio flotillas are attempting to set up some sort of communication plan b;y which they can make the most use of their facilities. If this materializes it is hoped that the same can be done with the boat flotillas so that a well coordinated operational organization will be available both for their own activities and to augment the military rescue facilities in the area.

The hurricane season has brought about an awareness of the value of the Auxiliary to the people and recruiting is being intensified to bring as many members in as possible for an active winter season. It is hoped that all eligible persons will e sworn in before the next hurricane season and that a healthy active and efficient organization results.

9th District

Constructive retrenchment for greater strength and efficiency seems to be the idea of the director and commodore of the Ninth District, embracing the Great Lakes area. Commander J.C. Wendland, USCG, has written a most comprehensive report.

At the present time the strength of the Coast Guard Auxiliary in the Ninth Coast Guard District total 6,512 members and 2,222 vessels including both motorboats and sailboats, 7 aircraft and 3 radio stations. All of the Great Lakes are included in the District. An extensive program of reorganization including the combining or disbanding of small or inactive flotillas within the 26 divisions is now being carried on. It is expected that the 128 flotillas now listed within the 26 divisions will be whittled down to less than a hundred flotillas so that the Auxiliary will become a more closely knot organization.

The Auxiliary throughout the District participated in assisting the Coast Guard during the recruiting drive. The fact that the Auxiliary flotillas are spread throughout the area from Duluth, Minnesota to the mouth of the St. Lawrence River made it possible for them to publicize the recruiting drive to the extent that this District obtained the largest number of any District throughout the United States. The Auxiliary was also instrumental in publicizing the Coast Guard Academy in its efforts to obtain cadet material for the class entering the Academy at New London, Connecticut.

Because of the large geographical area covered by the Ninth Coast Guard District throughout the Great Lakes and because certain conditions and problems differ from one lake to the other, the District as a whole was redivided into five area. Commencing the 1st of January for the year 1946, the Commodore of the District Auxiliary is James H. Van Zylen of Grand Haven, Michigan. Since his election as Commodore he had had the opportunity to visit all of the areas in order to confer with the Vice Commodores in making preparations for the boating season of 1947. Commodore Van Zylen has recently purchased through the War Assets Administration the old buoy tender Crocus. This vessel is now located at Grand Haven, Michigan, and plans are in the making to convert the vessel of 160 feet in length as a CG Auxiliary rendezvous point. It should be of considerable interest to the Auxiliarists throughout the Lakes, but especially in Lake Michigan that an Auxiliary rendezvous at Grand Haven, Michigan will soon be a reality.

Area M-S (Lake Michigan--Lake Superior) of the Coast Guard Auxiliary has as its Vice Commodore Adolph Schmidt of Chicago, Illinois. The divisions and flotillas throughout the Lake Michigan Area have extensive plans for intensifying the interest of the Auxiliarists in raising the standards for safety in boat operation and maintenance. The classes that have been conducted in this endeavor have been most educational and have created interest among many boat owners who have been invited to attend regardless of their present membership in the Auxiliary. outside of Chicago the Auxiliary has a very strong and active group in Milwaukee. This group made an outstanding record during the 1946 season under the able leadership of the present Division Captain, Hilmar Bossel. Through the combined cooperation of the Auxiliary with the yacht clubs of Milwaukee, much interest is being shown with regard to the courtesy boarding program being undertaken by the Auxiliary. The Auxiliary division and flotillas on Lake Superior with the center at Duluth, Minnesota, have reorganized during 1946. Several rendezvous of Auxiliary boats are being planned for the summer of 1947. The Auxiliarists in this area have just completed a one week cruise aboard the Mackinaw during a refueling operation in Lake Michigan. The Auxiliary will also take an active part in the Chicago-Mackinac Sailing Races and the Tri-State Sailing Race.

Area H (Lake Huron) which includes Lake Huron, St. Clair River, Lake St. Clair, Detroit River.


down to and including Toledo, Ohio, has as its Vice Commodore Dr. E.H. Teetzel of Detroit who was one of the original Auxiliarists in the Detroit area. This area has flotillas in Alpena, Bay City, Saginaw, Port Huron, Mt. Clemens, Detroit and Toledo, made up into 8 divisions. The Captain of Division XIV, Ed W. Keifer at Port Huron, is also the Commodore of the Inner Lakes Yachting Association. Last year the Auxiliary manned three 83-foot patrol boats and carried a group on a cruise on the at the Put-in-Bay Regattas on Lake Erie. Again this year, in 1947, the Auxiliary will safeguard this regatta by its patrols. A cruise aboard the Mackinaw for the members of the Auxiliary in Area H will take place during the Port-Huron-Mackinac Sailing Race. Practically all of the regattas and sailing races held in St. Clair, Detroit and Port Huron area were entirely patrolled by the Coast Guard Auxiliary. The Gold Cup Regatta and Races held at the Detroit Yacht Club were patrolled almost entirely by Auxiliary manned patrol boats during the period from 30 August to 2 September, 1946. The Auxiliary manned an 83-foot patrol boat during the Put-in-Bay Regatta in 1946. A second 83-footer was also manned by the Auxiliary from Toledo in the patrol of the Put-in-Bay Regatta.

Area E (Lake Erie) has as its Vice Commodore Charles R. Wallach of Cleveland, Ohio. Mr. Wallach has been a member of the Auxiliary since its origin and ha played a very important part in its organization throughout this area. In addition to his many yachting activities he is presently voluntarily performing the duties as Public Relations Officer in the District Office of the Ninth Coast Guard District. The Auxiliary in Area E has done much toward sponsoring safety of motorboating throughout the lake as well as augmenting the Coast Guard in performing lifesaving duties. In the same manner as in other areas, the Coast Guard Auxiliary has patrolled practically all the regattas and sailing races in Lake Erie. During the 1947 Put-in-Bay Regatta the Auxiliary throughout Lake Erie is scheduled to take a training cruise of one week's duration aboard the CGC Mackinaw.

Area O (Lake Ontario including Buffalo) has as its Vice Commodore J. Webb L. Sheehy of Rochester, New York. The patrol of all races in this area during the 1946 season was almost entirely performed by the Auxiliary. 38-foot and 83-foot patrol boats were used in the patrols. A division of the Auxiliary consisting of 4 flotillas located on the Finger Lakes of New York is very active in the patrol of races and regattas in these inland lakes. Charles C. Winding is the division captain and makes his residence at Ithaca, New York, where he is a professor at Cornell University. A great deal of interest is being shown by the motorboat owner in this Lake Ontario area in the launching of the courtesy boarding program. Plans have been made for Auxiliary cruise aboard the CGC Mackinaw on Lake Ontario during the month of August.

During the winter season of 1947, the Auxiliary has sponsored and planned the exhibits that have been placed in the Motorboat Shows and Sportsmen Shows in Chicago, Detroit, Cleveland, Buffalo and Rochester. The motorboat public of all the exhibits has shown an extreme interest in the boarding program being carried out by the Auxiliary. With this in mind, the Coast Guard looks forward to one of the safest boating season in the Great Lakes for many years.

In the way of statistics for the period 1 July 1946 to 30 June 1947, the Auxiliary participated in approximately 300 assists, have thus far this season issued 378 Courtesy inspections Decals, and have forwarded reports on 30 Auxiliary facilities. Though lagging somewhat, this program is expected to continue to gain momentum, and greater results are in prospect for the latter part of the 1947 season, and especially throughout the 1948 boating season.

8th District

In a conservative, if not optimistic report, the fact comes out that the Auxiliary in the Eighth District, did a great job in the dreadful Texas City disaster. Writing of the work of the flotillas, K.P. Maley says:

The Auxiliary of the Eighth Coast Guard District is still in the flux of radical reorganization from war status to peacetime status. The war expansion broke up all of the original Flotillas to provide nuclei for the formation of an increased number of wartime flotillas.

The increased number of flotillas could not be maintained by the District on a peacetime basis. Likewise reformation of the original flotillas has not been practicable by reason of retirement from boating and war fatigue of a large percentage of the original members of the Auxiliary.

Reorganization has been aggravated by continuous setbacks. The services of a permanent civil service secretary has been lost by the resignation of the secretary during postwar cutback with the District in excess of civil service allowances. Commodore Edmund B. Briggs of New Orleans, the leading light in District Auxiliary work before and during the war, had to resign from all activities including personal boating by reason of his health. The unsettled personnel condition has been a drawback in that the District has not been able to furnish the Director with continuous assistance necessary to effect reorganization in all areas in the District.

Reorganization in the two major ports of District (New Orleans area and the Houston-Galveston area) has been successful. In the New Orleans area Commodore F. Evans Farwell and Division Captain Henry A. Steckler of New Orleans, have reorganized the 11 flotillas of Division IV into three flotillas (410, 402, and 403). These flotillas have furnished men for sixteen weeks this summer to assist the Coast Guard in manning an 83' safety patrol during the weekends on Lake Ponchartrain. The patrol has been successful beyond expectation. In addition they have furnished patrols for various boat races and fishing rodeos. The West Bank Flotilla (401) has furnished successful patrols for all races and activities at LaFitte, La., (including the National Priogue Races.) These three flotillas have received many compliments from the Southern Yacht Club and other organizations for their work this season.

In the Houston-Galveston area, District Vice Commodore Ben A. Calhoun of Houston, Texas, has completed the reorganization of Division VI into three flotillas (601, 602, and 603). These flotillas have operated safety patrols in their area during the summer months. These patrols have been Auxiliary patrols augmented by Coast Guard officers or petty officers at such times as official enforcement became indicated.

At the Texas City disaster in April, Vice Commodore Calhoun and the entire Division VI turned out en masse and assisted the Coast Guard. The Auxiliary boats under Commodore Calhoun and Division Captain Carl B. Monton assisted as directed in removing bodies from shallow waters and in furnishing guards patrols to keep curiosity seekers away. Flotilla 603 (Galveston) under Vice Captain C.F. Johnson (also Flotilla Commander) placed more than forty members on the cutter Iris, flagship of the Coast


Coast Guard Auxiliary courtesy motorboat inspection checking engine space
Coast Guard Auxiliary courtesy motorboat inspection checking engine space


Guard at the disaster. The outboard members of 603 under Vice Captain Johnson proved their value to the Auxiliary in the manner in which they were able to go into the shallow waters to pick up bodies.

The land side of the Texas City disaster was so enormous that proper credit was never given publicly to the work on the water side. This work on the water side could not have been accomplished without the wholehearted work and cooperation furnished by the members of the Division VI, 8th Coast Guard Auxiliary.

7th District

From the Seventh District at Miami, Florida, Commander Allen Winbeck writes a brief, but officerly report. It is particularly interesting in that it emphasizes the regional specialization that may be expected of the Auxiliary. The Seventh is alerted for hurricanes and has fitted in very well with the local distress and disaster committees. As Commander Winbeck says:

Most of the flotillas in this District are carrying on in some degree instructions within the unit on matters pertaining to safety at sea, communications, seamanship, and other related subjects. A plan to give instruction to boat owners outside the Auxiliary is in the process of being completed and it is believed that a majority of the flotillas will actively engage in this program.

Those flotillas in ports where there are Coast Guard facilities have actively engaged in numerous patrolling and training cruises on Coast Guard vessels, particularly those of the 83' class. Auxiliarist have manned vessels of the 165' class on a number of occasions in the patrolling of ocean yacht races. During these training patrols Auxiliarists have rendered numerous cases of assistance to vessels in distress.

The Courtesy Inspection Program, which was originally fostered in this District, has had a majority of the flotillas engaged in this activity. The need for such a program has been well realized by all the flotillas, in that so many pleasure craft now being operated by inexperienced persons are going to sea without many of the items of equipment required by law, therefore, are in an unsafe condition. The program was well organized and detailed instructions were issued to all flotillas. This program was carried out in this district last year and was so enthusiastically received that this project was launched on a national scale for the first time in the late spring of 1947. Boat owners asked for and received this service with greater enthusiasm than ever before and as a result, during the month of May 1947, over 1400 vessels were inspected by members of the Auxiliary of which a little over 1000 were issued approval stickers. There can be no question that many accidents were averted and some lives probably saved because of this safety inspection.

5th District

Practically in ADPLOT or the control tower of Naval activity, the Auxiliary in the strategic Fifth District nevertheless seems to be undergoing reduction rather than expansion. The report signed by Commander J.R. Scullion, however, indicated continued interest.

Within the Fifth Coast Guard District the Coast Guard Auxiliary has been reduced materially since World War II. At present it consists of six Flotillas in and around Baltimore and Annapolis; two Flotillas at Washington, D.C.; two Flotillas on the Eastern Shore; one at Richmond, Va.; three Flotillas in the Hampton Roads Area; and one Flotilla at Washington, D.C. There are 986 members of the 15 Flotillas and these members own 167 boats, 2 aircraft, and 2 radio stations. During the last 12 months the Auxiliary has carried on the following principle activities:

(1) Three Flotillas presented to th general public an educational series of lectures on piloting, and safety precautions in the use of small boats. These classes were well attended with an average attendance of about 200 people in the different cities.

(2) From 1 May 1947, until the end of September 1947, the CG 83445 and the CG 83503 were operated as Auxiliary training craft. A schedule was maintained by the different Flotillas by which they had the use of the boats for definite periods of time in which frequent cruises were taken, the boats were maintained and specific Coast Guard duties were performed. The fundamental purposes, however, of the boats was to afford shipboard training for novice boatmen.

(3) During the period various Flotillas of the Auxiliary were called upon to perform specific emergency Coast Guard duty. For the most part these emergency duties was patrol of marine parades or regattas when there was no regular Coast Guard unit available. On all the many occasions that the Auxiliary was utilized there is not a single record of a casualty or preventable mishap reported.

(4) To date, for th current boating season, 23 assistance reports have been submitted by Auxiliary units. Each report has given the details of a specific case in which disabled boats have been assisted by Auxiliary units.

(5) During the current year there have been several Flotillas and Division Rendezvous. These occasions provided opportunity both for sociability among Flotillas of various localities and also navigational problems for the boats attending. One Flotilla (Flotilla 51) of Richmond held four Flotilla rendezvous and on each occasion at least 10 boats attended.

4th District

A refreshing spirit of confidence is read in the report from the Fourth District. The editor picks out one line to be reprinted in capital letters. It reads:


If this be true, and it admits of no question, the Auxiliary has justified itself and its short-comings have been squared.

The Fourth's report continued in full:

Peace finds the flotillas of the First Division depleted in numbers, but still active for their communities and the Coast Guard as the need arises. Flotilla #11, Atlantic City and Flotillas #13, Seaside Park are now active participants in the Courtesy Barding Program in the area between Atlantic City and Manasquan Inlet. These Auxiliarists are also interested in the Headquarters provided for them by the service in the Forked River Lifeboat Station, week-end duty, for training purposes in the active stations along the beach, and the practice cruises of the 83 footer which operates out of the Gloucester Repair Base.

The Second Division has many members that enjoy running down to the Jersey coast to do week-end tours of duty in the Lifeboat Stations, thereby


Member of the Coast Guard Auxiliary inspecting ground tackle and lines
Member of the Coast Guard Auxiliary inspecting ground tackle and lines


affording more liberty time for the short-handed members of the regular service. A close spirit of comradeship between the regulars and these volunteers has developed which is unique in the annals of military history, and which offers encouragement for close affiliation and cooperation in the emergencies of the future. This division is very active in the field of public education. Classes have been held for the public and more are scheduled in response to popular demand. The Auxiliarists themselves are once more taking to the classroom in the field of safe boating. This, the strongest division, is also among the most active, being represented in all fields of activity undertaken by the Auxiliary in this area.

The Third Division has survived the early days of peacetime reaction and has retained all of its flotillas. Membership losses suffered are about equal to the District average, but have been distributed equally among the flotillas. Ocean City Flotilla 31 and Cap May Flotilla 35 are the most active of the South Jersey group. Cap May, the smallest of all the flotillas in the District is leading in the number of vessels inspected, and conducts the most alert educational program in the area. This group of men has successfully melded yachtsmen and partyboat operators into a well knit organization with the aims of the Coast Guard as their sole guide.

The Fourth Division suffered a loss of identity with the disbanding of the Lewes Delaware Flotilla. The remaining group, Wilmington $41, has staged a vigorous come-back from post war lack of leadership. This group is actively participating in the Courtesy Boarding Program and has taken the entire coast of Delaware as its territory. The flotilla is presently grouped with the Fifth Division in what is known as the Fourth and Fifth Division.

The Fifth Division has survived intact with the loss of about fifty per cent of its wartime strength. These members, with the Wilmington flotilla, own a large property on the Northeast River, in Maryland, which is their center of interest and activity. While their base is actually within the limits of the Fifth Coast Guard District, it is closer to the members' homes than any other waterfront property obtainable. They are active in the Courtesy Boarding Program, the 83 footer, and in public instruction in their localities.

All of the Auxiliary units within the geographical limits of the former 4th Coast Guard District are now under the 3rd Coast Guard District, but for the time being are continuing as an independent group under the leadership of the Commander, 3rd Coast Guard District.

3rd District

One paragraph covers the attitude of the historian who writes from the Third District:

The Auxiliary in the 3rd Coast Guard District has undergone considerable reorganization from its wartime status. Many flotillas have been disestablished by reason of lack of interest and new members have been taken in to swell the ranks of the present flotillas. Much of the present program of the Auxiliary with its emphasis on boating and its safe practice has little appeal to many former members whose chief interest in the Auxiliary was of a military reserve nature. The present organization consists of 12 Divisions and 36 Flotillas with 3,079 members. Members own 1,064 boats, 6 planes, and 7 radio stations.

It will be noted that the foregoing is a vote for the military faction; those who want the Auxiliary to function as an armed reserve. The value of the Auxiliary in the inland river country in comprehensively covered in the report form the Second District. It is unique among all Districts. Commander J.H. Forney, USCG writes:

2nd District

The Auxiliary in the 2nd Coast Guard District comprises 50 flotillas in 13 divisions. There are approximately 1400 members and 700 facilities. The flotillas are spread over 5000 miles of the western rivers, the easternmost at Pittsburgh, in the far west at Omaha, northernmost at Minneapolis and the southernmost at Guntersville on the Tennessee River and Memphis on the Mississippi. There are flotillas on the Mississippi, Ohio, Missouri, Illinois, Cumberland, Tennessee, Kentucky, St. Croix and Minnesota Rivers.

Obviously the boating season and interests of flotillas in Minnesota, etc., vary greatly with those in Alabama. The great common denominator, of course, is boating safety. Our entire program is, therefore, built around the latter and such assistance as the Auxiliary may offer to the regular service. It is true that these purposes are fundamental and apply to all districts, their application and administration differ in many details in different parts of this tremendous 20 state district.

The long stretches of the rivers involved and the extremely limited manpower of the regular service greatly complicate the Coast Guard's prosecution of many of their legally assigned duties. This is particularly true of such things as reducing [loss of] lives and property during floods, rendering aid to vessels in distress and patrolling regattas. Consequently, a large portion of these burdens fall on the shoulders of the Auxiliary. This matter will be even further complicated if the Coast Guard's responsibility for search and rescue is extended over the midwest.

Flotillas in this district approach boating safety in two fashions. The first is theoretical. At their meetings they study and discuss the various aspects of safety. This includes studies of aids to navigation, rules of the road, maneuvering of boats, seamanship, engines and their care, fire prevention and fighting, etc. If possible, experts on the various subjects are obtained for lectures. Motion pictures are used freely. The second approach is in placing this theory into practice and includes a rigid boat inspection.

Safety in boating is not confined exclusively to the Auxiliary by the flotillas, however. Most of them offer the courtesy inspection to non-members and many place signs at the various harbors in their locality. Some flotillas offer boating lectures to the general public during the fall and winter months. All flotillas in Division (St. Louis) have offered to assist the new boatman by actually sending an instructor to his boat. This has been done by contacting the sales agencies and has been well received by them.

Auxiliary assistance to the Coast Guard has taken a variety of forms. The most important have been their assistance during floods, saving of life and equipment on the rivers, patrolling regattas, supplying boats for inspectors and assisting at the undermanned depots. They have also done invaluable work in [public] relations, particularly in obtaining newspaper and radio publicity for recruiting purposes.

Social activities are not neglected. There are numerous cruises, picnics and dinners held with occasional rendezvous of two or more flotillas. Here again, the great distances involved are a bar to would-be district rendezvous. Even a division


Mr. Calvin H. Calby, Director of Public Safety, Norfolk, Virginia, 
checks fire extinguisher, as interesting spectator looks on, 
while Mr. Fred Swink, Training Officer, Flotilla #52, prepares data of 
courtesy inspection aboard the Yacht Tempie berthed Southern Yacht Marine, Norfolk, Va.
Mr. Calvin H. Calby, Director of Public Safety, Norfolk, Virginia,
checks fire extinguisher, as interesting spectator looks on,
while Mr. Fred Swink, Training Officer, Flotilla #52, prepares data of
courtesy inspection aboard the Yacht Tempie berthed Southern Yacht Marine, Norfolk, Va.


rendezvous would be a hardship in several instances because of the distance, current and driftwood.

Despite the many obstacles, the 2nd Coast Guard District Auxiliary is a going concern and should improve with the years.

1st District

Boston, in the First District, submits a factual report of Auxiliary organization and activity with editorial comment; neither past nor prediction. The figures follow:

DIVISION 1 -- This year has been the first year of reactivation for this Division since the war. This group was slow getting started but at present gives every promise of an active Auxiliary program.

DIVISION 2 -- Members from this group participated in the emergency rescue of crew members from the wrecked collier Oakley L. Alexander off Cape Elizabeth in March of this year. The vessel had broken in half on the rocks and crew members were taken ashore in the breeches buoy.

DIVISION 3 -- This Division has completed elaborate plans for a general mobilization of Auxiliarists in their area. These plans include membership and vessel participation of Auxiliarists in the event of a major disaster of any nature.

DIVISION 4 -- This Division being centered around Marblehead, the yachting center of the East Coast, it is expected that they will excel in the Courtesy Motorboat Inspection Program.

DIVISION 5A -- All Flotillas in this group have been responsible for the operation of Boston L/B Station during the summer of '46 and this year to date. Membership had a total of 38,160 man-hours on duty and participated in 127 assistance jobs. Due to the lack of facilities some of the units in this group will eventually be combined together.

DIVISION 5B -- Membership in this group is now in the process of reorganization. Membership now realizes that Auxiliary must have concrete reasons for existence and not depend entirely on aid to Coast Guard.

DIVISION 6A and 6B -- Have recently been combined into a single Division in order to better facilitate and operate their present set-up. All flotillas in this Division are a part of the new Auxiliary Headquarters at Sandwich, Mass. This building consists of a converted Spar Barracks overlooking the Cape Cod Canal. There will be an opening party there on July 12th with a dance, raffle and prizes to start the financing of the building. The District rendezvous, on 16 August 1946, will also be held there.


DIVISION 7 -- Personnel in this Division have been working in close cooperation with the Marine Inspection Office in the Providence area. As a result of that work a large amount of man-hours have been put in by the membership aiding the Coast Guard.

The summing up may be done by the reader. For l'envoi the historian asks his shipmates of the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary to consider the inscription at the gate of the Royal Canadian Military College, Kingston, Ontario.





1. See "C.G. at War -- Temporary Reserve -- XX."

2. See "C.G. at War -- Temporary Reserve -- XX."

Transcribed and formatted for HTML by Patrick Clancey, HyperWar Foundation