Early Coast Guard Aviation.
The Coast Guard shall, while carrying out its law enforcement and other duties, render all practicable assistance to any person or thing that lies within its sphere of action and shall give aid and comfort whenever it can reasonably do so. --HeadQuarters Circular No. 126, 16 October 1936
The Coast Guard was introduced to aviation in 1903 when the surfmen from the Kill Devil Hill Lifeboat Station in North Carolina North Carolina, state in the SE United States. It is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean (E), South Carolina and Georgia (S), Tennessee (W), and Virginia (N). Facts and Figures
Area, 52,586 sq mi (136,198 sq km). Pop. helped carry the fragile Wright Flyer The Wright Flyer (often retrospectively referred to as Flyer I and occasionally Kitty Hawk) was the first powered aircraft designed and built by the Wright brothers. from its shelter to the launch site on 17 December 1903. Surfman J. T. Daniels took the only photograph of the event using the Wright brothers' camera.
The first practical steps toward a Coast Guard air arm occurred in early 1915 when Lieutenants Elmer Stone and Norman Hall Norman Hall (November 17, 1829–September 29, 1917) was a Democratic member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Pennsylvania.
Norman Hall was born on the Muncy Farms, near Halls Station, Pennsylvania. conceived of using aircraft for Coast Guard missions. With the backing of their commanding officer, Captain Benjamin Chiswell, they approached the Curtiss Flying School The Curtiss Flying School was started by Glenn Curtiss to compete against the Wright Flying School of the Wright brothers. It was located in Hammondsport, New York. The first class was in 1913. at Newport News Newport News, independent city (1990 pop. 170,045), SE Va., on the Virginia peninsula, at the mouth of the James River, off Hampton Roads, near Norfolk; inc. 1896. , Va., and were taken on experimental flights in the school's aircraft. Stone and five others were then assigned to the Naval Aviation Naval aviation is the application of manned military air power by navies. Maritime aviation is the operation of aircraft in a maritime role under the command of land based forces such as RAF Coastal Command or United States Coast Guard. School at Pensacola, Fla., for training in April 1916. Hall was sent to the Curtiss factory to study aeronautical engineering. Later in 1916, Congress authorized the Coast Guard to establish 10 air stations, but no money was appropriated.
During WW I, Coast Guard aviators Well-known aviators
People largely known for their contributions to the history of aviation
While all of these people were pilots (and some still are), many are also noted for contributions in areas such as aircraft design and manufacturing, navigation or were assigned to naval air stations in the U.S. and abroad. One Coast Guardsman commanded Naval Air Station Ille Tudy, France, and won the French Chevalier of the Legion of Honor Legion of Honor: see decorations, civil and military. . Another commanded Naval Air Station Chatham, Mass., and piloted one of two HS-1 seaplanes that bombed and machine-gunned a German U-boat off the coast of New England.
The war effort set the stage for the first flight across the Atlantic Ocean Across the Atlantic Ocean is the twenty-eighth episode of Mobile Suit Gundam. Plot summary
Amuro and Sayla manage to reduce their time in docking the Gundam and the G-Fighter to fifteen seconds. . In May 1919, three Navy Curtiss seaplanes, each with a five-man crew, began the great experiment. The NC-4, piloted by Lt. Elmer Stone, USCG USCG
United States Coast Guard
USCG n abbr (= United States Coast Guard) → Küstenwache der USA , was the only one to succeed. In 1983, Stone became the first Coast Guard pilot enshrined in the National Museum of Naval Aviation The National Museum of Naval Aviation is a military and aerospace museum located at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida. The museum opened in 1962.
As its name suggests, the museum is devoted to the history of naval aviation. in Pensacola, Fla.
In March 1920, the Coast Guard's first air station was established at Morehead City, N.C., when the service took over an abandoned naval air station and borrowed a few Curtiss HS-2L flying boats and possibly one or two Aeromarine Model 40s from the Navy. The aircraft were particularly useful at locating those in distress and finding derelicts. Congress did not appropriate funding to support the operation, however, and the station was closed in 1921. The first permanent Coast Guard air station was established in 1926 at Cape May, N.J.
Prohibition had become the law of the land in 1920 and soon its enforcement became the Coast Guard's dominant mission. In 1925, Lieutenant Commander C. C. von Paulsen borrowed a Vought UO-1 seaplane seaplane, airplane designed to take off from and alight on water. The two most common types are the floatplane, whose fuselage is supported by struts attached to two or more pontoon floats, and the flying boat, whose boat-hull fuselage is constructed with the from the Navy. Operating from Squantum, Mass., and later Ten Pound Island in Gloucester Harbor, he demonstrated the potential of aviation in combating the smuggling smuggling, illegal transport across state or national boundaries of goods or persons liable to customs or to prohibition. Smuggling has been carried on in nearly all nations and has occasionally been adopted as an instrument of national policy, as by Great Britain of whiskey. As a result, Congress appropriated funding and the Coast Guard purchased its first aircraft, three Loening OL-5 amphibians amphibians
members of the animal class Amphibia. Includes frogs, toads, newts, salamanders and cecilians all capable of living on land or in water. and two Chance Vought UO-4s, which operated from Gloucester and Cape May. Thus, the Coast Guard's enduring mission of law enforcement was born.
By the late 1920s, the search and rescue clientele had changed primarily from coastal sailors to ocean-going motor ships. Now, when emergencies arose, they were frequently far off the coast. In 1928, an aviation section under Commander Norman Hall was established at Coast Guard Headquarters, and developed the concept of "flying lifeboats." These aircraft could fly hundreds of miles, land in an open and frequently uninviting sea and carry out a rescue. Seven aircraft were acquired--two Douglas Dolphin RD-2s, which were modified to Coast Guard requirements, and five General Aviation PJ-1 Flying Lifeboats, which were specifically designed for the service.
In 1934, Henry Morgenthau became Secretary of the Treasury. An aviation enthusiast, he supported its expansion within the Coast Guard and transferred the aviation detachment of the Customs Service to the Coast Guard. However, the materiel ma·te·ri·el or ma·té·ri·el
The equipment, apparatus, and supplies of a military force or other organization. See Synonyms at equipment. benefits of this transfer were small, because most of the Customs aircraft were in poor condition and impossible to maintain. Regardless, the secretary's enthusiasm for Coast Guard Aviation was important to its development. He obtained Public Works Administration Public Works Administration (PWA), in U.S. history, New Deal government agency established (1933) by the Congress as the Federal Administration of Public Works, pursuant to the National Industrial Recovery Act. funds for the purchase of new aircraft and additional air stations. By 1936, the Coast Guard had 6 air stations, 2 air detachments and 42 aircraft.
Also during the 1930s, the marriage between the cutter and aircraft began with 327-foot cutters embarking either a Grumman JF-2 or Curtiss SOC-4. These aircraft-equipped cutters were designed to patrol against opium smuggling off the West Coast and fisheries violations in Alaskan waters, and to serve on plane guard duty in the Atlantic to protect the growing over-ocean commercial air service.
WW II accelerated the growth of aviation within all of the armed services The Constitution authorizes Congress to raise, support, and regulate armed services for the national defense. The President of the United States is commander in chief of all the branches of the services and has ultimate control over most military matters. , including the Coast Guard. Along the American coastline, Coast Guard aircraft patrolled for U-boats and searched for merchant mariners who were the victims of enemy torpedo attacks. In addition, Coast Guard Aviation played a critical role in the defense of Greenland. Aircraft operating from cutters helped locate German weather stations in the frozen northern areas of the continent. The Coast Guard captured these stations, which were providing critical data to U-boats operating in the North Atlantic. Patrol Bombing Squadron 6, a Coast Guard squadron under Navy operational control, flew Consolidated PBY-5A Catalinas on antisubmarine and search and rescue patrols from Greenland. Coast Guard aircraft performed harrowing rescues by flying through snowstorms and landing on the ice cap to aid distressed Allied aircrews who had crashed while attempting to ferry aircraft across the Atlantic.
As the war continued, military aviation expanded rapidly, resulting in an increasing number of offshore crashes by student pilots. This led to the establishment of the first Air-Sea Rescue Squadron at San Diego, Calif., in 1943. In December 1944, the Office of Air-Sea Rescue was established at Coast Guard Headquarters, and by 1945 was responsible for 165 aircraft and 9 air stations. During that year, the unit responded to 686 plane crashes.
By 1941, the Coast Guard was very interested in developing the helicopter for search and rescue. L Cdr. William Kossler had represented the Coast Guard on an interagency board formed in 1938 for the evaluation of experimental aircraft, including the helicopter. However, WW II interrupted these plans. The Coast Guard, incorporated into the Navy on 1 November 1941, was tasked in early 1943 with developing the helicopter for antisubmarine warfare. Sikorsky HNS-1 and HOS-1 helicopters were ordered and pilot training began at Brooklyn Air Station, N.Y., where the Coast Guard trained all Allied helicopter pilots. As the war progressed and the U-boat threat moved deeper into the North Atlantic and then abated, the service reoriented its helicopter research from antisubmarine warfare to search and rescue. Cdr. Frank Erickson had pioneered this Coast Guard activity, developing much of the rescue equipment himself. On 3 January 1944, Erickson also completed the first lifesaving flight when he delivered two cases of blood plasma blood plasma
The yellow or gray-yellow, protein-containing fluid portion of blood in which the blood cells and platelets are normally suspended. lashed to an HNS-1's floats following an explosion on board the destroyer Turner (DD 648) off Sandy Hook, N.J.
The post-WW II years brought a proliferation in the number of recreational boats and created new search and rescue clientele. The helicopter was ideally suited to this mission. Able to react swiftly, it could lift entire pleasure boat crews from imminent disaster, or in less trying circumstances, deliver dewatering Dewatering (dē′wöd·ər·iŋ) is the removal of water from solid material or soil by wet classification, centrifugation, filtration, or similar solid-liquid separation processes. pumps and fuel. Soon, helicopters rescuing distressed boaters became a commonplace event.
The responsibilities of Coast Guard fixed-wing aviation also increased following WW II. In 1946, Coast Guard aircraft were used for the first time on the International Ice Patrol, a practice that continues today. The primary objective of these flights is to advise shipping in the vicinity of the Grand Banks about current conditions throughout the iceberg season. Coast Guard aircraft also began to be used to intercept and escort aircraft that were experiencing mechanical problems, providing a reassuring presence for both passengers and flight crews.
From its earliest days using borrowed aircraft through many years of experimentation and expansion, Coast Guard Aviation established itself as an invaluable asset to our nation. As the Coast Guard's missions have evolved throughout the years, its aviation arm has kept pace, acquiring new aircraft and creating new policies and procedures Policies and Procedures are a set of documents that describe an organization's policies for operation and the procedures necessary to fulfill the policies. They are often initiated because of some external requirement, such as environmental compliance or other governmental to ensure that its future is as successful as its past.
By Dr. Robert L. Scheina
Dr. Scheina is a former Coast Guard historian. This history is condensed con·dense
v. con·densed, con·dens·ing, con·dens·es
1. To reduce the volume or compass of.
2. To make more concise; abridge or shorten.
a. from "A History of Coast Guard Aviation," which is available at http://www.uscg.mil/hq/g-cp/history/h_aviation.html.