This Day in Coast Guard History – April 19

Monday, April 19, 2010

1813-A tremendous explosion aboard the cutter Gallatin, commanded by Master John H. Silliman (who was not aboard at the time) blew off her quarterdeck while the cutter was tied up in Charleston, South Carolina.  The cutter was quickly engulfed in flames and then sank at anchor.  The crew had been cleaning and storing the cutter's small arms when the explosion occurred, probably in the magazine.  At least three of the crew were killed instantly and five others were seriously wounded.  The cause of the explosion was never determined although rumors of sabotage were circulated at the time.

1909- Pamet River, MA- The sloop Stranger was anchored 3/4 mile SE of station. The Life-Saving crew boarded her from a surfboat. The two men on board wished to be taken ashore, as their sails were poor and they had no provisions. They made the sloop more secure by running out second anchor and landed the men. In the morning they helped get sloop underway.

1995-A rental truck filled with explosives blew up half of the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Coast Guardsmen from the Coast Guard Institute and a Coast Guard reservist responded soon after the explosion and helped set up security zones, directed traffic, searched for survivors, and whatever else was needed.  They also took over a church kitchen and opened what later became nicknamed "Cafe Coast Guard."  A rotating 9-person team worked around the clock to provide meals for the volunteer workers.

(Source: USCG Historian’s Office)

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