This Day in U.S. Coast Guard History – February 3

Thursday, February 03, 2011

1801- Treaty of peace with France was ratified on this date, thereby ending the "Quasi-War," in which cutters of the Revenue Marine had rendered outstanding service.

1880- Date of a terrific gale on the New Jersey coast. Six vessels came ashore with 47 persons on board all but two survived. Nineteen USLSS crewmen won Gold Life-Saving Medals during the rescue of the persons aboard the wrecked George Taulane.

1943- A U-boat torpedoed the transport USS Dorchester off the coast of Greenland.  Two of her escorts, CGCs Comanche and Escanaba, responded. The crew of Escanaba used a new rescue technique when pulling survivors from the water. This "retriever" technique used swimmers clad in wet suits to swim to victims in the water and secure a line to them so they could be hauled onto the ship. Although Escanaba saved 133 men (one died later) and Comanche saved 97, over 600 men were lost, including the famous "Four Chaplains" who gave up their lifejackets to those that did not have one and all four went down with the ship.

1976-The Coast Guard Academy first announced the appointments of 50 cadets to enter with the Class of 1980, including three women: Cathryn Lis of Bristol, CT; Susan Kollmeyer of Groton, CT; & Cynthia Snead of Melbourne, FL. The Coast Guard News Release published on 4 February 1976 regarding their announcement noted that: “Of the four largest federal service academies (Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard) the Coast Guard Academy is the first to offer an appointment to a woman.” (USCG News Release No. 7-76; 4 February 1976).

1997-The 660-foot freighter Contship Houston ran aground on a coral reef 12 miles southeast of Key West in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary.  The vessel, under Coast Guard supervision, was safely floated off the reef some 144 hours later.

(Source: USCG Historian’s Office)

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