This Day in U.S. Coast Guard History – January 21
1881- The light was first shown at Tillamook Lighthouse, located 19 miles south of the Columbia River entrance.
1897- Secretary of Treasury empowered to bestow life-saving medals.
1969-CGC Point Banks while on patrol south of Cam Rahn Bay received a call for help from a nine-man ARVN detachment trapped by two Vietcong platoons. Petty Officers Willis Goff and Larry Villareal took a 14-foot Boston whaler ashore to rescue the ARVN troops. In the face of heavy automatic weapons fire, all nine men were evacuated in two trips. For their actions Goff and Villareal were each awarded the Silver Star. The citation stated, "The nine men would have met almost certain death or capture without the assistance of the two Coast Guardsmen."
1982-"Streamlining" plans: the Commandant, ADM John B. Hayes, announced in ALCOAST 002/82 plans to consolidate some operations and streamline others to comply with President Ronald Reagan's goals of "greater efficiency in federal spending," and in accordance with Congressional appropriation levels. The service eliminated 35 units, including the West Coast Training Center at Alameda, and consolidated all recruit training to TRACEN Cape May.
1984-The tanker Cepheus ran aground near Anchorage, Alaska, on the morning of 21 January 1984, spilling 180,000 gallons of jet fuel into Cook Inlet. MSO Anchorage and the Pacific Strike Team responded to the incident and monitored the offloading of the damaged tanker and cleared its passage out of Alaska. The light jet fuel evaporated with little environmental impact.
(Source: USCG Historian’s Office)