This Day in Coast Guard History – October 4

Monday, October 04, 2010

1918-There was an explosion at the T.A. Gillespie Company munitions yard in Morgan, New Jersey. Coast Guardsmen from Perth Amboy responded. When fire threatened a trainload of TNT, these men repaired the track and moved the train to safety, thus preventing further disaster. Two Coast Guardsmen were killed in this effort.

1956-Two U.S. Air Force F-89 aircraft crashed in rugged mountain terrain about four miles from Mount Olympus, Washington.  For seven days, the Coast Guard directed a highly coordinated search for the lost plane and crews. Finally, aircraft and helicopters from the CG Air Station, Port Angeles, Washington, assisted by aircraft and ground search elements from other services, located and evacuated the two crew members on 5 October.  Another walked out on his own to Hoods Canal on 6 October and was picked up by the Coast Guard in Brinnon, Washington after phoning in his location.  He then assisted the Coast Guard in locating the crash site.  A fourth crewman went down with his aircraft and was killed.

1980- A fire broke out on the Dutch cruise vessel Prinsendam off Ketchikan, Alaska.  Coast Guard helicopters and the cutters Boutwell, Mellon, and Woodrush respond in concert with other vessels in the area and rescue all of the passengers and crew without loss of life.

1995- Hurricane Opal hit the Gulf of Mexico and made landfall in Destin, Florida.  Coast Guard units provided relief efforts, surveyed damage, and restored aids to navigation.  The CGC Kodiak Island contacted the CGC Courgeous and requested assistance.  The Kodiak Island was battling 10 to 12-foot waves 100 miles west of Gasparilla, Florida, and experiencing flooding and a loss of steering control due to a hydraulic fluid leak.  A HC-130 from AIRSTA Clearwater flew to the scene to provide assistance and the Courageous went to escort the Kodiak Island to Group St. Petersburg.

(Source: USCG Historian’s Office)

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