This Day in Coast Guard History – Feb. 18
1842- The House of Representatives passed a resolution requesting the Committee on Commerce to make an inquiry into the expenditures of the Lighthouse Establishment since 1816. This was to explore the possibility of cutting down on expenses, to examine the question of reorganizing the establishment and administration, and also to ascertain whether the establishment should be placed under the Topographical Bureau of the War Department.
1952- During a severe "nor’easter" off the New England coast, the T-2 tankers SS Fort Mercer and SS Pendleton broke in half. U .S. Coast Guard vessels, aircraft, and lifeboat stations, working under severe winter conditions, rescued and removed 62 persons from the foundering ships or from the water with a loss of only five lives. Five Coast Guardsmen earned the Gold Lifesaving Medal, four earned the Silver Lifesaving Medal, and 15 earned the Coast Guard Commendation Medal.
1968-Engineman First Class Robert J. Yered was awarded the Silver Star for action on 18 February 1968 while attached to Explosive Loading Detachment #1, Cat Lai, Republic of Vietnam. EN1 Yered was supervising the loading of explosives on board an ammunition ship when an enemy rocket struck a barge loaded with several tons of mortar ammunition moored alongside. His citation noted that "without regard for his personal safety, [he] exposed himself to the enemy fusillade as he helped extinguish the fire on the burning barge. . .His courageous act averted destruction of the ammunition ship, and the Army Terminal." EN1 Yered also received the Purple Heart for injuries suffered during the incident.
1979- Coast Guard HH-3F helicopter CG-1432 crashed 180 miles southeast of Cape Cod, killing four of its five occupants. The helicopter was preparing to airlift a 47 year old crewman from the Japanese fishing vessel Kaisei Maru #18.
(Source: USCG Historian’s Office)