This Day in Coast Guard History – April 23
1880-Captain Jerome G. Kiah and his crew of six surfmen from the Point Aux Barques Life-Saving Station responded to a distress signal from a stranded scow in Lake Huron. They departed their station in their pulling surfboat but the boat capsized a number of times in the icy water, eventually causing the six surfmen to perish from hypothermia. Only Captain Kiah survived the ordeal, but was severely injured from the cold water and forced to resign from the Service. He carried the psychological scars of the disaster for the rest of his life, but rejoined the Life-Saving Service later that year as District Superintendent.
1919-The USS Marietta, under the command of future commandant Harry Hamlet, rescued 47 men from the USS James which was sinking in a gale off the coast of France.
1924- A tube transmitter for radio fog-signal stations, developed to take the place of the spark transmitters in use, was placed in service on the Ambrose Channel Lightship and proved successful.
2007-The Intelligence Specialist (IS) rating was launched with a special ceremony at Coast Guard Headquarters. ADM Thad Allen, USCG Commandant, and Mr. James Sloan, Assistant Commandant for Intelligence and Criminal Investigations, presided over the ceremony.
(Source: USCG Historian’s Office)