Salute to the Coast Guard! 9-24-15

“News from the Hut”
for American Legion Post #142; Hominy, Oklahoma.
by Gary Lanham

Many times I recognize the dedication of an individual who, as our Service Officer, never fails to lead the charge to get the flags out for our community. He and I had a good weekend last Saturday when his Pokes and my Sooners prevailed (sorry TU). He is the one person I have not had the opportunity to sit down with and document his military service as I have with the majority of the rest of the Band of Brothers. So as a tip of the hat I want to recognize Babo Carter’s branch of service, the Coast Guard. Today in history there were many significant Coast Guard events.

The modern Coast Guard was formed by a merger of the Revenue Cutter Service and the U.S. Life-Saving Service on 28 January 1915, under the U.S. Department of the Treasury. As one of the country’s five armed services, the Coast Guard has been involved in every U.S. war from 1790 to the Iraq Wars and the War in Afghanistan. As of 2012[update] the Coast Guard had approximately 42,000 men and women on active duty, 7,900 reservists, 32,000 in auxiliary status, and 8,700 full-time civilian employees. In terms of size, the U.S. Coast Guard by itself is the world’s 12th largest naval force.

On this day in 1943 the Coast Guard-manned USS LST-167 and the USS LST-334 with a partial Coast Guard crew landed troops during the invasion of Vella Lavella in the central Solomons despite fierce resistance from the Japanese defenders. Japanese aircraft attacked the invasion fleet, hitting LST-167 with two bombs that killed 10 of her crew and wounded 10. Five crewmen were reported as missing in action. The LST was later salvaged.

Also on this day in 2002 the U.S. Coast Guard Commandant Admiral Thomas H. Collins announced the award of a $611 million contract to General Dynamics of Scottsdale, AZ, for the production, deployment and support of “Rescue 21,” a modernization of the National Distress and Response System. “Rescue 21” was planned to be the nation’s primary maritime “911” system for coastal waters of the continental United States, Alaska, Hawaii, Guam, Puerto Rico, and navigable rivers and lakes within the United States. “Rescue 21” replaced the current system entitled the National Distress and Response System that monitored for distress calls and coordinated the search and rescue response.

This system consisted of a network of VHF-FM antenna high-sites with analog transceivers that are remotely controlled by regional communication centers and rescue boat stations that provided coverage out to approximately 20 nautical miles from shore in most areas. The Rescue 21 deployment began in the Atlantic City, NJ, and Eastern Shore regions. Concurrently, the system was deployed in the Seattle, Port Angeles, WA; St. Petersburg, FL; and Mobile, AL, regions. The deployment for the coastal waters of the continental U.S. was completed by September 2006.

Most recently in 2005 Hurricane Rita made landfall just east of Sabine Pass on the Texas-Louisiana line. It was a Category 3 hurricane with top sustained winds of 120 mph. U.S. Coast Guard units still in the area from Hurricane Katrina rescue and relief efforts responded saving138 lives and evacuating 53 people.

Get your ticket for the Damascus Knife raffle (donated by Dan Rathbun)! Tickets are on sell. The drawing will be November 11th, Veteran’s Day. Tickets are $1 each and 6 tickets for $5. You can get your ticket around town where you see advertising or any American Legion member (the usual gang).

Don’t forget our regular meetings continue the first and third Thursdays of the month at 7:00 PM (October 1st and 18th). If there is a dinner it will start at 6:00 PM and I will send an update out.   Monday morning Koffee Klatch meetings in September are still scheduled for biscuits and gravy and maybe a waffle or two and always a cup of Joe (coffee to the civilians). If you are a veteran come on by. If you have a good story it may end up in print. Also keep up with us at website “americanlegion142.org”.

About Gary Lanham

Authors the weekly article "News from the Hut", about local American Legion Post #142 in Hominy, OK. Read his weekly articles in the "Hominy News Progress".
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