Coast Guard

Accounts of the Korean War

 

Introduction

The United States Coast Guard protects more than the coastal waters of our country.  During the Korean War the 8,500+ members of this branch of service oversaw merchant marine and Port Security forces that loaded weapons and supplies onto vessels and aircraft heading for Korea and elsewhere around the world.  They also manned ocean stations in the Pacific that around-the-clock operated the LORAN radio relay system that guided merchant and air traffic.  In addition, the Coast Guard provided search and rescue missions in the Far East Command and everywhere there were US personnel serving their country.  The CG also suffered casualties and fatalities all around the world during the Korean War.  To add more information to this page of the Korean War Educator contact lynnita@thekwe.org.

Most recent addition to this page: August 24, 2021


Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • The Forgotten Service in the Forgotten War (Scott Price)
  • Coast Guard Aircraft Accidents
  • Gold Lifesaving Medal Recipients (Korean War)
  • Coast Guard Fatalities During the Korean War (chronological order)
  • Fatality Bios (alpha order)

The Forgotten Service in the Forgotten War
The U.S. Coast Guard's Role in the Korean Conflict

authored by Scott T. Price

On June 25, 1950 six North Korean infantry divisions, supported by large armor and artillery forces, brutally attacked and invaded its neighbor, South Korea. The onslaught caught the South, as well as much of the world, completely by surprise. As the Soviet-equipped divisions advanced towards the capital, Seoul, Coast Guard officers stationed on the peninsula received word that they would have to evacuate. The officers were based at the former Imperial Japanese naval base at Chinae, South Korea, where they had been training the nucleus of what would become the South Korean navy. This little known operation was a typical example of the Coast Guard's role during the coming conflict; based in obscurity but nevertheless important to the United Nations' efforts to halt and then reverse the Communist onslaught.

The United States Navy determined what the Coast Guard's missions for any post-World War II conflicts were to be. In 1947 the Chief of Naval Operations suggested that in future conflicts the Coast Guard should limit its contribution to those peacetime tasks in which it specialized. His suggestion stated that the Coast Guard's "war time functions and duties assigned should be those which are an extension of normal peacetime tasks." Additionally, "Coast Guard personnel, ships, aircraft and facilities should be utilized as organized Coast Guard units rather than by indiscriminately integrating them into the naval establishment." These duties included port security, maritime inspection and safety, search and rescue, and patrolling ocean stations. These, therefore, were the Coast Guard's primary missions during the Korean War.

Chinae

In 1946 the U. S. Army, which commanded the military forces in South Korea, asked for a contingent of active-duty Coast Guard officers to organize, supervise, and train a small Korean coast guard. The Coast Guard quickly complied. Captain George McCabe, a Coast Guard hero of World War II and the first to command the contingent, arrived in South Korea on 23 August 1946. In fact he actually commanded the nascent Korean Coast Guard until the Korean government appointed Lieutenant Commander Sohn Won Yil as its first native commanding officer. From then on, McCabe and Sohn commanded the service jointly. Their task proved to be extremely complicated. First, they had to establish an enlisted training facility and begin recruiting operations. Then they needed to establish an officer candidate program to train officers to command the service. They also agreed to develop an academy, complete with a four-year degree program much like the service academies in the United States. Due to a pressing need for personnel, however, the degree program was cut to two years. Despite the language difficulties, a lack of equipment, and a high initial desertion rate, McCabe and his staff successfully nurtured the beginnings of a new coast guard for the Korean nation. They acquired former Japanese navy warships to serve as training vessels and refurbished equipment left behind by the Japanese occupation forces. They repaired the buildings and built barracks for the trainees. In general the Coast Guard did what it has always done, successfully fulfilled an assigned task with little or no support and practically no resources. The whole structure of the training effort, however, was soon to undergo a significant change.

The Coast Guard's Advisory Team

In May 1948 Commander William C. Achurch arrived in Korea and became the "Head Advisor to Commander, Service Forces, Korean Coast Guard" and commanding officer of
the U. S. Coast Guard Detachment at Chinhae. When the South Korean government decided that it would change its coast guard to a navy in 1948, the active duty U. S. Coast Guard officers returned home. As one officer put it, "The U.S. Coast Guard didn't feel obligated to train a foreign navy and the U.S. Coast Guard Detachment was withdrawn." The U.S. Army then hired a number of retired or reserve Coast Guard officers and men to assist the new Korean Navy, including Commander Achurch.

Training continued unabated for the next few years. The training teams continued to struggle with a number of difficulties including cultural differences, language, and as always, funding. The base gained some notoriety when Achurch hosted a conference between the Nationalist Chinese leader, Chiang Kai-shek and the president of South Korea, Syngman Rhee for a three-day meeting in August of 1949. Later, President Rhee became a frequent visitor to the base as his interest in his new navy grew. On the 19th of August, 1949 a World War II Coast Guard veteran, Commander Clarence M. Speight, retired from the service for a physical disability, took over Achurch's duties as "Advisor Chief, Korean Navy." Achurch remained as the commanding officer of the Coast Guard contingent. Both men wore their uniforms proudly and carried on the operation as a Coast Guard-commanded team.

Invasion

Commander Speight found himself in Taiwan preparing a new vessel for the Korean Navy when the North Koreans attacked. His wife and two children in Seoul fled to Inchon. Speight arranged for their transport on board a freighter bound for Tokyo and he then returned to Seoul. Six hundred fifty other refugees swarmed on board the freighter designed to carry only twelve passengers. Mrs. Speight and her two children stayed on the main deck for the three-day trip despite the cold weather and rain. Speight barely managed to leave Seoul and watched as the large bridge over the Han River was blown up. After crossing the river on a small boat, he eventually made it to Pusan where he met up with Commander Achurch. Both were ordered back to the United States in July. So ended the Coast Guard's role in creating a navy for South Korea.

Ocean/Weather Stations

The ocean station program, established before World War II, proved to be a vital war-time Coast Guard task and was perhaps the most direct contribution made by the Coast Guard to the United Nations' effort. Cutters assigned to the stations carried teams of meteorologists from the U.S. Weather Bureau. These men carried out weather observations, assisted by specialists in the Coast Guard crew. The cutters also served as aids to navigation by providing checkpoints for military and commercial maritime and air traffic and communication "relay" stations for aircraft on transoceanic flights. They provided needed medical services to merchant ship crews as well as any others in need and served as search and rescue platforms. Some aircraft actually ditched near the cutters and were quickly rescued, such as the famous rescue of the Bermuda Sky Queen by the crew of the Bibb in 1947.

Coast Guard cutters were stationed at two ocean stations in the Pacific prior to the outbreak of the Korean conflict. In concert with the Navy, the service decided to add three additional stations in the North Pacific. The new stations provided complete weather data and greater search and rescue coverage for the growing trans-Pacific merchant and military traffic brought on by the Korean conflict. Indeed, 95 percent of the war material bound for Korea went by ship but nearly half of the personnel went by air, making the ocean station vessels a vital link in the United Nations' logistic effort.

Furthermore, the Coast Guard established a chain of air search and rescue detachments on islands throughout the Pacific to supplement the search and rescue capabilities of the Ocean Station cutters. Cutters were also assigned to these search and rescue stations to augment their search and rescue capabilities. With the addition of the new stations, the Coast Guard needed to find vessels to augment the already extended cutter fleet. Fortunately a ready source existed within the mothball fleets of
the Navy. The Navy turned over a number of destroyer escorts, which the Coast Guard commissioned as cutters. The old war-horses had served as convoy escorts in World War II, 33 of which had been manned by Coast Guard crews during the war. These vessels were refitted with a shelter on the stern for weather balloon storage and armed with depth charges and a variety of anti-aircraft weapons. The first two to join the Coast Guard fleet were the Koiner and the Falgout. Once commissioned, the new cutters underwent shakedown training under the supervision of the Navy and then sailed to their new homeports.

Ocean station duty could be monotonous at one moment and terrifying the next, as the vessels rode out storms that made the saltiest sailors green. One crewman noted: "After twenty-one days of being slammed around by rough cold sea swells 20 to 50 feet high, and wild winds hitting gale force at times, within an ocean grid the size of a postage stamp, you can stand any kind of duty."

The Koiner's operations provide a good example of the duty. After she arrived in Seattle, where she joined the cutters Bering Strait, Klamath, Winona, and the Wachusett, a hodge podge fleet of ex-Navy seaplane tenders and 255-foot Coast Guard cutters, she was first sent to Ocean Station Nan in the North Pacific. There she steamed in endless circles around the ocean station for three weeks before being relieved by the cutter Lowe. While on the ocean station the crew quickly fell into a routine. They assisted the five weather observers from the San Francisco office of the U.S. Weather Bureau who accompanied each patrol. Radar and radio were manned around the clock. Twice daily the crew launched 6-foot diameter helium filled balloons that measured air temperature, pressure, and humidity to an altitude of 10 miles. They launched another smaller balloon to measure wind speed and direction.

The crew also checked the temperature of the water every four hours down to a depth of 450 feet with a bathythermograph instrument. These cutters also served as a floating aid to navigation. They contacted passing aircraft and ships by radio and provided radar and navigation fixes. Such contact with anyone from the outside world, even if only for a brief moment, at least broke up the monotony for the crew. Then there were the daily drills such as fire, collision, and boat drills. For recreation they had movies, pistol matches, skeet shooting, volleyball games, and fishing. Though this was often enough to keep from going stir crazy, the crew invariably counted the days until their next liberty.

After returning to Seattle the crew of the destroyer escort received welcome liberty. Then she set sail for Ocean Station Victor, midway between Japan and the Aleutian Islands, via the Midway Islands. While at Midway she stood search and rescue standby duty, then set sail for Victor for another three-week tour of duty. When relieved there, she sailed on to Yokosuka, Japan for a twelve-day layover, which included liberty for all hands. Afterward she steamed once again out to the North Pacific to Ocean Station Sugar. Another three weeks later her relief arrived and the Koiner returned to Seattle. And so it went, month by month, year by year.

These cutters assisted a number of merchant ships and aircraft that were transiting the North Pacific during the war. The Forster assisted the largest number of vessels while on patrol. Her crew searched for and found the MV Katori Maru drifting and burning on 16-17 August 1952. Thereafter they assisted five more merchant and fishing vessels. The Pacific ocean station cutters in all assisted over 20 merchant and Navy vessels, including one transoceanic airliner during the war.

During 1950 Station Nan was the busiest of all the ocean stations, reporting that the cutters gave 357 radar fixes per patrol. Each patrol averaged over 700 hours on station. The cutters steamed an average of 4,000 miles per patrol. These numbers increased considerably after the patrols were lengthened and expanded after the start of the Korean
conflict. Twenty-four cutters served on the stations that fell within the perimeters of the Korean conflict and thus, they and their crews earned the Korean Service Medal. Unsung but always ready, the cutters insured the timely and safe arrival of United Nations' troops and supplies throughout the Korean conflict.

Pacific Search and Rescue Airstations

The Coast Guard established a number of Pacific air search and rescue detachments throughout the Pacific in support of the Korean operation. The Coast Guard commissioned
air detachments on Wake and Midway islands and increased the strengths of the existing detachments at Guam, Hawaii, and the Philippine Islands. They were on call, 24 hours a day, to respond to any calls for assistance.

One of the most dangerous search and rescue cases undertaken by the Coast Guard took place off the coast of mainland China in early 1953. Communist Chinese forces shot down a Navy P2V Neptune in the Formosa Strait while the aircraft was on a covert patrol along the Chinese coast. The crew ditched their burning plane and escaped into a life raft to await rescue. The Coast Guard search and rescue station at Sangley Point responded to the call for assistance by immediately scrambling one of its two Martin PBM-5G Mariner seaplanes.

In command was Lieutenant "Big John" Vukic, one of the most experienced seaplane pilots in the Coast Guard. Vukic and his crew of seven took off and flew their large aircraft towards Communist China and imminent danger. They were followed by the other PBM shortly thereafter, piloted by then-Lieutenant Mitchell A. Perry. After arriving on scene Vukic noticed that the seas were running 15-feet. Even though the survivors managed to climb into a raft he thought they must have been suffering from hypothermia. He decided to attempt an open water landing, always a dangerous affair but something he had done many times successfully. With darkness setting in he landed near the survivors. His crewman managed to pull these men on board while other crewman prepared a jet-assisted packs for each side of the aircraft. These devices, known as JATO [Jet Assisted Take-Off] packs, permitted aircraft to lift off in an extremely short take-off run.

While the Coast Guard crew rescued all eleven in the raft, two other Navy crew, in a separate raft, were swept ashore and captured by the communist Chinese. Not knowing their fate, Vukic taxied his big PBM near the crash site searching for them. After fifteen minutes, with the seas rising he gave up the search and attempted to take off.
The JATO rockets fired as the PBM lifted into the air. Vukic remembered: "There was a 15-foot sea and a 25-mile wind." He feared that the heavy seas would swamp his seaplane if he waited for the seas to abate or a surface ship to come to their aid. Weighing each of the consequences, he decided to fly. Vukic noted that: "Everything was rolling very well and I thought it was in the bag. And so I fired my JATO bottles to help my plane get airborne."

Suddenly the plane lurched to the left. He saw the left wing float rise above the sea but the port engine seemed to be losing power. He quickly decided to ditch and made for the crest of a wave with the plane's hull. "My seat suddenly broke and that was the last thing I knew." The PBM slammed back into the sea and broke up. Once again the Navy survivors were back in the water, at least, the seven that survived this crash. Vukic managed to escape as well and inflated a raft. He pulled two surviving Navy crew in with him. He said "We were so cold we didn't care who got us, just so they had a fire to keep us warm." Two others of his Coast Guard crew, Aviation Machinists Mate Joseph Miller and Aviation Mechanic Robert Hewitt, also managed to escape before the PBM sank. These men were eventually rescued by the Navy destroyer U.S.S. Halsey Powell later that night. But the other five Coast Guard and four Navy crewmen perished. Apparently some of these nine men escaped the sinking PBM but were captured by Communist Chinese forces and executed as spies. All five of these Coast Guardsmen, who had died in the line of duty, were awarded the Gold Lifesaving Medal posthumously.

Port Security

Anticommunist sentiment in the country, already at a fever pitch after the communist victory in China the year before, was only aggravated by the North Korean attack. As a result, the government reacted against domestic communist activity. President Harry Truman signed Presidential Executive Order 10173, thereby implementing the Magnuson Act, which authorized the Coast Guard to conduct duties it had carried out during both World Wars to insure the security of U.S. ports "from subversive or clandestine attacks." The Coast Guard established port security units to take charge of and secure the major ports of the United States. Their function was to prevent sabotage and insure the timely loading and sailing of merchant ships, especially those sailing to Japan and Korea to deliver ammunition needed by the United Nation forces.

The most controversial power extended to the Coast Guard was the authority to check the backgrounds of merchant sailors, longshoremen, warehouse employees and harbor pilots, in order to determine their loyalty, or lack thereof, to the United States. The immediate problem with implementing these duties was the lack of personnel. There was no organized reserve program of any great scale as the World War II program had been emasculated with the demobilization of the United State's military at the end of the war. Indeed, in June 1949 there were only 252 enlisted reserve personnel, and a few women SPARs [the nickname of the Coast Guard's Women's Reserve] working at headquarters. The President, through a supplemental appropriation, approved the immediate increase in financing necessary to implement an organized reserve. The budget for the following year did show a substantial funding increase that permitted the Coast Guard to expand and develop an adequate reserve to meet the service's new demands.

Fears of a Eastern-bloc freighter sailing into a port, armed with a nuclear bomb, gave the service a unique Cold War task. Since the Soviet Union and its communist allies had no long-range bomber force and ballistic missiles were ten years in the future, delivery of a bomb by a vessel sailing into an unsuspecting port and then being detonated was the most likely form of nuclear attack on the United States. From August 1951 every vessel entering into a U.S. anchorage had to notify Customs of its intended destination and cargo 24 hours before it was to arrive. The names of these vessels were passed to the appropriate Captain of the Port and Coast Guard patrol boats identified and checked each, boarding and examining those that appeared suspicious.

The boats patrolling harbor entrances in the major ports were occupied 24 hours a day and in New York, for example, there were two stations on continuous duty. For the next two years off the coast of New York, near the Ambrose lightship station, the Coast Guard inspected over 1,500 ships. Each of the two patrols inspected an average of 40 vessels per month with each inspection lasting four hours. Armed with Geiger counters, they searched for atomic weapons, general explosives, and bacteriological weapons. Fortunately, the patrols never encountered anything worth reporting.

Another Coast Guard security duty that had a direct impact on the combat in Korea was that of the men who supervised the loading of high explosives on board merchantman. Special explosive loading detachment teams conducted the incredibly dangerous job of supervising the loading of ammunition. It was sometimes conducted under the most primitive conditions. On the coast of Oregon, for example, ammunition was transported from the Umatilla Ordnance Depot to a loading site on the Columbia River about 10 miles downstream from the Depot.

A privately owned tow and barge company held the contract for transporting government goods down the river. Coast Guard officers and men supervised the loading of the
ammunition onto barges that each held 500 tons. Typically one powered vessel would push two barges at a time down the 200 miles to the Beaver Ammunition Storage Point,
accompanied by an armed Coast Guardsman. The ammunition was then loaded onto cargo vessels for transportation to Korea.

The LORAN Station at Pusan

The LORAN [Long Range Aid to Navigation] station at Pusan is one of the truly unsung Coast Guard stories of the war. Established to assist the growing air and sea traffic brought on by the Korean conflict, the station's crew has the distinction of being the only Coast Guard personnel serving under a Coast Guard command on the peninsula during the fighting. It was code named ELMO-4.

The prospective commanding officer of the station, Lieutenant John D. McCann, USCG, reconnoitered the area around the city of Pusan, which gave the LORAN station its official Coast Guard designation, and picked a hill some twenty miles from the city. His crew consisted of twelve men who served on a one-year tour. On June 6 1952 the U. S. Air Force generously agreed to support the station logistically, relieving the 14th Coast Guard District of such responsibilities. The support included providing for the security of the station.

Despite attacks by local vandals and some guerrilla units, as well as a typhoon in August of 1952, construction progressed with the assistance of units of the U. S. Army and logistically supported by the U.S. Air Force. By the time ELMO-4 was ready to begin operation the station boasted modern plumbing, electric clothes washing machines, and a hot water heater. McCann noted "We are probably living on one of the most comfortable bases in Korea. But don't forget that we built it ourselves. Last August all we had were tents."

The only Coast Guard outfit stationed in Korea began transmitting its signal on 5 January 1953. In concert with the other eight Coast Guard-manned LORAN stations in the Far East, including stations O'Shima Island in Tokyo Bay, Iwo Jima, and Okinawa, these lonely Coast Guard outposts provided around-the-clock navigation assistance to United Nations' maritime and air forces. Every UN vessel and aircraft utilized the new technology that permitted navigation under any weather conditions during the day or night, provided courtesy of the United States Coast Guard.

With the signing of the cease-fire on 26 July 1953, the Coast Guard, as it had after World War II, demobilized quickly. The Coast Guard abandoned the ocean stations added for
wartime purposes and decommissioned the destroyer escorts. All of the overseas air detachments and search and rescue stations were decommissioned as well and the service
returned to its normal peacetime operations. Coast Guard operations during the Korean War supported the United Nations' efforts to throw back the Communist invaders. Coast Guard Merchant Marine Inspection and Port Security forces insured the safe and timely loading and departure of munitions and supplies bound for the troops in Korea. The Coast Guard also supported the transport of combat troops to Korea. Manning the lonely ocean stations in the middle of the Pacific, day in and day out, cutters on these stations provided navigation support and stood by for rescue, if need be, to transports, freighters, and aircraft bound for the far Pacific. Coast Guard air
detachments stood by as well, ready to assist any in need.

Finally, the Coast Guard LORAN chain provided the most direct support of any Coast Guard operation to the combat and logistic efforts against the Communist invasion of South Korea. As it had during the air offensive against Japan during World War II, Coast Guard LORAN stations provided around the clock precise navigation assistance to all U.N. vessels and aircraft throughout the far Pacific.

The Korean War left a number of legacies for the Coast Guard. Port security became a preeminent mission of the service in large part due to fears generated by the Cold War.
Force levels had increased to well over what they were before North Korea invaded its neighbor. Indeed, the service almost doubled in size from its 1947 low of just over 18,000 men and women until June, 1952 when 35,082 officers and enlisted men served on active duty, including 1,600 reservists. Women also continued to serve in the Coast Guard, albeit in far fewer numbers than served during World War II.

In November 1952, 215 SPAR officers and 108 enlisted SPAR's served in the reserve and 15 officers and 19 enlisted served on active duty. The final and, perhaps, most important legacy was that the future leaders of the service would look for a more active role for the Coast Guard in any conflict. Worried that its vital duties during the Korean War still left the Coast Guard in obscurity, future commandants would offer Coast Guard forces for use in combat. This is exactly what
happened some ten years later during the Communist onslaught in Vietnam.

Coast Guard Units Eligible for the Korean Service Medal 1950-1954

  • USCGC Bering Strait; WAVP 382
  • USCGC Chautauqua; WPG 41
  • USCGC Durant; WDE 489
  • USCGC Escanaba; WPG 64
  • USCGC Falgout; WDE 424
  • USCGC Finch; WDE 428
  • USCGC Forster; WDE 434
  • USCGC Gresham; WAVP 387
  • USCGC Ironwood; WAGL 297
  • USCGC Iroquois; WPG 43
  • USCGC Klamath; WPG 66
  • USCGC Koiner; WDE 431
  • USCGC Kukui; WAK 186
  • USCGC Lowe; WDE 425
  • USCGC Minnetonka; WPG 67
  • USCGC Newell; WDE 442
  • USCGC Planetree; WAGL 307
  • USCGC Pontchartrain; WPG 70
  • USCGC Ramsden; WDE 482
  • USCGC Richey; WDE 48
  • USCGC Taney; WPG 37
  • USCGC Wachusett; WPG 44
  • USCGC Winnebago; WPG 40
  • USCGC Winona; WPG 65

Commander, Coast Guard Far East Section, Tokyo Coast Guard Merchant Marine Detachment, Japan

  • LORAN Station Bataan
  • LORAN Station Pusan
  • LORAN Station Ichi Banare, Okinawa
  • LORAN Station Iwo Jima
  • LORAN Station Matsumae, Hokkaido
  • LORAN Station Niigata, Honshu
  • LORAN Station Oshima, Honshu
  • LORAN Station Riyako Jima
  • LORAN Station Tokyo, Honshu

U.S. Coast Guard Korean War Chronology

  • 26 June 1950

    Retired Coast Guard officers, hired to help train the Korean Navy, are ordered to evacuate the Korean peninsula. The first Coast Guard contingent arrived in South Korea on 13 September 1946 to train a Korean "coast guard." The active duty officers came back to the U.S. when the Koreans decided to establish a navy in lieu of a "coast guard." Retired officers were then recruited to train the nascent naval force.
     
  • 9 August 1950

    Congress enacts Public Law 679, known as the Magnuson Act, which charged the Coast Guard with ensuring the security of the United States' ports and harbors, reinstituting a duty carried out during both World Wars. The Coast Guard establishes 29 new port security units to fulfill the task. The primary concern of the Coast Guard was to prevent sabotage of military cargoes bound for Japan and Korea. The law also authorized the Coast Guard to determine the loyalty of U.S. licensed merchant sailors, one of the more controversial duties assigned to the service since the Coast Guard enforced Prohibition.
     
  • 20 June 1951

    The Coast Guard commissions two former-Navy destroyer escorts, the Forster and Koiner, the first two of a total of twelve that ultimately join the Coast Guard fleet. They were assigned to newly established ocean-weather stations in the Pacific designed to assist merchant and air traffic bound to and from the Korean peninsula. They provided accurate and up to date weather information, served as radio relay stations, and search and rescue platforms. The Coast Guard established new air search and rescue stations on Wake, Midway, and Adak islands as well.
     
  • 20 December 1951

    The cutter Koiner, homeported at Seattle, assisted the tanker Bulkfuel and escorted it to safety.
     
  • 16-17 August 1952

    The cutter Forster, while on Ocean Station Sugar, searched for and found the merchant vessel Katori Maru drifting and burning. The vessel was not salvageable and sank soon thereafter.
     
  • 16 October 1952

    The Coast Guard establishes a Merchant Marine Detail in Yokohama, Japan to deal with the increased merchant marine traffic through Japan as a result of the Korean conflict.
     
  • 5 January 1953

    Coast Guard LORAN Station Pusan, code-named Elmo 4, commenced transmitting. The LORAN station, along with the other stations in the Far East Chain, guided both merchant and air traffic in the region.
     
  • 18 January 1953

    A Coast Guard PBM-5A, based out of Sangley Point, Philippines, crashed after attempting to take off in heavy seas near the coast of China. The crew had just rescued the survivors of a U.S. Navy P2V that had been shot down by Communist Chinese forces while it was flying a surveillance flight. Four Navy and five Coast Guard personnel perished in the crash. The survivors were rescued the following day by a U.S. Navy destroyer.
     
  • 15 May 1953

    The cutter Forster, homeported in Honolulu, assisted the merchant vessel Creighton Victory.
     
  • 12 July 1953

    The cutter Finch, while on Ocean Station Nan, unsuccessfully searched for the downed Transoceanic Plane 806 in the vicinity of Midway Island.
     
  • 30 July 1953

    The cutter Lansing, homeported in Honolulu, assisted the grounded merchant vessel Hawaii Bear at Maculabo Island.
     
  • 19-20 September 1953

    The cutter Ramsden, while on Ocean Station Uncle, stood by the USNS Private Frank J. Petrarca, until relieved by a tug

Coast Guard Aircraft Accidents

Korean War Educator: Topics - Coast Guard Aircraft Accidents


Gold Medal Lifesaving Medal Recipients

This medal is given for "extreme and heroic daring."

  • Permenter, BMC Fred - April 5, 1951 - St. George's Reef Light Station, California
    • Date of Rescue: 5 April 1951/Station: St. George's Reef Light Station, CA/Date of Award: 31 March 1952
  • Kiely, Ens. William R. Jr. - May 28, 1951 - U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 78
  • Lundberg, Erick - US Coast Guard Auxiliary
    • Date of Rescue: 28 May 1951/Station: U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 78/Date of Award: 27 June 1952
  • Webber, Coxswain Bernard - February 18, 1952 - CG-36500, Chatham, Massachusetts
    • Date of Rescue: 18 February 1952/Station: Chatham LBS, MA/Date of Award: 7 May 1952
  • Maske, EN2(P) Ervin E. - February 18, 1952 - CG-36500, Chatham, Massachusetts
    • Date of Rescue: 18 February 1952/Station: Chatham LBS, MA/Date of Award: 7 May 1952
  • Fitzgerald, EN2(P) Andrew J. - February 18, 1952 - CG-36500, Chatham, Massachusetts
    • Date of Rescue: 18 February 1952/Station: Chatham LBS, MA/Date of Award: 7 May 1952
  • Livesey, SN Richard P. - February 18, 1952 - CG-36500, Chatham, Massachusetts
    • Date of Rescue: 18 February 1952/Station: Chatham LBS, MA/Date of Award: 7 May 1952
  • Kiely, Ens. William R. Jr. - February 18 and 19, 1952 - USCGC Yakutat
    • Date of Rescue: 18 & 19 February 1952/Station: USCGC Yakutat/Date of Award: 7 May 1952
  • Vukic, Lt. John - January 18, 1953 - Coast Guard Air Detachment Sangley Point, Philippine Islands
    • Date of Rescue: 18 January 1953/Station: Coast Guard Air Detachment Sangley Point, Philippine Islands/Date of Award: 16 November 1955
  • Stuart, Lt.jg Gerald W. - January 18, 1953 - Coast Guard Air Detachment Sangley Point, Philippine Islands
    • Date of Rescue: 18 January 1953/Station: Coast Guard Air Detachment Sangley Point, Philippine Islands/Date of Award: 16 November 1955
  • Miller, ADC Joseph M. Jr. - January 18, 1953 - Coast Guard Air Detachment Sangley Point, Philippine Islands
    • Date of Rescue: 18 January 1953/Station: Coast Guard Air Detachment Sangley Point, Philippine Islands/Date of Award: 16 November 1955
  • Hammond, ALC Winfield J. - January 18, 1953 - Coast Guard Air Detachment Sangley Point, Philippine Islands
    • Date of Rescue: 18 January 1953/Station: Coast Guard Air Detachment Sangley Point, Philippine Islands/Date of Award: 16 November 1955
  • Tornell, AL1 Carl R. - January 18, 1953 - Coast Guard Air Detachment Sangley Point, Philippine Islands
    • Date of Rescue: 18 January 1953/Station: Coast Guard Air Detachment Sangley Point, Philippine Islands/Date of Award: 16 November 1955
  • Bridge, AO1 Joseph Richard - January 18, 1953 - Coast Guard Air Detachment Sangley Point, Philippine Islands
    • Date of Rescue: 18 January 1953/Station: Coast Guard Air Detachment Sangley Point, Philippine Islands/Date of Award: 16 November 1955
  • Miller, AD3 Tracy W. - January 18, 1953 - Coast Guard Air Detachment Sangley Point, Philippine Islands
    • Date of Rescue: 18 January 1953/Station: Coast Guard Air Detachment Sangley Point, Philippine Islands/Date of Award: 16 November 1955
  • Hewitt, AM3 Robert F. - January 18, 1953 - Coast Guard Air Detachment Sangley Point, Philippine Islands
    • Date of Rescue: 18 January 1953/Station: Coast Guard Air Detachment Sangley Point, Philippine Islands/Date of Award: 16 November 1955

Coast Guard Fatalities During the Korean War

[KWE Note: The official time period of the Korean War is June 27, 1950 to January 31, 1955.  The following fatalities are listed in chronological order rather than alpha order.]

1950

  • Hinnant, James Reed - Ocean Weather Station HOW - December 06, 1950

1951

  • Massey, Charles Gray - from Maryland, January 6, 1951
  • Harwood, BM3 Bruce L. - USCGC Foxglove, August 14, 1951
  • Wage, EN1 Max Joseph Jr. - Station Wilmette Harbor, Illinois, October 28, 1951
  • Sawyer, BM3 Robert P. - Station Wilmette Harbor, Illinois, October 28, 1951

1952

  • Tomozer, Lt.jg. Richard Joseph - Air Station Port Angeles, Washington, May 27, 1952
  • Moore, AL1 Bernard - Air Station Port Angeles, Washington, May 27, 1952
  • Woodard, AL2 Blaine Edward - Air Station Port Angeles, Washington, May 27, 1952
  • Lefebvre, BM3 J.L. - Station Kennebec, Maine, May 29, 1952
  • McClendon, LtCd Robert Stancell - Air Station Guam, November 11, 1952
  • McGregor, Lt. Milton Lee - Air Station Guam, November 11, 1952
  • Beltz, SK3 Russell W. - Air Station Guam, November 11, 1952
  • McCue, Cdr Joseph Francis - Air Station, Salem, Massachusetts, November 13, 1952
  • White, AD1 Henry J. - Air Station, Salem, Massachusetts, November 13, 1952
  • Fredey, SN Richard B. - Boston Lighthouse, November 21, 1952

1953

  • Blucker, Boatswain's Mate 2C Guy Clifford "Dickie" - CG Station New London, Connecticut, February 15, 1953
  • Whittemore, Chief Engineman Dee Amos - CG Station New London, Connecticut, February 15, 1953
  • Stuart, Lt.jg. Gerald William - Air Det Stangley Point, Philippines, January 18, 1953
  • Hammond, ALC Winfield J. - Air Det Stangley Point, Philippines, January 18, 1953
  • Tornell, AL1 Carl Raymond - Air Det Stangley Point, Philippines, January 18, 1953
  • Bridge, AO1 Joseph Richard "Dick" - Air Det Stangley Point, Philippines, January 18, 1953
  • Miller, AD3 Tracy Wesley - Air Det Stangley Point, Philippines, January 18, 1953
  • Coble, BM2 Howard M. - USCGC Mahoring, February 12, 1953
  • Leslie, Rear Admiral Norman Henry - Washington, DC, March 15, 1953
  • Franz, ENC Otto A. - CGC Sassafras, March 30, 1953
  • Felts, LtCdr LeWayne N. - Wisconsin, July 06, 1953
  • Fleck, ENS Vernon C. - Air Station Biloxi, Mississippi, July 07, 1953
  • Netherland, AD2 John Clifford - Air Station Biloxi, Mississippi, July 07, 1953
  • Calderone, FN Joseph D. - CGRECEN, Cape May, New Jersey, November 21, 1953

1954

  • Day, Lt. John William - Port Angeles, Washington, January 20, 1954
  • Chauvin, AD3 Robert Allen - Port Angeles, Washington, January 20, 1954
  • Littleford, AD3 Dale Richard - Port Angeles, Washington, January 20, 1954
  • Palombini, AD3 Pete Anthony - Port Angeles, Washington, January 20, 1954
  • Goodman, AD3 William J. - Port Angeles, Washington, January 20, 1954
  • Teifer, Lt.jg. Donald George - Mexico, May 06, 1954
  • Ortman, Cdr. Paul Arthur - Melville Bay, Greenland, June 26, 1954
  • Leone, SA Carmen A. - SCGC Woodbine, November 23, 1954
  • Habecker, AL1 Clifford Earl - Air Station Annette, Alaska, December 14, 1954
  • Turnier, AD1 Andrew P. - Air Station Annette, Alaska, December 14, 1954
  • Jahn, AL3 Doyle E. - Air Station Annette, Alaska, December 14, 1954

Fatality Bios (alpha order)

Beltz, Russell Wayne

Russell was born November 20, 1930 in Griswold, Iowa, the son of Clara Mueller Beltz.  Storekeeper Third Class Beltz was assigned to the US Coast Guard Detachment, Agana, Guam. On November 11, 1952, he was flying as an observer in a Coast Guard PBY-6 rescue aircraft on a training flight, which crashed after its engine caught fire on takeoff killing him, the pilot and the co-pilot. 

Blucker, Guy Clifford "Dickie"

Dickie Blucker was born May 09, 1931 in Pulaski County, Arkansas, a son of Oscar R. Blucker (1898-1968) and Linnie Viola Blucker (1901-1986).  His siblings were Oscar Wayne Blucker (1927-2018), Major Blucker, Ruth Blucker Crosser, Edith Blucker Jones and Shirley Blucker Sullivan.  Guy Blucker is buried in Bethel Methodist Church Cemetery, Jacksonville, Arkansas.  "Blucker and Waddell were part of a seven-person repair crew who had been sent out to fix a failed engine on a launch that was taking crew members to a lightship off Old Saybrook. The article describes how the crew worked until midnight on Sunday, February 15 [1953], making repairs when it was decided that [Russell] Waddell, [Amos] Whittemore and Blucker would pilot the launch to Old Saybrook Harbor, about three and a half miles away.  But as they were heading back to the harbor, the engine failed again. The three men scrambled onto the stone breakwater off the harbor, which was close but not connected to land. By the time they were spotted, only Waddell was still conscious. Whittemore and Blucker died of exposure to the raging elements at the ages of 32 and 22, respectively."  [KWE Note: Dickie Blucker's tombstone lists his death date as January 15, 1953, not February 15, 1953.]

Bridge, Joseph Richard

Joseph was born on July 7, 1920 in Salt Lake City, Utah, a son of John James Kirkman Bridge (1886-1930) and Nellie Josephine Johnson Bridge (1890-1982).  His sibling was John Johnson Bridge (924-1924).  He was a World War II and Korean War veteran.  Aviation Ordnanceman First Class Bridge was a crew member of a rescue patrol bomber stationed at the Coast Guard Air Detachment, Sangley Point, Philippines. On January 18, 1953, after rescuing survivors from a Naval P2V Neptune patrol aircraft off Swatow, China, his aircraft crashed on takeoff. He was listed as Missing in Action and was presumed dead on September 15, 1955. He is memorialized in Wasatch Lawn Memorial Park, Millcreek, Utah.

Calderone, Joseph D.

Joseph D Calderone was born in 1932, the son of Carmelo Calderone (1902-1981) and Katherine Carmelo (1908-1956).  Age 21, he was leveling coal in a bin at the U.S. Coast Guard base in Cape May when he fell into the coal loading chute and became buried for two hours under tons of coal. He was survived by his wife of one month, the former Frances Rabbitt of Hammonton (daughter of Mr. & Mrs. James Rabbitt).  Joseph is buried in Oak Grove Cemetery, Hammonton, New Jersey. [Source: From page one of The News of Egg Harbor City, 25 November 1953]

Chauvin, Robert Allan

Robert was born February 6, 1931.  Aviation Machinist's Mate Third Class Chauvin was assigned to the Coast Guard Station, Port Angeles, Washington. On January 20, 1954, he was the pilot of a Coast Guard HO4S helicopter on a training flight which crashed in the Port Angeles area killing him and four crewmembers.  His body was recovered and he was buried in Sacred Heart Catholic Cemetery, Roseville, Michigan.

Coble, Howard Marvin

Howard was born September 24, 1926, the son of James Oscar Coble (1902-1983) and JoFleta Williams Coble (1900-1969).  His siblings were Mrs. Robert (Eunice Coble) Tingen (1928-2011) and Mrs. E. Sammy (Eula Mae Coble;) Coble (1932-1958.  Howard was assigned to the USCGC Mahoring when he died February 12, 1953.  He is buried in Mt. Hermon Memorial Cemetery, Graham, North Carolina.

Day, John William

John was born October 09, 1924, the second son of Samuel Day (1882-1949) and Blanche Idella Burdsal Day (1885-1982).  He married Marie Day (later Reyes) in 1950.  Marie lived from 1920 to 2003).  His sibling was World War II veteran Robert Sherwood Day (1919-2008).  On January 20, 1954, he was in a Coast Guard HO4S helicopter on a training flight which crashed in the Port Angeles area killing him and four crewmembers.John is buried in the Masonic Cemetery in Nashville, Illinois.

Felts, LeWayne Newcomb

LeWayne Felts was born February 27, 1921 in Waterloo, Iowa, the son of Mott Thayer Felts (1896-1988) and Floy Alta Newcomb Felts (1896-1994).  He married Ethel Sproul of Ridgewood in November 1943 and they were parents of three children.  His sister was Floy Alene Felts Strong (1919-2008).  Felts attended the University of Cincinnati and graduated from the US Coast Guard Academy.  After World War II he got his wings in April 1947.  He was assigned to the US Air Force Institute of Technology at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio as a student in the Graduate Aeronautical Engineering Course.  On July 5, 1953 he was on a training flight piloting a twin engine Beechcraft C-45B from Sioux City, Iowa to his home station at Wright-Patterson Field in Ohio. The C-45B was 34'. 3" long, 9' 2" high, weighed 8,725 pounds loaded and had a wing span of 47' 8". The crew of two could carry up to seven passengers. The plane was powered by two Pratt & Whitney 450 horsepower engines which took the plane to a maximum speed of 218 miles per hour. It had a range of 1,200 miles and a ceiling of 18,500'. A planned refueling stop in Madison, Wisconsin was canceled due to bad weather and he was forced to land early and spend the night in LaCrosse, Wisconsin. The next day he refueled and took off for Wright-Patterson. Shortly after take-off the left engine went out and Felts started a steep turn back to the field in an attempt to land but the plane crashed one mile short of the runway near Sparta, Wisconsin. He was thrown out of the cockpit and died of a skull fracture and burns. Two other officer-students and a passenger also died. Felts had over 1,500 hours as a pilot the day he took off on his last flight, as did his co-pilot. Felts is buried in Section 7, Grave 10173-A at Arlington National Cemetery. At death he was 33 years old.

Fleck, Vernon Chester

Vernon was born November 11, 1919.  During the Korean War he was assigned to the Coast Guard Air Detachment, Biloxi, Mississippi. On July 7, 1953, he was the pilot of a Coast Guard PBY-5 rescue aircraft on a mission to evacuate an injured seaman aboard a shrimp boat in the North Pass of the Lower Mississippi (Louisian). The aircraft went out of control upon landing and sank killing him and two other crewmen.  This World War II/Korean War veteran is buried in Memorial Park Cemetery, Topeka, Kansas.

Franz, Otto A.

Otto Franz was born about 1903 in Ohio.  He was married to Helen L. Franz (1910-1979).  He died while serving on the Coast Guard cutter Sassafras on March 30, 1953 in Cape May County, New Jersey.  He is buried in Cold Spring Presbyterian Cemetery, Cape May, New Jersey.

Fredey, Richard B.

Richard B. Fredey was an Assistant Lighthouse Keeper at Boston Light.  Fredey died in the line of duty on 21 November 1952 along with contractor Wilfred MacNeill, a civilian employee of the Coast Guard, when they disappeared en-route back to Boston Light while aboard the station's 14-foot boat.  Born in 1920 in Waban, Massachusetts, he left a wife, Barbara Hutchings Rand Williams (1930-2020) and baby daughter Jill (who later became Mrs. Ron Doerig).

Goodman, William J.

William was born September 16, 1928 in Mount Vernon, New York, a son of Frank Goodman (died 1941) and Catherine Goodman.  He lived in Yonkers, New York before joining the Coast Guard in September of 1951.  He graduated from Oswego State Teacher's College in June of 1951 and also attended St. Denis' School and Saunders Trade School.  William's siblings were his sister Mrs. Andrew (Mary Catherine Goodman) Scrobola (1922-2001), and brothers Philip, Frank and Thomas Goodman.  His crew was practicing auto rotations from an altitude of 1,500 feet. Upon reaching 500 feet the helicopter appeared to go out of control. Upon partial recovery at 100 feet, the main rotor departed the aircraft, followed by the tail rotor, tail boom and drive assembly. The helicopter plunged into the water near Coast Guard Air Station Port Angeles.  Goodman had been attached to the Air Sea Rescue Squad at Port Angeles for two years before his death.  He is memorialized in Gate of Heaven Cemetery, Hawthorne, New York.

Habacker, Clifford Earl

Clifford was born February 10, 1920, a son of William Habecker (1884-1933) and Mabel Armstrong Habecker (1886-1964).  He was the husband of Ruth Carlson, and the brother of Mrs. Henry (Wiona) Gaebel, LaVerne Wallace Habecker (1913-2008), Howard William Habecker (1918-2004) and Sherman Leland Habecker (1921-1980).  Clifford is buried in Mendon Cemetery, Mendon New York.  "Haines, Alaska (AP) -- Four men, including a strait-jacketed mental patient being flown to Juneau for hospitalization apparently were killed yesterday in the crash of a Coast Guard amphibious plane during a take-off from Haines harbor. Seven men were aboard the plane when it cracked up and four of them were taken from the water within an hour while three still are missing. Injuries received in the crash took the life of AL1 Clifford E. Habecker, 34, Pittsford, New York, a coastguardsman. Still missing are Fred Harrington, the mental patient from Haines, and two other coastguardsmen AD1 Andrew P. Turnier, 39, Landsdowne, Pennsylvania, and AL3 Doyle E. Jahn, 21, Roseland, Nebraska. Although search still is continuing for these men virtually no hope is held they will be found alive. Survivors are Lt. Cmdr. Frederick J. Hancox, 34, the pilot, of Reading, Pennsylvania; Lt. William P. Butler, 25, Hyattsville, Maryland, the co-pilot and U.S. deputy marshal Darrell  Miller, Juneau.  Hancox's condition was listed as fair and Butler's as critical. Miller, escorting Harrington to Juneau, suffered only slight injuries. The plane was from the Annette Island Coast Guard station and was taking off when the crackup occurred. It was not determined whether the craft had left the water or struck some submerged object. The survivors were taken from the water by fishermen. The Coast Guard cutter Storis was due to arrive in Juneau this afternoon with the survivors and Habecker's body. Rescuers said the plane fell in Portage bay and remained afloat almost 30 minutes before sinking nose first in 400 feet of water. The Coast Guard tender Citrus is remaining at Haines to continue the search for the missing men. The survivors will be taken to St. Anne's hospital in Juneau."  [Source: Daily Sitka Sentinel Alaska 1954-12-15]

Hammond, Winfield James

James Hammond was born September 15, 1920, in Mankato, Minnesota.  He served in the military from 1941 to 1953.  Chief Aviation Electronicsman Hammond was a crew member of a rescue patrol bomber stationed at the Coast Guard Air Detachment, Sangley Point, Philippines. On January 18, 1953, after rescuing survivors from a Naval P2V Neptune patrol aircraft off Swatow, China, his aircraft crashed on takeoff. He was listed as Missing in Action and was presumed dead on September 15, 1955.

Harwood, Bruce L.

Bruce Harwood was born February 27,1926.  His tombstone, located in West Lawn Memorial Park, China Grove, North Carolina, lists Missouri as his home of record.  He died while serving on the Coast Guard cutter Foxglove, a 114 foot river buoy tender, on August 14, 1951.  Twenty-five years old and from St. Louis, Bruce drowned in the Mississippi River opposite Jefferson Barracks when a motorboat capsized during Coast Guard exercises. Harwood was a boatswain's mate.

Hinnant, James Reed

James was born in 1909 in South Carolina, a son of Fletcher Elkin Hinnant (1872-1960) and Elinor Murray Hinnant (1880-1969).  He was married to Sena Margaret Wilton in 1934 in North Carolina, and they had a daughter, Sena Patricia Hinnant.  His siblings were Fletcher Edward "Ned" Hinnant, Lucy Reed Hinnant Tharin Wood (1913-2008), and Eleanor Hinnant Fishburne.  Commander Hinnant was a veteran of World War II. During the Korean War, he was the Commanding Officer of the US Coast Guard ship Rockaway (WAVP-377) on the Ocean Weather Station HOW. On The evening of December 6, 1950, he made a dive below the ROCKAWAY attempting to free a line from a target raft, which had fouled in the port screw. He did not resurface. His remains were not recovered.

Jahn, Doyle Eugene

Doyle was born in April of 1933, a son of Christopher Benjamin Jahn (1902-1982) and Opal M. Rhine Jahn (1912-2008).  His siblings include Donald L. Jahn (1937-2005), Constance "Connie" Margaret Jahn Sirokman (1940-2021), Barbara Lou Jahn Kudrna (1945-2020) and Eleanor Jahn DeMaio.  Doyle is memoralized at Blue Hill Catholic Cemetery, Blue Hill, Nebraska.  "Haines, Alaska (AP) -- Four men, including a strait-jacketed mental patient being flown to Juneau for hospitalization apparently were killed yesterday in the crash of a Coast Guard amphibious plane during a take-off from Haines harbor. Seven men were aboard the plane when it cracked up and four of them were taken from the water within an hour while three still are missing. Injuries received in the crash took the life of AL1 Clifford E. Habecker, 34, Pittsford, New York, a coastguardsman. Still missing are Fred Harrington, the mental patient from Haines, and two other coastguardsmen AD1 Andrew P. Turnier, 39, Landsdowne, Pennsylvania, and AL3 Doyle E. Jahn, 21, Roseland, Nebraska. Although search still is continuing for these men virtually no hope is held they will be found alive. Survivors are Lt. Cmdr. Frederick J. Hancox, 34, the pilot, of Reading, Pennsylvania; Lt. William P. Butler, 25, Hyattsville, Maryland, the co-pilot and U.S. deputy marshal Darrell  Miller, Juneau.  Hancox's condition was listed as fair and Butler's as critical. Miller, escorting Harrington to Juneau, suffered only slight injuries. The plane was from the Annette Island Coast Guard station and was taking off when the crackup occurred. It was not determined whether the craft had left the water or struck some submerged object. The survivors were taken from the water by fishermen. The Coast Guard cutter Storis was due to arrive in Juneau this afternoon with the survivors and Habecker's body. Rescuers said the plane fell in Portage bay and remained afloat almost 30 minutes before sinking nose first in 400 feet of water. The Coast Guard tender Citrus is remaining at Haines to continue the search for the missing men. The survivors will be taken to St. Anne's hospital in Juneau."  [Source: Daily Sitka Sentinel Alaska 1954-12-15]

Lefebvre, J.L.

Loss of life, Station Kennebec, Maine, May 29, 1952

Leone, Carmen A.

Loss of life, SCGC Woodbine, November 23, 1954

Leslie, Norman Henry

Norman was born August 25, 1898 in Chicago, Illinois, the son of Henry Thomas Leslie (1855-1918) and Myrtie Oliver Leslie (1869-1962).  A former machinist, he enlisted in the Coast Guard on June 01, 1918, was commissioned as an Ensign on March 07, 1921, and rose to the rank of Rear Admiral.  He served in the Coast Guard during World War I, World War II, and the Korean War.  He was the Commander, Thirteenth Coast Guard District in Seattle, Washington, when he died of a heart attack on March 15, 1953.  Rear Admiral Leslie was married to Unis Frazier on September 25, 1926, and they were parents of one daughter.

Littleford, Dale Richard

Dale was born January 05, 1933.  Aviation Machinist's Mate Third Class Littleford was assigned to the Coast Guard Station, Port Angeles, Washington. On January 20, 1954, he was the pilot of a Coast Guard HO4S helicopter on a training flight which crashed in the Port Angeles area killing him and four crewmembers.  Dale is buried in Hanover Cemetery, Hanover, Pennsylvania.

McClendon, Robert S.

Robert was born September 15, 1915, son of John Robertson McLendon (1879-1926) and Bedie Stancell McClendon.  He was married and had a son, Robert McClendon Jr.  His siblings were Margaret McClendon, Mildred McClendon Hamer, and brother Benjamin McClendon.  Robert McClendon was born and reared in Rockingham and was a star athlete at Rockingham High School.  He attended Wake Forest College and graduated from Naval Coast Guard Academy in 1941.  He is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

McCue, Joseph F.

Beverly, Mass., (AP) -- Two Coastguards were killed today in the crash and explosion of a Coast Guard helicopter. Although there were no witnesses of the actual crash, residents reported that just before the explosion, the helicopter came over at a low altitude, its engine sputtering and back-firing. Names of the victims were withheld. Arthur Litka dashed out of his garage, 75 feet away, just as the helicopter plunged into a yard behind a residence in the Beverly Cove section of this socially important North Shore community 18 miles north of Boston. He said there were indications the aircraft struck once, bounced and then exploded, possibly in the air. The helicopter was demolished and both bodies badly mangled. The helicopter, equipped with pontoons, was one of those operated by the Coast Guard from its nearby Salem base in rescue and patrol operations.  Joseph F. McCue was the commanding officer of the Coast Guard air station in Salem, Massachusetts.  He was the son of Capt. Patrick McCue and Elizabeth McCue.  Patrick McCue was a Silver Star recipient in the Spanish-American War.  Joseph's brother was John J. McCue of Arlington.

McGregor, Milton Lee

Milton was born March 15, 1920, a son of William Fergus and Birtha Tucker McGregor.  He was the husband of Carolyn Birch McGregor and the father of two children.  Lieutenant McGregor was a veteran of World War II. During the Korean War he was assigned to the US Coast Guard Detachment, Agana, Guam. On November 11, 1952, he was the co-pilot of a Cost Guard PBY-6 rescue aircraft on a training flight, which crashed after its engine caught fire on takeoff killing him, the pilot and an observer. McGregor is buried in the Golden Gate Cemetery, San Bruno, California. 

Miller, Tracy Wesley

Tracy was born June 08, 1929.  Aviation Machinist's Mate Third Class Miller was a crew member of a rescue patrol bomber stationed at the Coast Guard Air Detachment, Sangley Point, Philippines. On January 18, 1953, after rescuing survivors from a Naval P2V Neptune patrol aircraft off Swatow, China, his aircraft crashed on takeoff. He was listed as Missing in Action and was presumed dead on September 15, 1955.  Tracy Miller is memorialized in Arlington National Cemetery.

Moore, Bernard

His home of record was Newport County, Rhode Island.  Port Angeles (AP) -- A Coast Guard flying boat crashed on a takeoff here Tuesday and four men were lost as it broke apart. The Coast Guard announcement of the crash said the four apparently were carried down with the main part of the plane. Twelve were aboard the PM plane on the takeoff for a flight to Prince Rupert, B.C. Two survivors were reported injured seriously; five received minor injuries and one was uninjured. The plane crashed in the Straight of Juan de Fuca at the mouth of Port Angeles Bay. The plane crashed after climbing about 200 feet on the takeoff. It broke up on hitting the water. Some broken parts of the craft were towed ashore later. Names of the missing and injured were not announced immediately. Salvage operations were begun at the scene. The Coast Guard said the plane was an "administrative flight." [Source: The Daily Chronicle Centralia Washington 1952-05-27]

Netherland, John Clifford

John was born December 31, 1920 in Louisiana, a son of George Washington Netherland (1890-1970) and Necie Esther Tippit Netherland (1900-1997).  He enlisted in the military on August 9, 1941.  He married Allie Mae Jackson (later Doyle) (1927-2012).  They were parents of John Larry Netherland (1947-2011) and David C. Netherland.  His siblings were Rev. Clyde Edward Netherland (1922-1989) and Carl Samuel Netherland (1929-1970).  John C. Netherland died at Air Station Biloxi, Mississippi on July 07, 1953.  He is buried in Welcome Cemetery, Simpson, Louisiana. 

Ortman, Paul Arthur

Paul was born April 16, 1909 in New London, Connecticut, the son of Julius Ortman (1872-1955) and Mary A. Lehn Ortman (1878-1969).  His wife was Genevive Louise McIntosh Ortman (1909-1992).  Commander Ortman was a veteran of World War II. During the Korean War, he was the executive officer of the Coast Guard Ship Westwind. On June 26, 1954, he was riding as an observer in the ship's HLT-1 helicopter, when it crashed on ice floes in Baltic Bay, Greenland. Commander Ortman was awarded the National Defense Service Medal and the Coast Guard Arctic Service Medal.  His memorial stone is in Jordan Cemetery, Waterford, Connecticut.

Palombini, Peter Anthony

The KWE believes, but has not confirmed, that Pete Palombini is the son of Paul Palombini (1891-1959) and Marianna DiCosmo Palombini (1903-1936) of Beaver County, Pennsylvania, and the brother of Emma Palombini Persi (1926-2015) and Felicia Persi of California.  Pete was on a crew that was practicing auto rotations from an altitude of 1,500 feet. Upon reaching 500 feet the helicopter appeared to go out of control. Upon partial recovery at 100 feet, the main rotor departed the aircraft, followed by the tail rotor, tail boom and drive assembly. The helicopter plunged into the water near Coast Guard Air Station Port Angeles.

Sawyer, Robert P.

On the night of October 28, 1951, between 1:00 and 2:00 A.M., radio contact was lost with CG30315, which was manned by BM3 Robert Sawyer and EN1 Max Wage. The vessel was out on the lake searching for a vessel with three duck hunters that was reported as missing. The vessel was found a half-mile off the Waukegan Harbor entrance. One of the hunters' bodies was recovered, the others were lost. CG30315 was never found. 

Stuart, Gerald William

Gerald was born May 5, 1922 in Marinett County, Wisconsin, the son of William Frederick Stuart (1901-199) and Margaret Edna Trippler Stuart (1904-1939.  His sister was Bonnie Jean Stuart (1924-1986).  Lieutenant Junior Grade Stuart was the co-pilot of a rescue patrol bomber stationed at the Coast Guard Air Detachment, Sangley Point, Philippines. On January 18, 1953, after rescuing survivors from a Naval P2V Neptune patrol aircraft off Swatow, China, his aircraft crashed on takeoff. He was listed as Missing in Action and was presumed dead on September 15, 1955.  There is mention of Gerald and his Coast Guard service on the back of his father's tombstone.  There is also a military marker for this World War II and Korean War veteran in the VFW section of Forest Home Cemetery, Marinette, Wisconsin.

Teifer, Donald George

Donald was born November 23, 1926, a son of Stanley Edward Teifer (1895-1950) and Loretta Mary George  Teifer of Wayne County, Michigan, and the brother of Joseph Edward "Joe" Teifer (1930-1984).  Lieutenant Junior Grade Teifer was a crew member of a PBM-5S Catalina patrol bomber with Advance Training Unit 700, based at Corpus Christi, Texas. On May 5, 1954, the aircraft was on a navigation training flight when it crashed 120 miles southwest of Brownsville, Texas near Carricitos, Tamaulipas, Mexico, killing 10 crewmen.

Tomozer, Richard Joseph

Richard was from New York County, New York.  Port Angeles (AP) -- A Coast Guard flying boat crashed on a takeoff here Tuesday and four men were lost as it broke apart. The Coast Guard announcement of the crash said the four apparently were carried down with the main part of the plane. Twelve were aboard the PM plane on the takeoff for a flight to Prince Rupert, B.C. Two survivors were reported injured seriously; five received minor injuries and one was uninjured. The plane crashed in the Straight of Juan de Fuca at the mouth of Port Angeles Bay. The plane crashed after climbing about 200 feet on the takeoff. It broke up on hitting the water. Some broken parts of the craft were towed ashore later. Names of the missing and injured were not announced immediately. Salvage operations were begun at the scene. The Coast Guard said the plane was an "administrative flight." [Source: The Daily Chronicle Centralia Washington 1952-05-27]

Tornell, Carl Raymond

Carl was born January 18, 1953 in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, the son of Carl Johan Nilsson Tornell (1882-1964) and Hulda Albertina Sundellin Tornell (1884-1962).  Aviation Electronics Technician First Class Tornell was a crew member of a rescue patrol bomber stationed at the Coast Guard Air Detachment, Sangley Point, Philippines. On January 18, 1953, after rescuing survivors from a Naval P2V Neptune patrol aircraft off Swatow, China, his aircraft crashed on takeoff. He was listed as Missing in Action and was presumed dead on September 15, 1955.

Turnier, Andrew P.

 Andrew was from Landsdowne, Pennsylvania.  "Haines, Alaska (AP) -- Four men, including a strait-jacketed mental patient being flown to Juneau for hospitalization apparently were killed yesterday in the crash of a Coast Guard amphibious plane during a take-off from Haines harbor. Seven men were aboard the plane when it cracked up and four of them were taken from the water within an hour while three still are missing. Injuries received in the crash took the life of AL1 Clifford E. Habecker, 34, Pittsford, New York, a coastguardsman. Still missing are Fred Harrington, the mental patient from Haines, and two other coastguardsmen AD1 Andrew P. Turnier, 39, Landsdowne, Pennsylvania, and AL3 Doyle E. Jahn, 21, Roseland, Nebraska. Although search still is continuing for these men virtually no hope is held they will be found alive. Survivors are Lt. Cmdr. Frederick J. Hancox, 34, the pilot, of Reading, Pennsylvania; Lt. William P. Butler, 25, Hyattsville, Maryland, the co-pilot and U.S. deputy marshal Darrell  Miller, Juneau.  Hancox's condition was listed as fair and Butler's as critical. Miller, escorting Harrington to Juneau, suffered only slight injuries. The plane was from the Annette Island Coast Guard station and was taking off when the crackup occurred. It was not determined whether the craft had left the water or struck some submerged object. The survivors were taken from the water by fishermen. The Coast Guard cutter Storis was due to arrive in Juneau this afternoon with the survivors and Habecker's body. Rescuers said the plane fell in Portage bay and remained afloat almost 30 minutes before sinking nose first in 400 feet of water. The Coast Guard tender Citrus is remaining at Haines to continue the search for the missing men. The survivors will be taken to St. Anne's hospital in Juneau."  [Source: Daily Sitka Sentinel Alaska 1954-12-15]

Wage, Max J. Jr.

On the night of October 28, 1951, between 1:00 and 2:00 A.M., radio contact was lost with CG30315, which was manned by BM3 Robert Sawyer and EN1 Max Wage. The vessel was out on the lake searching for a vessel with three duck hunters that was reported as missing. The vessel was found a half-mile off the Waukegan Harbor entrance. One of the hunters' bodies was recovered, the others were lost. CG30315 was never found.

White, Henry J.

Henry was born December 21, 1914.  He is buried in Fort Hill Cemetery, Hingham, Massachusetts.  Aviation Machinist's Mate First Class White was a veteran of World War II. During the Korean War he was assigned to the U.S. Coast Guard Station, Salem, Massachusetts. On November 13, 1952, he was the crewman of a Coast Guard HTL-1 helicopter on a routine training flight, which crashed in the Beverly, Massachusetts area killing him and the pilot. 

Whittemore, Dee Amos

Amos Whittemore was born in 1920, a son of Dee Thomas Whittemore (1890-1951) and Mertie Lee Spafford Whittemore (1893-1985).  He was married to Ruth B. Whittemore (1917-1989).  Amos and Ruth were parents of a daughter Alene (Mrs. William Baxter), who was just one and a half years old whe her father died.  Anos' siblings were Frances Aline Whittemore (1915-1938) and Thomas Lee Whittemore (1927-1941).  There are markers for Dee Amos Whittemore at Beth-el Cemetery, Groton, Connecticut, and the Palmer Cemetery, Palmer, Texas.  "Whittemore, [Guy] Blucker and [Russell] Waddell were part of a seven-person repair crew who had been sent out to fix a failed engine on a launch that was taking crew members to a lightship off Old Saybrook. The article describes how the crew worked until midnight on Sunday, February 15 [1953] making repairs when it was decided that Waddell, Whittemore and Blucker would pilot the launch to Old Saybrook Harbor, about three and a half miles away. But as they were heading back to the harbor, the engine failed again. The three men scrambled onto the stone breakwater off the harbor, which was close but not connected to land. By the time they were spotted, only Waddell was still conscious. Whittemore and Blucker died of exposure to the raging elements at the ages of 32 and 22, respectively." [Source: The Day newspaper, August 05, 2016, written by Julia Bergman]

Woodard, Blaine Edward

Blaine Woodard was born November 26, 1922, in Stuttgart, Kansas.  Woodard was a veteran of World War II and the Korean War.  "Port Angeles (AP) -- A Coast Guard flying boat crashed on a takeoff here Tuesday and four men were lost as it broke apart. The Coast Guard announcement of the crash said the four apparently were carried down with the main part of the plane. Twelve were aboard the PM plane on the takeoff for a flight to Prince Rupert, B.C. Two survivors were reported injured seriously; five received minor injuries and one was uninjured. The plane crashed in the Straight of Juan de Fuca at the mouth of Port Angeles Bay. The plane crashed after climbing about 200 feet on the takeoff. It broke up on hitting the water. Some broken parts of the craft were towed ashore later. Names of the missing and injured were not announced immediately. Salvage operations were begun at the scene. The Coast Guard said the plane was an "administrative flight." [Source: The Daily Chronicle Centralia Washington 1952-05-27]

 

View and/or Sign Our Guestbook
Note, Guestbook entries prior to August, 2008
have been archived to PDF, and can be viewed here:
6/21/2001-7/6/2005
7/6/2005-9/18/2006
9/28/2006-8/13/2008



Your donation helps to
keep this web site FREE.



| Contact | What's New | About Us | Korean War Topics | Support | Links | Memoirs | Buddy Search |

2002-2016 Korean War Educator. All rights reserved. Unauthorized use of material is prohibited.

- Contact Webmaster with questions or comments related to web site layout.
- Contact Lynnita for Korean War questions or similar informational issues.
- Website address: www.koreanwar-educator.org 
Problems with or Questions about PDF Files - Click HERE for more PDF information.
 

Hit Counter
 
.