Coast Guard Days

  In boot camp -- a real salt


These pages are mainly to display some old photographs I took as a lad, a kind of memoir in images. Those days were important to me, and it seemed a shame to keep them in a box.

The Cutter

In 1948 I was assigned to duty on the cutter CG-83484, an 83-ft wooden boat operating out of Port Townsend, Washington. The cutter patrolled the northern part of Puget Sound, going to the aid of stranded fishing and pleasure boats, and tending a number of automatic lights and other aids to navigation. Our skipper was a Chief Petty Officer, and we had a crew of eight. My principal duties, under the direction of the Chief Engineer,  involved maintaining and operating the two main engines and a small gasoline-powered generator, as well as other various mechanical tasks.

Go to the Cutter Page

Smith Island

After serving for several months aboard the cutter, I transferred to the Coast Guard Light Station on Smith Island, Washington, about ten miles north of Port Townsend. My duties there were to maintain the various motors and generators and other mechanical equipment, and to stand regular watch over the light and radio beacon. The crew of three or four men divided up the 24-hour watch as necessary, with each member usually standing four hours on and eight hours off duty.

Go to the Smith Island Page

I served until my discharge from the Coast Guard in May, 1950.

Go to my home page