US Coast Guard Birthday

US Marine Corps Logo
Happy Birthday
United States Coast Guard!!

On August 4, 1790, the U. S. Congress authorized the construction of ten vessels to provide a new military branch for the country, the Revenue Cutter Service. This service enforced tariff and trade laws, prevented smuggling and ensured the collection of federal revenue from ships and marine trade. Over its life time the Revenue Cutter Service took on new duties: protecting the nation’s shore line, search and rescue and maintaining all of the country’s light houses. In 1915 they changed their name to the U. S. Coast Guard. The Coast Guard not only protects our nation’s shores it also serves under the Department of the Navy in all of our armed conflicts. Today the Coast Guard turns 220 and we have gathered a few Coast Guard related items from our collection to commemorate the occasion. To all the men and women of the Coast Guard, thank you for your service and Happy Birthday!

In honor of the Coast Guard's birthday, please enjoy a few Coast Guard items from the Vietnam Archive's collections.

Moving Images

1538vi1821 - Footage of Cat Lo taken from the USCGC Point White (WPB-82308) - January 1, 1966 [Gerald Sampont Collection]

Footage taken by Gerald Sampont while he was assigned to the US Coast Guard Squadron One Division-13 at Cat Lo, Vietnam aboard the USCGC Point White (WPB-82308). Films were originally for Sampont's family, and thus include pictures of him. Most of the film was filmed at Cat Lo and the R and R Center at Vung Tau. Film includes footage of the Wringer Wash Machine onboard, strapped between the two .50 caliber machine guns on deck. Footage also includes CO John Lockwood and gives a good idea of what it was like for the Coast Guard onboard, including their "full combat gear", which included no shirts, cut offs and shower shoes. Other vessels seen in this film are PCF-40, CG 82306, and the USS Rowan (DD-782). 27:47 min/sec


U.S. Coast Guard uniform (black) pants and jacket
(James Winn Collection [1594museum1621])
Search and Rescue Coast Guard Air Station Brooklyn Patch
(James Winn Collection [1594museum1627])
Belt buckle: U.S. Coast Guard, Coast Guard pilots wings, and J.M Winn debossed
(James Winn Collection [1594museum1654])
U.S. Coast Guard officer's cap insignia (2 insignia)
(James Winn Collection [1594museum1630])


The former US Coast Guard vessel "Point Cypress" gets a Vietnamese crew as the flag of the Republic of Vietnam is raised over the bridge for the first time. The ship was among some 800 transferred to the Vietnamese Navy since the start of Operation ACTOV (Accelerated Turnover to the Vietnamese) in November 1968.
(Douglas Pike Photograph Collection [va002164])
Point class U.S. Coast Guard cutter off the coast near Chu Lai, 1967. They formed the next layer of patrol (1-3 miles) out beyond the Swift Boat patrol area (beach to 1 mile).
(Bruce Wentworth Collection [va057378])
(Gerald Sampont Collection [va041454])
A steel hulled '96 Viet Cong that attempted to run weapons and ammunition into the Delta. This photograph shows Vietnamese Coastal Group junks fighting back a Viet Cong unit on the beach while fighting fires on the trawler which had grounded during a running fight with a U.S. Coast Guard Cutter.
(Charles E. Rogers Collection [va049382])