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Author Topic: US Coast Guard Beach Patrol  (Read 4804 times)
Alan65
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« on: 21 June 2009, 22:25:18 »
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this postcard is as much artistic as informational but it does show the Coast Guard beach patrol on horses, with rifles and a radio(?) on the back of one of the men.  The photographer is Fitzptrick but I do not know if this is West Coast or East Coast.
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Koen
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« Reply #1 on: 22 June 2009, 21:17:55 »
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Quote
The photographer is Fitzptrick


well known in your collection?
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Alan65
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« Reply #2 on: 23 June 2009, 17:38:08 »
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not at all.  the name is partially cut off at the bottom but if he were an 'official' Coast Guard photographer, I'd guess there would be a line of text like "Official USCG Photograph" or somesuch.  I find it a little odd that any old photographer could be snapping pictures of patrols during war time (since you can see some of the equipment, the spacing, etc. some intellingence might have been gained.) Perhaps this is before the war?  perhaps info is missing on the bottom?  I like it for the photographic quality and it's great to see the silhouette of the radio.
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Heinrich505
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« Reply #3 on: 30 June 2009, 21:52:46 »
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Alan65,
  This could very well be on the third coast - The Gulf Coast.  The USCG patrolled the Gulf Coast during WWII, especially in Texas.  The entire Galveston, Texas island coast was patrolled by Coast Guardsmen on horseback during the war.  There was a tremendous amount of foreign shipping coming out of Galveston and Houston, and all the plants in the Galveston-Texas City - Houston area were of great concern to the US government.  With so much beach area, it would be easy for the enemy to land saboteurs, hence the Coast Guard patrols.

  There was consequently a great deal of U-Boat activity in the area too.  While nothing official has been admitted by the US, the Coast Guard patrol did report some suspicious drag marks on the sand, near the grocery store and fishing pier at 61st and Seawall in Galveston, somewhere around 41-42.  The Coast Guard patrol took hours to patrol from the east end of Galveston to the west end, and then back again.  It would have been simple for a U-Boat crew to time the movements of the CG men, and then row ashore.  They would have known when the patrol passed in the morning, and could have paddled ashore in the darkness, concealed their tracks in the sand, and then hid in the dunes as the patrol passed.  They would then have hours to slip up to the small shop to replenish ships supplies.  The early war U-Boat men were just that brazen that they would try to pull something like this off.  Once they were done, it would be unnecessary to conceal their tracks as they pulled their rubber dingy across the beach into the water.  The area of 61st and Seawall was pretty desolate at that time in history, as the city pretty much stopped at 61st street, and things were extremely isolated as you went west, with really only one highway all the way to the ferry on the west end, some 25 or so miles away.

  This is apparently what happened, as the Coast Guard patrol found scraping in the sand, as if a small rubber boat was dragged from the dunes into the water.  They immediately checked with the grocery store located at the fishing pier in the area, previously noted as 61st Street and Seawall Blvd.  The clerks said some men, bearded and disheveled, came into the store and bought up a lot of fresh fruit and vegetables, and some smaller amounts of meats.  The clerks were used to dealing with foreign sailors, because the port of Galveston was crammed full of them, from just about every country.  These particular sailors had some sort of foreign accent, and paid in French currency mixed with some other denominations.  The clerks were not alarmed by the sailors and didn't think there was anything to report.

  While never confirmed from either German or US reports, it is quite probable that U-Boat men snuck ashore to buy up food to replenish their stocks.  Your posted photograph is very nice, and gave me the opportunity to relate that little historical anomaly that I was aware of.  Also, the beach is very flat, the waves coming in without breaking much, so it reminds me a lot of the Galveston beaches I used to patrol back in the 1980's.  That is what made me think it might be Texas.  The storm clouds in the background also look like the ones that would build off the coast there, so my guess is that this is Galveston, or somewhere on the Gulf Coast.

                                         Heinrich505
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Rattler
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« Reply #4 on: 1 July 2009, 00:50:56 »
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New insights, thanks mate!

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« Reply #5 on: 10 October 2016, 02:08:07 »
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This photo is of my uncle, Albert Allen and his lifelong friend Willy Schirer on the Oregon coast. This photo was first posted in The Idaho Daily Statesman. The original copper toned print was given to the family. The Statesman supposedly retained the negative, but I doubt that, as those were usually retained by the branch of device. I have that print, and there is no printing on it, handwritten or otherwise. Albert went to China as part of a Coast Guard training mission to train Chinese Nationalists in beach guarding methods. He was treated as a god, being so tall compared to the Chinese. 4 years after the end of the war Albert succumbed to lung cancer. He loved horses, and played polo in Boise. He married Elaine, and Willy married Eileen, twins!Willy was owner of the Stagecoach Inn in Boise for many years.
Hope this sheds some light on origins and details of the photo.

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S-1
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« Reply #6 on: 10 October 2016, 08:50:13 »
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Thx for that info, interesting read!
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