News // November 27, 2019

Coast Guard Heritage Support is an Essential Part of Coast Guard Foundation Mission

  • Jennifer Crowley Fyke
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Tragedy Assistance. Family Support. Recognition for Mission Excellence. Honoring Milestone Events.

All of these program areas are critically important to the Coast Guard Foundation's mission to support Coast Guard members and families when and where they need it most. A trio of recent events highlight the importance of this support for Coast Guard families and the service at-large.

CG-1705 10th Anniversary Memorial: The Coast Guard Foundation lent its support to the memorial service on October 29 at Air Station Sacramento. At the memorial, families of the fallen and Coast Guard members gathered to pay respects to the seven Coast Guard and two Marines who perished in the mid-air collision in 2009. Through the simple act of funding the tribute flowers for the Air Station's memorial and a wreath for the ceremonial drop over the crash site, we had the opportunity to honor the crew of CG-1705 and be there for their families.

We stand shoulder to shoulder with our Coast Guard Fallen Hero families. We pledge to remember their member's service and the sacrifices made in service to our country.

Crotty
The U.S. Coast Guard Ceremonial Honor Guard transfers the remains of Lt. Thomas Crotty, a USCG WWII POW, from a Coast Guard C-130 to a hearse for burial in Buffalo, New York, Nov. 1, 2019. Photos by Petty Officer 3rd Class Brian McCrum

Coming Home Ceremony for LT Jimmy Crotty, USCG: LT Thomas J.E. Crotty, USCG was laid to rest on Nov. 2 in Buffalo, New York. He died in a POW camp in July 1942 after serving aboard the USS Quail in the Philippines as part of the 16th Naval District-in-Shore Patrol Headquarters, in Cavite Navy Yard on the Philippine Islands. LT Jimmy Crotty was accounted for on Sept. 10, 2019, as part of a scientific and anthropological analysis that included dental records, and other material evidence. DNA analysis, with the coordination of his surviving family members, provided additional evidence to identify LT Crotty positively.

Before his formal, military funeral, his remains returned to Buffalo via stopovers in Hawaii and Sacramento, on a Coast Guard C-130 aircraft. The Coast Guard Foundation supported a reception for more than 100 Coast Guard members and 70 Crotty family members who awaited his arrival in Buffalo. It was our honor to support this effort and provide a true hero's welcome for LT Crotty.

Smilax Collage
The crew of the Cutter SMILAX gather for a ceremony to honor the cutter's 75th anniversary of service. Photos by U.S. Coast Guard.

Coast Guard Cutter SMILAX's 75th Anniversary: It's not every day that a Coast Guard asset turns 75 years old. When the opportunity presented itself to support this important milestone, we happily stepped up. On November 1, the crew and family members joined with representatives from the community in Atlantic Beach, North Carolina, the Smilax's homeport, to recognize this achievement.

Smilax is the "Queen of the Fleet", a title held only by the oldest commissioned cutter in the Coast Guard in active service. The Coast Guard Cutter Smilax is a 100-foot construction tender with an attached 86-foot barge. Commissioned November 1, 1944, five months after Allied forces had landed on the beaches of Normandy, the Smilax has been instrumental in many of the Coast Guard's missions over the years, including several notable search and rescue cases. Smilax is responsible for 1,325 fixed and 26 floating aids to navigation. These aids mark the waterways around the shores on the North Carolina outer banks, ensuring that vessel traffic can safely navigate the continually shifting shoals of the areas Smilax maintains.

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