Archive for May, 2011

Coast Guard Beach Patrol

Sunday, May 29th, 2011

When the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, the United States was suddenly plunged into a war for which it was poorly prepared. Before the month was over, 11 merchant marine ships were attacked off the Pacific coast including one, the Montebello, which was sunk off the coast of Cambria. (more…)

Life of a Beach Pounder by Don Gillogly

Sunday, May 29th, 2011

I graduated from High School in Longview, Washington, in 1940 and the following year hostilities broke out. I was engaged to Doreen Kisch, who I had known since we were small kids, and the draft board was breathing down my neck. I wanted no part of the Army so, in 1942, I enlisted in the Coast Guard at Portland, Oregon, about 50 miles away. After basic training at Alameda, California, I was assigned to the beach patrol at Cambria. The Coast Guard first arrived in Cambria in December 1942, and I spent my first Christmas in the military there at the age of 20. (more…)

Piedras Blancas Light Station and WWII

Monday, May 23rd, 2011

World War II must have had a profound effect on Piedras Blancas Light Station. Not only was it a Coast Guard facility but its geographic location on an isolated point on the central coast of California made it especially vulnerable to enemy attack. However, little information about the war time effort at the Station has been uncovered. (more…)

WW II Rationing at Piedras Blancas Light Station by Beverly Praver

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2011

World War II brought rationing to the American public including members of the U.S. Coast Guard serving at Piedras Blancas and all other light stations. Ration books were obtained from the local O.P.A. Board [Office of Price Administration] by one person who collected them for all the personnel at one time. An entry in the Piedras Blancas Log dated Tuesday March 2, 1943, stated “To O.P.A. Board about food rationing for C.G. personnel” indicating that someone had to physically go to the O.P.A. office to obtain the ration books. (more…)