U.S. Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Karl Schultz visits the Mariana Islands to celebrate the 75th Anniversary of Guam’s liberation. The U.S. Coast Guard served as a vital component of the Pacific Campaign during World War II. U.S. Coast Guard video by Petty Officer 1st Class Jetta Disco.
Transcript: Guadalcanal, Tarawa, Siapan, Guam, Iwojima. Just a few islands dotting the Pacific, half a world away serves as proving grounds for Soldiers, Sailors, Marines and Coast Guardsman in the Pacific theater during World War Two. The fortifications of the Imperial Japanese Army are still scattered across the Pacific. Relics of a war war that tested our nation and define our world order. More than 75 years ago US forces began a bloody, island hopping campaign to root out heavily entrenched enemy forces throughout the Pacific on their way to Japan. The US Coast Guard was central to this amphibious assault, providing season surfmen, forged on the treacherous bars and beaches of America’s coast. But in war they not only time the sets, tides, and breaking waves, they dodged gunfire and mortar shells to land remains Marines and soldiers on heavily fortified islands. Their courage and expertise became legendary across the Pacific. In the first U. S. offensive of World War Two, four Coast Guardsman braved heavy enemy resistance to land troops from the first Marine Greater Battalion onto Tulagi in the Solomon Islands. Harold Miller, Glen Harris, Daniel Tarr, and William Sparling received silver stars for their bravery on Tulagi and are namesakes of our newest, fast-response cutters At Guadalcanal, also known by U. S. Forces as the green hell, Coastguard legend, signalman first class Douglas Monroe, died saving hundreds of embattled Marines. As our services only medal of honor recipient his memory still honored and revered today by Marines and Coast Guardsman alike. The siege Marines near Caran-Kanoa, Saipan were low on ammunition, medical supplies, and reinforcements. Shallow reefs prevented larger landing craft from reaching them. Under intense enemy fire, Lieutenant Junior Grades Clifford Benson, and Truman Heart found an unmarked channel in the reef, which opened a stream of artillery and supplies to help the Marines ensure victory. On the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Guam, the Coast Guard was recognized for bringing the first wave of liberators to the island’s shores on July 21st, 1944. Coastguard Lieutenant Commander F. E. Minor, commanded the flagship for US forces in the southern attack group. Planted troops and vehicles on reefs off the island. US forces met heavy mortar and small arms fire. However they prevailed marking a strategic victory in the Pacific campaign. The Coast Guard’s legacy lives on in the Pacific. And with the resurgence of great power competition, the role of our service has never been more important. We work tirelessly to prevent conflict in a region where sovereignty’s rules-based order is being tested. From Australia to the Korean Peninsula. From Fiji to Guam, our far reaching influence builds partnerships and increases capacity, and ensures sovereignty across the Pacific. Just like so many years ago our courage and expertise today sustains our legacy in the Pacific tomorrow.
Video by Petty Officer 1st Class Jetta Disco
U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters
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