Welcome Home USCG Barque EAGLE
As Connecticut’s Coast Guard City, New London is home to 10 of the Service’s units, including the United States Coast Guard Academy, the Coast Guard Research and Development Center, the International Ice Patrol, and Station New London with hundreds of active duty servicemen and women. Since 2014, the USCG Barque EAGLE has been homeported at the Coast Guard Yard in Baltimore, MD, undergoing an extensive refurbishment aimed at keeping the historic vessel in top operational form long into the future.
EAGLE has been in Service to our Nation since 1946, when CDR McGowan and a small crew refurbished the Barque in post-War Germany and sailed her to her homeport of New London, CT. The most recent period of refurbishment marks only the second time in the intervening 73 years in which EAGLE was not homeported in New London. The previous absence was also for the purpose of needed maintenance.
“The National Coast Guard Museum will build on the important relationship between Connecticut and the U.S. Coast Guard,” said Congressman Joe Courtney. “America’s Coast Guard deserves a National Museum to showcase all that the Service means to our Nation.”
Connecticut Lt. Governor Susan Bysiewicz presented a Proclamation from Governor Ned Lamont declaring the first National Coast Guard Museum Week. “I want to thank the brave men and women of the Coast Guard,” said Bysiewicz. “and it is wonderful to see EAGLE back where she belongs in her homeport in New London.”
The event was attended by more than 200 guests who enjoyed a reception and tours aboard EAGLE following the brief ceremony. A quintet from the Coast Guard Dixie Band entertained visitors on City Pier Plaza just feet from where the Museum will be built.
Coast Guard Fest, Grand Haven, MI
The Museum Association team joined approximately 100,000 visitors at the 95th Annual Coast Guard Festival leading up to Coast Guard Day on August 4. Grand Haven, MI is known as Coast Guard City, USA and the focus of the annual festival is the National Coast Guard Memorial Service honoring those who sacrificed their lives in service to their country.
The 10-day Coast Guard Fest, as it is affectionately known, includes tours of buoy tenders, icebreakers and smaller vessels that serve the lakes region. In addition, the quaint downtown is transformed into a carnival with rides, games and a host of culinary delights such as the Pronto Pup, a flash fried thinly breaded corn dog, a Grand Haven staple. Golf and softball tournaments draw hundreds of participants and the nightly concert series caps off each day.
What initially began as a community picnic took on much greater significance in 1943 when the USCG Cutter ESCANABA, a 165ft “A” type cutter was lost off the coast of Greenland. From her commissioning in 1932 until the start of U.S. military involvement in World War II in 1941, ESCANABA was stationed on the Great Lakes. With the outbreak of war, ESCANABA redeployed to participate in the Battle of the Atlantic, during the course of which she was ultimately lost with nearly all hands. Struck by either a torpedo or mine in the early morning of 13 June 1943, while serving as a convoy escort, ESCANABA suffered a fiery explosion and sank within minutes, leaving only two survivors out of her 105-man crew. Many of those lost were from Grand Haven.
The Museum Association booth and various presentations served to heighten awareness of the future National Coast Guard Museum with many visitors signing up to become Plankowners, pledging a monthly donation through the commissioning of the Museum.
On Thursday and Friday night, the Museum Association partnered with the podcast, They Had to Go Out, to record live episodes on the Waterfront Stage just prior to the evening concert series. Host Chief Phil Null interviewed Petty Officer Chuck Vogel about a case in which an accident aboard a cabin cruiser threw a passenger through a glass door and down a six-foot drop, resulting in a compound fracture to her arm and a broken back. Additionally, MST2 Zac Edwards was interviewed about diving into the surf to rescue a swimmer in distress in the middle of his own beachfront wedding ceremony. Find the podcast on Spotify, Apple Podcasts or your preferred audio app.
Alexander Hamilton Award 2019: Former Secretary of Homeland Security Thomas J. Ridge
Former Pennsylvania Governor and United States Secretary of Homeland Security, Thomas J. Ridge, has been selected as the 2019 recipient of the Alexander Hamilton Award, the most prestigious honor bestowed by the National Coast Guard Museum Association. The Hamilton Award is named in honor of Alexander Hamilton, who established the Revenue Cutter Service—a predecessor of the U.S. Coast Guard—in 1790. The award, given since 2015, recognizes an individual who has contributed outstanding service in support of the future National Coast Guard Museum. Read more.
FIRM DESIGNING NATIONAL COAST GUARD MUSEUM WINS 2019 AIA ARCHITECTURE FIRM AWARD
The National Coast Guard Museum Association congratulates Payette on being chosen for the American Institute of Architects’ Architecture Firm Award, the pre-eminent honor bestowed to a firm by the AIA each year. The Boston company “is known in the industry for its technical expertise and research, as well as its predilection for pragmatic, high-performance architecture that prioritizes design” according to the award announcement.
LEADERSHIP TRANSITION AND FUNDRAISING MOMENTUM
At its Annual Meeting last week in Alexandria, VA, the Board of Directors of the National Coast Guard Museum Association voted unanimously to elect Board Member Susan J. Curtin as its new Chair and CAPT Wes Pulver, USCG (Ret.) as its new President. The leadership change comes as the National Coast Guard Museum Association marks its most successful private fundraising year to date. Read more.
The National Coast Guard Museum Association, Inc. gratefully announces a generous pledge of $100,000 from the Chelsea Groton Foundation. This commitment is equivalent to the largest gifts in the history of the Foundation. Read more.
United States Coast Guard Releases Proposed Supplemental Environmental Assessment for Public Comment
The United States Coast Guard is seeking public comment on its supplemental environmental assessment (SEA) related to the planned construction of the National Coast Guard Museum by the National Coast Guard Museum Association, Inc., on land deeded to the Coast Guard by the City of New London. Read more.
The Connecticut Congressional Delegation, including Senators Blumenthal and Murphy and Congressman Courtney along with Former Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security, Michael P. Jackson, continue to support the establishment of the Museum. The Annual Secretaries’ Circle Breakfast on Capitol Hill on May 16 held added excitement owing to the current momentum around the project. Watch Senator Blumenthal's remarks here.
In anticipation of the $10 million annual economic impact and estimated 300,000 visitors each year, the forthcoming National Coast Guard Museum continues to be endorsed at both the federal and state levels. Today, the Connecticut State Bond Commission approved $19.5 million of the $20 million the state had pledged to the Museum initiative, to be drawn down as required to coordinate the concurrent construction of the Museum and pedestrian walkway. The State previously released $500,000 to support the preliminary design phase. Read more.
Harkcon CEO Kevin Harkins JOINS NCGMA Board of Directors
The National Coast Guard Museum Association is pleased to announce that Harkcon, Inc., co-founder and CEO Kevin Harkins, Ph.D., USCG (Ret.), has joined its Board of Directors.
"I am thrilled and honored to be able to play a role in ensuring the stand-up of the Museum as a Board member," Harkins said. "The Coast Guard is a uniquely American national gem, quietly and fervently serving for almost 230 years. Its positive impact in terms of lives and property saved, and the protection of our shores, cannot be overstated. The men and women of the Coast Guard deserve this recognition, and the Museum is long overdue." Read more.
In honor of his unwavering commitment and support of the forthcoming National Coast Guard Museum, Donald T. "Boysie" Bollinger, renowned philanthropist and retired president and CEO of Bollinger Shipyards, will receive the 2017 Alexander Hamilton Award during the 2018 National Maritime Awards Dinner, April 25, in Washington, D.C. Joining Mr. Bollinger in being honored at the event will be J.W. Marriott Jr., executive chairman and chairman of the Board of Marriott International, Inc., and William C. Baker, president and CEO of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. Read more.