The U.S. Navy rightfully casts a large shadow over the naval history of World War II. But more often than not, the U.S. Coast Guard’s service and sacrifice is lost in that shadow. Perhaps because the Coast Guard was transferred from the Treasury Department to the Department of the Navy in November 1941, histories of World War II typically overlook or only briefly mention the service’s role. Nevertheless, in the years immediately preceding U.S. entry into the conflict and over the subsequent four years, eight months of fighting, the Coast Guard’s responsibilities expanded exponentially. And after the war, Fleet Admiral Chester Nimitz applauded the performance of Coast Guard men and women, writing in the introduction of Malcolm Willoughby’s The U.S. Coast Guard in World War II, “I know of no instance wherein they did not acquit themselves in the highest traditions of their Service, or prove themselves worthy of their Service motto, ‘Semper Paratus’—‘Always Ready.’”
Jeffery B. Floyd and Dean S. Veremakis, “Semper Paratus” Honors to the U.S. Coast Guard in World War II (Tavaris, FL: Tavares Printing, 2008).
Reg Ingraham, First Fleet: The Story of the U.S. Coast Guard at War (New York: The Bobbs-Merrill Co., 1944).
Arch A. Mercey and Lee Grove, eds. Sea, Surf, & Hell: The U.S. Coast Guard in World War II (New York: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1945).
Samuel Eliot Morison, History of United States Naval Operations in World War II, 15 vols. (Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1947–62).
J. Rohwer and G. Hummelchen Chronology of the War at Sea, 1939–1945: The Naval History of World War Two (Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2d ed., 1992).
Robert L. Scheina, U.S. Coast Guard Cutters & Craft of World War II (Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 1982).
U.S. Coast Guard, Historian’s Office, “World War II,” www.uscg.mil/history/WW2Index.asp.
U.S. Coast Guard, Statistical Division/Historical Section, Public Information Division, The Coast Guard At War (Washington: Public Information Division, U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters, 30 June 1944–1 January 1954), 30 monographs.
John M. Waters, Bloody Winter (Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 1984).
Malcolm F. Willoughby, The U.S. Coast Guard in World War II (Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 1957; rev. ed., 1989).