Edwin J. Roland

Roland, Edwin J., Adm., USCG (Ret.)

(1905–1985)

After graduation from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in 1929, Roland's earliest assignments were as gunnery officer on board the destroyers USCGD Shaw (CG-22) and USCGD Wilkes (CG-25), which were involved in the suppression of smuggling. From 1934 to 1938, he taught at the Coast Guard Academy and was assistant football coach. Later duties included serving as commanding officer of the cutter USS Nemesis (WPC-111) and as Commander Escort Division 45, which escorted convoys to the Mediterranean. In 1944 Roland became CO of the cutter USS Mackinaw (WAGB-83), handling icebreaking in the Great Lakes to permit Navy vessels and cargoes of freight essential to the war effort to navigate in those waters. He was chief of staff at the 9th Coast Guard District in Cleveland from 1946 through 1949, and then Commandant of Cadets at the Coast Guard Academy. Volume I concludes with a discussion of his assignment to the National War College in 1955.

Volume II follows Admiral Roland's career after he completed his courses at the National War College. He was then assigned as Deputy Chief of Staff at Coast Guard Headquarters. After that followed duty as Commander, First Coast Guard District, Boston, and in 1960, Commander, Third Coast Guard District and Commander Eastern Area in New York City. He was appointed Assistant Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard in February 1962 and four months later became the Commandant. In discussing his tenure, he talks about his role in bringing Coast Guard forces to readiness prior to their employment in the Vietnam conflict and their subsequent involvement.

Transcripts of this oral history are available in many formats including bound volumes, and digital copies.

Order Oral History

Volume I

Based on four interviews conducted by John T. Mason Jr. from January through March 1976, the volume contains 384 pages of interview transcript plus an index. The transcript is copyright 1977 by the U.S. Naval Institute; the interviewee placed no restrictions on its use.

Volume II

Based on four interviews conducted by John T. Mason Jr. from May through October 1976, the volume contains 364 pages of interview transcript plus an index. The transcript is copyright 1977 by the U.S. Naval Institute; the interviewee placed no restrictions on its use.