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Corsair Fleet

US Military History Throughout The Years

Short bits of history you know and some you may not!

  • Corsair Fleet: Wednesday, June 17, 1942 – In response to the lack of available ships to patrol the US Atlantic coast, the Coast Guard establishes the Coastal Picket Force. The CPF, which would become known as the Corsair Fleet, would mainly be comprised of regular civilians onboard a mix of sail and motored boats. Many civilians would volunteer, some only with limited sailing experience, with their ages ranging widely and mainly too old, young or unfit to fight in the war overseas. The Corsair Fleet would patrol all along the Atlantic Coast over 150 miles off the shore, patrolling and spotting enemy U Boats that were causing havoc to Allied shipping. Most of the ships used were civilian craft volunteered for the fleet. They would be stripped of all normal comforts and converted as best possible to military craft. They were renamed, painted battleship gray and given USCG designations. Many would also be equipped with sonar, giving the quite moving sailboats used widely a major advantage when hunting for U Boats. The fleet would also assist in rescues and retrieving cargo from ships that were sank. By 1943 the German U Boats off the coast had diminished and the Corsair Fleet was downsized. Their overall effectiveness is hard to gauge, as their were no confirmed kills by the fleet. However they had a major psychological win, as enemy subs now knew they could not surface off the coast even at night and the crew of ships that did go down knew there was likely a ship nearby to rescue them.
  • A Unified Force: Wednesday, June 14, 1775 – The Second Continental Congress establishes the US Army as a unified force to fight the British with George Washington being appointed as its commander. Ten companies were authorized. Many of the men who would make up these ranks had experience either in the British Army or in militias, and they would bring many British traditions with them. It was not till later in the war, with French aid, that the new army would come into its own as a competent force.
  • This is Only a Test: Monday, June 14, 1954 – The Civil Defense Agency organizes and evaluates a drill in which the US is faced with a massive nuclear attack. Across 54 American cities alarms were sounded and civilians were expected to follow procedures to seek proper shelter during the 10 minute drill. By the end of it 12 MILLION Americans were estimated to have “died”. Surprisingly, government officials that conducted the test were pleased with the results…..

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