United States Coast Guard Auxiliary Vessel
On Wednesday, December 31, 2003, the USCGA vessel Silver Charm was one of the vessels escorting USS Midway
on her departure from Oakland, California.
Linda, one of the owners of Silver Charm, took photos that day and sent them to
me and also to Buzz Nau at CV41.org. This page is my Thank You to Linda for sharing
her magnificent photos.
While most people know of the United
States Coast Guard, not many know of the many brave men and women who make up
its Auxiliary. Even though I have two brothers currently serving on active duty
in the Coast Guard, I barely knew of the Auxiliary service and am very grateful
to Linda, both for her photos and for enlightening me on the Auxiliary.
The following is a letter Linda sent
along with her photos of USS Midway:
Friday, January 02, 2004
Great web sites, guys, and there are
obviously a lot of you that have gone through great effort to save this ship and
its history. Congratulations on all you've accomplished so far, and good luck in
Small backgrounder (just FYI) --
I assume you're aware that the US Coast Guard Auxiliary is the civilian
volunteer "third" (along with active duty and reserves) part of the CG forces.
We get to buy our own uniforms, provide our own boats, etc., and then volunteer
our time (once we pass qualifications/training/etc.). Depending on what
qualifications you go for, you can wind up doing anything the CG active duty are
assigned to do (except we don't carry guns, so no law enforcement and can't be
sent on military duties). We have members that are engineers on CG boats,
station radio watch standers, etc. My husband and I are pretty active in
operations in the SF Bay area. Although we both also work full time at our "day"
jobs, we go out on average at least once a week year round on patrols on our
custom built patrol boat ("Silver Charm" - one more photo attached just
FYI), so we see a lot going on in the bay and always keep our digital camera
When not busy doing a case or helping with CG training or something, we try to
find other things to be helpful, and since we always monitor Vessel Traffic
System (VTS) frequency we know about movements of large vessels (and we had
watched the news and knew to watch for Midway when on patrol that
afternoon). We had started the patrol day with boat/helo operations with a CG
HH-65 helicopter practicing hoisting their basket to/from our boat a mile or two
outside the Gate early that afternoon, and when done with that since we'd heard
on VTS the tow underway from Oakland, we headed back in and met up with it at
Oakland Bridge. We were going to be out all pm (until midnight fireworks barge
safety patrol), so kept us entertained for a couple hours finding something neat
to do for awhile. We have helped escort a lot of ships in and out of SF Bay
since 9/11, as well as all the "usual" SF Bay things we get to do (capsized sail
boats, disabled power boats, and I've lost count of how many dozens of wind
surfers and kite surfers we've had to pick up over the years!).
When I do get shots of something like this (or a tall ship visiting, other CG or
PD or Fireboats working, etc.) I try to find "homes" for them, as I know people
usually love getting the photos of their beloved ships (we like photos of our
boat, just don't get many since we're always ON our boat taking the photos). And
we have such a beautiful
area here, with things like Alcatraz and the Golden Gate Bridge making very
obvious backdrops that are pretty recognizable world-wide. So since these shots
obviously found such great reception by you guys it was well worth the little
effort (isn't Google great?) to track you down and see if someone was interested
in some shots.
While my husband and I have no direct affiliation with Midway (the
closest would be that we both worked as civilians for the Navy Supply System for
years decades ago), we appreciate the old ships and their crews and all they
have done for the country. We're even members and have taken a few bay cruises
on the ol' Jeremiah O'Brien (SF's aging Liberty Ship). So we glad for the
opportunity to be out there the right day and give the proud lady Midway
an escort and honorable send off.
Again, congratulations on the success so far, and good luck on the new museum
Linda, USCG Aux. Vsl "Silver Charm"
United States Coast Guard Auxiliary Website
Back to the USS Midway Photo Gallery Index