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Coast Guard Modeling Logo

What is a Coast Guard Model?

A while ago my son, Academy class of 2010, asked me what Coast Guard models were available on the market.
When I answered him I realized that is a hard topic to get your mind around.

There are several factors to consider when looking for "Coast Guard models".

A Brief History

The Lighthouse Service was established in 1789 to assist navigation in US waters - It maintained buoys as well as lights.
The Revenue Cutter Service was established in 1790 to enforce customs laws.
The Steamboat Inspection Service was established in 1852 to improve the safety of US steam vessels.
The Lifesaving Service was established in 1879 to man stations along the coast to respond to sinkings and groundings.
In 1912 the Revenue Cutter Service and the Lifesaving Service were merged to form the Coast Guard.
In 1939 the Coast Guard assumed the missions of the Lighthouse Service.
In 1946 the Coast Guard assumed the missions of the Steamboat Inspection Service.

So "Coast Guard models" can include all RCS cutters, LSS surfboats andlifeboats, and LHS tenders and lighthouses.


The RCS and USCG had several classes of vessels designed and built specifically for them.
Obviously these vessels would be included in the list of "Coast Guard models".

The Coast Guard acquired several vessel classes from the Navy at various times for various missions.
They include WWI Destroyers and Sub Chasers used to enforce prohibition, and various classes during and after WWII.
These vessels carried the USCGC designation and can be included in the list of "Coast Guard models".

The Coast Guard acquired several classes of vessels from various other sources for specific WWII missions.
They include commercial whalers purchased for service in Greenland.
They include various commercial vessels used to man weather stations.
They include 2 Liberty ships used for merchant seaman training.
These vessels carried the USCGC designation and can be included in the list of "Coast Guard models".

The Coast Guard also manned several classes of vessels for both the Navy and the Army in WWII.
These include Patrol Frigates (PF), Destroyer Escorts (DE), tugs, amphibious ships, landing craft, etc.
These vessels carried the USS designation of the Navy or the Army but could be included in the list of "Coast Guard models".

During WWII the Coast Guard Auxiliary manned several privately owned boats, called "Facilities", armed by the CG, in ASW patrols along the coasts.
The Auxiliary continues to supplement Coast Guard patrols in their now unarmed privately owned Facilities.
These Facilities were and are Coast Guard assets and could be included in the list of "Coast Guard models".

Three US Navy ships honor Coastguardsmen.
Signalman 1/c Douglas Munro is the only Coastguardsman awarded the Medal of Honor.
The John Butler Class DE USS Douglas A. Munro (DE 422) was named for him.
Capt. Charles Satterlee commanded USCGC Tampa when she was sunk by a u-boat in WWI.
A Clemson-class DD (DD 190) and a Gleaves-class DD (DD 626) were both named for Capt. Satterlee.
One could build these Navy ships as tributes to their CG namesakes


The Coast Guard has used over 100 different aircraft types since 1916.
They include aircraft used to evaluate the feasibility of using aircraft for Coast Guard missions.
They include Navy aircraft flown by Coast Guard pilots in combat in WWI.
They include one-of aircraft acquired for evaluation.
They include aircraft that formed the backbone of the SAR and logistics fleets at various times.
They even include privately owned Auxiliary aircraft that flew ASW in the war and continue to fly recon missions today.
None of these aircraft were designed and built for the Coast Guard - all were existing designs that the Coast Guard used.
All can be included in the list of "Coast Guard models".


The Coast Guard performed a variety of missions in WWII.
A beach patrol diorama is possible using a horse mounted Coastguardsman and a German shepherd.
A port securityman diorama can be made with a gray jeep and undress uniformed petty officer.
A diorama of armed Coastguardsmen raiding German weather stations in Greenland is a possibility.

The Coast Guard continues to perform a variety of missions.
It is possible to build a diorama of a modern port security team that looks similar to a heavily armed SWAT team.

The Coast Guard was the official sponsor of at least 3 Busch-series NASCAR racing teams intermittently from 1991 through 2006.
Monte Carlos and Luminas in a CG paint scheme can be found.

All of these are "Coast Guard models".