In the spring and summer of 1944, the U.S. Coast Guard was stretched to its limits, supporting multiple aspects of D-Day operations. Little remembered today, the Coast Guard manned U.S. Navy transport ships, provided rescue services for the entire Normandy area, and operated different types of landing craft for U.S. forces. Coast Guard forces even accepted the surrender of a key fort guarding the deep-water French port of Cherbourg. Learn more in this fascinating discussion with Dick At Lee, a veteran of the USCG.
Commander Dick At Lee, USCG (Retired) spent 27 years in the U.S. Coast Guard, rising through 11 ranks from Seaman Recruit to Commander. During his Active-duty time he served in four seagoing Coast Guard cutters as a Deck Seaman, Deck Watch Officer, First Lieutenant, Communications Officer, Boarding Officer, Operations Officer, and Navigator. During his assignments ashore he served as small boat crewman, a member of the Ceremonial Honor Guard, a chase boat coxswain for the CG Presidential Support Detail, in multiple operational and Marine Safety roles at Captain Of The Port/Group New York, as an Operations Center watchstander and Rescue Controller at the CG Fifth District Headquarters, Executive Officer of the COMDAC Support Facility, and Branch Chief for the Maintenance & Logistics Command Atlantic. After earning his BS in Computer Science in 1993 retiring from the USCG in 1998, he worked as a contractor for the Coast Guard for 14 years as a Senior Systems Engineer with Northrop Grumman Mission Systems and Alutiiq, LLC. He and his wife Robin moved to Huddleston, VA near Smith Mountain Lake in 2015 and he volunteers for the National D-Day Memorial as a tour guide and with the local flotilla of the USCG Auxiliary at SML filling several officer positions.