Digest>Archives> May/Jun 2021

The Coast Guard Beach Patrol


You can see an enlarged version of this picture by clicking here.
>> Click to enlarge <<
Pemaquid Point Lighthouse in Bristol Maine as it ...

Editor’s Note: Starting in 1942, during World War II, the Coast Guard Beach Patrol employed about 24,000 men aged 17 to 73 who patrolled thousands of miles of coastline primarily to watch for signs of an enemy invasion and for the landing of saboteurs. Armed with pistols, rifles, and radios, they patrolled mainly on foot, accompanied in many cases with dogs, and, in some areas on horseback.

You can see an enlarged version of this picture by clicking here.
>> Click to enlarge <<
Rev. Melville A. Shafter 1872-1946) is shown ...

This elegy, simply titled, “The Coast Guard Patrol” was written by Rev. Melville A. Shafer (1872-1946) and was dedicated to Officer John J. Lannon and the men of the Beach Patrol at Pemaquid Point, Maine. We don’t know when or where it was published, nor have we been able to find information of Officer John J. Lannon or a photograph of him.


At Pemaquid long ago,

When first bold pioneers

Possessed this land,

A goodly band

Of brave men held the Fort

Against the Redmen’s cruel sport,

And all that endears

A people free

From cunning foe.


Now once again at Pemaquid,

Where rocks and ocean meet,

Our Coast Guard youth stand

Guard, for this great Point

Is nearest to the foe’s mainland,

And our Patrol doth vigil keep,

Themselves with holy zeal,

And valor most discreet,

To do what they are bid

In heroism real;

For it is well on balmy days,

When summer guests tread o’er the ways

Through woods and on the magic shore,

But when the winter cold

Shuts down on Pemaquid,

And midst the snow and ice

These Coast Guard boys

Pursue their loyal tasks,

As pioneers first did,

With only nesting deer

And rabbits near,

And wind at sixty miles,

With creaking boughs for noise,

While on the ocean deep

Strange shadows creep –

Then when duty asks

For sacrifice,

They pay the price –

Far from their home

These sentries roam,

And nobly serve

With steady nerve –

Long vigils with their officers they keep,

While in security we sleep.


And who shall tell

The tale half well

Of brave youth at Pemaquid,

Who their full duty nobly did?

This story appeared in the May/Jun 2021 edition of Lighthouse Digest Magazine. The print edition contains more stories than our internet edition, and each story generally contains more photographs - often many more - in the print edition. For subscription information about the print edition, click here.

All contents copyright © 1995-2024 by Lighthouse Digest®, Inc. No story, photograph, or any other item on this website may be reprinted or reproduced without the express permission of Lighthouse Digest. For contact information, click here.

to Lighthouse Digest

USLHS Marker Fund

Lighthouse History
Research Institute

Shop Online

Subscribe   Contact Us   About Us   Copyright Foghorn Publishing, 1994- 2024   Lighthouse Facts     Lighthouse History