USCG Pterodactyls come to see the Graveyard

(reposted from The Daily Astorian’s website):
Astoria hosts Coast Guard’s Pterodactyl Roost
Annual meeting brings pilots and other flight-crew members to view the Graveyard of the Pacific

By KARA HANSEN
The Daily Astorian

About 200 U.S. Coast Guard aviators descended on Astoria as the annual Pterodactyl Roost began Thursday.

The annual meeting of the Coast Guard Aviation Association, a fraternal organization also known as Ancient Order of the Pterodactyl, brings together pilots and other flight-crew members for four days of sight-seeing at the Graveyard of the Pacific.

Vice Adm. Vivien Crea, vice commandant of the Coast Guard, will also attend part of the event. Second in command in the Coast Guard, Crea is the highest ranking woman in the history of the U.S. military.

Coast Guard Group Astoria competed against Air Station Barbers Point in Hawaii for the opportunity to play host to this year’s Roost, said Lt. Adam Davenport, an Astoria pilot.

“We sold the Pterodactyls on Astoria by showcasing its scenery, charm and high probability of breathtaking search and rescue,” he said, noting Coast Guard members cross the country to train in the rough waters at Ilwaco, Wash.’s National Motor Lifeboat School and at Astoria’s Advanced Helicopter Rescue School. “We are a destination for SAR training and experience for the entire Coast Guard, both afloat and air assets.”

Those attending the Roost will visit historic sites such as Fort Clatsop and the Doughboy Monument and filming locations from the “Goonies” and “Kindergarten Cop” movies, sample Oregon seafood and wine and explore Washington’s North Head Lighthouse and Cape Disappointment, overlooking the treacherous Columbia River bar.

They’ll also get to check out some of the Coast Guard’s newest and recently updated aircraft: the new MH-60T Thunderhawk helicopter, the HC-144 Casa search plane, an MH-65 helicopter from Air Station Port Angeles, Wash., a C-130 plane from Air Station Sacramento, Calif., and one of Air Station Astoria’s three HH-60 Jayhawk helicopters.

The event was coordinated by a committee of Coast Guard Lt. Rob Potter, Lt. Brooks Crawford, Rear Adm. Ed Nelson, Capt. Rod Leland, Cmdr. Ron Larsen and Cmdr. Malcolm Smith under the direction of Capt. Peter Troedsson, Coast Guard Group Astoria’s commander. It ends Sunday with a business meeting.

Davenport said the organization offers numerous benefits for members, mainly by helping them stay connected with Coast Guard aviation, enjoy camaraderie of former and current colleagues, network for future jobs “and promote recognition and historical preservation of all things Coast Guard aviation.”

All 19 pilots at Air Station Astoria have been members at some point. “We get invited to join upon receiving our wings,” Davenport said.

Links:
Dead Reckoning of the Pacific Graveyard at NW Limited…History in VogueTM
Article at Daily Astorian

Coast Guard Station Tillamook Bay

March 7, 2008 marked Coast Guard Station Tillamook Bay’s 100-year Anniversary!
On this date in 1908, Barview Lifesaving Station was established on the then-largest unprotected section of Oregon coastline. 
Capt. Robert Farley was the Keeper, beginning Mar. 7, 1908 and served in that capacity until May of 1934.
The original station was located one and a half miles north of Garibaldi.  Sold to a private party in 1942, another was then built. 
In 1981,  Station Tillamook Bay was inaugurated along with a boathouse and haul-out facility.
Historic photographs, movies, and the station’s scrap book were displayed as part of the celebration.  A search-and-rescue demonstration was planned as well as tours of boats, station and equipment. 
NW Limited was there to honor this prestigious occasion!  
Here are a few pictures:

A memorial to the 11 lives lost on the Taki Tooo and other boats and lives lost on the Tillamook Bar (seen in the distance behind the memorial itself on the horizon)

The bell from the wreck of the Glenesslin, one of the most famous shipwrecks along this stretch of coastline.

SAR demonstration, which is tricky in any kind of weather…just imagine the wind blowing 70 knots and swells of 30 ft. It happens! These are the guys to call!

Just one of the many pages of memorabilia representing events these men and women have responded to. If you click the image above, it should bring up a readable image.
The personal notes from the loved ones of the lost lives are heartbreaking, but represent the very real risk in light of life amidst the elements of the Oregon coast.

NW Limited’s “Dead Reckoning” chart was one of the stars of this presentation of Oregon coast and Coast Guard history, and received much admiration for the sheer volume of history presented in such a beautiful manner.
(Click on the above photo to be taken to a slide show with more photos from the event.)
The United States Coast Guard provides our country with priceless dedication to patrolling our waterways, performing above and beyond the call of duty to ensure safety of boaters, the public, also security of country.
We at NW Limited…History in VogueTM thank you for that, and for including us in your special day.

Links:
The United States Coast Guard History in the Columbia River Area
U.S. Coast Guard Station Tillamook Bay to Celebrate 100-year anniversary March 7 (Daily Astorian)
USCG Station Tillamook Bay Area Familiarization Photo Gallery

Wreck of the Lupatia – Jan. 3, 1881

An excerpt from NW Limited’s ‘Dead Reckoning of the Pacific Graveyard’ chart reads:
“Lupatia -1/3/1881- British bark: A south-easterly gale throws Lupatia onto Tillamook reef; a dog survives -16 dead”

One can imagine her final hours. A bleak, January night with the wind and surf shattering her against the rocks mere weeks before the Tillamook Lighthouse, a/k/a “Terrible Tilly” was to be lit.
The crew working on construction of that lighthouse saw Lupatia’s running lights as she approached.  In the near-miss incident,  they could hear Lupatia’s crew shouting orders of “Hard apart!” as they scrambled to keep her off the rock which so desperately needed a light as warning. 
 The construction crew kindled fires, and used lanterns to try and assist the captain as he navigated the rock-strewn reef.   Narrowly missing the rock itself, she disappeared into the darkness.
Lupatia’s debris littered the rocks below the nearly complete lighthouse the following morning.  16 lives lost…
 Would her fate have been the same had her captain had that light to use as guide?
 Unlike the Peter Iredale, or the George L. Olson, nothing remains of the Lupatia, no structure to climb and explore, no resting place to visit.
NW Limited’s historic achievement of the most detailed and complete shipwreck chart to date, immortalizes her.
The lithograph alone is a great place to start when looking for shipwreck history, but the framed and matted version  (left) is an adventure of its own with its photographs of shipwrecks, United States Coast Guard insignia and USPS stamp, the lost fishing vessels and more, all displayed within a high-quality, hand-finished frame.

Each chart is custom-built by Bill Brooks of NW Limited in Astoria, Oregon and no two will be exactly alike.
While you can’t take home the George L. Olson,
or the bowsprit of the Peter Iredale, you can
have “Dead Reckoning of the Pacific Graveyard,” your own magnificent gathering of maritime history in the Pacific Northwest.
bill@nwlimited.com or 503-338-8215