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* U.S. Lighthouse Service * U.S. Coast Guard  *  World War II - Battle of the Atlantic *  Alaskan Campaign *

 

Jupiter Light, Florida

 

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    Uncle Ed continued his career in the Coast Guard he had been with the combined Light House Service and Coast Guard for thirteen years. After his tour ended in Alaska he transferred. Ed felt that he needed to go somewhere warm so he went to Florida as a Lighthouse Chief for the Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse Coast Guard Station. The Lighthouse was located in Palm County Florida just north of Palm Beach. The history of the lighthouse goes back to the mid 19th century when a lighthouse was needed to mark a dangerous shoal off "Point" Jupiter. The Florida Lighthouse Board in 1852 recommended that a lighthouse be built near Jupiter Inlet to make the lower coast safer for ships and help mariners avoid the dangerous shoal offshore where the Loxahatchee River flows to the Atlantic Ocean.  The original appropriation to build the Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse in 1853 was $325,000. In 1853 the lighthouse site chosen was part of the Fort Jupiter reservation established during the First Seminole War in 1836. George G. Meade, the Union general who defeated General Robert E. Lee at the Battle of Gettysburg,

Uncle Ed at Jupiter Inlet Light House
designed the tower. The main difficulty in building the lighthouse was the shutting of the inlet by silt in 1854, which forced workers to send 500 tons of construction materials down the Indian River in shallow boats. The Third Seminole War suspended work at the site from 1856 to 1858 and resulted in constructing the keeper's house of thick coquina walls and an inside well so keeper's could withstand an Indian siege. Heat, insects, and moisture hampered the construction of the lighthouse. When construction was finally completed  the light was first lit in July 1860. At a total cost of $60, 859.98, a large sum of money in those days. The light was turned off between 1861 and 1866 by Confederate sympathizers during the Civil War. The U.S. government established a life-saving station near the lighthouse in 1886 to rescue people in distress at sea. The conical tower was left a natural brick color for the first 50 years, but dampness discolored alaska21b.jpg (81104 bytes)the brick to such an extent that it was painted red around 1910. In 1928 engineers substituted electricity for the old mineral oil lamps and cumbersome weights and installed a diesel generator in case of power failure. In the same year a hurricane struck the tower, smashed one of the bull's-eyes, and disabled the emergency diesel generator. The keeper had to reinstall the old mineral lamps and turn the light by hand. During the hurricane, the tower swayed 17 inches from the vertical. The damaged bull's-eye was sent to Charleston to be reassembled and held together with a band of brass. Also in 1928 a hurricane blew out one of the bulls-eye lenses, which was later reconstructed and reinstalled. Unique in the history of United States lighthouse stations, the Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse has
had all five branches of the U.S. Military garrisoned there. The focal plane height of the First Order Fresnel lens,  manufactured in Paris by Henry-LePaute, is 146 feet and the light can be seen at sea level from between 16 and 24 miles. From a passing aircraft the light is visible for approximately 40 to 50 miles. The lighthouse is stated to be the oldest existing structure in Palm County, Florida and it is still operated as an active aid to navigation. Uncle Ed was stationed at Jupiter Light from 1947 to 1948. After Jupiter Light Uncle Ed went back to New England. For more on Jupiter Inlet Light House click here. 

USCGT MANITOU (WYT-60)

U.S. Coast Guard Tug Manitou (WYT-60)
After three years in Florida, Uncle Ed returned to the 2nd coast guard district and took orders on the USCGT Manitou as the Tug Chief. This is where the family remembers him the most when he would take his tug up the Hudson and Connecticut rivers and break the Ice there as well as help any ships in distress and tug services. The Manitou was first commissioned in 1943 and was used extensively in the Coast Guard It was decommissioned in 1980 but it still serves on for a private company in the Great Lakes. Uncle Ed remained in the New England area on the Connecticut and Hudson rivers until his retirement on June 18, 1955, after twenty-one years of service with the USLHS and Coast Guard. He retired back to New Bedford, MA and often visited the family in Bethel, CT. They family loved Uncle Ed he was a good Uncle and we all have very fond and warm memories of him. He had his favorite red and black Mercury that he loved to drive and the family remembers so well.  Tugboat Manitou Today in the Great Lakes He attended my wedding in 1989 and he always told me that a career in the service was the best thing he ever did. When I went into the Navy he was very happy for me and told me that I was making the right choice in life. I miss him as does the rest of the family.  Uncle Ed spent his last years at the Brockton Veterans Hospital in Brockton Massachusetts, he passed away on September 6, 1998, he was 91. For more photos Click below to view Uncle Ed's Scrapbook of his Entire Career

Uncle Eddie as my mother and Uncles  remember him 1955

 

  Special: Uncle Eddie's Coast Guard Scrapbook
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