Aboard a U.S. Coast Guard Cutter in World War II: Rare Photos

Dale Rooks/U.S. Coast Guard
Dale Rooks/U.S. Coast Guard
Unidentified American sailor wearing gas mask, 1940s.
History
'40s

A few months ago, LIFE.com published a series of photos from World War II, taken by a Michigan native named Dale Rooks. The pictures were striking not only because the quality of the work was so uniformly high, but because they had come our way, unbidden but definitely welcomed, via Rooks’s son, Jan. As mentioned in the previous post, the photographs had been seen by virtually no one except Dale Rooks’s family and the Rooks family’s friends for the past seven decades.

(Dale Rooks died in 1954 of cancer, when he was just 37 years old.)

Here, we present another gallery of photos by Dale Rooks, made during and after the Second World War. This time around, we’re focusing on life aboard the United States Coast Guard ship Duane—a Treasury-class cutter built at the Philadelphia Navy Yard in the mid-1930s.

In 1987, after five decades of service and two years after being decommissioned, the Duane was intentionally sunk in order to create an artificial reef in the Florida Keys. Fifteen years later, she was added to the United States’ National Register of Historic Places.

NOTE: As the caption information that accompanies so many of Dale Rooks’s photos from France is limited—and often non-existent—we’re hoping that some readers might recognize specific locations or even individuals in the images. If you or anyone you know is able to provide details about any or all of the pictures, please contact Jan Rooks at dale.rooks.son@gmail.com.

[Learn more about Dale Rooks and see more of his photos at dalerooks.org]

[Learn more about life aboard the Duane at ‘John Baker’s Warbook’]

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Dale Rooks, Photographer's Mate First Class, USCG.

Dale Rooks/U.S. Coast Guard

Dale Rooks, Photographer's Mate First Class, USCG.

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