1980s drug war: WWII gear used

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(The WWII-veteran USCGC Cherokee on a 1980s narcotics patrol.)

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(A demilitarized WWII-veteran C-46 Commando which crashed while in use as a smuggling plane during the 1980s.)

The US Coast Guard was formed (as the Revenue Cutter Service) on 4 August 1790. The Posse Comitatus law of 1878 restricts use of the American military in law enforcement. However the US Coast Guard is specifically exempted from any restrictions, and in fact law enforcement is one of it’s core missions.

During the Cold War the US Coast Guard’s funding came from the Department Of Transportation, not the Pentagon, and money just to buy fuel was at a premium, let alone new construction. The fleet during President Carter’s term was in a bottleneck; as all Prohibition-era cutters were gone, but new modern hulls were not being launched fast enough to replace them. Some aged WWII ships were pressed into service as cutters.

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CTMS-1TBI tank: post-WWII use

The CTMS-1TBI (nicknamed the “Dutch Three-Man”) is one of WWII’s forgotten tanks. It took no real part in the war but had a surprising career afterwards, considering it’s obsolescence.

This tank was a private design of the Marmon-Herrington company of Indianapolis, IN. In 1940, the Netherlands ordered 194 of these tanks. All were intended for use in the Netherlands East Indies colony, where they were supposed to form twenty-seven cavalry platoons, replacing horse units in the Dutch Java Army.

marmonmain(This official US Army Tank & Automotive Command photo of WWII shows a measuring rod next to the CTMS-1TBI, illustrating optimal shot placement.)

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Last of the Gearings

The Gearing class was the US Navy’s final destroyer design of WWII. Without question, it was the best and most sophisticated destroyer class of WWII. Many naval historians consider it the best destroyer design ever. These ships served long after WWII in the US Navy, then were transferred around the world, serving many navies on four continents. The Mexican navy received two of these ships. One, ARM Netzahualcoyotl, ended up being the last Gearing on active duty in the world. sealRead More »