National Geographic : 1943 May
The National Geographic Magazine .T . Baylor Roberts On the Darkest Night His Sensitive Nose Will Smell an Enemy on the Beach Such dogs, trained to attack any stranger, are led on leash by Coast Guard sentries patrolling the beaches at night along all the shores of the United States (page 579). So savage is their onslaught that one Coast Guard man told the author, "I'd rather be shot at than tackled by one of those dogs." Coast Guard aviation is being greatly ex panded. Coast Guard flying boats, especially de signed to land and take off in heavy seas, serve as ambulances to take sick or injured seamen from ships to shore hospitals. They carry stretchers, first-aid kits, even strait jackets. Flying over remote mountains, Coast Guard planes spot illicit liquor stills and radio direc tions to agents on the ground. They bomb derelicts at sea that menace navigation, and even have dropped food, water, and snake-bite serum to people lost in the desert in the Southwest. When hurricanes approach, they drop warnings to fishing boats not equipped with radio. Lighthouse Lights Are Dimmed, Too War is cramping the style of the Coast Guard's lighthouse keepers. Most of their lights are dimmed, their signals altered, or even shut off entirely.* I visited one famous lighthouse which must remain nameless. Coming back from Europe, in far-off days of peace, you may have seen its 9,000,000 candlepower beam shining 22 nautical miles out to sea. Its series of great glass lenses produced this powerful beacon by concentrating the mere 2,500 candlepower of only three small 500 watt electric bulbs. But even this light can not penetrate a heavy fog. Today a small light takes its place for the duration. "Those big lenses concentrate sunlight in the daytime like a burning glass, the same as they concentrate the electric light at night," the keeper said. "I got a nasty burn on my leg one day, so after that I kept the lenses covered. We have an oil lantern ready if the electric power fails. * See "New Safeguards for Ships in Fog and Storm," by George R. Putnam, NATIONAL GEO GRAPHIC MAGAZINE, August, 1936.