Recalling when beach was littered in hoofprints
BM2 Keisha Kerr and her father Wayne, a civilian employee at Coast Guard Base Boston, are historical reenactors of the Coast Guard’s World War II Beach Patrol. They have spent the last five years educating the public about this unique part of Coast Guard history.
In September 1942, horses were authorized for use by the patrol. The mounted portion soon became the largest segment of the patrol. For example, one year after orders were given to use horses, there were 3,222 of the animals assigned to the Coast Guard. All came from the Army, with many being recently retired cavalry mounts. The Army Remount Service provided all the riding gear required, while the Coast Guard provided the uniforms for the riders.
A call went out for personnel and a mixed bag of people responded. Polo players, cowboys, former sheriffs, horse trainers, National Guard cavalrymen, jockeys, farm boys, rodeo riders and stunt men applied. Much of the mounted training took place at Elkins Park Training Station and Hilton Head, the sites of the dog training schools.