Happy 101st, Mr. Miskelly

U.S. Coast Guard Pacific Southwest recently saluted the 101st birthday of a WWII-era Coastie, Lewis Miskelly Jr.

Born in Pennsylvania in 1922, he studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts prior to the conflict and volunteered for the Coast Guard just after Pearl Harbor. While not an official war artist, he painted what he saw while in Atlantic convoy duty on the Coast Guard Cutter Mojave (WPG-47), a 240-foot Tampa-class cutter.

Shown here is the ‘Tampa’ class gunboat type cutter USCG Mojave (WPG-47), 1942, operating amid ice floes off Greenland.

As noted by the USCG Historian’s Office during that period:

Mojave was assigned to the Greenland patrol in 1942, where she took part in convoy escort and rescue operations. While acting as escort for the slow group of Convoy SG–6 which had departed Sydney, Nova Scotia 25 August, she assisted in the rescue of 570 men from the torpedoed army transport Chatham. The escort and antisubmarine accomplishments of the cutters were truly vital to the winning of the Battle of the Atlantic.

Miskelly’s paintings: 

And in the Pacific while on the the Coast Guard-manned General G. O. Squier-class troop transport USS General R. L. Howze (AP-134).

USS General R.L. Howze (AP-134) anchored off Manus Island, Marshall Islands, circa 1944-45.

Commissioned in early 1944, Howze completed 11 voyages to the combat areas of the Pacific, before returning to San Francisco 15 October 1945, carrying troops and supplies to New Guinea, Guadalcanal, Manus, Eniwetok, and “many other islands as the rising tide of the Navy’s amphibious offensive swept toward Japan.”

As for Miskelly, in a recent profile by The Press Democrat:

When he was 52, he learned how to surf. He cruised the waves of Pacifica and Santa Cruz until he was 85. He does tai chi everyday and still loves biking and driving his car.

For most of his life, he worked as a structural engineer and naval architect, which took he, his late wife June and four kids from Marconi to Petaluma in 1963. He worked until he was 75.

Thank you for your service, and your work, Mr. Miskelly.

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