Greenland Patrol memorial ceremony Friday

The commander of the U.S. Coast Guard International Ice Patrol, president of the Coast Guard Foundation, and New London Mayor Daryl Justin Finizio will participate in a short ceremony Friday to remember the sacrifices and dedication of the World War II Greenland Patrol (1940-45).

The ceremony will be at 11 a.m. Friday at Robert Crown Park at the Coast Guard Academy with representatives from the International Ice Patrol, the First Coast Guard District, Coast Guard Academy, Coast Guard Foundation, Navy League, and Mayor Finizio in attendance. There will be the dedication of a wreath that will later be deployed from a Coast Guard HC-130J aircraft during iceberg reconnaissance conducted over the North Atlantic Ocean.

The histories of the International Ice Patrol and the Greenland Patrol became closely intertwined when Greenland, a Danish possession, acquired diplomatic and strategic importance after Germany invaded Denmark in 1940, according to those organizing the event. The cutters and Coast Guardsmen of the pre-war Ice Patrol formed the nucleus of the Greenland Patrol, which included a variety of Army, Navy, and Coast Guard units and became one of the largest joint forces ever commanded by the Coast Guard.

The ice experience and extensive oceanographic work completed by the Coast Guard during the International Ice Patrol’s operations following the sinking of the R.M.S. Titanic in 1912 proved invaluable to the success of the Greenland Patrol.

The public is invited to attend this annual ceremony.

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