Flotilla 23-4 Unit History

Flotilla History of 23-4

Posted by: Michael Raymond
At the beginning of World War II, the U.S. Navy and Coast Guard had very few vessels for coastal anti-submarine work. It took time for our authorities to realize that a black out was necessary for all coastal cities, as the outline of shipping was easily targeted by German U-Boats. Vessels were being sunk at a rapid rate in plain sight of swimmers on our East coast beaches. The Coast Guard Reserve, as it was initially named, which became the Coast Guard Auxiliary
was quickly organized with depth charges and light machine guns. The results concerning U- boat sightings and sinkings are difficult to analyze, however we have many, many instances of the Coast Guard Auxiliary rescuing personnel from torpedoed merchantmen.  In 1942 Coast Guard Reserve Division 7 was formed in the Central Chesapeake region, and was involved in constant patrol within our territorial waters concerning the German U-boat menace. In and around 1966, Division 11 was formed, being composed of members originally from Division 7.

When Flotilla 11-4 was initially composed, we had many vessel facilities and accumulated much operational time. Through the 70’s and 80’s, we were expanded and included air craft facilities, which assumed regular patrols over and around the Chesapeake Bay. We were at that time based in Rockville and our AOR was the Potomac where it joins the Monocacy, and the Chesapeake Bay.

In the late 80’s and early 90’s, a group of our air personnel split off from our Flotilla and a formed a new Flotilla which is today entirely air and is based out of Gaithersburg Airport. FC Marvin Ruben, after the split off, recruited new members through a comprehensive effort involving distribution of flyers and while in uniform, personal visits to air shows, etc.

With the occurrence of 9/11, FC Ruben’s efforts bore large fruit. Meetings were regularly attended in 2001 and 2002 by 40 to 50 potential members, but the administrative infrastructure of the Coast Guard Auxiliary was not prepared for such large numbers. However, through that period of trial by fire, a core of individuals hung in there and laid the ground work for our present focus and organization.

As a reaction to 9/11, some of the very unusually gifted members in our Flotilla, prepared responsive materials and distributed them to State and Local authorities. In addition, and on a wider scope, we analyzed potential threat scenarios. This material was passed up and down the chain of command. We have now evolved as a Special Training and Research Unit, and in that capacity, have prepared research and analysis concerning problems and potential areas of further service within the Coast Guard Auxiliary. Simultaneously, we have also sharpened our operational core skills through a rigorous and comprehensive training program for on the water and communications personnel. In addition, we have initiated some fairly dynamic methods of recruitment and public affair endeavors. We are composed of individuals who are expert in many fields, who have applied this to their Coast Guard Auxiliary service. We continue to attract unique individuals who are, as our standard states, “Optimi Lucidique”…The Best and the Brightest.

Original Flotilla 11-4 Crest 
Old Flotilla 11-04 Crest