Painting of Douglas Munro manning a machine gun at Gualacanal.

World War II

The Coast Guard's World War II Crucible, 1941-1945

In the years between WWI and WWII, the other services refit, rebuilt, and reorganized while the Coast Guard went back to war – the Rum War. Confronting smugglers during Prohibition groomed the Coast Guard Intelligence Office into the leading federal intelligence organization that developed the methods which would later help break enemy codes. By the end of WWII, the Coast Guard had grown to 250,000 personnel, opened more opportunities to women and minorities, and supported operations in all major combat theaters.

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