The U.S. Coast Guard Museum is located at 15 Mohegan Avenue, on the grounds of the U. S. Coast Guard Academy in New London, Connecticut. The facility displays historical artifacts from the U.S. Coast Guard, the smallest of the nation’s armed forces and the oldest life-saving service in the world. Named Best Military Museum in New England in Yankee Magazine’s 2013 Editors’ Choice Awards, admission is free and the facility is handicap accessible.
The 4,000 square foot facility has an extensive collection of ship models, uniforms, medals and paintings. The original 1936 figurehead from the Academy’s sail-training vessel the USCGC Eagle is a highlight. One of the largest figureheads displayed in an American museum, it hangs as if mounted on the bow of a ship. Other attractions include a massive Third-Order Fresnel lens from a lighthouse in the Apostle Islands on Lake Superior; a Francis Life Car, which was used to make rescuing lives at sea safer and more successful; an early 20th Century Life Saving Service Banner and a small boat used during dramatic rescues following the Hurricane Katrina disaster.
Visitors come to the Academy to observe morning and evening colors, watch sporting events, attend a chapel service, or visit memorials installed on the 103-acre campus overlooking the Thames River. On certain Friday afternoons in the spring and fall, the Corps of Cadets perform regimental reviews that are open to the public and which visitors are highly encouraged to attend.
For information, hours and location of the museum call 860.444.8511. Government issued photo identification (drivers license, passport, military ID, etc.) is needed to enter the grounds of the Academy. Minor children do not have to show identification. Please note that due to security procedures, international visitors are requested to make an appointment with the curator before visiting the museum.
The museum is open year round Monday through Friday: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. From June through August, the Museum is open every 1st and 3rd Saturday of the month from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Additionally, special hours may be arranged with the curator.
Please note the museum is closed on all federal holidays.
The museum is housed in Waesche Hall and can be reached by entering the Academy front gate, taking the first left onto Bear Drive, and following that road to the end.
More Information on Coast Guard History
National Coast Guard Museum Association
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