The Sand Pounders - Patroling the Oregon Coast

Very interesting Oregon history by Chance Hudnall at


Around a month after Japan's continuous attacks, the United States Coast Guard launched The Coast Guard Beach Patrol. Commonly referred to as the "Sand Pounders", they took over the original responsibilities and functions of the Life Saving Service as well as the duties of looking out for any suspicious or enemy ships, stopping communications between ships and people on the shore, and reporting or preventing any enemy landings. While the Sand Pounders were not expected to stop a sea invasion, they did provide local reassurance. The United States Coast Guard also constructed several watchtowers along the coast range in Oregon which were operated for the entire duration of a day. 

The Sand Pounders were largely comprised of recruits from the Midwest and east of the Cascades, which was horse country. The coastline of Oregon stretches approximately 363 miles (584 kilometers), meaning horseback was the optimal way of travel.  Within a year, more than three-thousand horses were assigned to the Coast Guard, which made carrying equipment, radios, and rifles more easy and accessible. In addition, with their clear sense of smell and ability to be trained, dogs began to assist the Sand Pounders

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