This video was my first old-timey encounter with New London. And it's about as entertaining as you might expect.
"The Story of the United States Coast Guard: The Academy" was released 75 years ago. First put together by Bray Studios, it is now distributed by Periscope Film, an archive of military footage.
The newsreel condenses the life of a Coast Guard Academy cadet into about 10 minutes, with a voice-over by your standard rapid-fire narrator. There's a brief background of the campus, with the narrator frowning upon the old methods of getting Coast Guard officers from United States Naval Academy overflow or the Merchant Marine, or the training that was done on cutters (which started at 1876). The film notes how the land-based academy started in 1900, with funding for the present school first approved by Congress in 1929. The campus opened in 1932, and many of the buildings are easily recognizable.
Injecting bits of humor, albeit without a change in tone, the narrator runs through scenes from a standard day: a morning review of cadets, breakfast, classes, study, and sports "for pleasure and the building of brawn for one of the world's toughest services." With World War II just around the corner, that's not the only bit of praise heaped upon the service in the film.
"The Coast Guard is proud of its military training and stands in readiness at all times for war," the narrator says proudly. "It's the one military force that is forever active. Working for country in time of war, or all humanity in time of peace."
Much of the film also follows cadets on their three-week practice crew. The film crew follows the outing as the cadets sail to Quantico, Va. for small arms training, work at sea on aspects such as navigation and seamanship ("Knots to you, sailor!"), and practice the deck guns on floating targets. A few "deadbeats" - two puppies and a monkey - round out the crew.
Predating the Eagle by eight years, the voyage is instead made on a cutter which is briefly revealed to by the USS Cayuga. Just two years before the film, this 250-foot vessel had briefly been under Navy control and evacuated embassy diplomats and refugees from the Spanish Civil War. The Cayuga and nine other Coast Guard cutters would be transferred to the United Kingdom in 1941. Rechristened the HMS Totland, the cutter survived the war and later returned to the United States as service as the Mocoma.