Coast Guard District narrative histories 1945
oil drum, the operator himself would pick up the drum and sinker and place it on station en route. Early in 1941, this was common practice as that section between The Dalles, Oregon and Umatilla, Oregon, was seriously handicapped by the lack of sufficient boat equipment. At the beginning of the war, an especially built 65' buoy boat was assigned to that area.
Experiments were made to determine the effectiveness of surface riding buoys, the first being with a Wallace and Tiernan and a 13th District boat type buoy, designed for the Columbia River. The buoys were placed on station in the Upper Columbia where the current was 8 miles per hour. The Wallace and Tiernan buoy was lost a month after its installation and a careful search of the river banks and dragging the river bottom failed to produce it or its mooring. Reports indicate that, until the time it disappeared, it had performed in an extremely satisfactory manner. The 13th District buoy was still in place at the conclusion of the war.
On the following page are photographs of the Headquarters pre-fabricated fast water buoy during assemblage and on station. The illustration of the boat type buoy is the District buoy which was placed on station and which at the conclusion was still in position. The Headquarters buoy did not prove equally successful.
(image) HOUSER FAST WATER BUOY
At Vancouver, Washington, Experiments were conducted in the use of Scotchlite, which is a plastic reflector material, on daymarks in the summer of 1943. Its success paved the way for similar installations on beacons in the Upper Columbia around The Dalles, Oregon. However, due to the heavy sands which stuck to the Scotchlite, it was abandoned in favor of the reflector buttons which protruded far enough from
the daymark to prevent their whole surface from being filmed with sand and dust. The Scotchlite was installed in other District Areas, mainly Coos Bay, with hearty approval of the mariners in the Bay.
A serious problem confronted the Aids to Navigation Section in the Upper Columbia where it was impracticable, due to the impossible terrain to establish the conventional range lights but where it was necessary to provide channel markings for safe navigation. After two years, consideration, C. E. Sherman, Nautical Scientist of the Aids to Navigation Section, devised a means to provide this marking and the initial experiment proved most successful. Sherman's "channel limiting group" lights provided positive protection for a width of 198 feet and were so arranged that the center light showed flashing red and the lights on either side showed fixed white until the navigator departed from his course and reached the edge of the safe channel, at which time the white light marking the channel side became red. Should he continue into the red light, it appeared to be extinguished, which indicated a deep penetration into the outer side of the safe channel. The openings in the side lights, although but 1/8" wide, could be seen for a distance of 1.4 statute miles with a light of sufficient brilliance that it could be seen by a person having normal vision looking within 30° from the light. These openings were provided by the arrangement of two opaque screens spaced 10 feet apart along the axis line of the light, one having its left edge and the other its right edge on this axis. (See photographs and sketch on following page.)
(image) EXAMPLE OF PRECIPITOUS SHORE MAKING INSTALLATION OF CONVENTIONAL RANGE IMPOSSIBLE