It is with great sorrow that Joy Taylor Raffield, Carla Raffield Batton, and John Robert Raffield announce the unexpected passing of John Charles Raffield, beloved husband and father.
        John Charles passed away on February 13, 2008 in Tyler, Texas at 9:00pm.  This site is now dedicated to his memory and everlasting presence in the hearts of those that he loved, and those that knew and loved him.  The family would also like to thank all those that worked with and provided information, stories, photographs and their memories to John Charles so that these historical accounts of the USCG Station in Panama City could be recorded.  We thank you all.


John C. Raffield, Author

John Charles Raffield, son of Charles Franklin and Vera Pratt Raffield, born 29 July 1936, is a native of Panama City. The author could see the waters of St. Andrews Bay from his front yard at 127 Olive Street (now 2nd Place) in the Cove, just one block from East Beach Drive. He grew up on Tarpon Dock, and the waters of Massalina Bayou, St. Andrews Bay, and Gulf of Mexico.

The US Coast Guard moved from their headquarters and crew quarters at 521 East Beach Drive in 1944. That same year, the author’s mother died, and his dad bought the 2-story, 18 room building and property from R.C. Hallman on 3 July 1944, and converted the headquarters into a hotel, the Seaside Inn. It was home for several years.

Growing up in Panama City, the author had both direct and indirect relationship with the Coast Guard crews, CG Auxiliary personnel, and retirees. Over the years, Coast Guard retirees have made Panama City their new home, and made boating at one level or another, their business.

The author has always had a fondness for the beaches, water, boats, and has felt a friendship with the Coast Guard as his dad had throughout WW II as a member of the CG Auxiliary, and having lived in the old Coast Guard Headquarters ~ barracks as a child.

Sources of Recorded Local Coast Guard History

"United States Coast Guard Station ~ Panama City, A Seventy Two Year History," was the first and only documented Coast Guard history for Panama City and Bay County since the United States Coast Guard’s arrival in 1933. It featured nine CG Cutters, four CG manned Lighthouses, and WW II Coastal Defense Gun Emplacements at the Pass, K-9 and mounted beach patrols, and the forty LSTs that conducted their two-week shakedown exercises in the Gulf, and anchored in St. Andrews Bay for ‘safe harbor’ at night to escape the German U-boats activity in the Gulf.

"Berth Places," evolved as additional detailed Coast Guard history came to light for the years, 1933-2007, including locating other CG Cutters, bringing the total US Coast Guard Cutters to eleven being homeported in Panama City. Through the years, there have been four different Station locations, and the eleven cutters, four small boats, and four aids to navigation boats making their berths in seven different locations in St. Andrews Bay. The author felt the need to complete a more in depth look into the cutters and boats. The author felt that the new historical information and photos needed to be documented before all the existing personal historical resources “Cross The Bar,” resulting in their accounts of local Coast Guard history being lost to Station-Panama City, Panama City, and Bay County.

Raffield Signature
John C. Raffield
January 2008

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