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Admiral Edwin J. Roland

Edwin John Roland (February 11, 1905-March 16, 1985), served as the twelfth Commandant of the United States Coast Guard from 1962 to 1966.

He was born in Buffalo, New York. Growing up in Buffalo, he attended Canisius High School and later Canisius College in the city. He graduated from the United States Coast Guard Academy in New London, Connecticut in 1929. While a cadet at the Academy, he served as captain of the award-winning football squad, also playing on the baseball and basketball squads. Following graduation from the Academy, he assumed command of target observation and repair in the Gulf of Mexico, and cutter target practice off the Atlantic coast. From 1932 to 1934, he served as gunnery officer and navigator aboard the USCGC Escanaba (WPG-77), based out of Grand Haven, Michigan. Returning to the Coast Guard Academy, he served until 1938 as an instructor in physics and mathematics, and as Assistant Coach of the football, basketball, and baseball teams. During the summer of 1936, he commanded the summer practice cruise, participating in the evacuation of Spanish Civil War refugees.

From 1944 to 1946, he served as the first commanding officer of the USCGC Mackinaw (WAGB-83), the first heavy-duty icebreaker ever built for the Great Lakes. From 1950 to 1954, he served as Commandant of Cadets at the Coast Guard Academy. In 1962, he was appointed Commandant of the Coast Guard by President John F. Kennedy.

Following his retirement as Coast Guard Commandant, he moved to Old Lyme, Connecticut, and died at the age of 80 while vacationing in St. Petersburg, Florida.


Military offices
Preceded by
Alfred C. Richmond
Commandant of the Coast Guard
Succeeded by
Willard J. Smith


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