• Coast Guard Academy Jun 23

    Merle Smith, 1st Black Graduate of Coast Guard Academy, Dies

    Merle Smith Jr., the first Black cadet to graduate from the Coast Guard Academy, has died, his family said. He was 76. Smith died on June 16 of complications from Parkinson’s disease and COVID-19, his wife Lynda Smith said. Smith commanded a cutter in Vietnam, taught law classes at the academy in New London and retired from active-duty service with…

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