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Press Release | Oct. 17, 2023

MEDIA ADVISORY: Coast Guard to hold remembrance for Chief Machinist Mate Cecil S. Canfield

Air Station Traverse City

WHO: Coast Guard Air Station Traverse City members
WHAT: Chief Machinist Cecil S. Canfield Memorial Ceremony
WHERE: Oakwood Cemetery, E Eighth St., Traverse City, Michigan 49686
WHEN: Thursday, October 19, 2023, 1:45 p.m.

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. — Coast Guard Air Station Traverse City to hold remembrance for Chief Machinist Mate Cecil S. Canfield Thursday at Oakwood Cemetery in Traverse City, Michigan.

Chief Machinist Mate Cecil S. Canfield was born in October of 1905. From Traverse City, Michigan, Cecil Canfield joined the Coast Guard and climbed the enlisted ranks to Chief Machinist Mate. With his family living in Duluth, Minnesota at the time, Chief Canfield was stationed aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Muskeget (WAG-48), homeported in Boston, Massachusetts. The Muskeget, a weather ship transferred to the Coast Guard by the Navy, set out from Boston on Aug. 24, 1942, for a weather patrol in the North Atlantic off the southern tip of Greenland.

At 2:54 p.m. on Sept. 9, 1942, the German Navy submarine, U-755, reportedly sunk the Muskeget 400 nautical miles east of Newfoundland. With no sign of the Muskeget or crew, the U.S. Navy presumed the ship lost and crew of 121 men missing in action.

Chief Canfield’s gravestone was laid in a family plot in Oakwood Cemetery, Traverse City, Michigan. As time moves on for all of us, we strive to remember the service and sacrifice of those that built this nation before us. Tragically, sometimes an individual can slip through those efforts.

Recently, Chief Canfield’s gravestone was uncovered by a cleanup crew, overgrown with bushes. Worst of all, there was nothing to be found of Chief Canfield in any of our local records of remembrance, and so it feels as if we have lost him twice.

We hold this remembrance to tie Air Station Traverse City to our history, to honor our fallen heroes, and to pledge that we will not forget or lose Chief Machinist Mate Canfield again.