Sunday, May 31, 2015

52 Ancestors #22: Three Generations of "Coasties"

Name: Herbert Paul Lange (1929-2013)

Uncle Herbert Paul Lange joined the U.S. Coast Guard after he graduated from high school in 1948.

Herbert Lange on the day he enlisted in the U.S. Coast Guard; from my
personal collection

Uncle Herbert retired in 1973 after 24 years of service. The Elizabeth City, North Carolina, newspaper, The Daily Advance, had this to say about his military service:

"Lange displayed a fine record of professional excellence and deserved his rapid promotion, Bullard said. The admiral said he offered his sincere gratitude for Lange's outstanding and productive efforts throughout his career, and he hoped he will keep close ties with the Coast Guard in his retirement."

I think one of his lasting legacies is something Admiral Bullard couldn't know about in 1973. It's the legacy of continued Coast Guard service.

My brother, Ted, followed Uncle Herbert into the U.S. Coast Guard in 1980. He served with distinction and had an illustrious career, retiring in 2007. Uncle Herbert's son began his military service with the U.S. Marine Corps but transferred to the U.S. Coast Guard. He received the Distinguished Flying Cross, awarded for heroism or extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight.

My brother's son, Austin, became the third-generation of my family to become a "Coastie" when he commenced his career in 2004. The following photograph is of his induction ceremony in Richmond, Virginia. It was a very special moment as father inducted son into the service.

Ted Jennings on the left, inducting his son, Austin, into the U.S.
Coast Guard

Austin is still serving our country proudly.

And this year, my brother's nephew, Matthew Hanks, graduated from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy as the highest-ranking cadet, after serving for six years as an enlisted man. Matthew Hanks credited his uncle for influencing him to join the Coast Guard, but what he has done with his career to date makes everyone proud to know him.

2015 U.S. Coast Guard Academy commencement with Matthew Hanks and
President Obama, the commencement speaker

You may read more about his remarkable service here.

Uncle Herbert's military service tradition continues to this day. He went to his grave a modest man and likely would not accept credit for the way he directly influenced his son and my brother, who went on to influence others.

This is my entry for Amy Johnson Crow's 52 ancestors in 52 weeks challenge optional theme Commencement.

Herbert Paul Lange was born on 22 May 1929 and was the seventh child of Gustav and Wilhelmina (Schalin) Lange. He married and had one son. Uncle Herbert died on 19 December 2013. His funeral tribute video may be found here. His tradition of service to his country continues to this day.


  1. Hi Schalene, Herbert reminds me of my grandfather physically, although he was a customs man :)

    1. Uncle Herbert was a wonderful man and I loved him dearly. His wife died today; they were married 62 years. I hope you had the pleasure of having memories of your grandfather.