ANNAPOLIS, Md. – As a Memorial Day tribute to honor all the brave men and women who have protected our country, the National Sailing Hall of Fame is streaming from our online Film Library a rarely-seen documentary – “The Hooligan Navy: The Corsair Fleet.”

Hard to believe, but true…
American recreational sailboats were used as ships of war during WWII.

The Story of the Corsair Fleet

“The Hooligan Navy” (47-minutes) tells a little-known military story about the Corsair Fleet, a band of young American yachtsmen and fishermen who were recruited into service by the United States Coast Guard. They “armed” these recreational and fishing vessels and painted them Navy grey, putting them into service to patrol the coastline of America’s Eastern seaboard and, if necessary, engage Nazi U-boats that were attacking American merchant vessels and threatening seaside towns along both the East and West coasts. These sailors and their sailing yachts were sent out so quickly, the grey paint on their hulls was still wet when they left the docks!

BONUS: After watching the film, download & read a compelling 23-page historic treatise written by Dennis L. Noble for the United States Coast Guard’s “The U.S Coast Guard in WWII.” Rich with photographs, it offers a vivid accounting of the how the beach patrols and the Corsair Fleet worked to keep America’s Atlantic coastline safe during World War II.

Click here to watch the film from the NSHOF Film Library and read “The Beach Patrol and Corsair Fleet.”