U.S. Flag


aviation wings graphic



Read the history of the Coast Guard
Ancient Albatross Award

Ancient Albatross Award 

Ancient Albatross


The Ancient Albatross Officer Award (Aviator) was instituted in '66 to honor the Coast Guard Aviator on active duty holding the earliest designation in recognition of clear defiance of the private realm of the albatross and all it seabird kin while in pursuit of the time-honored Coast Guard duties. 

The Ancient Albatross Officer award is sponsored by 
Airbus Group and Sikorsky Aircraft



VADM Wililam D. Shields -----------------------

30 Dec 1965

RADM Charles Tighe -----------------------------

27 Aug 1966

ADM Chester R. Bender ------------------------

28 Aug 1970

CDR Walter R. Goldhammer------------------ 

01 June 1974

RADM Chester. A. Richmond, Jr. ---------- 

01 July 1975

ADCMAP John P. Greathouse-------------- 

01 July 1977

CAPT William D. Harvey ------------------------ 

23 Feb 1979

VADM Charles E. Larkin ------------------------- 

05 Sept 1979

RADM Frederick P. Schubert ------------------ 

31 July 1984

VADM Donald C. Thompson ------------------- 

24 May 1985

RADM Edward Nelson, Jr. ---------------------- 

08 June 1988

VADM Clyde E. Robbins -----------------------

19 May 1989

VADM Howard B. Thorsen ---------------------- 

05 June 1990

RADM George D. Passmore --------------------

27 June 1991

RADM Thomas T. Matteson -------------------- 

05 June 1992

RADM William C. Donnell -----------------------

19 June 1993

VADM Richard D. Herr --------------------------- 

23 May 1997

RADM Edward J. Barrett ------------------------ 

30 June 1998

RADM James C. Olson--------------------------- 

14 July 2000**
RADM David W. Kunkel--------------------------- 13 May 2006
VADM Vivien S. Crea ----------------------------- 26 June 2008
RADM Gary T. Blore---------------------------- 1 October 2009

VADM John P.Currier

14 July 2011

** Longest holding Ancient Albatross


Current Ancient Albatross
Vice Admiral John P. Currier
Vice Commandant
United States Coast Guard


Vice Admiral John P. Currier assumed duties as the 28th Vice Commandant in May 2012 .

VADM Currier hails from Westbrook, Maine and was commissioned from Officers Candidate School in 1976. He was designated a Naval Aviator in 1977. An alumnus of the University of Southern Maine, he holds a Masters in Business from Embry-Riddle University. He is a 1996 graduate of the U. S. Air Force Air War College and holds Level III Acquisition Program Manager certification.

During his career, VADM Currier stood the watch at six Coast Guard Air Stations. He was designated an Aeronautical Engineer in 1982. Other assignments have included Deputy Program Manager (Engineering) for the Coast Guard and Navy HH-60H/J joint helicopter acquisition at the Naval Air Systems Command, and Chief of SAR Operations & Director of Auxiliary for the Ninth Coast Guard District. VADM Currier served as Commanding Officer of Air Stations Detroit and Miami, then the world's busiest air-sea search and rescue unit. Subsequently he was assigned as Pacific Area Chief of Operations, then Area Chief of Staff.

Promoted to Flag rank in 2005, VADM Currier served as Assistant Commandant for Acquisition at Headquarters, then as Commander of the Thirteenth District in the Pacific Northwest. He assumed the duties of the Coast Guard's Chief of Staff in 2009, later transitioning that position to the Service's first Deputy Commandant for Mission Support.

VADM Currier's awards include the Coast Guard Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal, Commendation Medal, Achievement Medal and others.

VADM Currier is a veteran aviator with over 6000 flight hours in Coast Guard and Navy fixed and rotary wing aircraft. He is currently the Ancient Albatross, or the longest serving Coast Guard Aviator on active duty. His professional recognition includes the Harmon International Aviation Trophy, the Alaska Air Command SAR Pilot of the Year Award, American Helicopter Society, Fredrick L. Feinberg Award and the Naval Helicopter Association SAR Aircrew of the Year, all awarded for rescue operations.





USCG Photograph by Petty Officer Shawn Eggert 13 District














VADM Currier and Ptero Hank Schaeffer


13th District Photo Release:

Video of Ancient Albatross Change of Watch:

Enlisted Ancient Albatross Award


In '88, the Enlisted Ancient Albatross Award was established to honor the Coast Guard  enlisted aircrew member on active duty with the earliest graduation date from an aviation technical school.  

The Ancient Albatross Enlisted Trophy is sponsored by 
Airbus Group and Sikorsky Aircraft

Enlisted Aircrew:

ADCM J. T. Woltz---------------------------

08 June 1990

MCPO-CG Eric A. Trent------------------

01  Dec 1995

SCPO Gary Butler--------------------------

30 June 1998

AVTCM Douglas W. Farence---------- 

02 Nov 1999

AMTCM Bernard D. Irsik -----------------

14 July 2000

AMTCM Mark T. Bigart-------------------- 

24 April  2002
AMTCM Wiliam Beardsley --------------- 11 April 2003

SCPO Peter MacDougal--------------

13 May 2006

Aviation Maintenance Technician Senior Chief Peter G. MacDougall

Aviation Maintenance Technician Senior Chief Peter G. MacDougall entered active duty service in September 1974. Upon completing basic training at Coast Guard Training Center Cape May, N.J., he reported to USCG Aircraft Repair & Supply Center in Elizabeth City N.C. for “A” School. After graduation from Aviation Machinist Mate (AD) “A” school in May 1975, ANAD MacDougall reported to CG Air Station Kodiak, AK. Under the Command of former Ancient Albatross (#11) Captain Ed Nelson Jr., AD3 MacDougall earned his aircrew wings in December 1975 as a Flight Mechanic on the Sikorsky HH-3F “Pelican” helicopters.

MacDougall transferred to CG Air Station Cape Cod in January 1976, where he advanced to AD2 in August of 1977 and continued to fly search and rescue missions as an H-3 Flight Mechanic. Tragedy struck Air Station Cape Cod when the HH-3F “1432” went down while conducting a medevac rescue hundreds of miles offshore of Cape Cod. Lost were dear friend and mentor Lcdr. Jim Stiles, Canadian Forces exchange pilot Captain Rick Burge, Avionicsman and duty-crew brother AT2 Brad Tait, and Corpsman HS2 Bruce Kahler. Flight Mechanic and friend AD3 Mark Torr, was the lone survivor. After the loss of his friends in the crash, and after losing two out of two engines during his last H-3 flight, AD2 MacDougall took a hint and took a break from flying and transferred to the USCG Reserves in 1979.

Joining the Coast Guard Reserve after his release from active service, MacDougall became a Machinery Technician (MK) at CG Station Gloucester MA., where he earned qualifications as Engineer on the 41’ Utility Boat (UTB) and the 44’ Motor Life Boat. After returning to Alaska in April 1984, he worked as an civilian Airframe & Powerplant mechanic on a variety of float planes and helicopters and served in the CG Reserves as a 41’ UTB Engineer at CG Station Juneau.

Completing 10 years in the reserves, MK1 MacDougall returned to aviation and active duty service in October 1989. Aptly starting over at Air Station Kodiak AK, (commanded by current Ptero Prez Capt. Mont Smith) AD3 MacDougall re-qualified in his beloved H-3s in short order, and advanced to AD2 in 1990. Transferring to Air Station Cape Cod in 1993, he transitioned to the Sikorsky HH-60Js. During this tour at Air Station Cape Cod, he began his long time association with the Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) program, which has provided Coast Guard men and women with much needed assistance in their abilities to cope with the aftermath of traumatic events. After advancement to AD1 in 1996, orders followed for transfer to Air Station Sitka Alaska in 1997 where he continued to fly search and rescue missions and to train future generations of CG aircrews.

Aviation Maintenance Technician Chief (AMTC) MacDougall transferred to Air Station Astoria Oregon in 2001, where he was the H-60 Shop Chief, Quality Assurance Chief, and interim Group Astoria Command Chief. From 2004 to 2008, AMTC MacDougall served as the Leading Chief Petty Officer at Air Station Washington D.C., the “Commandant’s Air Station”. AMTC MacDougall was advanced to Senior Chief by the Commandant of the Coast Guard, ADM Thad Allen, and “pinned on” by the outgoing Ancient Albatross, RADM Dave Kunkel, and the 21st Ancient Albatross, VADM Vivian Crea, in a ceremony at Air Station Elizabeth City NC on 26 June 2008. Senior Chief MacDougall is currently assigned to the Coast Guard Academy in New London CT, where he is a the Golf Company Senior Chief and Advisor to the CG Academy Aviation Club, mentoring young men and women as they train to become the next generation of Coast Guard Officers.

On May 13th 2006 in a ceremony at Air Station Sitka, AK, AMTC MacDougall became the Eight Enlisted Ancient Albatross of the US Coast Guard. AMTCS MacDougall has held the “Ancient” title the longest period of time amongst the current group of “Ancients”.

Senior Chief MacDougall’s personal awards include the Coast Guard Commendation Medal and Coast Guard Achievement Medal with operational distinguishing devices and gold stars, and the Commandant’s Letter of Commendation with three stars. Other career awards include three Lt. Robert A. Perchard Memorial Trophy Awards for outstanding aircrews, and numerous Sikorsky “Winged S” Search and Rescue Lifesaving awards.

Senior Chief MacDougall, a native of Westford Massachusetts, has been married to the former Christina Parker, also of Westford MA for 30 years. Christina is a substitute school teacher in Groton CT, daughter Jenny (26) is a student at the University of Alaska, Juneau, AK and sons Ian (23) and Ross (21) are students at the University of Alaska in Fairbanks, AK. Off duty interests, besides his family, include the CG Aviation Association (aka “The Ancient Order of the Pterodactyls”) sailing, music (percussion), photography, skiing, and ALL things aviation!


Date Last Updated Saturday, June 14, 2014

Copyright 2002-2013 Coast Guard Aviation Association -The Ancient Order of the Pterodactyl, all rights reserved
The Coast Guard Aviation Associationl is a non-profit organization operating under IRS 501 C (3) Tax ID 33-0161887