Monday, October 7, 2013

36978. Charles Henry Ricker

This one came as a shock to me. I fancy myself as somewhat of a Coast Guard historian (go ahead, Google me! You know you wanna...) but I had never heard of the loss of Charles Henry Ricker, who "Died in line of duty in the U.S. Coast Guard."

The Coast Guard was only a decade old, under that name, by the time that young Ricker died on duty with his mates in Maine. The funeral procession that brought him to the Riverside Cemetery in New Castle was a big one, one of the largest ever recorded in town, according to the Portsmouth Herald of March 18, 1925.

It was a product of the age. Safety precautions we take today when working with flammable or combustible fuels were not in place when Ricker was a young man, which was all he ever got to be. A gasoline explosion on the cutter on which he worked blew him overboard, and he never recovered from the injuries. His parents rushed to Portland, Maine, to be at his bedside, but he didn't make it.

Charles H. Ricker died a hero of his community, leaving a proud mother, father, sister and brother behind.

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