A history of Aids to Navigation is, prior to 1939, a history of the Lighthouse Service. Since 1789, the Lighthouse Service had established and maintained navigational aids along all coasts of the United States and all its inland waters. In 1939, the Reorganization Plan II provided for the consolidation of the Bureau of Lighthouses with the Coast Guard. The transfer of the duties from the Bureau to the Coast Guard were made mainly to reduce expenditures to the fullest extent for the efficient operation of the Government. It was appreciated and understood that there was a natural reluctance of personnel to change from the Bureau to another Service. To overcome this hesitation, the transfer was effected by avoiding discharges wherever possible and "cutting" the personnel by not filling vacancies which were in effect at the time of the transfer.
The Secretary of the Treasury authorized the induction of officers and crew of tenders and Lightships, Keepers of Lighthouses and Depots, Light Attendants, Radio Electricians, Examiners and Maintenance Supervisors, as the duties of those positions were comparable with duties performed in the military service of the Coast Guard. In addition to those positions, there was a large group of positions which were analogous to those now held by civilian employees of the Coast Guard, such as draftsmen, mechanics, laborers, watchmen, messengers in the sub-professional and custodial duties and various positions in the clerical, administrative and physical service. This group continued exactly as before and received promotions and increase in
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