Facial Hair Friday: Those Bearded Battles of the Blizzard Belt

This fabulous Facial Hair Friday photo of Coast Guardsman Theophile Baranski, with his bushy eyebrows and stylish facial hair, is just one of the many beards featured in a series of Coast Guardsmen at Work in the Records of the U.S. Coast Guard that have be digitized and made available in the National Archives Catalog.

The photograph was released by the Coast Guard’s Public Relations Division with the title “Those Bearded Battles of the Blizzard Belt.” Before they were banned, beards weren’t uncommon for Coast Guardsmen, especially those serving in cold climates.

This photo’s caption read: 

WHISKERSQUE — With his watch cap pulled low over narrowed eyes, with a debonair curl to his mustache and with that patch of wiry chin whiskers, this Coast Guardsman of the Far North patrol cuts a picturesque figure as he stands against the frigid storms of the Arctic regions. He is Coast guardsman Theophile Baranski, ship’s cook, whose home is in Chicago, Ill.

Theophile Baranski, who was born in 1890 in Poland, immigrated to the United States in 1913, eventually settling in Chicago, Illinois. Baranski, a naturalized citizen, was a cook and chef who cooked for the United States Coast Guard as Ships Cook, First Class during World War II. He died in 1963 at the age of 73 and his buried in Mountain View Cemetery in Riverside County, California.

2 thoughts on “Facial Hair Friday: Those Bearded Battles of the Blizzard Belt

  1. When did beards in the Coast Guard become banned and the Navy? I’ll occasionally see a picture of a bearded sailor as late as World War Two, but perhaps that indicates relaxed conditions in the Pacific.

  2. Thanks! I was one of the last bearded “Coasties.” Grew one after my graduation from the CG Academy in May ’85. About a year later, they were banned by the new Commandant, Admiral Paul Yost.

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