The monument depicts an inter-racial three-figure group in which two soldiers in fatigues and bearing rifles support a wounded soldier, and is intended to honor those from the Coast Guard who served their country during World War II (1941-1945). Thomas, a non-professional sculptor, was a painter and combat veteran, who studied at the American Academy in Rome and with Paul Manship at the National Academy of Design in New York City. He based his composition on a rescue he had witnessed at the Luzon beachhead. Relying on a sketch which Thomas submitted, the United States Coast Guard, which maintains an administrative facility just south of Battery Park, and which until the late 1990s had a base on Governors Island in New York Harbor, commissioned the sculpture.

Constructed, 1947
Dedication, May 30, 1955