With an immediate need was to find a way to fight the Germans and protect the shipping along the Atlantic coast, the Navy turned to the Coast Guard, and then to civilians in yachts, pleasure boats and fishing vessels, to watch for and report enemy submarine activity. It was officially called the Coastal Picket Patrol, but it became known as the Hooligan Navy. The civilian boats didn't have any meaningful offensive weapons, and often the reports they made didn't lead to anything because the subs either had moved on or weren't there in the first place. But America needed them and they responded. Here's the story of one of them.Of the lives they saved, but you'll have to read the whole thing for the story.
There's so much that we've forgotten, that we shouldn't.