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USCGC Woodbine (WLB-289)
USCGC Woodbine (WAGL-289)
Woodbine alongside the burned out hulk of USS LST-480 on 22 May 1944, the day after the West Loch Disaster
Name: USCGC Woodbine (WLB-289)
Namesake: Woodbine (plant)
Builder: Zenith Dredge Company, Duluth, Minnesota
Cost: $1,156,000
Laid down: 2 February 1942
Launched: 3 July 1942
Commissioned: 17 November 1942
Decommissioned: 15 February 1972
Reclassified: WLB-289, 1965
Fate: Donated to Cleveland Public School System, 19 June 1972
General characteristics [1]
Type: USCG seagoing buoy tender
Displacement: 1,025 long tons (1,041 t) (1966)
Length: 180 ft (55 m)
Beam: 37 ft (11 m)
Draft: 13 ft (4.0 m) (1966)
Installed power: 2 × Westinghouse generators
2 × Cooper Bessemer-type diesel engines
Propulsion: 1 × electric motor 1,000 shp (746 kW)
Single propeller
Speed: 12 knots (22 km/h; 14 mph)
Range: 11,000 nmi (20,000 km; 13,000 mi) at 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph) (1942)
Complement: 53 (1966)
Armament: Small arms only
Notes: 20-ton boom with electric hoist

USCGC Woodbine (WAGL-289/WLB-289) was a United States Coast Guard buoy tender.

The ship, a 180 feet (55 m) Cactus- or A-class tender, was built in Duluth, Minnesota by the Zenith Dredge Company, laid down on 2 February 1942, launched on 3 July 1942, and commissioned on 17 November 1942, as Woodbine (WAGL-289).[1]

Service history[edit | edit source]

Atlantic coast, 1942–1944[edit | edit source]

Woodbine was assigned to Norfolk, Virginia for general aids-to-navigation (ATON) duties, but did not arrive at her post until 5 February 1943, being delayed by several unscheduled ice-breaking operations.[1]

On 20 September 1943, she was transferred to San Juan, Puerto Rico for aids-to-navigation and law enforcement duties, inspecting vessels suspected of drug trafficking.[1]

World War II, 1944–1945[edit | edit source]

On 15 January 1944, she sailed from Puerto Rico to Portsmouth Navy Yard for refitting, then sailed to San Francisco, where she was stationed from 7 March 1944. Woodbine was then deployed to the Pacific Theater of Operations to take part in the amphibious assault on the Marianas Islands, and served as a mobile service base for the U.S. Navy's Southern Attack force during the attack on Guam, before taking part in the Okinawa campaign in 1945.[1]

Lake Michigan, 1947–1972[edit | edit source]

At the end of the war Woodbine returned to the United States, and from 19 September 1947, was stationed in Grand Haven, Michigan, where she remained for the rest of her career.[1]

On 19 April 1964 she was slightly damaged in a collision with MV Meteor while ice-breaking off Green Bay, Wisconsin.[1]

From 18 to 20 August 1965, she was involved in recovering debris from United Airlines Flight 389 which had crashed into Lake Michigan. Also in 1965 her designation was changed from WAGL (which was a US Navy designation[Clarification needed]

denoting an auxiliary vessel, lighthouse tender) to WLB.[1]

On 6 January 1971, she was deployed to search for the crew of an Air Force B-52 bomber that crashed in upper Lake Michigan, near Charlevoix. Unfortunately, there were no survivors.[2]

1972–[edit | edit source]

On 15 February 1972, as part of a government-wide savings plan, Woodbine was decommissioned and donated to the Cleveland Public School System through the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare/CSA to be used as a training ship in marine engineering and electronics. In the early 1980s, she was sold to a private owner at the cost of $150,000.[1]

Sometime Prior to 1999 Woodbine was modified and used as a mobile fish-processing vessel in Alaska for the Woodbine Alaska Fishing Company (WAFCO). The buoy deck was enclosed and used as a processing floor with 4 large freezers. The forward deck was outfitted with multiple holding tanks for fish waiting to be processed.

References[edit | edit source]

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