Arbutus, 1933 (WAGL / WLM-203) (USLHT)

April 15, 2020

Arbutus, 1933 (WAGL / WLM-203)

Any of 20 species of evergreen shrubs or trees of the heath family found in southern Europe and western North America.

Builder: Pusey& Jones, Wilmington, Delaware

Commissioned: 1933

Decommissioned: 27 March 1967

Length: 174' 7"

Beam: 33'

Draft: 12' 3"

Displacement: 997 tons

Propulsion: 2 triple-expansion steam engine; 2 Foster-Wheeler watertube boilers; 1,000 SHP; twin propellers

Performance: Max: 11.3 knots Economic: Deck Gear: 20-ton boom capacity; steam powered winch

Complement: 41 (1945)

Armament: 1 x 3"/23; 2 x 20mm/80 Electronics: BK radar (1943); SO-1 radar (1945); WEA-2a sonar (1945)


The Arbutus, the third tender to bear this name, entered service in 1933. She was assigned to the 2nd Lighthouse District. During World War II she served out of Woods Hole, Massachusetts, and was given the hull number and designation WAGL-203. She also tended submarine nets at Newport, Rhode Island, in February, 1943.

In 1945 she transferred to St. George, Staten Island. On 2 June 1950 she assisted the grounded yacht Hurricane off Copps Rock. On 29 February 1956 she towed CGB-70017 to Barnegat, New Jersey. In February 1965 she recovered bodies and debris from an Eastern Airlines DC-7 crash off Long Island, New York. On 15 July 1966 she grounded in Long Island Sound and was refloated without damage. Sometime during this period she was reclassified as a "WLM." She was decommissioned on 10 January 1967 and was sold on 28 April 1969.


Cutter History File. USCG Historian's Office, USCG HQ, Washington, D.C.

Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. Washington, DC: USGPO.

Douglas Peterson. United States Lighthouse Service Tenders, 1840-1939. Annapolis: Eastwind Publishing, 2000.

Robert Scheina. U.S. Coast Guard Cutters & Craft of World War II. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 1982.

Robert Scheina. U.S. Coast Guard Cutters & Craft, 1946-1990. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 1990.