Willow, 1947 (WAGL/WLB 332)

July 31, 2020

Willow, 1947

WAGL / WLB-332; ACM-8
ex-Picket; ex-General Henry Knox

A deciduous tree or shrub of the genus Salix, with usually narrow leaves, flowers borne in catkins, and strong lightweight wood.

Builder:  Marietta Manufacturing Company, Point Pleasant, West Virginia

Length: 188' 8"

Beam:  37'

Draft: 12' 10"

Displacement: 1,240 tons

Cost: N/A

Commissioned: 1942 (US Army); 6 March 1945 (USN); 20 September 1947 (USCG)

Decommissioned: 10 October 1969


Machinery: Skinner Engine Company reciprocating steam engine; 2 Combustion Engineering boilers; twin propellers; 1,200 SHP.

Performance & Endurance:

        Max: 12.8 knots
        Cruising: 8.5 knots; 2,450 mile range

Deck Gear: 20-ton boom capacity

Complement: 52

Armament: None (small arms only)

Electronics: Sperry MK3 radar

Tender History:

The second tender named Willow was one of five Chimo-Class Army minelayers acquired by the Coast Guard and at the time they entered service they were the largest tenders in the Coast Guard's fleet.  Willow was originally launched in 1942 as the Army minelayer USS General Henry Knox.  She was transferred to the Navy in 1945 and was commissioned as the USS Picket (ACM-8).  She was acquired by the Coast Guard in 1947, converted to a buoy tender, renamed Willow, and was commissioned into the Coast Guard on 20 September 1947 at the Charleston Naval Shipyard.  She was initially stationed at San Juan, Puerto Rico from 23 July 1947 until June, 1949.  She tended aids to navigation as well as conducted law enforcement and search and rescue duties as needed.

She transferred to San Francisco, arriving there in June, 1949, where she was assigned to AToN, logistics services, law enforcement and search and rescue duties when needed.  She was responsible for maintaining all buoys from San Luis Obispo Bay to the Golden Gate and the buoys in northern San Francisco Bay, San Pablo Bay and Suisun.  She shared in logistics support with CGC Magnolia of the Farallon Island Light Station and the San Francisco Lightship.  On 14 August 1955 she assisted the M/V Tancred 80 miles south of San Francisco Bar.  On 2 February 1963 she assisted the USS Coral Sea which was aground in the Alameda Channel.  On 31 July 1965 she assisted passengers overcome by fumes on a P/C two miles off Point Ano Nuevo.

Willow was decommissioned on 10 October 1969 and was stored at the Training Support Center in Alameda.  Her ultimate fate is unknown.


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

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