Tamarack, 1934

Sept. 3, 2020

Tamarack, 1934

WAGL / WLI-248


A deciduous North American larch tree, Larix laricina, having short needles borne on spur shoots.

Builder: Manitowoc Shipbuilding Company, Manitowoc, Wisconsin

Length: 124' 4"

Beam: 30' 3"

Draft: 7' 6"

Displacement: 400 tons

Cost: $233.917

Commissioned: November, 1934 

Decommissioned: 27 October 1970

Disposition: Sold

Machinery: 1 Winton diesel engine; 520 SHP; 1 propeller

Deck Gear: Electric hoist; 10-ton capacity, steel derrick boom

Performance & Endurance:
        Max: 10 knots; 5790 mile range
        Cruising: 8.0 knots; 8,000 mile range

Complement: 17 (1939); 20 (1966)

Armament: None

Electronics: SO-1 radar (1944); CR-103 radar (1966)


The Tamarack was built as a bay and sound tender by the Manitowoc Shipbuilding Company in Manitowoc, Wisconsin for the U.S. Lighthouse Service.  The contract was let on 11 December 1933 and she was launched on 21 August 1934.  After fitting out and undergoing trials, she was accepted by the Lighthouse Service and was commissioned in November, 1934.  She was assigned to the 11th Lighthouse District and initially served out of Sault Ste. Marie and then transferred to Detroit.  She tended aids to navigation and served as an icebreaker when needed.  She transferred to the control of the Navy Department during World War II and in mid-1942 she was converted for use as a submarine rescue vessel and a training ship for submarines.  She was transferred to Manitowoc as of 3 December 1942 where she served during the remainder of World War II.    

A request to convert her back to her original status as a buoy tender was put forth on 11 August 1945 she was converted back to her use solely as a tender.  She was transferred to Detroit, Michigan on 27 January 1946, where she served out of until 28 February 1947.  She then transferred to Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, where she served out of until her decommissioning.  Here she was assigned to tend 89 lighted buoys, 101 unlighted buoys, 5 lighthouses, 1 day-beacon and 90 winter markers.  She was also responsible for search and rescue duties when necessary.  In October, 1960, she assisted the M/V John Sherwin near Round Island.  On 6 May 1961 she assisted the British M/V Crystal Jewel in Whitefish Bay.  

The Tamarack was decommissioned on 27 October 1970 and was sold on 2 August 1971.

Commanding Officers / Dates of Service (if known):

LTJG P. V. Stephenson, ?
LCDR C. M. Fredersen, ?-1945
LCDR T. F. Sullivan, 1945
LT E. R. Nelson, USCGR, 1945-1946
LT L. J. Autterson, 1946-?
BOSN J. Etienne, ?
CHBOSN L. J. Autterson, 1947-?
BOSN A. H. Evensen, ?

BOSN Henry E. Ask, Jr., 1953
BOSN Thomas C. Pennock, 1953
CHBOSN Henry V. Devereaux, 1953
CHBOSN Martin J. Trieschamann, 1953-1955
CHBOSN Lawrence J. Autterson, 1955-1956
CHBOSN Henry E. Ask, Jr., 1956-1963
CHBOSN James R. Comeford, 1963-1966
CHBOSN E. E. Godlewski, 1966-1968
CHBOSN Chester Barrett, 1968-



USLHT Tamarack, circa 1934.


USCGC Tamarack, no date.


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

Douglas Peterson.  United States Lighthouse Service Tenders, 1840-1939.  Annapolis, MD: 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.