Tulip, 1908

Sept. 11, 2020

Tulip, 1908

WAGL 249

Any of several bulbous plants of the genus Tulipa, native to Asia, cultivated for their showy, variously colored flowers.

Builder: New York Shipbuilding Company, Camden, New Jersey

Length: 190'

Beam: 30'

Draft: 13' 3"

Displacement: 1,081

Cost: $191,658.26

Launched: 16 April 1908

Commissioned: 14 July 1908

Decommissioned: 1 December 1945

Disposition: Transferred to the Philippines in July, 1947

Machinery:  2 triple-expansion inverted direct-acting steam engines; 2 Scotch-type boilers; coal-fired with 2 propellers; 1,100 SHP

Performance & Endurance:
        Max: 12.0 knots (1908); 13.5 (1945)
        Cruising: 10.0 knots

Range: 2,550 mile range @ 10 knots (1945)

Deck Gear: ?

Complement: 34 (1908); 44 (1945)


Armament: None in 1908.  By 1944: 1 x 3"/23; 2 x 20mm/80; 2 depth charge tracks

Class History:

Tulip was constructed in 1908 at Camden, N. J., for the Lighthouse Service.  She was one of eight Manzanita-class tenders (originally known as the "8" class for the eight tenders built) constructed for the Lighthouse Service.  They were designed by the Navy Department and incorporated numerous innovations as compared with previous designs.  "They were constructed of steel and completed as coal burners and were the first of their kind ever constructed.  They were built with vertical sides, which provided a flat surface on which buoy pads could be attached.  Also, the vertical flat sides reduced the tendency of a buoy to slide beneath the hull when the tender was maneuvering alongside.  The deck edge on the forecastle was rounded in order to prevent the buoy cage or lantern from catching.  Steel replaced wood for the booms, and wire rope replaced manila.  The boom was somewhat longer than what might be expected to permit a special rigging for the transfer of supplies to lighthouses on inaccessible rocks and cliffs.  Water capacity was significantly increased, with separate tanks for lighthouse replenishment.  These ships had fine lines as opposed to their predecessors, making them faster and more maneuverable.  They heeled sharply, however, when lifting buoys." 

In 1932, all tenders in this class had their coal-fired steam plant replaced with an oil-fired plant and new water tube boilers were added as well.

Tender History:

Tulip was a lighthouse tender completed in 1908 at Camden, New Jersey, operated off the east coast for the Lighthouse Service out of St. George, Staten Island, New York, where she served for her entire career.  At the entry of the United States into World War 1, the entire Lighthouse Service was incorporated into the Navy for the duration of hostilities. Tulip continued her east coast service under Navy control through the end of the war. Tulip was returned--with the entire Lighthouse Service--to the custody of the Department of Commerce on 1 July 1919.

During World War II she was assigned to the 3rd Naval District and was stationed at St. George, Staten Island and continued with aids to navigation duties.  She was decommissioned on 1 December 1945 and was turned over to the Philippines.


Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships, Vol. VII, p.  329.

Douglas Peterson, U.S. Lighthouse Service Tenders, 1840-1939 (Annapolis: Eastwind Publishing, 2000), pp. 85-86.

Robert Scheina, U.S. Coast Guard Cutters & Craft of World War II (Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 1981), pp. 140-141.