Sequoia, 1908

Oct. 30, 2020

Sequoia, 1908


Any extremely large evergreen tree of the genus Sequoia, which includes the redwood and the giant sequoia.

 Builder:  New York Shipbuilding Company, Camden, New Jersey

Commissioned:  13 August 1908

Decommissioned:  1 July 1946; transferred to Philippines, October, 1946.

Length:  190'

Beam:  30'

Draft:  13' 3"

Propulsion:  2 triple expansion inverted direct acting steam engines fired by 2 Scotch-type boilers producing 1,100 SHP.

Speed:  12.0 knots maximum (1908)
               13.5 knots maximum (1945)

Complement:  5 officers, 23 crewmen (1909)  

Armament:  1 x 3"/50; 2 x 20mm/80; 2 depth charge tracks (1945)

Class History:

Manzanita 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."  [Scheina, p. 140.]  

In the late-1920's and early 1930's, 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.

LighthouseTender History:

Sequoia--a lighthouse tender completed in 1908 at Camden, New Jersey, operated out of San Francisco for her entire career.  At the entry of the United States into World War I, the entire Lighthouse Service was incorporated into the Navy for the duration of hostilities. The Sequoia continued her west coast service under Navy control through the end of the war. She was returned--with the entire Lighthouse Service--to the custody of the Department of Commerce on 1 July 1919.


A photo of the Lighthouse Tender Sequoia, no date

No caption/date/photo number; photographer unknown.


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.