Shawnee, 1922

Oct. 30, 2020

Shawnee, 1922

WAT 54

A Native American people formerly inhabiting parts of the Cumberland and central Ohio valleys, with present-day populations in Oklahoma. The Shawnee figured prominently in the resistance to white settlement of the Ohio Valley in the late 18th and early 19th centuries.

Builder: Union Construction, Oakland, California

Commissioned: 8 March 1922

Decommissioned: 21 November 1946

Cost: $355,000

Length: 158' 3"

Beam: 30'

Draft: 13' 10"

Displacement: 900 tons

Propulsion: Triple-expansion steam engine; 1,400 HP


     Max: 12.0 knots (1945)
     Economic: 8.0 knots; 4,300 mile range (1938) 
                         6.5 knots; 3,500 mile range (1945)

Complement: 52 (1922)
                        68 (1945)

Armament: 2 x 1-pounders (as launched)
                    2 x 3"/50; 2 depth charge tracks
                    2 x 20mm/80; 4 x "K" guns (1945)

Electronics: SF-1 radar; QCJ-3 sonar (1945)

Radio Call Sign: NRFS


Shawnee was a composite-construction tug that was built by the Union Construction Company in Oakland California.  She was launched at 11:30 a.m. on 15 November 1921 and christened by her sponsor, a "Mrs. Dunham."  Shawnee was accepted by the Coast Guard and commissioned on 8 March 1922.  As completed, she had a tall, slender stack, a heavy mainmast, and a lighter foremast forward of the bridge structure.

She was stationed at San Francisco, California, with cruising grounds from Cape Blanco, Oregon down to the Mexican border.  She carried out search and rescue, towing, customs boardings, transportation of officials, and law enforcement duties as needed.  She transferred to Eureka, California after 1935.  She underwent conversion and repair in the summer of 1942 which included the addition of new armament that included two 20mm/80, single-barreled anti-aircraft cannons and four "single thrower projectors" had her depth charge tracks removed.  She also had a permanent degaussing system installed.  She remained based out of Eureka through the end of World War II.

She was decommissioned on 21 November 1946 and sold a year later to the Oakland Manufacturing Company.


Donald Canney.  U.S. Coast Guard and Revenue Cutters, 1790-1935.  Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 1995.

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

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

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

U.S. Coast Guard.  Record of Movements: Vessels of the United States Coast Guard: 1790 - December 31, 1933.  Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1934; 1989 (reprint).