Columbine, 1931 (WLI-208)

Dec. 7, 2020

Columbine, 1931

WAGL / WLI-208

Columbine: a flowering herb of the genus Aquilegia, having variously colored flowers with five conspicuously spurred petals.

Builder: Moore Dry Dock Company, Oakland, California

Length: 121' 4"

Beam: 25'

Draft: 6' 9"

Displacement: 400 tons

Cost: $179,434

Commissioned: 21 October 1931

Decommissioned: 8 October 1965

Disposition: Sold on 29 June 1967

Machinery: 1 electric motor driven by 2 General Electric generators driven by 2 Winton diesel engines; 240 SHP; single propeller

Performance & Endurance:

        Max: 9.0 knots
        Cruising: 8.0 knots; 1,600 mile range

Deck Gear: 10-ton boom; electric winch (1965); originally used a lifting gear

Complement: 16 (1936)

Armament: None

Electronics: SPN-11 detection radar (1965)

Class History:

The United States Lighthouse Service Tender Columbine was one of three tenders of the Linden-Class launched by the Lighthouse Service in the early 1930s.  The other two were the Linden and the Wistaria.  They were designed as bay and sound tenders and were constructed of steel with a large open deck and hold space forward and a wood and steel superstructure.  They were the first tenders built with diesel-electric drive.  They were well designed and constructed and had a long service career with both the Lighthouse Service and the Coast Guard.  A report issued by the Coast Guard in 1962 noted that the Columbine "was designed for operation in inside waters, the last inclination experiment conducted on this vessel on 22 June 1948 . . . states . . . that the vessel . . . would have satisfactory stability under all normal operating conditions as a buoy tender on coastwise waters."

Tender History:

The Columbine entered service on 21 October 1931 and was assigned to the 18th Lighthouse District out of San Francisco.  She remained based in San Francisco throughout her career, including servicing aids to navigation out of San Francisco Bay during World War II.

She was decommissioned on 8 October 1965 and was sold on 29 June 1967.


Douglas Peterson.  United States Lighthouse Service Tenders, 1840-1939. Annapolis: Eastwind Publishing, 2000.

Robert Scheina.  U.S. Coast Guard Cutters & Craft of World War II. Annapolis: Eastwind Publishing, 1982.

Robert Scheina.  U.S. Coast Guard Cutters & Craft, 1946-1990. Annapolis: Eastwind Publishing, 1990.