WAGL / WLR-259
A tree, Cornus florida, of eastern North America, bearing small greenish flowers surrounded by petal-like white or prink bracts.
Builder: Dubuque Boat & Boiler Works, Dubuque, Iowa
Length: 113' 9"
Draft: 5' 6"
Displacement: 280 tons
Commissioned: 17 September 1941
Decommissioned: 11 August 1989
Machinery: 2 General Motors diesel engines; 800 BHP; twin propellers
Performance & Endurance:
Max: 11.0 knots; 1,325 mile range
Cruising: 8.0 knots; 1,766 mile range
Deck Gear: Boom; electrically powered winch
Complement: 1 warrant, 19 enlisted
Armament: Small arms
Electronics: None (1964)
The United States tender Dogwood was one of three 114-foot river tenders built for the Coast Guard that were launched in 1941 and 1942: Dogwood (WAGL-259) , Forsythia (WAGL-63), and Sycamore (WAGL-268). They were designed to replace the aging stern-wheel steamers such as the Cottonwood and Wakerobin that were in service on the Mississippi River. The 114-footers were designed to be more versatile and less expensive to maintain, the latter being a Coast Guard priority. Their engines were replaced in the 1960s. They were designed to push a work barge that held buoys, other aids to navigation equipment, and a crane. Each was tasked with maintaining aids to navigation but also conducted flood relief, search and rescue, and law enforcement operations as well as pleasure boat safety boardings when needed.
The Dogwood was assigned to the 9th Coast Guard District and was initially stationed at Paducah, Kentucky until 1944. She was tasked with maintaining aids to navigation but also conducted flood relief, search and rescue, and law enforcement operations as well as pleasure boat safety boardings when needed. She transferred to Memphis, Tennessee in 1944 and remained based there until March of 1945. Then she served out of Vicksburg, Mississippi from March, 1945 until 1977.
She tended river aids to navigation for 400 miles on the lower-Mississippi River, from Cairo, Illinois to Mile 400. During March and April of 1945, she evacuated 400 head of cattle from the danger of flooding posed by high water below Angola, Louisiana. In February 1961 she helped train officials from South Vietnam. In January 1963 she escorted the NASA barge Promise. In July of 1963 she escorted the NASA barge Palaemon on the lower Mississippi River to Baton Rouge, Louisiana. In August of 1963 she escorted the Promise again. In September of 1965 she assisted in the cleanup operations in the Gulf of Mexico in the aftermath of hurricane Betsy.
Dogwood transferred to Pine Bluff, Arkansas in 1977 and remained based there until she was decommissioned on 11 August 1989. She was stored at the Army Corps of Engineers' Yard in Memphis.
Cutter History File. USCG Historian's Office, USCG HQ, Washington, D.C.
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.