Hemlock, 1934 (WAGL-217)

Jan. 26, 2021

Hemlock, 1934

An evergreen tree of the genus Tsuga of North America and eastern Asia, with short, flat needles and small cones.

Builder: Berg Shipbuilding Company, Seattle, Washington

Length: 174' 6"

Beam: 32'

Draft: 13' 3"

Displacement: 1,005 tons

Cost: $228,480.60 (contract price); $238, 542.00 (actual)

Commissioned: 1934

Decommissioned: 17 June 1958

Disposition: Sold

Machinery: 2 triple-expansion steam engines; 2 Foster-Wheeler watertube boilers; twin propellers; 1,000 BHP

Performance & Endurance:

        Max: 12.3 knots
       Cruising: 10.0 knots; 2,400 mile range

Deck Gear: 

Complement: 47

Armament: None

Electronics: SO-8 radar (1945); Sperry Mk-3 radar (1957)

Tender History:

The Hemlock was a coastwise tender built for operations in Alaskan waters.  She was constructed entirely of steel and was given a double bottom and a larger fuel and fresh water capacity than were normally found on coastwise tenders.

She was commissioned as a Lighthouse tender in 1934 and was assigned to the 16th Lighthouse District and operated our of Ketchikan, Alaska, replacing the old tender Fern.  Here she serviced aids to navigation in Alaskan waters.

During World War II she was assigned to the 13th and 17th Naval Districts and was stationed at Ketchikan.  Here she carried out SAR and serviced aids to navigation duties during the war.  In January 1942 she helped refloat the ATS David W. Branch and in December of that same year she towed the damaged ATS Texado to safety.  In October 1943 she helped salvage the SS Prince Rupert.  In January 1944 she assisted in the salvage of the SS William L. Thompson and in September of that year she refloated the SS F. W. S. Brandt.

After the war she remained in service in the 17th District and was based out of Ketchikan.  She was decommissioned on 17 June 1958 and was sold on 2 August 1961.


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

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, MD: Naval Institute Press, 1982.

Robert Scheina.  U.S. Coast Guard Cutters & Craft, 1946-1990.  Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 1990.