Mangrove, 1897 (WAGL-232)

Feb. 10, 2021

Mangrove, 1897


A tropical evergreen tree or shrub of the genus Rhizophora, having stilt-like roots and stems and forming dense thickets along tidal shores.

Builder: Crescent Shipyard, Elizabethport, New Jersey

Length: 164'

Beam: 30'

Draft: 8' 6"

Displacement: 821 tons

Cost: $74,997.63

Commissioned: 1 December 1897

Decommissioned: 22 August 1946

Disposition: Sold

Machinery: 2 compound inverted reciprocating steam engines; 2 coal-fired Page & Burton watertube boilers; 650 SHP; 2 propellers.

Performance & Endurance:

        Max: 10.0 knots; 821 mile range

Deck Gear: Hydraulic hoisting winch

Complement: 31 (1897); 40 (1945)

Armament: None when launched; 2 x 20mm/80 (1945)

Electronics: SO-1 radar (1945)

Tender History:

The Mangrove was a steel-hulled vessel built as a cargo tender.  She was initially assigned to the 7th Lighthouse District and was based out of Key West.  She was sent to Havana after the explosion of the battleship USS Maine to return the wounded survivors to the United States.  The Naval Court of Inquiry took testimony in her wardroom in March of that year and she then transported the battleship's guns that had been salvaged off the battleship's wreck as well as U.S. civilians departing Cuba after the start of the Spanish-American War.  On 10 April 1898 she was taken into naval service and she saw early action, having a brush with a small Spanish gunboat at Caibarien, Cuba on 14 August 1898.  She was cited by the Navy Department for "Conspicuous Service."  She was returned to the Lighthouse Service on 18 August 1898 and continued serving in the 7th District.

She assisted the Revenue Cutter Forward in October 1909 after the cutter was stranded by a hurricane.  She was again acquired by the Navy when the entire Lighthouse Service was transferred to the control of the Navy Department on 11 April 1917.  After serving as a patrol boat throughout World War I, she was returned to the Lighthouse Service 1 July 1919.  In 1922 she was assigned to the 6th Lighthouse District and was based out of Charleston, South Carolina, where she operated out of for the rest of her government career.

Executive Order 8929 of 1 November 1941 transferred the entire Coast Guard to the Navy.  Mangrove continued naval service as a buoy tender until 1 January 1946, when she was returned to the Treasury Department.  Her service during World War II was uneventful except for grounding on 8 July 1943 without serious damage.  She decommissioned shortly after the end of hostilities and was sold for scrap in March 1947.

USLHT Mangrove

Halftone photograph that was taken during the Spanish-American War, circa 1898, which was published in the book War in Cuba.

Naval Historical Center photograph #NH85646; courtesy of Alfred Cellier.

USS Maine Court of Inquiry aboard the USLHT Mangrove

Members of the Navy Court of Inquiry examining Ensign Wilfrid V. Powelson, on board the U.S. Lighthouse Tender Mangrove, in Havana Harbor, Cuba, circa March, 1898.  Those seated around the table include (from left to right): Captain French E. Chadwick, Captain William T. Sampson, Lieutenant Commander William P. Potter, Ensign W. V. Powelson, Lieutenant Commander Adolph Marix.  Photo copied from Uncle Sam's Navy, 12 April 1898.

Courtesy of the Naval Historical Center, #NH46764. 


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

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

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.