Oak, 1921 (WAGL-239)

March 6, 2021

Oak, 1921


Any of various deciduous or evergreen trees or shrubs of the genus Quercus, bearing acorns as fruit.

Builder: Consolidated Shipbuilding Corporation, Morris Heights, New York

Length: 160'

Beam: 30'

Draft: 10' 6"

Displacement: 950 tons (1945)

Cost: $378,510

Commissioned: 28 December 1921

Decommissioned: 6 November 1964

Disposition: Donated to the Smithsonian Institution

Machinery: 1 triple-expansion steam engine; 1 200 psi Scotch boiler; 700 SHP; single propeller

Performance & Endurance:

        Max: 8.0 knots (1921); 9.0 knots (1945)
       Cruising:  8.0 knots; 1,750 mile range (1945)

Deck Gear: 20-ton capacity boom; steam-powered hoist

Complement: 27

Armament: None

Electronics: BK radar (1943); SO-8 radar (1945)

Tender History:

The Oak was one of two Oak-Class 160-foot bay and sound tenders built for the U.S. Lighthouse Service by the Consolidated Shipbuilding Company of Morris Heights, New York, the other being USLHT HawthorneOak was launched on 18 June 1921 and was commissioned on 28 December 1921.  She was assigned to the 3rd Lighthouse District and was based out of St. George, Staten Island, where she tended aids to navigation.  She was converted from coal to oil-fired boilers in 1934.

She was placed "in commission in reserve" due to a lack of personnel soon after the end of World War II.  She was returned to full commission on 19 August 1949.  On 17 March 1955 she searched for the sunken tug Justine McAllister in Lower Bay, New York harbor.

She was decommissioned on 6 November 1964 and was transferred to the Smithsonian Institution on 3 March 1967.  The Smithsonian removed her boilers and steam engine for display in the Museum of American History on the Mall in Washington, D.C. in 1978.

A photo of the tender Oak, 1921

"TENDER OAK -- 3rd Dist."  Photo enclosed with Consolidated Shipbuilding Corporation letter of Nov. 15th 1921; Photo No. 7440-F; photographer unknown.


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.