Poinciana, 1930 (WAGL-266)

March 7, 2021

Poinciana, 1930


Named for a shrub or tree of the tropical and subtropical genus Poinciana of the family Leguminosae.  Poincianas are popular ornamentals for their showy orange or scarlet blossoms.

Builder: Electric Boat Company, Groton, Connecticut

Length: 80' 9"

Beam: 19'

Draft: 3' 8"

Displacement: 120 tons

Cost: $82,743

Launched: 1930

Commissioned: 8 July 1930

Decommissioned: 17 August 1962

Disposition: Sold, 26 November 1963

Machinery: 2 Cummins 4-cylinder, 4-cycle diesels; twin propellers

Performance: 7.0 knots (max); 6.0 knots (cruise); 875 mile range at 6.0 knots

Deck Gear: 1.5 ton boom capacity with an electric hoist

Complement: 9

Armament: None

Tender History:

The Poinciana was built by the Electric Boat Company of Groton, Connecticut, for the U.S. Lighthouse Service.  She, and her sister-tender Althea, were small, light-draft bay and sound tenders designed for service in the inland waters of the South Atlantic coast.  

She was assigned to the 7th Lighthouse District as a replacement for the wrecked tender Poinsettia.  She was based at Key West, Florida and conducted general aids to navigation duties.  As of 1942 until she was decommissioned she was based out of Miami.  In late October, 1952, she assisted in the hurricane evacuation in Dania, Florida and on 19 November 1953 she salvaged ordnance from a wrecked U.S. Marine Corps aircraft in Biscayne Bay.

She was decommissioned on 17 August 1962 and was sold on 26 November 1963.


Cutter Files, Coast Guard Historian's Office

Douglas Peterson.  U.S. Lighthouse Service Tenders, 1840 - 1939.  Annapolis, Maryland: Eastwind Publishing, 2000.

Robert Scheina.  U.S. Coast Guard Cutters & Craft of World War II.  Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press, 1982.