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"
Draft: 3' 8"
Displacement: 120 tons
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
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.