Spruce, 1947 (WAK-246)

Nov. 23, 2021

Spruce, 1947


Any of various coniferous evergreen trees of the genus Picea, having needlelike foliage, drooping cones, and soft wood often used for paper pulp.

Builder: Higgins Industries, Inc.

Length: 176' 1"

Beam: 32'

Draft: 10'

Displacement: 935 tons

Cost: $

Commissioned: 31 January 1945 (Army); 

Decommissioned: 6 January 1950

Disposition: Turned over to the Coast & Geodetic Survey

Machinery: 2 General Motors diesel engines; 1,000 SHP; twin propellers

Performance & Endurance:

        Max: 13.7 knots; 4,000-mile range

Deck Gear: 1 x 15-ton capacity boom; 2 x 5-ton capacity booms

Cargo Capacity: 300 tons

Complement: 30 (1945); 36 (1947)

Armament: 1 x 40mm/60 (1945); none (1947)

Electronics: SO-4 radar

Radio Call Sign: NRWH

Tender History:  

The second tender named Spruce has often been confused with the first tender of that name.  The first Spruce was a former Army mine planter that was decommissioned in 1946 and was sold in 1947.  The second Spruce was a former Army FS vessel acquired by the Coast Guard in 1947 and designated WAK-246, which was given the same hull number as the first Spruce but a different designation, reflecting her purpose of delivering construction and logistic supplies to the expanding Pacific LORAN chain.  The USS FS-222 had served with a Coast Guard crew during the war.

The ex-FS-222 was turned over from the Army to the Coast Guard on 18 January 1946.  She was commissioned as Spruce (WAK-246) and was assigned the home port of Honolulu.  Due to a lack of personnel, she was ordered to steam to Seattle in 1947, where she was place "out of commission, in reserve."  She was formally decommissioned on 6 January 1948 and was placed in storage at the Coast Guard Moorings at Kennydale, Washington.  She was turned over to the Coast & Geodetic Survey on 17 May 1950.


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, 1946-1990.  Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 1990.