Sunflower, 1907 (WAGL-247)

Nov. 23, 2021

Sunflower, 1907


Any of several plants of the genus Helianthus, especially H. annuus, having tall coarse stems and large, yellow-rayed flower heads that produce edible seeds rich in oil.

Builder: ?; Wilmington, Delaware

Length: 173' 7"

Beam: 32'

Draft: 15' 6"

Displacement: 1,246 tons

Cost: $124,958.32

Commissioned: 23 March 1907

Decommissioned: 10 January 1946

Disposition: Sold

Machinery: 2 triple expansion steam engines; 2 Babcock & Wilcox Scotch-type coal-fired watertube boilers; 900 SHP; twin propellers

Deck Gear: steam-powered winch

Performance & Endurance:

        Max: 12.0 knots
        Cruising: 7.0 knots; 2,000 mile range

Complement: 29 (1907); 32 (1944)

Armament: None (1907); 1 x 20mm/80; 2 depth charge tracks

Electronics: Kolster radio-compass (as of 1931); WEA-2a echo-ranging equipment (as of 1944)

Tender History:

The Sunflower was built as a coastwise tender and was the first to use wire rope instead of manila line.  She was commissioned on 23 March 1907 and was assigned to the 4th Lighthouse District and was based out of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  In January, 1913, she was transferred to the 8th Lighthouse District where she was based out of New Orleans, Louisiana.

In the summer of 1931 she was converted from coal to oil burning.  She was operating out of Galveston, Texas at the start of World War II.

On 30 Novmeber 1945 she was ordered to steam to the Coast Guard Yard at Curtis Bay, Maryland, in preparation to being decommissioned.  She was formally decommissioned on 10 January 1946 and sold on 19 February 1947.


Douglas Peterson.  United States Lighthouse Service Tenders, 1840-1939. Annapolis: Eastwind Publishing, 2000.