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"
Draft: 15' 6"
Displacement: 1,246 tons
Commissioned: 23 March 1907
Decommissioned: 10 January 1946
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)
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.