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SEQUOIA, Past and Present

A black and white photo of the Sequoia underway, when she was a lighthouse tender out of San Francisco.

Sequoia WAGL-243

    The SEQUOIA, a lighthouse tender completed in 1908 at Camden, N.J., operated out of San Francisco for her entire career.  At the entry of the United States into World War I, the entire Lighthouse Service was incorporated into the Navy for the duration of hostilities.  SEQUOIA continued her west coast service under Navy control through the end of the war.  SEQUOIA was returned, with the entire Lighthouse Service, to the custody of the Department of Commerce on 1 July, 1919.

    SEQUOIA was one of eight “Manzanita” class tenders constructed for the Lighthouse Service.  They were designed by the Navy Department and incorporated numerous innovations as compared with previous designs.  “They were constructed of steel and completed as coal burners and were the first of their kind ever constructed.  They were built with vertical sides, which provided a flat surface on which buoy pads could be attached.  Also, the vertical flat sides reduced the tendency of a buoy to slide beneath the hull when the tender was maneuvering alongside.  The deck edge on the forecastle was rounded in order to prevent the buoy cage or lantern from catching.  Steel replaced wood for the booms, and wire rope replaced manila.  The boom was somewhat longer than what might be expected to permit a special rigging for the transfer of supplies to lighthouses on inaccessible rocks and cliffs.  Water capacity was significantly increased, with separate tanks for lighthouse replenishment. These ships had fine lines as opposed to their predecessors, making them faster and more maneuverable.  They heeled sharply, however, when lifting buoys.

SEQUOIA WAGL-243

Builder: New York Shipbuilding Company, Camden, New Jersey
Commissioned: 13 August 1908
Decommissioned: 1 July 1946; transferred to Philippines, October, 1946.
Length: 190’
Beam: 30’
Draft: 13’ 3”
Propulsion: 2 triple expansion inverted direct acting steam engines fired by 2 Scotch-type boilers producing 1,100 SHP.
Speed: 12.0 knots maximum (1908); 13.5 knots maximum (1945)
Complement: 5 officers, 23 crewmen
Armament: 1 x 3”/50; 2 x 20mm/80; 2 depth charge tracks (1945)

 

CGC Sequoia hard at work managing Aids to Navigation

Sequoia WLB-215

 United States Coast Guard Cutter SEQUOIA (WLB-215) is a 225’ ocean going buoy tender. SEQUOIA is the 15th of 16 new 225’ cutters being built.  Sequoia was launched at the Marinette Marine Corporation Shipyard in Marinette, Wis. on Aug. 23, 2003.  The Coast Guard took delivery of SEQUOIA on April 21, 2004.  Her commissioning crew then began their over 13,000 mile trip back to their homeport of Apra Harbor, Guam.

SEQUOIA WLB-215

Builder: Marinette Marine Corporation Shipyard in Marinette, Wis.
Launched: 23 August, 2003
Delivery: 21 April 2004
Length: 225’
Beam: 46’
Draft: 13’
Propulsion: Two 3100 HP Caterpillar diesels
Speed: 15 knots at full load displacement
Range: 6,000 miles at 12 knots
Armament: Two .50 caliber machine gun

 

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Last Modified 7/24/2008