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USCGC Sycamore: Keeper of the Sound

CGC Sycamore (WLB-209)

Cordova, Alaska


SYCAMORE:  Any of various deciduous trees of the genus Platanus, especially P. occidentalis of eastern North America, having palmately lobed leaves, ball-like, nodding, hairy fruit clusters, and bark that flakes off in large colorful patches.

The 225 foot buoy tender SYCAMORE was built by Marinette Marine Corp. in Marinette, Wisconsin and launched July 28, 2001. It is the second Coast Guard cutter to be named SYCAMORE. SYCAMORE was commissioned in Cordova, Alaska on July 2, 2002 replacing the 180 foot SWEETBRIER which had been stationed in Cordova since 1976.

CGC Sycamore Plaque

The 225 WLB is equipped with a single controllable pitch propeller, a bow and a stern thruster which gives the cutter the maneuverability it needs to tend buoys offshore and in restricted waters. A sophisticated Machinery Plant Control and Monitoring System (MPCMS) and an Electronic Chart Display and Information System enable the cutter to reduce the watch standing complement compared to the 180 cutters. A Dynamic Positioning System (DPS) can hold the vessel within a ten meter circle using the Global Positioning System (GPS) allowing the crew to service and position floating aids to navigation more precisely than before in winds up to thirty knots and eight foot seas.

Launch of CGC Sycamore

Characteristics:

Length:  225 feet

Beam:  46 feet

Draft:  13 feet

Displacement:  2,000 tons

Officers: 7

Enlisted: 42

Speed: 15 kts.

Ice Breaking:  14" at 3 kts


SYCAMORE (WAGL-268) 1941-1977

CGC Forsythia; sister ship to CGC Sycamore (WAGL-268)The first Coast Guard cutter to be commissioned SYCAMORE (WAGL-268) was a 114 foot river tender launched by the Dubuque Boat & Boiler Works in Dubuque, Iowa, on June 16, 1941 and was commissioned on September 9, 1941. Its sister ships were the DOGWOOD (WAGL-259) and the FORSYTIA (WAGL-63) which is pictured below. They were designed to replace the aging stern-wheel steamers such as the COTTONWOOD and WAKEROBIN that were in service on the Mississippi River. The 114-footers were more versatile and less expensive to maintain, the latter being a Coast Guard priority. Their engines were replaced in the 1960s. They were designed to push a work barge that held buoys, other aids to navigation equipment, and a crane. Each was tasked with maintaining aids to navigation but also conducted flood relief, search and rescue, and law enforcement operations as well as pleasure boat safety boardings when needed.

SYCAMORE was assigned to the 9th District and was initially stationed at Dubuque, Iowa where she was responsible for maintaining aids to navigation on the upper Mississippi River with short runs on the Minnesota and St. Croix Rivers. She eventually was stationed in Cincinnati, Ohio, New Richmond, Ohio, Memphis, Tennessee and Sewickley, Pennsylvania. During her Coast Guard career, SYCAMORE was awarded two Coast Guard Unit Commendation Ribbons. She was decommissioned on June 30,1977. For more detailed information, see the USCG Historian's Website.

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Last Modified 4/18/2013