U.S. Coast Guard Lightships

& Those of the U.S. Lighthouse Service


 

VESSEL DESIGNATION: WLV 604


YEAR BUILT: 1950

BUILT AT: East Boothbay (ME)

APPROPRIATION: ?

BUILDER: Rice Brothers

CONTRACT PRICE: $500,000

SISTER VESSELS: WLV 605

DESIGN: Diesel propelled; steel hull and deckhouses; breakwater on foredeck; 2 masts; stack amidships

LENGTH: 128'0" (loa); BEAM: 30'0"; DRAFT: ll'0"; TONNAGE: 617 displ ("light")

PROPULSION: Diesel - one Atlas Imperial 8 cyl, direct reversing engine; 550 SHP ~ 750rpm; 7'dia propeller; max speed 10.7 knots

ILLUMINATING APPARATUS: Duplex 500mm electric lens lantern on foremast only; 15,000cp each light

FOG SIGNAL: Twin F2T diaphones aft of pilot house; hand operated bell


CONSTRUCTION NOTES - MODIFICATIONS - EQUIPMENT CHANGES & IMPROVEMENTS:
-
Commissioned Dec 19, 1950; delivered Seattle Mar 1951-
-Same general plan as for WLV 189; all welded construction with transverse bulkheads carried to weather deck level; hawsepipes carried to weather deck before leading to chain locker; alternating current electrical system throughout-
-Later added to mainmast was a high intensity light using 24 locomotive headlights mounted in groups of 6 on each face of a 4Ńsided revolving lamp housing; originally designated WAL 604, changed to WLV 1965-
-1964: USCG lists vessel with CG high intensity optic on foremast, 600,OOOcp; radome on main; other characteristics as shown above-
Radio and visual call sign NEWP (1950-1979)

STATION ASSIGNMENTS:
1951-1979: Columbia River (OR)


HISTORICAL NOTES:
-
1951/52: Took aboard man and daughter lost in fog while fishing: later taken ashore by USCG utility boat-
-1962: Took aboard crew of sinking USCG 36 foot motor lifeboat; later taken ashore by utility boat-
-1962/63: Blown off station during severe storm on Columbus Day-
-1963/64: Sideswiped by unknown vessel; withdrawn for repair of collision damage

RETIRED FROM LIGHTSHIP DUTY: 1979; AGE: 29; LAST LIGHTSHIP TO SERVE ON THE WEST COAST.

SUBSEQUENT DISPOSITION: Decommissioned Dec 13, 1979; sold 1980 to Columbia River Maritime Museum Astoria OR, replacing former LV 88. Afloat and open to public. Last lightship to serve on the West Coast.


COMMANDING OFFICERS: WLV 604

1949-1951: Lt George E Tardiff, CO      

(?) Joe McCarthy (?), CO

1951: CWO John 0 Woodworth, CO
1951-1952: CWO Francis E Barnett, CO
1952: WO Perry H. Christensen, OIC
1952-1954: CWO Roland E Miller, CO
1963-1965: CWO E S Slater, CO
1965-1966: CWO Joseph R Rowland, CO
1966-1967: (?) CWO Joseph H McCarthy, CO
1967-?: CWO Leonard S Flood, CO

1977-1978: CWO John S. Tolejko, CO
1978-1979: CWO Harold Moorehead, CO
1978-1979: BMC Willis J Blakely, Exec
1979: BMC Willis J Blakely, OIC


Images:

WLV 604 on station in 1972 courtesy of Richard L. Davis Chief Red Hawk

Not an official U.S. Coast Guard photograph.

Coast Guard veteran Richard L. Davis (who is also Chief Red Hawk of the Latgawa Indian Tribe) donated this image of WLV-604 on station in April, 1973.  He noted: "This was my first duty station in 1972. (My last duty station was at Air Station Miami at the end of the 1980 Mariel Boatlift). . .This particular photo was taken from the stern of a Cape Disappointment 44 MLB as I was being taken into shore for my 2 weeks off after being on station for 6 weeks.  It was during these crew transfers that I learned (and trained) with the boat crews from Cape D about calm and heavy surf rescue.  This experience helped tremendously throughout my career and especially as a SAR aircrewman."  Click here for a high resolution pdf copy of this image.


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Last Modified 4/5/2012