USCGC Spar (WLB-403)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

USCGC Spar (WLB-403)
United States
Builder: Marine Ironworks and Shipbuilding Corporation, Duluth, Minnesota[1]
Cost: $865,941[2]
Laid down: 13 September 1943[1]
Launched: 2 November 1943[1]
Commissioned: 12 June 1944[1]
Decommissioned: 28 February 1997[3]
Fate: Scuttled
General characteristics
Class and type: Iris
Displacement: 1,025 long tons (1,041 t)
Length: 180 ft (55 m)
Beam: 37 ft (11 m)
Propulsion: 2 × General Motors EMD 645 V8 diesel engines
Speed: 1945: 13 knots (24 km/h; 15 mph)[1]
Range: 1945: 8,000 nmi (15,000 km; 9,200 mi) at 13 knots (24 km/h; 15 mph)[1]
Complement: 55 enlisted and 7 officers

USCGC Spar (WLB-403) was a 180-foot (55 m) sea going buoy tender. An Iris class vessel, she was built by Marine Ironworks and Shipbuilding Corporation in Duluth, Minnesota. Spar's preliminary design was completed by the United States Lighthouse Service and the final design was produced by Marine Iron and Shipbuilding. On 13 September 1943 the keel was laid, she was launched on 2 November 1943 and commissioned on 12 June 1944. The original cost for the hull and machinery was $865,941.[1]

Spar was one of 39 original 180-foot (55 m) seagoing buoy tenders built between 1942-1944. All of the seagoing buoy tenders were built in Duluth except USCGC Ironwood (WLB-307).[4]

Spar's most notable accomplishment was a mission to be the first vessels to circumnavigate North America along with sister ship USCGC Bramble (WLB-392) and the larger USCGC Storis (WMEC-38) from 18 May to 24 September 1957.[4][5][Note 1]

Spar was decommissioned in 1997 and sold at auction. After changing hands several times, she ended up being transferred to the Northeastern Maritime Historical Foundation, who evaluated her and determined their best use of the ship was to sell her, or parts of her, to raise money to support their other projects. Spar's main engines, generators, and other equipment were removed and sold to re-power another vessel. The remains of the vessel were scuttled in October 2004 in 108 feet of water, 30 miles (48 km) off Morehead City, North Carolina, where she now serves as an artificial reef.[citation needed]


  1. ^ In 1966, nine years after the northwest passage mission, Spar was assigned a mission along the Norwegian coast that served two purposes; oceanographic survey, and a survey of the ocean bottom trenches so that U.S. Navy submarines could travel and not be detected by the USSR.[6]
  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Scheina 1982, p. 92.
  2. ^ Scheina 1982, p. 93.
  3. ^ "Spar, 1944", Cutters, Craft & U.S. Coast Guard-Manned Army & Navy Vessels, US Coast Guard Historians Office
  4. ^ a b "U.S. Coast Guard 180-Foot Buoy Tenders", Historic American Engineering Record (HAER) DC-57, National Park Service
  5. ^ Scheina 1990, p. 147.
  6. ^ First Coast Guard District Operational Order 8-66
References cited
  • First Coast Guard District Operational Order 8-66
  • "Spar, 1944". Cutters, Craft & U.S. Coast Guard-Manned Army & Navy Vessels. US Coast Guard Historians Office. Retrieved 2013-06-15.
  • "U.S. Coast Guard 180-Foot Buoy Tenders" (pdf). Historic American Engineering Record (HAER) DC-57. National Park Service.
  • Scheina, Robert L. (1982). U.S. Coast Guard Cutters & Craft of World War II. Annapolis: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 978-0-87021-717-3.
  • Scheina, Robert L. (1990). U.S. Coast Guard Cutters & Craft, 1946–1990. Annapolis: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 978-0-87021-719-7.

External links[edit]