USLHT Mangrove

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USLHT Mangrove in 1898
Mangrove in 1898 during the Spanish-American War.
United States Lighthouse BoardUnited States Lighthouse Board
Name: USLHT Mangrove
Namesake: Mangrove, a shrub or small tree that grows in coastal saline or brackish water
Builder: Crescent Shipyard, ElizabethportNew Jersey
Cost: $74,997.63
Completed: 1897
Commissioned: 1 December 1897
Fate: Transferred to U.S. Navy 10 April 1898
Acquired: 18 August 1898 (from U.S. Navy)
Fate: Transferred to U.S. Lighthouse Service 1910
 United States Navy
Name: USS Mangrove
Namesake: Previous name retained
Acquired: 10 April 1898 (from U.S. Lighthouse Board)
Fate: Transferred to U.S. Lighthouse Board 18 August 1898
Acquired: 11 April 1917 (from U.S. Lighthouse Service)
Fate: Transferred to U.S. Lighthouse Service 1 July 1919
Acquired: 1 November 1941 (from U.S. Coast Guard)
Fate: Transferred to U.S. Coast Guard 1 January 1946
United States Lighthouse ServiceUnited States Lighthouse Service
Name: USLHT Armeria
Namesake: Previous name retained
Acquired: 1910 (from U.S. Lighthouse Board)
Fate: Transferred to U.S. Navy 11 April 1917
Acquired: 1 July 1919 (from U.S. Navy)
Fate: Transferred to U.S. Coast Guard 1 July 1939
United States Coast GuardUnited States Coast Guard
Name: USCGC Mangrove (WAGL-232)
Namesake: Previous name retained
Acquired: 1 July 1939 (from U.S. Lighthouse Service)
Reclassified: WAGL-232
Fate: Transferred to U.S. Navy 1 November 1941
Acquired: 1 January 1946 (from U.S. Navy)
Decommissioned: 22 August 1946
Fate: Sold for scrapping 6 May 1947
General characteristics
Type: Lighthouse tender
Length: 164 ft (50.0 m) (overall)
Beam: 30 ft (9.1 m)
  • 1897: 8 ft 6 in (2.6 m)
  • 1919: 12 ft (3.7 m)
Speed: 10 knots
  • 1897: 31
  • 1919: 29
  • 1945: 40
  • 1898: 2 x quick-firing guns (during U.S. Navy service)
  • 1945: 2 x 20 mm mounts (during U.S. Navy service)

USLHT Mangrove was a lighthouse tender in commission in the fleet of the United States Lighthouse Board from December 1897 to April 1898 and from August 1898 to 1910, in the United States Lighthouse Service from 1910 to 1917 and from 1919 to 1939, and in the United States Coast Guard (as USCGC Mangrove) from 1939 to 1941 and in 1946. She also saw commissioned service in the United States Navy as USS Mangrove as a supply ship from April to August 1898 during the Spanish-American War, as a patrol vessel from 1917 to 1919 during and in the aftermath of World War I, and as a buoy tender from 1941 to 1946 during and in the aftermath of World War II.

Construction and commissioning[edit]

Mangrove was constructed by Crescent Shipyard in Elizabethport, New Jersey, for the United States Lighthouse Board and was completed in 1897.[1] She was commissioned into service in the Lighthouse Board′s fleet as USLHT Mangrove on 1 December 1897.[1][2]

Service history[edit]


Upon commissioning, Mangrove was assigned to the 7th Lighthouse District, with her home port at Key West, Florida.[1]

Spanish-American War[edit]

Photograph from the 12 April 1898 edition of Uncle Sam's Navy of the court of inquiry aboard USLHT Mangrove in Havana Harbor, ca. March 1898. From left are Captain French Ensor Chadwick, Captain William T. Sampson, Lieutenant Commander William P. Potter, Ensign W. V. Powelson, and Lieutenant Commander Adolph Marix.

After USS Maine – a United States Navy second-class battleship – exploded and sank while at anchor in the harbor at Havana, Cuba, on the evening of 15 February 1898, Mangrove' transported wounded survivors of the disaster to Key West.[1] In March 1898, while anchored in Havana Harbor, she served as a site for the U.S. Navy court of inquiry into the loss of Maine.[1] She later made a voyage in which she carried guns salvaged from Maine′s wreck[1] and civilians evacuating Cuba to the United States as the Spanish-American War broke out[1] in April 1898.

On 10 April 1898,[2] shortly before the war broke out, Mangrove was transferred to the U.S. Navy for war service. Armed with two quick-firing guns,[1] she was commissioned into the U.S. Navy as USS Mangrove. She operated as a supply ship during the war. The war ended on 13 August 1898, but Mangrove′s crew had not received word of its conclusion when on 14 August 1898 she opened fire on two small Spanish Navy gunboats off Caibarién, Cuba.[1][3] The two Spanish ships quickly surrendered, and their crews informed Mangrove′s personnel that the war was over.[3] It was the last battle of the Spanish-American War,[3] and the U.S. Navy transferred Mangrove back to the U.S. Lighthouse Board on 18 August 1898.[1][2] The Navy cited Mangrove for her "conspicuous service" during the war.[1]


After her return to the Lighthouse Board, Mangrove resumed her duties as a lighthouse tender, once again as USLHT Mangrove.[1] The U.S. Lighthouse Board was abolished in 1910 and replaced by the new United States Lighthouse Service, and she became part of the Lighthouse Service fleet.

World War I[edit]

The United States entered World War I on 6 April 1917, and on 11 April 1917[2] Mangrove was transferred to the U.S. Navy for the second time. As USS Mangrove again, she operated as a patrol vessel during and in the immediate aftermath of the war.[1] The U.S. Navy transferred her back to the U.S. Lighthouse Service on 1 July 1919.[1][2]


As USLHT Mangrove, the ship again returned to lighthouse tender and buoy tender duty. In 1922, she was reassigned to the 6th Lighthouse District, with her home port at Charleston, South Carolina.[1] On 1 July 1939, the U.S. Lighthouse Service was abolished and the United States Coast Guard took over its responsibilities and assets, and Mangrove thus became part of the Coast Guard fleet as USCGC Mangrove.

World War II[edit]

On 1 November 1941,[2] with World War II raging in Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East, the U.S. Coast Guard was transferred to the control of the U.S. Navy under Executive Order 8929, and Mangrove thus again came under U.S. Navy control only weeks before the United States entered the war on 7 December 1941. Given the hull classification symbol WAGL-232,[1][2] she operated as a buoy tender in naval service,[1] and by 1945 she was armed with two Oerlikon 20 mm cannon mounts.[2] The Navy transferred her back to the U.S. Coast Guard on 1 January 1946.[1][2]


The U.S. Coast Guard decommissioned the aging lighthouse tender – known once again as USCGC Mangrove – on 22 August 1946.[1] After a career of nearly 50 years, she was sold for scrapping on 6 May 1947.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t McLean, Bruce D., "The U. S. Lighthouse Service,", Retrieved 28 February 2019
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i NavSource USLHT Mangrove
  3. ^ a b c Sweetman, Jack (2002). American Naval History: An Illustrated Chronology of the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps, 1775–Present. Annapolis, Md.: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 9781557508676., p. 100.