Please report any broken links or trouble you might come across to the Webmaster. Please take a moment to let us know so that we can correct any problems and make your visit as enjoyable and as informative as possible.

NavSource Online: Service Ship Photo Archive

Patch at left contributed by Mike Smolinski, patch at right contributed Sal DeCarlo

Contributed by Al Grazevich

USCGC Glacier (WAGB-4)
USS Glacier (AGB-4) (1955 - 1966)

International Radio Call Sign:
November - Alpha - Alpha - Oscar
JANAP Tactical Voice Radio Call Sign - Iceland (G)olf - Section 6A of JANAP 119(F) 1968
Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Precedence of awards is from left to right
Navy Unit Commendation - National Defense Service Medal - Antarctic Service Medal

Glacier Class Icebreaker:
  • Laid down, 3 August 1953, at Ingalls Shipbuilding, Corp., Pascagoula, MS.
  • Launched, 27 August 1954
  • Commissioned USS Glacier (AGB-4), 27 May 1955, CDR. E. H. Maher, USN in command
  • Decommissioned, transferred to the Coast Guard, 30 June 1966
  • Recommissioned as USCGC Glacier (WAGB-4)
  • Struck from the Naval Register, 1 July 1966
  • Decommissioned by the Coast Guard, 7 July 1987, at Portland, OR.
  • Transferred to the MARAD for lay up in the National Defense Reserve Fleet,
  • Towed to Bremerton, WA., 8. July 1987 for stripping and layup
  • Towed to Suisun Bay, Benecia, CA. 3 March 1991
  • Final Disposition, sold for scrapping, 12 February 2012, to Esco Marine, Brownsville, TX. for $ 146,726.00
    Displacement 8,650 t.
    Length 310'
    Beam 74'
    Draft 29'
    Speed 16 kts.
    Officers 16
    Enlisted 232
    Air Detachment Complement
    Officers 4
    Enlisted 10
    two helicopters
    one twin 5"/38 dual purpose gun mount
    three twin 3"/50 dual purpose gun mounts
    ten Fairbanks-Morse diesel engines in three engine rooms connected through Main Control to two General Electric propulsion motors
    Click On Image
    For Full Size Image
    Size Image Description Contributed
    USS Glacier (AGB-4)
    Glacier 95k USS Glacier (AGB-4) schematic drawing.
    US Navy photo from "All Hands" magazine, December 1956
    Joe Radigan MACM USN Ret.
    Glacier 118k USS Glacier (AGB-4) underway, date and location unknown.
    US Navy photo from "All Hands" magazine, September 1955
    Joe Radigan MACM USN Ret.
    Glacier 114k USS Glacier (AGB-4) underway, 8 November 1955, location unknown.
    US Navy photo # NH 67733, Courtesy of Donald M. McPherson, 1969, from the collections of the US Naval Historical Center.
    US Naval Historical Center
    Glacier 103k USS Glacier (AGB-4) departs Boston, 25 October 1955, on her maiden voyage to the Antarctic to participate in operation "Deepfreeze." Two wives, one with an infant in arms, wave Bon Voyage to the departing ship on which their husbands are crew members.
    UPI Telephoto BHP102501-10/25/55.
    Ron Reeves
    Glacier 179k USS Glacier (AGB-4) heavily encrusted with ice while underway in the Antarctic, date unknown.
    US Navy photo from "All Hands" magazine, December 1956
    Joe Radigan MACM USN Ret.
    Glacier 129k USS Glacier (AGB-4) off the ice edge at McMurdo, Antarctica during Operation Deep Freeze 1955. Due to contrary offshore winds, she had to shuttle cargo from two AKAs and a Victory ship 20 miles into McMurdo. Bryan Fisher RMC USCG
    Glacier 259k In March of 1959, USS Glacier (AGB-4) after several days of ramming and pounding the six to fifteen foot ice-pack off Breid Bay, Antarctica, frees the Belgian Antarctic expedition ship. Polarhaf. Polarhaf had been hemmed in by the ice for over a month and a half and had drifted with the ice over 150 miles before Glacier was able to free her.
    US Navy photo
    Tommy Trampp
    210 USS Glacier (AGB-4) breaks out RV Polarhaf after being icebound for five weeks at Breid Bay, Antarctica, in 1959. RV Polarhaf was taking a Belgian expedition to its base.
    U.S. Navy photo from "All Hands" magazine December 1959, p.5.
    Robert Hurst
    415k USS Glacier (AGB-4) underway near Antarctica, circa 1956-57. Cynthia Stulpin
    Glacier 263k In February 1960, USS Glacier (AGB-4) came to the assistance of the Danish cargo ship MV Kiska Dan freeing that ship from entrapment by Antarctic ice.
    Photos courtesy Destroyer Escort Historical Museum.
    Tim Rizzuto/Ed Zajkowski
    Glacier 293k
    Glacier 210k
    Glacier 257k
    106k USS Glacier (AGB-4) moored to ice in Kainan Bay in 1956.
    Report of Operation Deepfreeze I 1955-56, U.S. Navy Task Force 43, Washington D.C., 843 pp.
    Robert Hurst
    223k USS Glacier (AGB-4) seen from the flight deck of USS Burton Island after reaching the Bellingshausen Sea on 9 August 1960.
    National Museum of the U.S. Navy. Photo ID. 330-PSA-152-60 (USN 817415) (21287040542).
    Robert Hurst
    Glacier 50k USS Glacier (AGB-4) underway at Boston, August 1960 © Richard Leonhardt
    Glacier 99k USS Glacier (AGB-4) deep in the ice while providing support for Deep Freeze 60 (1959-60). Glacier succeeded in making the deepest penetration south in the Bellingshausen Sea ever make by a ship--71.53° south latitude and 95.44.2° west longitude--and landed a small party on Turston Peninsula. It was the first time in recorded history that man had ever set foot on this previously unknown stretch of antarctic terrain.
    US Navy photo from "All Hands" magazine, April 1960.
    Stanley C. Svec
    Glacier 106k USS Glacier (AGB-4) leaving Norfolk, VA. for Operation "Deep Freeze", circa early-1961.
    US Navy photo for "All Hands" magazine, April 1961.
    Stanley C. Svec
    Glacier 75k USS Glacier (AGB-4) moored pierside outboard of another icebreaker at Boston, June 1961 © Richard Leonhardt
    Glacier 124k USS Glacier (AGB-4) moored pierside at Boston, November 1962 © Richard Leonhardt
    Glacier 85k USS Glacier (AGB-4) at Boston, September 1964 © Richard Leonhardt
    Glacier 31k USS Glacier (AGB-4) underway while breaking ice, date and location unknown. Marc Schenck
    Burton Island/Atka/Glacier 98k From left to right; USS Burton Island (AGB-1), USS Atka (AGB-3) and USS Glacier (AGB-4) pushing an iceberg out of the channel near McMurdo Station, Antarctica, 29 December 1965.
    US Navy photo from DANFS.
    Joe Radigan MACM USN Ret.
    Glacier 274k A Sikorsky HRS-3 helicopter about to land on USS Glacier (AGB-4), date and location unknown. Also visible in the picture is a Bell HUL-1 general purpose helicopter.
    USN photo.
    Robert Hurst
    USCGC Glacier (WAGB-4)
    Glacier 55k USCGC Glacier (WAGB-4) underway, date and location unknown. Robert Hurst
    Glacier 65k USCGC Glacier (WAGB-4) being assisted by an unidentified tug, date and location.
    US Coast Guard photo.
    Robert Hurst
    Glacier 24k USCGC Glacier (WAGB-4) underway, date and location.
    US Coast Guard photo.
    Robert Hurst
    Burton Island 501k USCGC Burton Island (WABG-283) meets up in McMurdo Sound, Antarctic, during "Operation Deep Freeze", 1969 with two sister Coast Guard icebreakers. USCG Glacier (WAGB-4) is close aboard to starboard and USCG Southwind (WAGB-280) is directly astern.
    US Coast Guard photo from the collections of the US Coast Guard Historian's Office.
    Robert Hurst
    Burton Island 36k USCGC Glacier (WAGB-4), followed by USCGC Burton Island (WAGB-283), and USCGC Southwind (WAGB-280) as they crush a path through heavily iced McMurdo Sound, in the Antarctic for cargo ships to follow to the main base at Hut Point, Ross Island, during "Operation Deep Freeze", 1969.
    US Coast Guard photo # GAP1-01-00-69; 1969
    Robert Hurst
    312k USCGC Glacier (WAGB-4) underway in ice, date and location.
    US Coast Guard photo.
    Nicholas Tiberio
    Glacier 75k USCGC Glacier (WAGB-4) underway, circa 1969, location.
    US Coast Guard photo.
    Robert Hurst
    Glacier 22k USCGC Glacier (WAGB-4) at Boston, September 1964. Ken Laesser
    Glacier 70k USCGC Glacier (WAGB-4) underway, date and place unknown. Randy Ward
    Glacier 1356k USCGC Glacier (WAGB-4) moored pierside in an Alaskan port, 9 December 1973. Photo by Chris Howell, Southland Ship Stores Limited, Port of Bluff, N.Z.
    Glacier 102k USCGC Glacier (WAGB-4) underway, circa 1970s, location unknown.
    US Coast Guard photo.
    Robert Hurst
    Glacier 1489k USCGC Glacier (WAGB-4) underway at Wellington, N.Z., in 1975. Photos by Chris Howell, from the Chris Howell Photo Collection
    Glacier 1678k
    Glacier 1247k
    Glacier 218k USCGC Glacier (WAGB-4) moored pierside at Pearl Harbor, November 1981. Photos by Chris Howell, Southland Ship Stores Limited, Port of Bluff, N.Z.
    Glacier 265k
    Glacier 143k
    Glacier 181k USCGC Glacier (WAGB-4) underway, circa 1980s off Portsmouth, England.
    Chris Howell owned slide.
    Glacier 88k USCGC Glacier (WAGB-4) approaching Winter Quarters Bay harbor at McMurdo Station, Antarctica. A cargo vessel is seen in the left foreground docked at a floating ice pier. It appears that the cargo ship has just arrived at the dock. Not having tugboat assistance, a ship would typically first make a landing with its bow against the pier. The freighter then reverses its engine after securing a bow line to the dock, so as to "warp" the stern or rear of the ship against the pier.
    US Coast Guard photo.
    Robert Hurst
    215k USCGC Glacier (WAGB-4) underway in ice, date and location.
    US Coast Guard photo.
    Nicholas Tiberio
    470 USCGC Glacier (WAGB-4) and Arctic Survey Boat, in Antarctic waters, date unknown.
    US Coast Guard photo.
    Robert Hurst
    Glacier 341k Ex-USCGC Glacier (WAGB-4) laid up in the National Defense Reserve Fleet, Suisun Bay, Benecia, CA., 1 October 2011. Ron Reeves
    Glacier 72k Ex-USCGC Glacier (WAGB-4) moored to a buoy at Bremerton, WA., June 1989. Ron Reeves
    Glacier 341k Ex-USCGC Glacier (WAGB-4) under tow, date and location unknown.
    US Coast Guard photo.
    Ron Reeves
    463k Ex-USCGC Glacier (WAGB-4), ex-USS Oklahoma City (CLG-5) and ex-USS Oriskany (CVA-34) moored at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, circa 1990.
    090804165 photo by Douglas Gillmer, and
    090804166 DN-SC-90-03979 by LT. Fallon, Public Combined Military Service Digital Photographic Files
    Bob Canchola
    Glacier 1130k Ex-USCGC Glacier (WAGB-4) drydocked at Mare Island in Dry Dock #2 for hull cleaning prior to being towed to Brownsville, TX. for dismantling, 22 April 2012 Photos by Darryl Baker
    Glacier 1064k
    Glacier 258k Ex-USCGC Glacier (WAGB-4) drydocked at Mare Island in Dry Dock #2 for hull cleaning prior to being towed to Brownsville, TX. for dismantling, 23 April 2012 Photos by Chris Rasmussen
    Glacier 250k
    Glacier 274k

    USS Glacier Additional Ships Patches

    Contributed by Mike Smolinski
    Operation Deep Freeze
    Contributed by Mike Smolinski
    Operation Deep Freeze
    Contributed by Mike Smolinski
    1967-68 Square Knot Sailor
    Contributed by Jerry Webb
    First white patch after
    transfer from USN-to-USCG in 1966
    Contributed by Jerry Webb

    For more photos and information about USS / USCGC Glacier, see;
  • Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
  • USS Glacier (AGB-4) Association
  • LTjg. Bernard Schenck Glacier Photo Collection submitted by Marc Schenck
  • Mike McCullough Photo Collection - Ex-USCGC Glacier at Mare Island, 2012

  • Commanding Officers
    01CDR. Maher, Eugene Hugh, USN (USNA 1932)27 May 1955 - 16 August 1956USS Glacier (AGB-4)
    02CDR. Lauff, Bernard John, USN (USNA 1941)16 August 1956 - November 1957USS Glacier (AGB-4)
    04CDR. Houston, Joseph Allan, USNNovember 1957 - May 1959USS Glacier (AGB-4)
    05CDR. Porter Jr., Phillip Wells, USNMay 1959 - August 1961USS Glacier (AGB-4)
    06CDR. Grant, Edward Gooding, USNAugust 1961 - 1962USS Glacier (AGB-4)
    07CDR. Vaughan, Vie John, USN17 May 1963 - 24 April 1964USS Glacier (AGB-4)
    08LCDR. Swope Jr., Homer Joseph, USN (XOIC)24 April 1964 - 10 July 1964USS Glacier (AGB-4)
    09CDR. Vaughan, Vie John, USN10 July 1964 - 10 April 1965USS Glacier (AGB-4)
    10CDR. Faughman, Franklin Peter, USN10 April 1965 - 30 June 1966USS Glacier (AGB-4)
    01CAPT. Dawson, Opie Lloyd, USCG (USCGA 1943)30 June 1966 - 1968USCGC Glacier (WAGB-4)
    02CAPT. McGrory, Eugene Edward, USCG (USCGA 1946)1968 - 1970USCGC Glacier (WAGB-4)
    03CAPT. Roberge, Theodore L., USCG (CWO 1947)1970 - 1972USCGC Glacier (WAGB-4)
    04CAPT. West Jr. William E., USCG (OCS 1949)1972 - 1974USCGC Glacier (WAGB-4)
    05CAPT. Gillett, Clarence Richard, USCG (USCGA 1952)1974 - 1976USCGC Glacier (WAGB-4)
    06CAPT. Dirschel Jr., John Joseph, USCG (USCGA 1955)1976 - 1978USCGC Glacier (WAGB-4)
    07CAPT. Little, Bruce S., USCG (Enlisted)1978 - 1980USCGC Glacier (WAGB-4)
    08CAPT. Coste Jr., James W., USCG (USCGA 1959)1980 - 1982USCGC Glacier (WAGB-4)
    09CAPT. Taylor, Paul Richard, USCG (USCGA 1961)1982 - May 1983USCGC Glacier (WAGB-4)
    10CDR. Martin, George Frederick, USCG (USCGA 1964)May 1983 - June 1984USCGC Glacier (WAGB-4)
    11CAPT. Hewel, William P., USCG (OCS 1958)June 1984 - June 1986USCGC Glacier (WAGB-4)
    12CAPT. Hammond II, Robert Earl, USCG (USCGA 1964)June 1986 - 7 July 1987USCGC Glacier (WAGB-4)
    Courtesy Wolfgang Hechler and Ron Reeves

    Crew Contact And Reunion Information
    U.S. Navy Memorial Foundation - Navy Log

    Back To The Navsource Photo Archives Main Page Back To The Service Ship Photo Index Back To The Icebreaker (AGB) Photo Index
    Comments, Suggestions, E-mail Webmaster.
    This page is created and maintained by Gary P. Priolo
    All pages copyright NavSource Naval History
    Last Updated 20 October 2023