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Violet was one of three coast-wise Violet-Class tenders built in the 1930s, the others being the Lilac and Mistletoe. Violet was the lead ship of her class and was commissioned on 21 August 1930. She was assigned to the 5th Lighthouse District and was based out of Baltimore, where she tended aids to navigation throughout the Chesapeake Bay.
During World War II she was assigned to the 5th Naval District and was based out of Norfolk, Virginia for the duration. She returned to duty out of Baltimore where she served until the end of her government career.
She was decommissioned on 2 January 1962 and was sold on 8 March 1963.
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