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Lighthouse Tender Photo Archive

Dogwood (WLR 259)
ex-Dogwood (WAGL 259)

Call sign:
Nan - Romeo - Zulu - Delta

Sycamore Class River Tender:

  • Built in 1941 by the Dubuque Boat and Boiler Works, Dubuque, Iowa
  • Commissioned 17 September 1941
  • Designated WAGL-259 in 1942
  • Later reclassified WLR-259
  • Decommissioned 11 August 1989 and laid up at the Army Corps of Engineers' Yard in Memphis, TN
  • Fate unknown


  • Displacement 280 t.
  • Length 113' 9"
  • Beam 26'
  • Draft 5' 6"
  • Complement 20
  • Speed 11 kts.
  • Armament: Small arms
  • Propulsion: Two 400hp General Motor diesel engines,two shafts.
    Click on thumbnail
    for full size image
    Size Image Description Source
    Dogwood 134k

    Dogwood - Cornus is a genus of about 3060 species of woody plants in the family Cornaceae, commonly known as dogwoods, which can generally be distinguished by their blossoms, berries, and distinctive bark. Most are deciduous trees or shrubs, but a few species are nearly herbaceous perennial subshrubs, and a few of the woody species are evergreen. Several species have small heads of inconspicuous flowers surrounded by an involucre of large, typically white petal-like bracts, while others have more open clusters of petal-bearing flowers. The various species of dogwood are native throughout much of temperate and boreal Eurasia and North America, with China, Japan, and the southeastern United States being particularly rich in native species
    Tommy Trampp
    Photo added 16 January 2022
    Dogwood 103k 12 October 1941
    Photo from University of Wisconsin-Madison Digital Library
    John Spivey

    Coast Guard History: The United States tender Dogwood was one of three 114-foot river tenders built for the Coast Guard that were launched in 1941 and 1942: Dogwood (WAGL-259), Forsythia (WAGL-63) and Sycamore (WAGL-268). They were designed to replace the aging stern-wheel steamers such as the Cottonwood and Wakerobin that were in service on the Mississippi River. The 114-footers were designed to be more versatile and less expensive to maintain, the latter being a Coast Guard priority. Their engines were replaced in the 1960s. They were designed to push a work barge that held buoys, other aids to navigation equipment, and a crane. Each was tasked with maintaining aids to navigation but also conducted flood relief, search and rescue, and law enforcement operations as well as pleasure boat safety boardings when needed.

    The Dogwood was assigned to the 9th Coast Guard District and was initially stationed at Paducah, Kentucky until 1944. She was tasked with maintaining aids to navigation but also conducted flood relief, search and rescue, and law enforcement operations as well as pleasure boat safety boardings when needed. She transferred to Memphis, Tennessee in 1944 and remained based there until March of 1945. Then she served out of Vicksburg, Mississippi from March, 1945 until 1977.

    She tended river aids to navigation for 400 miles on the lower-Mississippi River, from Cairo, Illinois to Mile 400. During March and April of 1945, she evacuated 400 head of cattle from the danger of flooding posed by high water below Angola, Louisiana. In February 1961 she helped train officials from South Vietnam. In January 1963 she escorted the NASA barge Promise. In July of 1963 she escorted the NASA barge Palaemon on the lower Mississippi River to Baton Rouge, Louisiana. In August of 1963 she escorted the Promise again. In September of 1965 she assisted in the cleanup operations in the Gulf of Mexico in the aftermath of hurricane Betsy.

    Dogwood transferred to Pine Bluff, Arkansas in 1977 and remained based there until she was decommissioned on 11 August 1989. She was stored at the Army Corps of Engineers' Yard in Memphis.

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