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NavSource Online:
Lighthouse Tender Photo Archive

USACE Wakerobin
ex-USCGC Wakerobin (WAGL 251)

ex-Wakerobin (River Tender)

Call sign (1927):
George - Vice - Mike - Jig

Wakerobin served the Lighthouse Service, U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Army

River Tender:

  • Built in 1927 by the Dravo Construction Company, Neville Island, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Commissioned River Tender Wakerobin, 15 April 1927
  • Transferred to the Coast Guard 1 July 1939 and commissioned USCGC Wakerobin (WAGL 251)
  • Decommissioned 18 December 1948
  • Transferred on loan 18 April 1949 to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
  • Permanently transferred to the Corps of Engineers 20 April 1955
  • Shortly after she was sold to the Comet River Co. of Cincinnati, OH for use as a landing boat
  • Acquired by Captain Dennis Trone of Chattanooga, TN for use as a harbor landing boat and as a wharfboat to back up for the stern-wheeler Julia Belle Swain
  • Sold in 1985 to B and B Riverboats of Cincinnati
  • Fate unknown.


  • Displacement 622 t.
  • Length 182'
  • Beam 43'
  • Draft 4' 2"
  • Complement 33
  • Speed 5 kts.
  • Propulsion: Two Babcock & Wilcox three-pass, sectional-header oil-fired boilers, two 550hp horizontal non-condensing steam engines, one 11' 4" diameter buckets stern paddle-wheel.
    Click on thumbnail
    for full size image
    Size Image Description Source
    Wakerobin 84k Photo from the University of Wisconsin-Madison Digital Library
    U.S. Lighthouse Service photo
    John Spivey
    Wakerobin 93k

    Coast Guard History: The Wakerobin was constructed as a river tender for service in the upper Mississippi River. She was designed to work in tandem with a construction barge that she pushed off her bow. She was the last stern-wheel tender built for the U. S. Lighthouse Service. She was commissioned on 15 April 1927 and was assigned to the 13th Lighthouse District at Rock Island, Illinois.

    During World War II she was assigned to the 9th District and was stationed at Keokuk, Iowa and then Vicksburg, Mississippi. From Vicksburg she was used to tend aids to navigation on 438 miles of the lower Mississippi River, from Mile 400 to Baton Rouge, Louisiana. In early 1945 she underwent a refit and was then transferred to Memphis, Tennessee where her area of operations included the area between Cairo, Illinois to the mouth of the Arkansas River.

    Due to "exorbitant" operating and maintenance costs, Wakerobin was laid up at the Coast Guard Depot at Paris, Tennessee and placed "out of commission in reserve" on 18 December 1948. She was loaned to the "U.S. Army Engineers Corps" on 18 April 1949 and the transfer was made permanent on 20 April 1955.

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