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Coast Guard District narrative histories 1945
At the time of the Coast Guard's taking over of the Lighthouse Service in the 13th Naval District, the tenders HEATHER, ROSE, MANZANITA, RHODODENDRON, and FIR were all operating in the district and became the property of the United States Coast Guard. Prior to the consolidation and upon the arrival of the FIR within the district, HEATHER had been removed from duty and tied to the sea wall at Lake Union Locks until the outbreak of war. At that time the Army borrowed her and she was never returned.
At the outbreak of the war, the MANZANITA was fitted out and supplied with special submarine cables for the laying of a protective loop across the approach to Dutch Harbor and again, she was loaned to the Canadian authorities for the laying of a similar cable at Prince Rupert. The tenders performed their regular duties during the war, but were equipped with small arms, depth charge racks, and deck guns for protection from submarines. The armament was removed following the cessation of hostilities and the complements of the tenders were thereby gradually reduced.
(Photo of the Tender Fir displayed here)
In order to keep the navigational aids in proper working condition, a fleet of tenders was necessary to service buoys and lights throughout the waterways of the nation. With the first Congressional appropriation for buoys for the Northwest, a tender, the SHUBRICK, a wooden hulled, side wheeler, was assigned to the Pacific Coast. The SHUBRICK, as well as other early tenders, served double duty, acting as both buoy tender and revenue outter. In her latter capacity, the SHUBRICK carried 12-pound cannons as well as small arms. This single vessel serviced all aids along the coast until February, 1880, when the vessel was transferred to the lower Pacific Coast and relieved in the Seattle area by the first MANZANITA. Of historical interest is the fact that the SHUBRICK was the first vessel of considerable size to navigate the Columbia River beyond the present location of the Bonneville Dam.
As traffic in the Northwest waters increased, so did the need for navigational aids and, consequently, the work of the tenders. The first MANZANITA carried the burden along until the COLUMBINE, a U.S. Army Engineers vessel, was assigned to the same area. This ship was built and maintained by the U.S. Army Engineers and operated by the Lighthouse Service for servicing aids of the Lighthouse Establishment. ( As the Bureau of Lighthouses was previously called.) The MANZANITA was sunk off Warrior Rock in the vicinity of St. Helens, Oregon, in the Columbia River, and the COLUMBINE performed tender duties alone until the second MANZANITA was completed. These two, together with the HEATHER, operated for several years until the COLUMBINE was transferred to the Honolulu District. The ROSE, and soon thereafter, the RHODODENDRON and FIR were commissioned and assigned to duty in the Seattle Area. When the FIR reported, the HEATHER was removed from duty and tied to the sea wall at the Lake Union Locks until the outbreak of the war. At that time, the Army borrowed her and she was never returned. The old MANZANITA lay for a considerable time a derelict, off Warrior Rock, but was raised, refitted and is still operating as a seagoing tug under the name DANIEL KERN. Two fine tenders were commissioned and attached to the 13th Naval District during the war, the BASSWOOD, 1944, and the BLUEBELL, the following year. The BASSWOOD was transferred after a year's general aids to navigation duty which involved servicing isolated units and the LORAN project in Vancouver Island. ( See LORAN). In addition to these large tenders, the CG-65302-D was engaged in buoy work and the maintenance of minor aids on the Upper Columbia River between the Dalles, Oregon and Pasco, Washington.