Built by Pusey & Jones, Wilmington DE
Displacement: 1012 tons
Length: 173' 4", Beam: 32', Draft: 13'
Propulsion: two triple expansion vertical inverted steam; two
Babcock & Wilcox oil fired boilers. Twin screw, 800 SHP
1 officer, 3 warrants, 37 enlisted
History: The Lighthouse Service
originally contracted the Lilac on 13 April 1931 to Hampton Roads
Shipbuilding of Portsmouth, Virginia. She was designed as a coastwise
tender and was to be named the Azalea. Pusey & Jones Company
underbid Hampton Roads Shipbuilding, however, and the former was awarded
the contract and the tender's name was changed to Lilac.
She entered service in 1933 and was
stationed in the Fourth Lighthouse District and was based out of
Edgemoor, Delaware, where she conducted general aids to navigation work
in the Delaware River area. When the Lighthouse Service merged with the
Coast Guard in 1939, she then became a Coast Guard cutter but her
homeport remained Edgemoor, although that harbor fell under the
jurisdiction of the Fifth District. Designated WAGL-227 in 1942.
She was armed during the war but saw no action. Her armament was
removed at the end of hostilities.
She remained at Edgemoor until 1948 when
she was transferred to Gloucester City, New Jersey. Continuing with her
general aids to navigation work, she was nevertheless frequently called
upon to assist during search and rescue cases. On 15 to 17 May 1952 she
assisted following the collision between the motor vessels Barbara
Lykes and F. L. Hayes in the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal.
On 22 May 1952 she assisted the tug Pateo and the Atlantic
Dealer in the Delaware River. On 26 May 1952 she assisted following
the collision between the tanker Michael and the motor barge
A. C. Dodge near Ready Island. On 30 January 1953 she assisted the
fishing vessel Benjamin Brothers in the Delaware River. From 6
to 12 June 1953 she assisted following the collision between the tankers
Pan Massachusetts and the Phoenix in the Chesapeake and
Delaware Canal. On 24 and 25 June 1953 she fought the fire on board the
tanker Pan Georgia and searched for survivors in the Christina
River. On 30 December 1953 she assisted the motor vessels Atlantic
Dealer and Atlantic Engineer in the Delaware River. On 13
July 1955 she assisted the yacht Nipautuck II in the Delaware
She was the last steam-powered vessel in
the Coast Guard's inventory when she was decommissioned on 3 February
1972. She was donated to the Harry Lundeberg Seafarers International
Union seamanship school in Maryland.