USCGC Sundew (WLB-404) is a 180-foot (55 m) sea-going buoy tender (WLB). Marine Iron and Shipbuilding Corporation built an Iris, or C-class tender, in Duluth, Minnesota. The United States Lighthouse Service completed Sundew’s preliminary design, and Marine Iron and Shipbuilding Corporation produced the final design in Duluth for the U.S. Coast Guard. On November 29, 1943, the keel was laid. It was launched on February 8, 1944, and commissioned on August 24, 1944. The original cost for the hull and machinery was $861,589.
Sundew is one of 39 original 180-foot (55 m) seagoing buoy tenders built between 1942 and 1944. All but one of the original tenders, USCGC Ironwood, were made in Duluth. Like all of these tenders, Sundew was named after a plant, in this case, the Sundew, a carnivorous plant from the genus Drosera.
In 1958, Sundew was assigned to Charlevoix, Michigan, and the following November, it helped rescue two survivors from the Carl D. Bradley when it sank in a storm on Lake Michigan 47 miles (76 km) west-northwest of Charlevoix. Sundew remained at Charlevoix until 1977 when USCGC Mesquite replaced her. Sundew was then moved to Duluth, Minnesota, where it served until it was retired in 2004.
Sundew served 60 years for the Coast Guard and was decommissioned and retired on May 27, 2004. As part of the decommissioning, the vessel was given to the city of Duluth, its last home port, to be used as a museum ship. USCGC Alder took up the services provided by the Sundew.
Due to a drop in tourism revenue in 2009, Duluth sold Sundew to residents Jeff & Toni Foster and David Johnson & Mary Phillipp. Sundew moved from its museum location in Duluth in the spring of 2010 and currently (2015) occupies a private slip near Pier B Resort Hotel.

References: museumships.us – Your most complete source for Museum Ships Worldwide! – Sundew. https://museumships.us/coast-guard/sundew

Shiphotos.com – Ship Photography Archive – USCGC Sundew. https://shiphotos.com/image/?ID=72771&Context=C&CID=1043

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *