April 2017 

In this issue
View Boston Tall Ships Parade from LV-112, June 17
Revere and Police Dept. donate Motor Surf Boats to USLM
'The Last Battle of the Atlantic'
Boston Harborkeepers Marine Education Fair April 15
USLM to present at Salem State College April 21
Help support Nantucket Lightship/LV-112's restoration and preservation when you shop on Amazon
'Built in the USA' Part 2
LV-112 opens for the season on April 29
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Proudly made in USA


lighthouse lovers!

If you love lighthouses and want to learn about these guiding lights and navigational aids all over the world, then The Lighthouse Directory is the website for you. It provides an astounding amount of information, linking to more than 17,200 of the world's lighthouses. Russ Rowlett, Adjunct Professor of Mathematics at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, compiled the directory with the assistance of hundreds of lighthouse fans around the world who have enriched this site with their own information and suggestions. For a long time, Rowlett tried to maintain a list of lighthouses from his many friends and contacts, but it had grown too long (and too out of date) to display on the comprehensive site. Rowlett offers special thanks to Michel Forand for his suggestions and editing, touching essentially every page of the directory, and Jeremy D'Entremont, Ted Sarah and Klaus Huelse, each contributing in vital ways.

  The Maine
Lighthouse Museum

Another unique educational resource for U.S. Lighthouse history, Lifesaving and Lightship Services is the Maine Lighthouse Museum (MLM), located in Rockland, Maine, the heart of the Midcoast. Last October, the U.S. Lightship Museum presented a PowerPoint presentation at the MLM about U.S. lightships and Nantucket/LV-112.

The mission of the Maine Lighthouse Museum is to educate the public regarding the longstanding traditions, heroism and progress of America's Lighthouse and Lifesaving Services and the U.S. Coast Guard through the conservation and interpretation of the nation's most significant collection of lighthouse and lifesaving artifacts. From sparkling lenses to heartwarming stories of the keepers and their families, the Maine Lighthouse Museum is truly America's lighthouse museum. For more information, log on to the Maine Lighthouse Museum or call 207.594.3301.  



We salute our donors


American Express
Amex Industrial Services, Inc.
Association of Public Safety Communications Officials - Atlantic Chapter

BAE Systems
Bluefin Robotics

Boston Forge & Welding Corp. 

Boston Harbor
Shipyard & Marina
The Boston Foundation
ThreeBees Fund
Burnham Associates, Inc.
Burnham Marine

California Public Safety Radio Association 

  Cameron International Corporation


Charitable Adult Rides and

Services, Inc.


C/J Towing & Recovery


Claflin & Son

Nautical Antiques


Crandall Dry Dock Engineers


Capt. Robertson P. Dinsmore Fund

Donahue, Tucker &

Ciandella, PLLC 


East Boston Foundation


Eastern Bank Charitable

Egan Maritime Institute,

Nantucket Shipwreck &

Lifesaving Museum


Fitzgerald Shipyard


Foss Maritime


Friends of the

Boston Harbor Islands


H&H Propeller, Inc.


J. Hewitt Marine

Electrical Services 


Kelly Automotive Group   


H.F. Lenfest Fund


The Lightship Group, LLC


McAllister Towing &
Transportation Co.


Joe and Pepette Mongrain

National Trust for    

Historic Preservation

New England 

Lighthouse Lovers 

New London Maritime Society and Custom House Maritime Museum 


The Sail Loft, LLC, Nantucket



Industrial Marine Coatings Division
T & M Services

 Town of Oyster Bay, 

Long Island, NY

 U.S. Coast Guard Lightship Sailors Association 

 West Marine    

U.S. Lighthouse Society 

 USLM Members  

Verizon Foundation


Zuni Maritime Foundation

USS Zuni / USCG Tamaroa  

 Individual Donors





USLM is a member
of the following organizations




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The flag of the United States Lighthouse Service

Teach children about lightships with the book


Editorial From School  
Library Journal 

Kindergarten-Grade 2: Lightships were anchored where lighthouses could not be built. They protected our ocean harbors as well as points along the Great Lakes. The last one ( Nantucket/LV-613 ) was decommissioned in 1983, so this fascinating picture book is a piece of nautical history. Brian Floca's watercolor drawings depict daily life aboard one of these vessels, cooking, sleeping, working, all the while rolling with the rhythm of the waves. Many hazards were involved. Big ships came too close, anchors lost their mooring, and weather caused many problems. But when the fog rolled in, the lightship sprang into action. Lights flashed and horns sounded, allowing ship traffic to make it "through fog and night, past rocks and shoals, past reefs and wrecks, past danger." The drawings are very detailed. Some pages are collages of small scenes. Many are full spreads. The sailors' facial expressions are amusing to watch, and the resident cat appears on almost every page. The front and back endpapers show a cutaway view of one of the vessels. This fascinating, little-known slice of history should prove interesting to every child who loves big boats.
-- Ieva Bates, Ann Arbor District Library, MI  (review originally published by Reed Business Information, Inc.) 

The book Lightship , by Brian Floca, can be purchased on Amazon.com . For more information about lightships, click on Brian Floca's blog .

For more information about the U.S. Coast Guard Lightship Sailors Association and the U.S. Lightship Service, click on logo

Lead, Kindly Light
By John Henry Newman

"Lead, Kindly Light, amidst th'encircling gloom,
Lead Thou me on!
The night is dark, and I am far from home,
Lead Thou me on!
Keep Thou my feet; I do not ask to see
The distant scene; one step enough for me.
I was not ever thus, nor prayed that Thou
Shouldst lead me on;
I loved to choose and see my path; but now
Lead Thou me on!
I loved the garish day, and, spite of fears,
Pride ruled my will. Remember not past years!
So long Thy power hath blest me, sure it still
Will lead me on.
O'er moor and fen, o'er crag and torrent, till
The night is gone,
And with the morn those angel faces smile,
Which I have loved long since, and lost awhile!
Meantime, along the narrow rugged path,
Thyself hast trod,
Lead, Saviour, lead me home in childlike faith,
Home to my God.
To rest forever after earthly strife
In the calm light of everlasting life."

Note: "Lead Kindly Light" was a poem originally written by John Henry Newman (1801-1890), who was 33 years old when he found himself on a boat from the Sicilian city of Palermo to Marseille, France. Newman, who was recovering after being dangerously ill with a fever, was on the boat to return to his native England when he penned the lyrics to "Lead, Kindly Light." The context that Newman was recovering from a frightening illness in the middle of the sea gives insight to the lyrics.


Photo above: Pigeon Point Lighthouse in California, by Darvin Atkeson


Poem posted on
LV-112 while in service on Nantucket Shoals Lightship Station

"When a sailor gets to thinking
He is one of the best
Let him ship out on a lightship
And take the acid test.
And if he feels like bragging
I don't think that all of his tales
Will be of deep sea sailing
But of the ship that never

Poem provided by Peter Brunk,
USCG-Ret., Commanding Officer,
Nantucket/LV-112, 1970-71, who serves on the USLM Board of Directors

This comprehensive New England shipwreck website is a helpful resource for SCUBA divers, maritime history researchers and enthusiasts. The site includes many photographs, charts, reference documents and history about many shipwrecks located in New England waters. For more information,
The Sinking of the U-853
by Capt. William Palmer
When the German enemy submarine U-853 entered U.S. waters off Portland, Maine in 1945, it torpedoed and sank the USS Eagle-56. Nantucket/LV-112, converted to an examination vessel, USS Nantucket (1942-45) during WWII, helped save the crew of the USS Eagle-56This is a book about the  U-853 story, researched and written by Capt. Bill Palmer , a long-time shipwreck researcher, diver and preservationist.
Description of book: "Out in the cold Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Rhode Island, lies the remains of what was once a feared and mighty hunter. It's not a fish or shark, for that matter it is not even a marine creature. It's what men feared the most when they went to sea aboard their vessel back during the World War II years. It's a German submarine called a U-Boat. The U-853 was the last German submarine sunk in World War II. She was sunk with all hands just minutes before World War II ended. The once mighty hunter feared by all who put to sea, now lies in 130 feet of water off the coast of Block Island, Rhode Island, her grave marked only by a circle on the nautical charts, DANGER Unexploded Depth Charges, May 1945."
Capt. Palmer has been running a charter boat for wreck-diving, shark-fishing and shark-cage-diving off the coast of Rhode Island and Connecticut for 40 years.

German U-boat attack off Portland, Maine, during WWII, involving
LV-112 (USS Nantucket)
This book is the story of a small U.S. sub-chaser, the Eagle 56, caught in the crosshairs of a German U-boat, the  U-853, whose brazen commander doomed his own crew in a desperate, last-ditch attempt to record final kills before his country's imminent defeat a few weeks later in May. And it is the account of how one man, Paul M. Lawton, embarked on an unrelenting quest for the truth and changed naval history.
For more information, log onto: " Due to Enemy Action "

"In February of 1952, one of the worst storms to ever hit the East Coast struck New England, damaging an oil tanker off the coast of Cape Cod and literally ripping it in half. On a small lifeboat faced with frigid temperatures and 70-foot high waves, four members of the U.S. Coast Guard (Bernie Webber and three other crewmen) set out to rescue the more than 30 stranded sailors trapped aboard the rapidly sinking vessel. 'The Finest Hours' is the story of their heroic mission, which is still considered the greatest small boat rescue in Coast Guard history." 
(Michelle McCue, 9/9/14)

Bernie Webber (later served on Nantucket/LV-112, 1958-60) and the three other crewmen were awarded the coveted USCG Gold Lifesaving Medal for their heroism in what is considered by maritime historians to be "the greatest small boat rescue in Coast Guard history." Mr. Webber, who was a member of the USCG Lightship Sailors Association, was extremely helpful in assisting the USLM-Nantucket/LV-112 compile research information and historic documents about LV-112. He was a pleasure and honor to work with. Bernie passed away in January 2009. He was considered "A Real American Hero" and is dearly missed.

To learn more about  
lighthouse news, click on
Lighthouse Digest 

Explore the oceans in depth and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution with
Oceanus magazine  
Oceanus explores the oceans in depth, highlighting the research and researchers at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in news, features and interviews written by magazine staff, with full-color photographs and illustrations. Each issue covers a wide spectrum of oceanography, spanning coastal research, marine life, deep-ocean exploration and the ocean's role in climate, as well as ocean technology and policy. To learn more, click on magazine cover above.

Lightships, Lighthouses & Lifeboat Stations:
A Memoir and History

Lightships, Lighthouses & Lifeboat Stations is part history book, part memoir, written by Bernie Webber, recipient of the Coast Guard's highest award, the Gold Life-saving Medal, and hero of the Disney movie The Finest Hours. While the public will recognize Webber's name from the movie and the bestselling book by the same name, few people know that during his lengthy Coast Guard career he served on lightships (ships anchored in dangerous areas to warn other vessels of hazards) in addition to lifeboat stations (small boat rescue stations) and lighthouses. Webber poses the following question: "How did the lightship men cope with the isolation, constant loneliness, boredom, fear, or just sheer terror? All were part of life on board a lightship. Rough seas tossed the ship about, rearing up and down on the anchor chain. This was a world of isolation, noise from operating machinery, and blasts from the powerful foghorn that went on for hours, sometimes days, at a time." Webber answers that question in this book, drawing on a combination of personal experience and meticulous historical research. Discussions of men going mad, lightships being run down by larger ships, anchor chains breaking, and lightships cast upon shoals are offset by humorous stories and the author's reflections on his best days at sea. Fourteen historic photos are included, as well as a foreword by Michael Tougias.(reprinted from Amazon).

Help support the restoration of LV-112 by donating your old car and receive a tax deduction
How it works
We have teamed with Charitable Auto Resources, Inc. (CARS), to accept vehicle donations across the United States. Once  you contact our customer service representative about making a donation, everything will be taken care of, including a receipt for your tax records. Sale proceeds will be donated to the USLM in your name. Donating your vehicle to the U.S. Lightship Museum is as easy as calling our representative toll-free at 855-500-7433.  For more information, click here .

The Lightships
of Cape Cod

Authored by Frederic L. Thompson, 1996, 2nd printing, 112 pages, soft wrap. Signed by the author. Illustrated with over 93 beautifully detailed photographs. Much sought-after, this scarce volume chronicles the history of the lightships in this vital area. Wonderfully detailed black-and-white photographs enhance the author's vivid description of the history and life aboard these vessels. One of the only volumes ever written exclusively on this subject, this fine work will make a fine addition to any library. Price: $14.95 plus shipping ($5.95), total: $20.90. May be purchased online
 from the USLM; just click on "Donate" button in this newsletter and add a notation in the area provided. Or mail a check or money order addressed to: U.S. Lightship Museum, PO Box 454, Amesbury, MA 10913

U.S. Lightship Museums 
View Boston's historic Tall Ships Parade from Nantucket/LV-112

USCGC Eagle is a 295-foot Barque originally built by Germany in 1936 as the Horst Wessel and used as a training ship for German sailors. At the end of WWII, the U.S. appropriated the vessel as war reparations. Presently, the cutter is utilized for future officers of the United States Coast Guard. Photo by Steve Gilbert from LV-112
On June 17, a fleet of 43 tall ships from around the world, as well as New England and local area historic sailing vessels, will parade into Boston Harbor. The last time Boston hosted a tall ship parade of this magnitude was in the year 2000.  To celebrate this rare event, join us on Nantucket Lightship/LV-112, a historic "floating lighthouse" that today is a museum ship located in its homeport of Boston. Berthed on the East Boston waterfront, LV-112 boasts one of the best vantage points on Boston Harbor to view the Parade of Sail, scheduled from 9:00am to 3:00pm.

To ensure you see it all, our event is scheduled 7:30am to 3:30pm.  Bring your favorite chairs or picnic blanket and find a spot on LV-112, which will remain at the dock while you enjoy a panoramic view of the tall ships parading against the scenic backdrop of Boston's cityscape. Ticket price includes a continental breakfast with coffee/juice, buffet lunch, beverages of your choice (soft drinks, water) and lively music. Wine and beer may be purchased. This exclusive event is a major fundraiser for Nantucket/LV-112, with proceeds directed to the ship's restoration, which is 50% completed. Presently, we are striving to raise $650,000 for critical internal structural repairs to be done in dry-dock, work that is essential to moving forward with LV-112's restoration.

RESERVE EARLY! Space on  Nantucket/LV-112  is limited to 60 individuals. For more information and to purchase tickets, click here to acces Eventbrite For more information on the event, visit SailBoston.com .
Picton Castle, a 179-foot Barque built in 1928, is registered in the Cook Islands, Pacific Ocean

Europa, a 184-foot Barque built in 1911, is from the Netherlands

City of Revere and its Police Department donate two former USCG Motor Surf Boats to USLM

A commissioned 26-foot USCG Motor Surf Boat in use

The City of Revere, MA, and the Revere Police Department generously donated two former 26-foot USCG Motor Surf Boats to the U.S. Lightship Museum. The boats were originally donated to the Revere Police Department several years ago for use as harbor patrol vessels. Due to a change of plans, however, it was determined the police would not be utilizing the boats. The boats had been stored in dry-dock on their custom-built cradles for several years and include davit hook mechanisms. They were never stored in the water or had anti-fowling bottom paint, so the boats were very clean below the waterline.

Both USCG Motor Surf Boats as they arrived at the Boston Harbor Shipyard & Marina on G/J Towing & Recovery's flatbed trucks
G/J's helpful drivers who transported and delivered the Motor Surf Boats from Revere to East Boston

Built in 1995, both boats are stoutly constructed of fiberglass and powered by Cummins 4-cylinder diesel engines. Although, both boats need restoration, they are well suited as Nantucket/LV-112 workboats and would be used for our oceanographic educational programs.
Transport of the two boats from Revere to the Boston Harbor Shipyard & Marina in East Boston was generously donated by G/J Towing & Recovery, Revere. The USLM is sincerely grateful for the generous support provided by the  City of Revere Police Department C/J Towing & Recovery and th Boston Harbor Shipyard & Marina to our historic cause. And thank you to USLM volunteer Ron Janard for the tip about the surf boats, which led to our contacting the Revere Police Department.
'The Last Battle of the Atlantic'

Nantucket/LV-112 / USS Nantucket helped saved lives during peacetime as a floating lighthouse and in wartime as an examination vessel, assigned to patrol the entrance of the Portland, ME, harbor. LV-112 is the last surviving U.S. ship involved in the final WWII U-Boat attacks in American waters 

During World War II, a number of USCG lightships were removed from their lightship station posts, replaced with navigational buoys, transferred to the U.S. Navy and converted to examination vessels. These ships were assigned to the entrance of major U.S. coastal ports to monitor and inspect ships entering and leaving vital ports of call and to watch for enemy craft, especially German U-Boats. From 1942-45, U-Boats sank well over 400 merchant and military  vessels along the U.S. East Coast and the Gulf of Mexico. On its final patrol, t he German submarine  U-853  was ordered to U.S. coastal waters to attack shipping. On April 23, 1945, just before Germany's surrender on May 7, the U-853 torpedoed and sank the USS Eagle (PE-56) outside Portland, Maine.   From 2.5 miles away, the crew aboard the USS  Nantucket witnessed the explosion from the torpedo hitting the PE-56 , causing an immense amount of water to erupt 250-300 feet into the air. T he  Nantucket  steamed towards the sinking  USS Eagle-56  to help rescue the  crew, but o nly 13 of the Eagle's 67 crew survived. 

The Ford Motor Co. built 60 Eagle Boats (1918-19), designed as sub chasers for the U.S. Navy, at their Rouge Plant in Dearborn, MI

The U-853  escaped and headed toward Rhode Island waters. On May 5, 1945 off the coast of Point Judith, it torpedoed and sank another ship, the U.S. merchant ship SS Black Point, a collier (coal carrier) owned by C.H. Sprague and Son. Twelve Black Point crew members perished. The Black Point was the last U.S.-flagged merchant ship lost in WWII.  During the ensuing Battle of Point Judith, the U-853 was chased and sunk on May 6 with its full crew of 55 by U.S. Navy and  Coast Guard
ships, with the aid of two Navy K-class anti-submarine blimps.
U-853 with its crew standing at attention on deck

A human skull and skeletal remains, one of the U-853's 55 crewmembers, scattered inside
the sunken sub's wreckage and gravesite. Photo by: Brian J. Skerry/National Geographic Creative (cropped from original photo)

The USS Nantucket was actually Nantucket Lightship/LV-112, taken off
its Nantucket Shoa ls lightship station and converted at Boston Navy Yard in Charlestown, MA, to an
armed examination vessel. T
ransferred to the First Naval District and operated in conjunction with the U.S. Coast Guard, it was assigned to patrol the entrance of Portland harbor from 1942-45. After the war, Nantucket/LV-112 was
refitted back as a lightship
and returned to Nantucket Shoals Station until her retirement in 1975.

SS Black Point, an American steam merchant vessel, was owned by C.H. Sprague & Son, a worldwide coal supplier in Boston that managed the U.S. government's wartime coal shipment program. Today, Sprague is headquartered in Portsmouth, NH.  

The U.S. Navy and USCG ships involved with the U-853 incidents between April 23 and May 6, 1945 were the USS Selfridge, Muskegon, Ericsson, Amick, Moberly and Atherton . After the war, all these ships have been destroyed due to scrapping or sinking for target practice, except for the USS Atherton , which was sold after WWII to the Philippine government, renamed the Rajah Humabon and as of 2016, is still in service. 

USS Nantucket with crewman (left) on foredeck preparing to fire one of two 50-caliber water-cooled machine guns 
The photo above shows a 3"/50-caliber gun mounted on a specially fabricated platform installed on LV-73. This was a typical installation for U.S. lightships converted to examination vessels during WWII, and USS Nantucket (Nantucket/LV-112) had a similar gun mount. 
To this day, Nantucket Lightship/LV-112 (USS Nantucket) is
the only U.S. vessel that remains from the
U-853' s last patrol
in American waters. For more information about the historic
SS Eagle-56 and U-853,  two books are very informative
and worth reading:
"Due to Enemy Action" by Stephen Puleo and the "The Last Battle of the Atlantic" by Capt. William Palmer (see information  in sidebar at left). Capt. Palmer's
book can be purchased from the USLM for $29, plus shipping. Please contact us by email.

"The Battle of Point Judith, May 6, 1945": Oil on canvas painting by Jonathan Phillips
Join us at the Harborkeepers Marine and Education Fair, April 15

An Asian Shore Crab is a non-native, opportunistic omnivore and invasive species of crab that has become a common inhabitant in Boston Harbor. Photo credit: HarborKeepers
The U.S. Lightship Museum-Nantucket Lightship/LV-112 will be participating in a Marine Education Fair open to the general public. The event is organized by the Harborkeepers, whose mission is "building coastal community resiliency and environmental advocacy in East Boston through engagement, education and stewardship." Also exhibiting at the event are the New England Aquarium, Piers Park Sailing, Empower East Boston, Eastie Farm and others. The event will provide fun marine and harbor education activities for children and adults that create awareness about our harbor, the environment and marine ecosystems.

Students participate in a HarborKeepers East Boston waterfront/shoreline cleanup. Photo credit: Harborkeepers
This informative event will be held on Saturday, April 15, 11:00am-2:00pm on the waterfront at the Community Center, Shore Plaza East, 600 Condor St., East Boston, which is adjacent to the city-owned Condor Street Urban Wild. The HarborKeepers group also organizes bi-weekly harbor cleanups (began March 4) along the East Boston waterfront, every other Saturday, 10:00 to 11:00am. Prior to each cleanup, please check the Harborkeepers' Facebook page for location announcements and weather-related cancellations. If your organization would like to sponsor a cleanup, please contact theharborkeepers@gmail.com!
USLM to present at Salem State College's Explorers Lifelong Learning Institute, April 21

LV-112 on station, 1946
On April 21, USLM President Robert Mannino, Jr., will be making a PowerPoint presentation about the history of "Nantucket Lightship/LV-112 and the U.S. Lightship Service, 1820-1985" featured at the "Friday Coffees" program from 10:00am to 12:00pm. 
The Explorers Lifelong Learning Institute (LLI) is a member-directed learning group, one of more than 300 such organizations in the United States and Canada that are affiliated with the "Road Scholar Institute Network." Since 1992, seniors in the greater Salem community, mostly retirees with diverse backgrounds, have joined Explorers by paying an annual membership fee.

Members and presenters join in active peer learning to share their knowledge and experience by creating, coordinating and participating in courses on a voluntary basis. The programs are challenging, thought-provoking, sometimes controversial and frequently interactive. For more information about LLI click here. To view LLI's Spring 2017 Semester Catalog, click here .
Help support Nantucket Lightship/LV-112's restoration when you shop on Amazon with AmazonSmile
What is  AmazonSmile?
AmazonSmile is a simple and automatic way for you to support the efforts of the U.S. Lightship Museum and Nantucket Lightship/LV-112 every time you shop, at no cost to you. When you shop at smile.amazon.com, you'll find the exact same low prices, vast selection and convenient shopping experience as Amazon.com, with the added bonus that Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price to the U.S. Lightship Museum, among nearly 1 million organizations from which to choose. The U.S. Lightship Museum is a registered and approved AmazonSmile charity. For more information on how to participate click here .  
Celebrating 'Built in the USA': Part 2  

Nantucket/LV-112 at The Pusey and Jones Corporation shipyard in Wilmington, DE upon completion in 1936. LV-112 was the largest U.S. lightship ever built. Photo credit: Hagley Museum   

As described in Part 1 of our "Built in the USA" series, U.S. lightships are more than just floating lighthouses. They also represent a significant segment of American ingenuity, innovation, state-of-the-art design/construction and high-quality materials, equipment and craftsmanship. Moreover, their many years of service represent a segment of our nation's evolving culture. Presently, 15 U.S. lightships still exist. Six are privately owned. Nine are nonprofit museums and National Historic Landmarks open to the general public: five on the East Coast, one on the Great Lakes and three on the West Coast. Preserving these unique historic ships is just as important as preserving other key historic sites representing our nation's heritage.

LV-112's newly fabricated pilot house, prior to installation of port holes, hatches, etc., being prepared for transfer to LV-112's weather deck. The pilot house was constructed, utilizing a special high quality grade of alloy steel.  
A total of 179 United States lightships were designed and constructed in the United States between 1820 and 1952, with highly skilled craftsman and tradesman utilizing high-quality materials and equipment manufactured in the United States. The floating lighthouses were
LV-112's stern section under construction at the Pusey and Jones Corporation shipyard, 1935. Photo credit: Hagley Museum

built at numerous private shipyards across our nation, c ontracted by the federal government.

Several lightships were built in U.S. Navy and USCG shipyards. In addition, components such as engines, rigging, miscellaneous metals, steel, electrical components electronic equipment, piping and navigational equipment were manufactured in the United States by individual contractors such as General Electric, Westinghouse, Carnegie/Bethlehem Steel, General Motors, Motorola, Raytheon, etc. 

Nantucket/LV-112's steam engine being oiled by one of its engineers, 1936. LV-112's main propulsion was a steam 600 HP compound-reciprocating engine with two oil-fired Babcock-Wilcox water tube boilers. LV-112 was the last steam-powered U.S. lightship built. In 1960, the ship was refitted with a 900 HP Cooper-Bessemer diesel engine, replacing the steam engine. All other equipment powered by steam (windless and steering) remained and was converted to compressed air. Photo credit: Hagley Museum

Visitor Grace Holmes from Cameron International Corporation, Houston, TX, stands at the controls of LV-112's 8-cylinder, 900 HP Cooper-Bessemer Diesel Engine, which replaced the steam engine during LV-112's refit in 1960 at Curtis Bay, MD. The Cooper-Bessemer Corporation was formed when C. & G. Cooper (founded in 1833) and the Bessemer Gas Engine Company (founded in 1899) merged in 1929. In 1965, the company was renamed to Cooper Industries and relocated to Houston. In the 1990s, Cooper Industries' Petroleum and Industrial Equipment Group was spun off to become Cooper Cameron Corporation, known today as the Compression Systems Group of Cameron International Corporation. Ownership of Cooper-Bessemer was transferred to General Electric in 2014. Cooper-Bessemer diesel engines were also used in early GE diesel locomotives. Thousands of Cooper-Bessemer engines continue to operate today

Top section of LV-112's steam engine, 1936. Photo credit: Hagley Museum

Although women did not serve on U.S. lightships, they were part of a large workforce employed by shipyards during WWII, when LV-112 was converted to an Examination Vessel (1942-45). Women worked as welders, steel cutters ("burners"), machinists, etc. Photo credit: LIFE magazine

Photo credit: E.F. Joseph
These critically important floating sentinels were built when virtually all of our nation's products and materials were manufactured in the United States and when skilled craftsman and artisans took a tremendous amount of pride in their respective trade. Per our restoration efforts for LV-112, locating new materials (fasteners-bolts, sheet metal screws, rigging items, etc.) made in the USA is a real challenge, as(most are now made in China. So we are always searching for vintage items (used or new old stock) that are compatible and historically accurate. On occasion, we've needed to have parts custom-made by professional craftsman/artisans. Part 3 of this series will appear in the next issue of the USLM eNews. 

Eighty years later, a young visitor takes the helm of Nantucket/LV-112, 2016.
Newly completed LV-112's pilot house with Commanding Officer at helm, 1936. Photo credit: Leslie Jones Collection
LV-112 opens for the season, April 29
A great day to be on the East Boston waterfront, 4th and 5th-grade students with their teacher enjoy a warm-weather class field trip on LV-112's foredeck
Welcome aboard! Nantucket/LV-112 will open for the season on Saturday, April 29, 10:00am-4:00pm, through October 28. While LV-112 is undergoing restoration, regular visiting tours for the general public are presently limited to Saturdays. However, LV-112 is open by appointment throughout the year on all other days. For more information about scheduling individual/group tours and private events on LV-112, please send us an email.

Become a USLM member today
For a gift of $1,000 or more, donors will receive a limited-edition, fine-art print of the SS United States passing Nantucket/LV-112, signed by marine artist Gerald Levey
When you become a member of the U.S. Lightship Museum (USLM), you will be helping rescue and preserve Nantucket Lightship/LV-112, a National Historic Landmark and National Treasure that is an important part of our nation's maritime heritage. Plus you will have the satisfaction of knowing you are a contributing partner in the legacy of the world's most famous and largest U.S. lightship ever built. The USLM is a member of the Council of Maritime Museums (CAMM) and the Historic Naval Ships Association (HNSA). All USLM members will be granted reciprocal privileges (free admission) at participating CAMM institutions. For more information about the benefits and the USLM Membership program, click on USLM Membership.


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We thank everyone for their ongoing
contributions and support

The United States Lightship Museum 

The U.S. Lightship Museum is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to the rescue and preservation of Nantucket Lightship/LV-112, a National Historic Landmark and a National Treasure. LV-112 is a museum and floating learning center, open to the general public -- a place for people of all ages to learn about our nation's seafaring history and the technologies that advanced the nautical and marine sciences.