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USCGC Iris (WLB-395)

USCGC Iris.png
USCGC Iris underway.
United States
Name: Iris
Builder: Zenith Dredge Corporation
Laid down: 10 December 1943
Launched: 18 May 1944
Commissioned: 11 August 1944
Decommissioned: 20 June 1995
Fate: Transferred to Maritime Administration 8 August 1997.
Badge: USCGC Iris Badge.png
General characteristics
Class and type: Iris-class buoy tender
Displacement: 935 long tons (950 t)
Length: 180 ft (55 m)
Beam: 47 ft 1 in (14.35 m)
Draft: 12 ft (3.7 m)
Propulsion: 1 × electric motor connected to 2 Westinghouse generators driven by 2 Cooper Bessemer-type GND-8, 4-cycle diesels; single screw
  • 8.3 kn (15.4 km/h; 9.6 mph) cruising
  • 13 kn (24 km/h; 15 mph) maximum
  • 6 officers
  • 74 enlisted

The USCGC Iris (WLB-395) was a Iris-class buoy tender belonging to the United States Coast Guard launched on 18 May 1944 and commissioned on 11 August 1944.[1]


The Iris-class buoy tenders were constructed after the Mesquite-class buoy tenders. Iris cost $926,446 to construct and had an overall length of 180 feet (55 m). She had a beam of 37 feet (11 m) and a draft of up to 12 feet (3.7 m) at the time of construction, although this was increased to 14 feet 7 inches (4.45 m) in 1966. She initially had a displacement of 935 long tons (950 t; 1,047 short tons); this was increased to 1,026 long tons (1,042 t; 1,149 short tons) in 1966. She was powered by one electric motor. This was connected up to two Westinghouse generators which were driven by two CooperBessemer GND-8 four-cycle diesel engines. She had a single screw.[2]

The Iris-class buoy tenders had maximum sustained speeds of 13 knots (24 km/h; 15 mph), although this diminished to around 11.9 knots (22.0 km/h; 13.7 mph) in 1966. For economic and effective operation, they had to initially operate at 8.3 knots (15.4 km/h; 9.6 mph), although this increased to 8.5 knots (15.7 km/h; 9.8 mph) in 1966. The ships had a complement of six officers and seventy-four crew members in 1945; this decreased to two warrants, four officers, and forty-seven men in 1966. They were fitted with a SL1 radar system and QBE-3A sonar system in 1945. Their armament consisted of one 3"/50 caliber gun, two 20 mm/80 guns, two Mousetraps, two depth charge tracks, and four Y-guns in 1945; these were removed in 1966.[2]


International radio call sign of
USCGC Iris (WLB-395)[1]
ICS November.svg ICS Oscar.svg ICS Delta.svg ICS November.svg
November Oscar Delta November

Upon receiving her commission, Iris was assigned to the 8th Coast Guard District and homeported in Galveston, Texas where she was used for general ATON duties through the end of the war.[1] In April 1947, she assisted with evacuating the injured from the Texas City disaster in which SS Grandcamp carrying ammonium nitrate exploded.[3] After assisting with evacuations, Iris returned to the scene to assist with fighting the numerous fires that had spawned.[1] In April 1989, she responded out to the Exxon Valdez oil spill and assisted with the clean up of Prince William Sound. In 1997, she was transferred to the Maritime Administration.[1]

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e "USCG Iris" (PDF). USCG. US Coast Guard. Retrieved 26 July 2015.
  2. ^ a b "Iris" (PDF). United States Coast Guard. Retrieved 24 August 2015.
  3. ^ "Texas City, Texas Disaster". Fire Prevention and Engineering Bureau of Texas. April 29, 1947. Retrieved 2014-12-29.