Old Mackinaw (WAGB 83) freshly painted for decommissioning ceremony
River on June 10, 2006. On June 21, a skeleton Coast Guard crew sailed
the Mackinaw to her final mooring
at the former Chief Wawatam railroad dock in downtown Mackinaw City,
USCGC Mackinaw at the Millard D. Olds Memorial Mooring in Cheboygan,
Michigan - November 23, 2001
WAGB 83 had 30 skippers during her nearly 62 year career:
|Cmdr. Edwin J. Roland 1944-46
Cmdr. Carl H. Stober 1946-47
Capt. Harold J. Doebler 1947-49
Capt. Carl G. Bowman 1949-50
Capt. Dwight H. Dexter 1950-52
Cmdr. Willard J. Smith 1952-54
Capt. Clifford R. Maclean 1954-56
Capt. Evor S. Kerr 1956-58
Capt. John P. German 1958-60
Capt. Joseph Howe 1960-62
|Capt. Benjamin Chiswell, Jr. 1962-64
Capt. George H. Lawrence 1964-66
Capt. George D. Winstein 1966-68
Capt. Otto F. Unsinn 1968-70
Capt. Lilbourn A. Pharris, Jr. 1970-72
Capt. John H. Bruce 1972-74
Capt. Lawrence A. White 1974-76
Capt. Donald D. Garnett 1976-78
Capt. Gordon Hall 1978-80
Capt. Francis J. Honke 1980-83
|Capt. P.R. Taylor 1983-85
Capt. A. H. Litteken, Jr. 1985-88
Capt. J. J. McQueeny 1988-89
Capt. A. H. Litteken, Jr. 1989-89
Capt. R. J. Parsons 1989-92
Capt. C. A. Swedberg 1992-95
Cmdr. K. R. Colwell 1995-98
Cmdr. E. Sinclair 1998-2000
Cmdr. J. H. Nickerson 2000-03
Cmdr. Joseph C. McGuiness 2003-06
minute video of Mackinaw underway - courtesy of United States Coast
Length: 290 feet
Beam: 74' 4"
Speed: 18.7 knots
Power Plant: Six diesel engines with electric drive,
three shafts (one forward, two aft), 10,000 bhp.
Ice breaking Capability: Three feet at three knots
Construction of the United States Coast Guard Cutter Mackinaw was started
on March 20, 1943 by the Toledo Shipbuilding Company. The company went
into bankruptcy during construction and the American Shipbuilding &
Dry-dock Company completed the Mackinaw and launched it on March 4, 1944
at a cost of $10,000,000. The Mackinaw was been stationed in Cheboygan,
Michigan from its commissioning on December 30, 1944.
When first commissioned, the Mackinaw was the most powerful icebreaker
in the world. At the conclusion of her career, the Mackinaw was still the
largest United States Coast Guard Cutter assigned to the Great Lakes and
set the standards by which other icebreakers are measured. The Mackinaw
is the only "Mackinaw" class icebreaker which was built and its design
borrows from the "Wind" class.
Mackinaw leading freighter Edgar B. Speer down the St. Mary's River
on January 22, 2004 - courtesy of USCG
Coast Guard Cutter Mackinaw on the St. Mary's River in the late 1990s.
Photo courtesy of BM1 Mark A. Faught,
Station Supervisor at Station (sm) Washington Island. He is in the
orange suit at left.
At full load the Mackinaw displaced 5,252.4 tons and drew 19' 2.25"
of water. Her innovative features included a 12 foot diameter bow propeller
which draws water from beneath the ice ahead, both weakening the ice and
sending water along the sides of the hull and reducing ice friction. The
Mackinaw also has a heeling system which can shift nearly 112,000 gallons
of ballast water from side to side in 90 seconds, allowing a rocking motion
which assists the Mackinaw in freeing itself from ice.
The Mackinaw had a compliment of 8 officers and 67 elicited men and
women. The last members of the ship's compliment will left the Mackinaw
at on June 30, 2006, turning the Mackinaw over to Icebreaker
Mackinaw Maritime Museum (IMMM).
Why "WAGB?" The "W" has been applied to all Coast
Guard ships since W.W.II. During the war, to avoid problems that could
arise from a Navy and Coast Guard ship having the same number on their
bows, a "W" was painted before the number to signify the ship as a Coast
Guard ship. The "AGB" is for Arctic Glacier Breaker. The Polar Rollers
(Polar Star, Polar Sea) and Healy are also WAGB's. The "AGB" is for
Arctic Glacier Breaker. The Polar Rollers (Polar Star, Polar Sea) and Healy
are also WAGB's.
"Guardian of the Great Lakes"
|Learn much more about WAGB 83, the United States Coast Guard Cutter
Mackinaw, in this recently released DVD. The photographer goes aboard the
icebreaker Mackinaw as it conducts its final spring breakout during "Operation
Taconite" in March 2006
The video captures the Mackinaw's final up-bound passage through
the Soo Locks and her final first cut across Lake Superior's Whitefish
The 60-minute DVD is available in regional gift shops and bookstores,
directly from Keweenaw Video,
PO Box 665, Houghton, MI 49931 phone 1-800-382-6088
Unless otherwise noted - all photos copyright 2001-2009
by Keith Stokes. .
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