Lightship Chesapeake

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Chesapeake Lightship in 2007 - 49th trip
Chesapeake Lightship in 2007 - 49th trip

Baltimore, Maryland

Built: 1930

Decommissioned: 1971

The Lightship Chesapeake was commissioned in 1930 as Light Vessel No. 116 and later renumbered WAL/WLV 538 by the Coast Guard. She was built by Charleston Drydock & Machine Co. in Charleston, SC. First named Fenwick she was on position at Fenwick Island Shoal, DE from 1930-33. Her primary assignment was Chesapeake, Virginia from 1933 to 1965, except when she was an examination vessel from 1942-1945 during WWII. Her last tour of duty was as Delaware, at the mouth of the Delaware Bay from 1966 to 1970, when she was replaced by a large 104 ton buoy beacon. After leaving Delaware Bay she was moored in Cape May, New Jersey until her decommissioning on 6 January 1971. She is currently moored in Baltimore's Inner Harbor, and serves as a museum.

Chesapeake is 133 feet, 3 inches long with a beam of 30 feet, a draft of 13 feet, 9 inches and a displacement of 132 tons. She has a 350-hp diesel-electric propulsion system with a speed of 9 knots. During WWII, she carried 2 x 20 mm rapid fire machine guns.

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This article was last modified on 6/5/2009.

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