US Coast Guard Cutter Bramble: A Ramblin’ Gal
March 3, 2010
Wikipedia says that the USCGC Bramble (WLB-392) is one of the 39 original 180-foot seagoing buoy tenders built between 1942-1944 for the United States Coast Guard. Bramble is currently a museum ship, part of Port Huron Museum. The museum’s page on the USCG Cutter Bramble says:
The Coast Guard Cutter Bramble was commissioned in 1944 at a cost of just over $925,000. Following World War II, the Bramble participated in “Operation Crossroads,” the first test of an atomic bomb’s effect on surface ships, at Bikini Island. In 1957, along with the cutters Spar and Storis, it headed for the Northwest Passage, traveling through the Bering Straits and Arctic Ocean. Traveling for 64 days through 4,500 miles of partially uncharted waters, the vessels finally reached the Atlantic Ocean. These three surface vessels were the first to circumnavigate the North American Continent, an ambition mariners have had for more than 400 years.
In 1962, the Bramble transferred to Detroit to perform the missions of search and rescue, icebreaking, and law enforcement throughout the Great Lakes, in addition to aids to navigation. In 1975, the Bramble reported to Port Huron. The cutter’s areas of responsibility included eastern Lake Erie, southern Lake Huron and Saginaw Bay, and maintaining 187 buoys, one NOAA weather buoy, and three fog signals. During winter months, its capabilities as an icebreaker enabled it to escort ships through ice and assist ships in distress. The Bramble was decommissioned in 2003 to be used as a museum.