USCGC Burton Island (WAGB-283)

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USCGC Burton Island (WAGB-283)
Career 100x35px
Name: USS/USCGC Burton Island
Builder: Western Pipe and Steel Company, Los Angeles, California
Laid down: 15 March 1946
Launched: 30 April 1946
Commissioned: 28 December 1946 (USN)
Decommissioned: 15 December 1966
Status: Transferred to US Coast Guard
Recommissioned: 15 December 1966 (USCG)
Decommissioned: 9 May 1978
Fate: Sold for scrap, 17 August 1980
General characteristics
Class and type: Wind-class icebreaker
Displacement: 6,515 long tons (6,620 t)
Length: 269 ft (82 m)
Beam: 63 ft 6 in (19.35 m)
Draft: 25 ft 9 in (7.85 m)
Propulsion: 6 Fairbanks-Morse 10-cylinder diesels driving 6 Westinghouse DC generators which in turn drove 3 electric motors; 12,000 shp (8,948 kW)
two propellers aft; one propeller forward
Speed: 13.4 knots (24.8 km/h; 15.4 mph)
Range: 32,485 mi (52,280 km)

USS Burton Island (AG-88) was a United States Navy Wind-class icebreaker that was later re-commissioned as a United States Coast Guard icebreaker, USCGC Burton Island.

Burton Island was laid down on 15 March 1946 at the San Pedro shipyard of the Western Pipe and Steel Company, launched on 30 April, and commissioned 28 December with the identifier AG-88. She was named after an island near the coast of Delaware.

Service history

US Navy, 1947–1966

On 17 January 1947, Burton Island, loaded with supplies, steamed from San Diego to Ross Sea, Antarctica where it met with units of TF 68 on the first Antarctic Development project, Operation Highjump. After returning from Antarctica, Burton Island departed 25 July 1947 for the Point Barrow expedition to Alaska. From April 1948 to December 1956, Burton Island participated in 19 Arctic and Alaskan cruises, including Operation Windmill. Duties on the cruises varied including, supply activities, helicopter reconnaissance of ice flows, scientific surveys, underwater demolition surveys, and convoy exercises. In March 1949, Burton Island was designated AGB-1.

File:McMurdo Sound Glacier-iv.jpg
Burton Island, Atka (AGB-3), and Glacier (AGB-4) pushing an iceberg out of the channel in the "Silent Land" near McMurdo Station, Antarctica, 29 December 1965.

US Coast Guard, 1966–1978

On 15 December 1966, the Navy transferred the vessel, along with all of its icebreakers, to the United States Coast Guard and it was renumbered WAGB-283. After its transfer, Burton Island was stationed at Long Beach, California and used for icebreaking operations. Starting in 1967 through 1978, Burton Island went on eight different Deep Freeze operations to the Antarctic. In the operations, Burton Island was responsible for creating and maintaining aids to navigation, clearing channels through the ice for supply vessels, and various other activities. In addition to Deep Freeze operations, Burton Island served as a floating platform for scientific surveys and research around Alaska and other isolated polar areas. Burton Island also conducted numerous SAR missions.

From October 1967 to April 1968 she participated in Operation Deep Freeze '68. From October 1968 to April 1969 she participated in Operation Deep Freeze '69. From November 1969 to April 1970 she participated in Operation Deep Freeze '70 and her accompanying icebreaker was disabled. From November 1970 to April 1971 she participated in Operation Deep Freeze '71 and again the accompanying icebreaker was disabled. From August to September 1971 she conducted an oceanographic survey along North Slope, Alaska. From February to March 1972 she conducted a scientific survey in Cook Inlet, Alaska. From November 1972 to April 1973 she participated in Operation Deep Freeze '73. From June to July 1973 she conducted oceanographic research in Alaskan waters. From November 1974 to April 1975 she participated in Operation Deep Freeze '75. From 13 November 1975 to 26 February 1976 she participated in Operation Deep Freeze '76. From July to September 1976 she deployed to the Arctic. From 9 November 1976 to 7 April 1977 she participated in Operation Deep Freeze '77. During that deployment in December, 1976, she carried out numerous SAR missions at Wellington, New Zealand following a torrential downpour. From 9 July 1977 to 8 September 1977 she undertook a cruise to the Arctic Ocean during which time her crew constructed several radar navigation towers along the north coast of Alaska and conducted gravity surveys of the Arctic Ocean. From 20 November 1977 to 1 April 1978 she participated in Operation Deep Freeze '78. From mid-1977 to 9 May 1978 she was stationed at Alameda, California and used for icebreaking.

Decommissioning and sale

She was decommissioned on 9 May 1978. An excerpt from a Maritime Administration letter dated 21 November 1995 indicates her ultimate fate:

The Maritime Administration sold the vessel by auction under PD-X-1033 dtd. 17 August 1980. The vessel was awarded to Levin Metals Corporation, 1800 Monterey Highway, San Jose, California 95112 on 7 October 1980, under contract No. MA-9868 for $261,000. The "Burton Island" was scrapped as of 28 April 1982.


This article includes text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. The entry can be found here.

ja:バートン・アイランド (砕氷艦)