The USCGC Sundew (WLB-404) is a 180-foot (55 m) sea going buoy tender (WLB). An Iris, or C-class vessel, it was built by Marine Ironworks and Shipbuilding Corporation in Duluth, Minnesota. Sundew's preliminary design was completed by the United States Lighthouse Service and the final design was produced by Marine Iron and Shipbuilding Corporation in Duluth. On 29 November 1943 the keel was laid. It was launched on 8 February 1944 and commissioned on 24 August 1944. The original cost for the hull and machinery was $861,589.
Sundew is one of 39 original 180-foot (55 m) seagoing buoy tenders built between 1942-1944. All but one of the original tenders, the USCGC Ironwood (WLB-307), were built in Duluth. Like all of these tenders, the Sundew was named after a plant, in this case the sundew, a carnivorous plants from the genus Drosera.
In 1958, the Sundew was assigned to Charlevoix, Michigan, and the following November helped in the rescue of two survivors from the SS Carl D. Bradley when it sank in a storm on Lake Michigan 47 miles (76 km) west-northwest of Charlevoix. The Sundew remained at Charlevoix until 1980.
Sundew served 60 years for the Coast Guard and was decommissioned and retired on May 27, 2004. As part of the decommissioning, the vessel was given to the city of Duluth, its last home port, to be used as a museum ship. The services provided by the Sundew were taken up by USCGC Alder (WLB 216).
Category: Sea - Military - Surface Warfare