April 2016  

In this issue
Happy spring!
Two guiding lights
RMS Olympic-Nantucket/LV-117 disaster anniversary
East Boston teacher donates
funds for microscope
USLM creates LV-112 exhibit for public library
Nantucket/LV-112 part of "Preservation Month 2016"
National Lighthouse Day and Boston Seafood Festival
Marlinspike seamanship course offered on Nantucket/LV-112
Metrowest retirement group celebrates on LV-112
Donate your old vehicle or boat
USLM is seeking volunteers
USLM membership




All electronic donations will be 

processed by PayPal



   Subscribe to me on YouTube 





Proudly made in USA


lighthouse lovers!


If you love lighthouses and want to learn about these guiding lights and navigational aids all over the world, then The Lighthouse Directory is the website for you. It provides an astounding amount of information, linking to more than 17,200 of the world's lighthouses. Russ Rowlett, Adjunct Professor of Mathematics at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, compiled the directory with the assistance of hundreds of lighthouse fans around the world who have enriched this site with their own information and suggestions. For a long time, Rowlett tried to maintain a list of lighthouses from his many friends and contacts, but it had grown too long (and too out of date) to display on the comprehensive site. Rowlett offers special thanks to Michel Forand for his suggestions and editing, touching essentially every page of the directory, and Jeremy D'Entremont, Ted Sarah and Klaus Huelse, each contributing in vital ways.

The Maine
Lighthouse Museum

Another unique educational resource for U.S. Lighthouse history, Lifesaving and Lightship Services is the Maine Lighthouse Museum (MLM), located in Rockland, Maine, the heart of the Midcoast. Last October, the U.S. Lightship Museum presented a PowerPoint presentation at the MLM about U.S. lightships and Nantucket/LV-112.

The mission of the Maine Lighthouse Museum is to educate the public regarding the longstanding traditions, heroism and progress of America's Lighthouse and Lifesaving Services and the U.S. Coast Guard through the conservation and interpretation of the nation's most significant collection of lighthouse and lifesaving artifacts. From sparkling lenses to heartwarming stories of the keepers and their families, the Maine Lighthouse Museum is truly America's lighthouse museum. For more information, log on to the Maine Lighthouse Museum or call 207.594.3301.  



We salute our donors


American Express
Amex Industrial Services, Inc.
Association of Public Safety Communications Officials - Atlantic Chapter

BAE Systems

Bluefin Robotics

Boston Forge & Welding Corp. 

Boston Harbor
Shipyard & Marina
The Boston Foundation
ThreeBees Fund

California Public Safety Radio Association 

  Cameron International Corporation


Charitable Adult Rides and

Services, Inc.


Claflin & Son

Nautical Antiques


Crandall Dry Dock Engineers


Capt. Robertson P. Dinsmore Fund

Donahue, Tucker &

Ciandella, PLLC 


East Boston Foundation


Eastern Bank Charitable

Egan Maritime Institute,

Nantucket Shipwreck &

Lifesaving Museum


Fitzgerald Shipyard


Foss Maritime


Friends of the

Boston Harbor Islands


H&H Propeller, Inc.


J. Hewitt Marine

Electrical Services 


Kelly Automotive Group   


H.F. Lenfest Fund


The Lightship Group, LLC


McAllister Towing &
Transportation Co.


Joe and Pepette Mongrain

National Trust for    

Historic Preservation

New England 

Lighthouse Lovers 

New London Maritime Society and Custom House Maritime Museum 


The Sail Loft, LLC, Nantucket



Industrial Marine Coatings Division
T & M Services

 Town of Oyster Bay, 

Long Island, NY

 U.S. Coast Guard Lightship Sailors Association 

 West Marine    

U.S. Lighthouse Society 

 USLM Members  

Verizon Foundation


Zuni Maritime Foundation

USS Zuni / USCG Tamaroa  

 Individual Donors




USLM is a member
of the following organizations


CAMM Logo 


HNSA Logo     


The flag of the United States Lighthouse Service


Teach children about lightships with the book


Editorial From School  
Library Journal 

Kindergarten-Grade 2: Lightships were anchored where lighthouses could not be built. They protected our ocean harbors as well as points along the Great Lakes. The last one ( Nantucket/LV-613 ) was decommissioned in 1983, so this fascinating picture book is a piece of nautical history. Brian Floca's watercolor drawings depict daily life aboard one of these vessels, cooking, sleeping, working, all the while rolling with the rhythm of the waves. Many hazards were involved. Big ships came too close, anchors lost their mooring, and weather caused many problems. But when the fog rolled in, the lightship sprang into action. Lights flashed and horns sounded, allowing ship traffic to make it "through fog and night, past rocks and shoals, past reefs and wrecks, past danger." The drawings are very detailed. Some pages are collages of small scenes. Many are full spreads. The sailors' facial expressions are amusing to watch, and the resident cat appears on almost every page. The front and back endpapers show a cutaway view of one of the vessels. This fascinating, little-known slice of history should prove interesting to every child who loves big boats.
-- Ieva Bates, Ann Arbor District Library, MI  (review originally published by Reed Business Information, Inc.) 

The book Lightship , by Brian Floca, can be purchased on Amazon.com . For more information about lightships, click on Brian Floca's blog .

For more information about the U.S. Coast Guard Lightship Sailors Association and the U.S. Lightship Service, click on logo

Lead, Kindly Light
By John Henry Newman

"Lead, Kindly Light, amidst th'encircling gloom,
Lead Thou me on!
The night is dark, and I am far from home,
Lead Thou me on!
Keep Thou my feet; I do not ask to see
The distant scene; one step enough for me.
I was not ever thus, nor prayed that Thou
Shouldst lead me on;
I loved to choose and see my path; but now
Lead Thou me on!
I loved the garish day, and, spite of fears,
Pride ruled my will. Remember not past years!
So long Thy power hath blest me, sure it still
Will lead me on.
O'er moor and fen, o'er crag and torrent, till
The night is gone,
And with the morn those angel faces smile,
Which I have loved long since, and lost awhile!
Meantime, along the narrow rugged path,
Thyself hast trod,
Lead, Saviour, lead me home in childlike faith,
Home to my God.
To rest forever after earthly strife
In the calm light of everlasting life."

Note: "Lead Kindly Light" was a poem originally written by John Henry Newman (1801-1890), who was 33 years old when he found himself on a boat from the Sicilian city of Palermo to Marseille, France. Newman, who was recovering after being dangerously ill with a fever, was on the boat to return to his native England when he penned the lyrics to "Lead, Kindly Light." The context that Newman was recovering from a frightening illness in the middle of the sea gives insight to the lyrics.


Photo above: Pigeon Point Lighthouse in California, by Darvin Atkeson


Poem posted on
LV-112 while in service on Nantucket Shoals Lightship Station

"When a sailor gets to thinking
He is one of the best
Let him ship out on a lightship
And take the acid test.
And if he feels like bragging
I don't think that all of his tales
Will be of deep sea sailing
But of the ship that never

Poem provided by Peter Brunk,
USCG-Ret., Commanding Officer,
Nantucket/LV-112, 1970-71


2016 is the 
300th anniversary of Boston Light
To learn more about Boston Light Ticentennial planning and special events, click on the Boston Light.
The U.S. Lightship Museum is a member of the Tricentennial Committee.

The Sinking of the U-853
by Capt. William Palmer

When the German enemy submarine U-853 entered U.S. waters off Portland, Maine in 1945, it torpedoed and sank the USS Eagle-56. Nantucket/LV-112, converted to an Examination vessel, USS Nantucket (1942-45) during WWII, helped save the crew of the USS Eagle-56This is a book about the  U-853 story, researched, experienced and written by Capt. Bill Palmer , a long-time shipwreck researcher, diver and preservationist.
Description of book: "Out in the cold Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Rhode Island, lies the remains of what was once a feared and mighty hunter. It's not a fish or shark, for that matter it is not even a marine creature. It's what men feared the most when they went to sea aboard their vessel back during the World War II years. It's a German Submarine called a U-Boat. The U-853 was the last German submarine sunk in World War II. She was sunk with all hands just minutes before World War II ended. The once mighty hunter feared by all who put to sea, now lies in 130 feet of water off the coast of Block Island, Rhode Island, her grave marked only by a circle on the nautical charts, DANGER Unexploded Depth Charges, May 1945."
Palmer has been running a charter boat for wreck diving and shark fishing and shark cage diving off the coast of Rhode Island and Connecticut for 40 years.

German U-boat attack off Portland, Maine, during WWII, involving
LV-112 (USS Nantucket)
It is the story of a small U.S. sub-chaser, the Eagle 56, caught in the crosshairs of a German U-boat, the  U-853, whose brazen commander doomed his own crew in a desperate, last-ditch attempt to record final kills before his country's imminent defeat a few weeks later in May. And it is the account of how one man, Paul M. Lawton, embarked on an unrelenting quest for the truth and changed naval history.
For more information, log onto: " Due to Enemy Action"

"In February of 1952, one of the worst storms to ever hit the East Coast struck New England, damaging an oil tanker off the coast of Cape Cod and literally ripping it in half. On a small lifeboat faced with frigid temperatures and 70-foot high waves, four members of the U.S. Coast Guard (Bernie Webber and three other crewmen) set out to rescue the more than 30 stranded sailors trapped aboard the rapidly sinking vessel. 'The Finest Hours' is the story of their heroic mission, which is still considered the greatest small boat rescue in Coast Guard history." 
(Michelle McCue, 9/9/14)

Bernie Webber (later served on Nantucket/LV-112, 1958-60) and the three other crewmen were awarded the coveted USCG Gold Lifesaving Medal for their heroism in what is considered by maritime historians to be "the greatest small boat rescue in Coast Guard history." Mr. Webber, who was a member of the USCG Lightship Sailors Association, was extremely helpful in assisting the USLM-Nantucket/LV-112 compile research information and historic documents about LV-112. He was a pleasure and honor to work with. Bernie passed away in January 2009. He was considered "A Real American Hero" and is dearly missed.

To learn more about  
lighthouse news, click on
Lighthouse Digest

Explore the oceans in depth and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution with
Oceanus magazine
Oceanus explores the oceans in depth, highlighting the research and researchers at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in news, features and interviews written by magazine staff, with full-color photographs and illustrations. Each issue covers a wide spectrum of oceanography, spanning coastal research, marine life, deep-ocean exploration and the ocean's role in climate, as well as ocean technology and policy. To learn more, click on magazine cover above.

Lightships, Lighthouses & Lifeboat Stations:  
A Memoir and History

Lightships, Lighthouses & Lifeboat Stations is part history book, part memoir, written by Bernie Webber, recipient of the Coast Guard's highest award, the Gold Life-saving Medal, and hero of the Disney movie The Finest Hours. While the public will recognize Webber's name from the movie and the bestselling book by the same name, few people know that during his lengthy Coast Guard career he served on lightships (ships anchored in dangerous areas to warn other vessels of hazards) in addition to lifeboat stations (small boat rescue stations) and lighthouses. Webber poses the following question: "How did the lightship men cope with the isolation, constant loneliness, boredom, fear, or just sheer terror? All were part of life on board a lightship. Rough seas tossed the ship about, rearing up and down on the anchor chain. This was a world of isolation, noise from operating machinery, and blasts from the powerful foghorn that went on for hours, sometimes days, at a time." Webber answers that question in this book, drawing on a combination of personal experience and meticulous historical research. Discussions of men going mad, lightships being run down by larger ships, anchor chains breaking, and lightships cast upon shoals are offset by humorous stories and the author's reflections on his best days at sea. Fourteen historic photos are included, as well as a foreword by Michael Tougias.(reprinted from Amazon).

Happy spring!
LV-112 opens for 2016 season

Visitor poses with his Nantucket LV-112 model that he assembled and brought with him. Nantucket Lightship LV-112 scale models are available from Lindberg Models and Bluejacket Shipcrafters

Nantucket Lightship/LV-112 is now open for the 2016 season, every Saturday, 10am-4pm, through the last weekend in October. The ship also is available for tours on other days throughout the year, by appointment only. For more information, send your inquiries to rmmjr2@comcast.net or call 617.797.0135.
Two guiding lights at sea 

Nantucket Lightship/LV-112 steams past Boston Lightship/LV-85 enroute to Nantucket Shoals Lightship Station from USCG Base Boston (c. 1951)

Boston Lightship/LV-85 was built in 1907 and originally served on Nantucket Shoals Station until 1923. After other assignments, LV-85 eventually was assigned to Boston Lightship Station in Boston Harbor from 1951-62. From 1958-60, Nantucket/LV-112 served as a Relief lightship in the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) First District including briefly serving on Boston Lightship Station as a Relief vessel. During LV-112's total service (1936-75), the only years that it did not serve on Nantucket Shoals Station were 1958-60 and 1942-45, when it was converted into a WWII armed Examination vessel, USS Nantucket, assigned to protect the harbor entrance of Portland, Maine.

RMS Olympic-Nantucket/LV-117
disaster anniversary: May 15
Artist's rendition depicting the RMS Olympic ramming the Nantucket Lightship/LV-117, as described by witnesses during the incident, painted by Charles Mazoujian

On May 15, 1934, while steaming toward New Yok City through thick fog off Nantucket Shoals, the  RMS Olympic, sister ship to RMS Titanic, collided with Nantucket Lightship/LV-117. The broadside collision was devastating, nearly splitting the lightship in half and sending it and four crewmen to their watery graves. Three survivors later died of injuries, sustained from the collision. The sunken lightship wreck now lies in 200 feet of water 50 miles south of Nantucket Island. Only four of the 11 lightship crewmen survived the horrific incident. In 1936, Pusey & Jones of Wilmington, Delaware, built LV-112, the largest U.S. lightship ever, for $300,956. The Cunard-White Star Line paid for the construction of LV-112 as reparation for the LV-117 accident. To learn more about the incident, watch this 12-minute 1936 newsreel.

Nantucket/LV-117 (shown above) had five sister ships. Only two survive today, Chesapeake Lightship/LV-116, at the Baltimore Maritime Museum, Baltimore, MD, and Frying Pan Lightship/LV-115, converted to a modified private seasonal restaurant, berthed at Pier 66 Maritime, New York City.
East Boston teacher donates funds for microscope to study oceanographic science on LV-112
Students viewing plankton through the microscope set up in LV-112's galley

An East Boston public school teacher, John Rogers, recently donated funds to purchase a compound microscope for viewing and studying plankton. Oceanographic, environmental/weather, climate and nautical science topics
On board LV-112, teacher John Rogers helps students collect plankton with a plankton net
as well as maritime history are an important segment of the U.S. Lightship Museum's (USLM) "Candlepower" educational program, directed to grade-school students and youths. John has been a USLM volunteer since 2011 and is assisting the USLM in creating the Candlepower curriculum. Students who visit LV-112 during class field trips will be able to collect and study plankton from Boston Harbor while on board LV-112. During its service as a USCG commissioned vessel as a floating lighthouse, LV-112 (WAL-534) was also utilized as an oceanographic research and reporting vessel by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) and for weather reporting by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

is a floating time capsule and schoolhouse that brings together the past and present. One of the goals of our Candlepower Program is to inspire and motivate schoolchildren to learn exciting facts about
Nantucket Lightship/LV-112 and the vital role it played in guiding international transoceanic shipping safely to and from the United States. They also learn how its crew conducted oceanographic, climate, weather research and reporting in conjunction with WHOI. In addition to our mission to restore and preserve LV-112, w e continue to be dedicated to providing interactive on-board educational programming, engaging schoolchildren in maritime history as well as the nautical/marine sciences. In our Candlepower Program, we are adapting some of the actual research and reporting tasks that were practiced during the lightship's commissioned USCG service in conjunction with WHOI. In all that we do, we emphasize the importance of historic preservation so that future generations will be able to enjoy America's treasures.
USLM creates LV-112 exhibit for Public Library
A young patron and his mom view a model of Nantucket Lightship/LV-112, part of an exhibit featuring the historic floating lighthouse at the Langley-Adams Public Library in Groveland, Mass.

On April 27, at 6:30pm, at the Langley-Adams Public Library in Groveland, Mass., Robert Mannino, Jr., is giving a PowerPoint presentation about the history of the U.S. Lighthship Service and Nantucket/LV-112. As a complement to the presentation, the USLM created an exhibit in the library that features  LV-112, historic artifacts from the ship and publications about the U.S. Lightship Service. 
Nantucket/LV-112 featured in "Preservation Month 2016" in Boston

LV-112 berthed on the East Boston waterfront
National Historic Preservation Month, celebrated in May, is an annual celebration designed to raise awareness about the power of historic preservation in protecting and enhancing our historic communities. Preservation Month was established by the National Trust for Historic Preservation and is organized locally by the Boston Landmarks Commission (BLC). The BLC has scheduled a calendar of events, such as tours, presentations and workshops, that will take place at participating historic sites in Boston during May. Click here to explore this year's theme and participants.

National Lighthouse Day and Boston Seafood Festival plan a combined harbor celebration, August 7
Nantucket/LV-112 anchored on Nantucket Shoals lightship station, 1946

The USLM will celebrate National Lighthouse Day again on August 7 and will activate  LV-112's 500,000-candlepower light beacon and booming foghorn to commemorate this historic event. LV-112 will be open for tours from 11am-7:30pm. The event's highlight will be at 8:15pm, when LV-112's light beacon and foghorn will be activated. This year the USLM will hold this historic event in conjunction with the Boston Seafood Festival, together celebrating Boston's maritime heritage and eating some really good food! Planning is underway and more  detailed event information is forthcoming. In addition, this year National Lighthouse Day is particularly exceptional, because Boston Light is celebrating its 300th anniversary as America's first lighthouse site (1716).

One of LV-112's 500mm duplex light beacons on foremast, each with a fourth-order Fresnel drum lens; photo by Matt Teuten
The Boston Fisheries Foundation (BFF), who organizes the Boston Seafood Festival, is also a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, whose mission is to educate the public about the role played by fishermen in preserving our wild ocean stocks through responsible harvesting and management and facilitates public awareness of our history and the importance of wild harvests to the proud traditions of an independent New England. The BFF will celebrate its Fifth Annual Boston Seafood Festival on the historic Boston Fish Pier on Sunday, August 7. This family-friendly event will take place from 11am to 7pm. It will be a day of sensational seafood tastings, clambakes, chef demos, educational events and family fun.

Why have a seafood festival? Festival co-founder Joe Zanti, owner of Yankee Lobster Co., explains, "We want to offer a fun day to enjoy one of New England's most important natural resources in a responsible and enjoyable way. Come enjoy the food and festivities and learn about the oldest industry in the United States! 
Marlinspike seamanship course to be offered on LV-112, June 4

Jim Keating holding the fog bell lanyard that he crafted for Nantucket/LV-112
For those of you who want to learn how to splice rope, halyards, dock lines, etc., and tying a proper square knot, bowline, cleat hitch or other types of knots, then register for our 2-hour "Basic Marlinspike Seamanship" workshop to be held on Saturday, June 4, 10am to 12pm; Place:
Nantucket Lightship/LV-112. Cost: $35. This workshop will be limited to 12 individuals. Instructional literature will also be provided. For a reservation and more information, please email us by  clicking here.

One of many fine hand-crafted examples of marlinspike seamanship that are throughout LV-112, created by former USLHS and USCG LV-112 crewmembers
The instructor will be James F. Keating. Jim is self-taught in the art form, and his experiences in marlinspike seamanship are vast. In Boston, he has done work at such historical landmarks as the USS Constitution and Boston Tea Party Ship; in Salem, at the Peabody Essex Museum, Salem Maritime National Historic Site, and the House of Seven Gables. He started marlinspike seamanship when he was in England in 1971. His interest was stimulated at The National Naval Museum, Greenwich, England.

Basic eye splice with sailmaker's whipping and thimble
To learn more about Mr. Keating's unique background, please visit his website by clicking here.

Metrowest retirement group celebrates on LV-112  
A group of retirees from the Framingham, Mass., area held one of their monthly meetings on board LV-112 during a blustery early March day. A hot and delicious home-style Italian lunch was catered by the Italian Express Pizzeria in East Boston, enjoyed by all in the galley.

Help support the restoration and preservation of Nantucket/LV-112
Donate your old car, truck, boat, camper or even heavy equipment
If you are considering selling or trading in your old car, truck, boat or camper or even heavy equipment (tractors, etc.), give it new life by donating it our museum. Our national car donation program is a hassle-free way of putting your used or junk vehicle to work, supporting our efforts to preserve Nantucket Lightship/LV-112 as a floating learning center. Plus, you may be eligible to receive a tax deduction. Your vehicle does not have to be operational and can be damaged. It just has to be intact and towable.

How it works:
We have teamed with Charitable Auto Resources, Inc. (CARS), to accept vehicle donations across the U.S. Once you contact our customer service representative about making the donation, everything will be taken care of, including a receipt for your tax records. Sale proceeds will be donated to the USLM in your name. If the car sells for less than $500, the receipt provided when the car is towed away will serve as your tax receipt. If the car sells for $500 or more, you will receive a 1098-C form for tax purposes.

Contact information:
Donating your car to the U.S. Lightship Museum (USLM) is as easy as calling our representative toll-free at 855-500-7433, or visit our website  www.NantucketLightshipLV-112.org and click on "How to Help" (home page) and "Vehicle Donation Program" on the drop-down menu. 
USLM is seeking volunteers

The U.S. Lightship Museum needs more volunteers to help with Nantucket/LV-112's restoration and maintenance.
LV-112's rescue and restoration progress to date is largely due to the commitment, time and effort that our dedicated volunteers have invested in this important National Historic Landmark and National Treasure. Presently, we need volunteers willing to help with cleaning, preparation for painting, painting, visitor tours and miscellaneous tasks. So if you are looking for new opportunities, have an interest in historic preservation and maritime history, and enjoy being on Boston's waterfront and sharing experiences with like-minded individuals, then please contact us. Or, if you cannot volunteer your time and want to assist with LV-112's preservation, a tax-deductible donation would be greatly appreciated. For more information, please send us an
email  or call 617.797.0135. Thank you!

Become a USLM member today
For a gift of $1,000 or more, donors will receive a limited-edition, fine-art print of the SS United States passing Nantucket/LV-112, signed by marine artist Gerald Levey
When you become a member of the U.S. Lightship Museum (USLM), you will be helping rescue and preserve Nantucket Lightship/LV-112, a National Historic Landmark and National Treasure that is an important part of our nation's maritime heritage. Plus you will have the satisfaction of knowing you are a contributing partner in the legacy of the world's most famous and largest U.S. lightship ever built. The USLM is a member of the Council of Maritime Museums (CAMM) and the Historic Naval Ships Association (HNSA). All USLM members will be granted reciprocal privileges (free admission) at participating CAMM institutions. For more information about the benefits and the USLM Membership program, click on USLM Membership.


All electronic donations will be processed by PayPal.




We thank everyone for their ongoing
contributions and support

The United States Lightship Museum 

The U.S. Lightship Museum is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to the rescue and preservation of Nantucket Lightship/LV-112, a National Historic Landmark and a National Treasure. LV-112 is a museum and floating learning center, open to the general public -- a place for people of all ages to learn about our nation's seafaring history and the technologies that advanced the nautical and marine sciences.