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USS Glacier (AGB 4) in May 1955 ready for commissioning.

USS Glacier (AGB 4) in May 1955 ready for commissioning.
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Class: GLACIER (AGB 4)
Design: SCB Project No. 11A
Displacement (tons): 5,100 light, 8,740' full
Dimensions (feet): 310' oa, 290' wl x 74' e, 72' wl x 29'
Armament: 2-5"38T, 3-3"50T, 6-20mmT; (1957) 2-5"38T, 2-3"50T
Accommodations: 41 officers, 320 enlisted
Speed (kts.): 16
Propulsion (HP): 16,000
Machinery: Diesel electric, 2 screws

4GLACIER10 Jan 1952Ingalls, Pascagoula3 Aug 195327 Aug 195427 May 1955

AGBNameTDecomm/CustStrikeDisposalFateMA Sale/Depart
4GLACIER30 Jun 19661 Jul 196630 Jun 1966Trf.16 Feb 2012

Class Notes:
Although the Coast Guard's Wind-class icebreakers (five ships beginning with WESTWIND that were copied by the Navy in its AGB 1-2) remained among the best in the world, the Navy opted in around 1951 to develop a new design based on the Winds but with a beam 10 feet greater (74 ft.), which would allow it to clear a path for the Maritime Administration's large postwar standard cargo ships of the Mariner class. Approved characteristics for a new AGB, SCB Project 11A, were promulgated on 21 September 1951 with a final change on 7 March 1957. GLACIER's motto was "Follow me." GLACIER had twice the power of the earlier icebreakers with ten Fairbanks Morse 38D 8-1/8 diesel engines developing 21,000 hp to drive electric generators that powered two 13-ft motors. She originally had a heavy gun armament of two 5"/38 and six 3"/50 guns, all in twin mounts, although the forward twin 3"/50 mount was eventually landed. Nearly all of her Navy service was in successive Operations Deep Freeze in Antarctica. All Navy icebreakers were transferred to the Coast Guard in 1966.

The FY 1958 Shipbuilding and Conversion Program as approved by CNO on 11 September 1956 included a shallow draft icebreaker. The ship was to provide icebreaking services in water that was too shallow for standard icebreakers in support of bases, presumably including those of the DEW line then under construction, and other operations in high latitudes. Approved characteristics for an Icebreaker, Shallow Draft (AGB), SCB Project No. 171, were promulgated on 7 June 1957 and updated on 18 June 1958. It was to be much smaller than Glacier (AGB 4) with an overall length of 245 feet, displacement of 2,600 tons, and machinery of 4,500 HP. The ship was not in the final FY 1958 program and was not built.

Ship Notes:
4GLACIERFY 1952. Trf. USCG and comm. 30 Jun 1966 as USCGC GLACIER (WAGB 4). Decomm. 7 Jul 1987, to MA custody 3 Oct 1991. Title to MA 18 Dec 1998. Departed 17 Apr 2012 under domestic sale.

Page Notes:
Compiled: 18 Oct 2021
© Stephen S. Roberts, 2021