Timeline: Portsmouth Lightship

(Located at the foot of London and Water Streets, Portsmouth, VA. Lightship designations: LV101/WAL524 – 04/28/2013)

1915 Built at Wilmington, DE. 102 feet long, 25 foot beam, 360 ton displacement. Fitted with 500mm lens with six flash panels and kerosene lamp.

1916 Stationed at Smith Island Shoals, Cape Charles, VA. Known as Charles.

1917 Illuminant changed from kerosene to acetylene.

1919 Equipped with radio.

1926 Delaware Bay station assignment known as Overfalls.

1930 Radiobeacon sequenced with Five Fathom and Winter Quarter stations.

1931 Equipped with radio-beacon; Illuminating apparatus changed to duplex 375 mm electric lens.

1942 – 1945 Remained at Overfalls – no armament provided.

1944 New diesel engine installed.

1951 Transferred to First District, overhauled at Boston and placed on Stonehorse Shoal, MA, southeast of Cape Cod. Known as Stonehorse.

1963 Last duty – Cross Rip – southwest of previous location.

1964 Vessel breaks down en route to Boston. Decommissioned. Vessel towed from Nantucket to Portsmouth by local fishing boat captain, Tony Pinello. Avoids Hurricane Dora by navigating through Nantucket Shoals.

1967 After three years of repair, vessel opened to the public as a museum.

1989 Designated a National Historic Landmark.

2002 Lightship closed for renovations.

2004 Reopened for visitation.

(Source: A History of U. S. Lightships by Willard Flint, Portsmouth Naval Museums –  www.portsmouthnavalMuseum.com
Chesapeake Lights Channel Marker – Fall, 2010 and Lighthouse Digest – November 2004 edition.

Permanent link to this article: https://cheslights.org/timeline-portsmouth-lightship/