Service, Excellence, Professionalism



The first Coast Guard Cutter WALNUT was a 175 foot lighthouse tender built in Oakland, California, in 1939 for the U.S. Lighthouse Service.  The WALNUT was transferred to the U.S. Coast Guard later that same year when the two services merged.  Homeported in Detroit, Michigan, for two years, the WALNUT was reassigned to Honolulu, Hawaii, in 1941.

On December 7, 1941, WALNUT was working aids to navigation at Midway Island when word of the attack on Pearl Harbor arrived.  WALNUT immediately set about extinguishing all aids to navigation in the vicinity to prevent its use as a navigation reference by the enemy.  At 2130 that evening, Midway came under attack from two enemy cruisers and a destroyer.  During the attack, a U.S. PBY Flying Boat crashed in Midway Lagoon.  The WALNUT immediately responded and saved the lives of the seriously injured crew of two.  WALNUT eventually proceeded back to Honolulu and, for the remainder of the war, continued to work aids to navigation, combat search and rescue and convoy duties.

In 1954, WALNUT was reassigned to Miami, Florida, and in 1967 was reassigned to San Pedro, California.  From 1954 until 1982 WALNUT continued to service aids to navigation and search and rescue assistance to mariners.  In July 1982, WALNUT was decommissioned after 43 years of service to the United States of America. 


WALNUT deployed to the Arabian Gulf from Dec 2002 to Jun 2003 in support of U.S. and Coalition forces in Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom.  During their six month deployment, WALNUT crewmembers enforced UN sanctions against Iraq, provided logistical support for captured off-shore oil platforms, and, most importantly, established a navigational channel in Khawr Abd Allah waterway leading to the port of Umm Qasr in Iraq.  WALNUT surveyed 40 miles of recently mine-swept waterway and removed decrepit and off-station AtoN.  Using 35 warehoused Iraqi buoys, WALNUT placed aids to mark the important channel, allowing the large amounts of military and humanitarian supplies needed to pass through to Iraq. 

In August 2008, WALNUT was the first D14 cutter to conduct a boarding under the authority of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission.  The Commission consists of 26 member nations and regulates and enforces measures for the sustainability of the Pacific tuna fisheries on the high seas.

In late January, 2020, Walnut left Honolulu for the final time, bound for the Coast Guard Yard in Curtis Bay, in Baltimore. Here, she will receive extensive work as part of the Coast Guard's midlife maintenance availability program. The vessel will be the 9th Juniper-class tender to receive this midlife extension. In February of 2021, the previous crew of the CGC CYRESS picked up the CGC WALNUT and sailed to WALNUT’s new homeport in Pensacola, FL.

CGC WALNUT is currently stationed at Naval Air Station Pensacola. CGC WALNUT’s main operating area stretches along 900 miles of the Gulf Coast, from Apalachicola, FL to the Mexican Border in Brownsville, TX, where she is responsible for the maintenance of 117 floating aids to navigation.