Ex-USS Glacier (AGB-4), USCGC Glacier (WAGB-4) (Non-retention)
In 1953 the U.S. Navy designed and ordered the USS Glacier, which was built by Ingalls Shipbuilding Corporation in Pascagoula, Mississippi. Icebreaking was Glacier’s primary mission, but it was sometimes needed to tow vessels through the ice. The ship began service in 1955 and is the last remaining vessel from the U.S. Navy’s icebreaking fleet. It served the Navy for 11 years before the Coast Guard acquired the ship on June 30, 1966 and renamed it USCGC Glacier. The Glacier served the Coast Guard for 32 years. The ship remains notable as a polar icebreaker and for penetrating the Antarctic during 29 deployments and 10 in the Arctic. Glacier proved critical in establishing permanent American bases in the Antarctic. At the time Glacier began service, it was the most powerful icebreaker in existence and it made some of the earliest and longest penetration into Antarctica’s ice field. The Glacier also demonstrated its value in mapping Antarctica (both aerial and underwater) using helicopters and sophisticated equipment. The ship’s design allowed it to break ice up to 20 feet in thickness and travel non-stop for extended periods. The Coast Guard decommissioned the Glacier in 1987. The ship entered the Maritime Administration’s Suisun Bay Reserve Fleet in Benicia, California on October 3, 1991 where is has remained waiting final disposition.
The Maritime Administration's National Register Eligibility Assessment for Glacier contains a detailed history of the vessel.
The National Park Service also completed a HAER Survey of the vessel.