Whatever Happened to Buoy Tender Redbud (WLB-398)? Coast Guard, Navy, MSTS, Philippine Navy, Philippine CG

The U.S. Navy buoy tender USS Redbud (AKL-398) underway off Point Loma, California (USA), in 1949.

A small footnote on Coast Guard history, but it does illustrate how versatile buoy tenders are. A “C” class 180 transferred to the Navy becomes a AKL (Auxiliary Cargo, Light). Becomes a jack of all trades in support of DOD air bases, early warning radar systems, and even LORAN stations.

Redbud Class Light Cargo Ship:

  • Laid down, 21 July 1943, for the US Coast Guard as a lighthouse tender, at Marine Iron and Shipbuilding, Duluth, MN.
  • Launched, 11 September 1943
  • Commissioned, USCGC Redbud (WLB-398), 2 May 1944
  • Acquired on loan by the US Navy in 1949
  • Classified as a Light Cargo Ship and commissioned USS Redbud (AKL-398), 23 July 1949, LCDR. Francis E. Clark USN in command
  • Decommissioned and assigned to the Military Sea Transportation Service (MSTS), 28 February 1952
  • Placed in service as USNS Redbud (T-AKL-398)
  • Placed out of service and returned to the US Coast Guard, 10 November 1970
  • Struck from the Naval Register 20 November 1970
  • Transferred to the Philippines, 1 March 1972, renamed BRP Kalinga (AG-89)
  • Final Disposition, fate unknown

Guess the ice strengthened hull came in handy. More photos from Navsource.

USS Redbud (AKL-398) moored pierside at Danish Naval Station Groennedal, Greenland, circa 1949 – 1950. Photo Source Arktisk Institut. Senior Chief, Erling Baldorf, Royal Danish Navy, retired

USNS Redbud (T-AKL-398) underway in the Arctic on a resupply mission from Thule Greenland to U.S. Coast Guard LORAN (Long Range Navigation Station) at Cape Athol, Greenland in 1967.
Photo by Lawrence Rodrigues

USNS Redbud (T-AKL-398), held immobile by the Arctic ice pack, January 1952. Photo Joe Radigan MACM USN Ret

Ex-USNS Redbud (T-AKL-398) in Philippines Coast Guard service as BRP Kalinga (AG-89) moored in Manila South Harbor, 26 January 2020.

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