Class: LV-100 Lightship
Built: 1930
At: Charleston Drydock and Machine Company, Charleston, South Carolina

Length: 133 feet
Beam: 30 feet
Draft: 13 feet
Displacement: 633 tons
Complement: 5 officers, 1 cook, 10 seaman
Signals: 375mm, 13,000 candlepower electric lens lantern at each masthead; Electric diaphragm horn using 4-way multiple horn F2T; hand operated bell; Radio beacon
Armament: (WW II) two 20mm guns

Historic Ships in Baltimore
Pier 1, 301 East Pratt Street
Baltimore, Maryland 21202-3134
(410) 539-1797
Fax: (410) 539-6238
Email: administration@
Latitude: 39.285698, Longitude: -76.608784
Google Maps, Microsoft Bing, Yahoo Maps, Mapquest

Lightship 116 – now called Chesapeake – was built for the U.S. Lighthouse Service in 1930. For the next 40 years, she served as a floating lighthouse and communications platform. Her first duty station was Fenwick Island, Delaware. In 1933, she first assumed the name Chesapeake, from her new position off the coast of Virginia at the entrance to Chesapeake Bay. She was re-designated WAL-538 in 1939, when the Lighthouse Service was absorbed by the U.S. Coast Guard.

In 1942, shortly after the U.S. entered World War II, Chesapeake was given light armament, painted battleship gray and moved to Sandwich, Massachusetts to serve as an Examination Vessel. After the war, she returned to the Chesapeake station. She ended her service at the Delaware Bay station in 1970.

After retirement, she was transferred to the National Park Service, and began a new career as a seagoing environmental center in Washington, D.C. Lightship Chesapeake is part of the Historic Ships in Baltimore collection. 

Lightship-116 is a National Historic Landmark.

Comments are closed.