The National Iron & Steel Heritage Museum
USCGC Southwind (WAGB-280)
Builder: Western Pipe and Steel Company (San Pedro, California)
Commissioned: July 15, 1944
Decommissioned: May 31, 1974
Length: 269 feet
Beam: 63.5 feet
Displacement: 6,615 tons
Speed: 13.4 knots
Ice Capacity: 13 feet
Wind Class

History: Southwind was transferred to the Soviet Union under the Lend Lease program.  She served under the name Admiral Makarov until being transferred to the U.S. Navy in 1950 and was rechristened USS Atka.  She had a yearly routine with the Navy: in late spring she would sail for either polar region to resupply bases and weather stations; in early fall she would return to Boston for repairs; in the winter she sailed routes in the North Atlantic Ocean to gather weather data.  She often carried civilian scientists who plotted data on ocean currents and characteristics.  The Atka was transferred to the Coast Guard in 1966 and was christened again as Southwind.  In September 1970, Southwind visited the port of Murmansk, being the first U.S. vessel to visit a Soviet port since the start of the cold war.  She was decommissioned in 1974 and sold for scrap in 1976.

Photograph: USCGC Southwind at anchor, no date.  (Source: United States Coast Guard)