Lightship WAL-605, RELIEF

Also known as: OVERFALLS, BLUNTS, WLV-605
Oakland Estuary in Brooklyn Basin, Oakland, California


Lightship WAL-605

Photo taken by Richard Doody in 1996



Street View 


Built in 1950 and originally associated with the Overfalls lightship station off the Delaware coast, WAL-605 was subsequently sent to the Pacific to serve at the significant Blunts Reef station on the northern California coast. She ended her career as the Relief lightship, serving as a replacement vessel at all Pacific Coast stations. WAL-605 is representative of the end of more than a century and a half of American lightship operation. -- National Historic Landmark statement of significance, December 20, 1989

"Lightship WLV 605 was built by the Rice Brothers Shipyard in Boothbay, Maine, and was one of six lightships constructed by the Coast Guard. She was commissioned in 1951 and served at Overfalls lightship station off Delaware coast. In 1959 she was transferred to the Blunts Reef station off Cape Mendocino, where she served until 1969. In 1969 she was assigned as “Relief” for all West Coast lightship stations. She was retired from duty in 1975, and decommissioned the following year. The WLV-605 is one of a small number of only 22 surviving American lightships in the United States and she is the last lightship in California." - California Historic Landmark No.1036

National Register information 

Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on December 20, 1989
Reference number
Areas of significance
Politics/Government; Architecture; Social History
Level of significance
Evaluation criteria
A - Event; C - Design/Construction
Property type
Historic functions
Water-related; Coast guard facility
Current function
Periods of significance
1950-1974; 1975-2000
Significant year

Update Log 

  • March 31, 2019: New photos from Richard Doody
  • March 26, 2019: Updated by Richard Doody: Added historical info
  • January 4, 2017: Updated by Bill Eichelberger: Corrected GPS.