Coast Guard's 'Christmas Tree Ship' delivers 1,200 trees for needy families

A crewmember of the Coast Guard Cutter Mackinaw offloads one of the 1,200 Christmas trees onto Navy Pier in Chicago, Dec. 2, 2017. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Master Chief Petty Officer Alan Haraf)

CHICAGO (Fox 32 News) - A Coast Guard ship carrying 1,200 Christmas trees docked at Navy Pier in Chicago on Saturday.

The trees on the Cutter Mackinaw are destined for needy families.

The delivery is a reenactment of the landing of the original Christmas Ship, the Rouse Simmons. That ship delivered trees to Chicago for more than 30 years, until its last tragic trip in 1912. That year, while traveling from Michigan to Chicago, the ship and its crew were lost in a storm.

The Mackinaw sailed over the spot where the Rouse Simmons sank to honor that lost crew on their way to Chicago. A wreath was laid and a ceremony held to honor the sailors.