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Pre-NOAA Research and Survey Ships - US Coast & Geodetic Survey

(Ships withdrawn from service before NOAA's formation in 1970)

Most recent update: September 13, 2015.


NOAA was created in 1970 from the combination of the Coast and Geodetic Survey (formed in 1807 as the Coast Survey), the Weather Bureau (formed in 1870 as a unit of the Army Signal Corps) and the Fish and Wildlife Service (formed in 1871 as the Commission of Fish and Fisheries and later called the Bureau of Fisheries).  This table attempts to list all the ships that served the USC&GS but ended their service before 1970.  Those vessels that have served since 1970, whether still active or now inactive, are listed here.  There are a lot of gaps and uncertainties in this table: if anyone sees any errors or omissions, please send your info to me at timcolton@aol.com

Name
Shipbuilder Location Ft. Built In Service History
From To
Built for the U.S. Coast & Geodetic Survey (listed by year of build)
Jersey       1834 1834 1841  
Nautilus     76 1838 1838 1859  
Vanderbilt     48 1842 1842 1855  
Phoenix     70 1845 1845 1857  
Bancroft     60 1846 1846 1862  
George M. Bache       1847 1847 1859  
Brisk Fardy Bros. Baltimore MD 60 1847 1847 1880 Sold 1884
John Y. Mason     63 1847 1847 1861  
Corwin     125 1850 1850 1867  
Franklin     60 1850 1850 1859 Hotel ship
Hassler     61 1851 1851 1872  
Meredith     63 1851 1851 1872  
Bouncer       1853 1853 1855 Lost 1855
Joseph Henry Fardy Bros. Baltimore MD 70 1853 1853 1875 Sold 1875
Agassiz Fardy Bros. Baltimore MD 70 1854 1854 1875  
Arago Fardy Bros. Baltimore MD 81 1854 1854 1863  
Bowditch     70 1854 1854 1874  
Humboldt     76 1854 1854 1872  
Varina Fardy Bros. Baltimore MD 91 1854 1854 1875  
Bolles     70 1855 1855    
Twilight     85 1856 1856 1861 Captured 1861
Howell Cobb     70 1857 1857 1861  
Torrey Fardy Bros. Baltimore MD 70 1857 1857 1875  
James Hall       1859 1859 1874  
Caswell Fardy Bros. Baltimore MD 74 1860 1860 1870  
George M. Bache Fardy Bros. Baltimore MD 76 1861 1861 1886  
Beauty       1870 1870 1884  
Arago Maury & Steinburg New York NY 93 1871 1871 1890 To USLHS 1890
Alexander D. Bache Pusey & Jones Wilmington DE 153 1871 1871 1927 Later Bache 1901, sold as Kingfisher 1927
Fathomer C. Sharp Philadelphia PA 76 1871 1871 1881 Sold 1884
Ferdinand R. Hassler  Dialogue & Wood Camden NJ 160 1871 1871 1895 Sold as Clara Nevada, lost 1898
Hitchcock Fardy & Woodall Baltimore MD 86 1871 1871 1889 Sold 1891
Scoresby Fardy & Woodall Baltimore MD 76 1871 1871 1891 Sank 1891
Silliman Fardy & Woodall Baltimore MD 83 1871 1871 1888 To USN 1888
Steadfast Fardy & Woodall Baltimore MD 70 1871 1871 1884  
Palinurus     84 1873 1873 1889  
Quick Fardy & Woodall Baltimore MD 60 1873 1873 1899  
Research     75 1873 1873 1886  
George S. Blake Fardy & Woodall Baltimore MD 148 1874 1874 1905  
Baton Rouge S. D. Bardmore Louisville KY 95 1875 1875 1881 Sold
Earnest W. E. Woodall Baltimore MD 89 1875 1875 1891  
Thomas R. Gedney  Delamater SY New York NY 140 1875 1875 1915  
Ready W. E. Woodall Baltimore MD   1875 1875 1886  
Drift W. E. Woodall Baltimore MD 76 1876 1876 1892  
Kincheloe       1876 1876 1882  
Fuca J. F. P. Mitchell   45 1882 1882 1904  
Carlile P. Patterson  James D. Leary Brooklyn NY 163 1883 1883 1918 Sold 1919
Cosmos Mare Island NSY Vallejo CA 52 1887 1887 1927 Sold 1927
Spy A. C. Brown Tottenville NY 51 1888 1888 1905  
Transit A. C. Brown Tottenville NY 60 1888 1888 1909  
Taku G. W. Kneass San Francisco CA 70 1898 1898 1917  
Pathfinder  Crescent SY Elizabethport NJ 193 1899 1899 1940 Lost 1942
Hydrographer  James Reilly Supply Port Jefferson NY 101 1901 1901 1928  
Explorer  Pusey & Jones Wilmington DE 135 1904 1904 1939 To National Youth Authority 1939
Surveyor Manitowoc SB Manitowoc WI 186 1917 1917 1956  
Marindin Canton Lumber Baltimore MD 60 1919 1919 1944  
Mitchell Canton Lumber Baltimore MD 60 1919 1919 1944  
Ogden Canton Lumber Baltimore MD 60 1919 1919 1944  
Rogers Canton Lumber Baltimore MD 60 1919 1919 1944  
Gilbert Leathem D. Smith Sturgeon Bay WI 77 1929 1929 1962  
Westdahl   Portland OR 77 1929 1929 1946  
Hydrographer  Spear Engineering Norfolk VA 165 1930 1930 1967 To USN 1942 as AGS 2, returned 1946
Perkins     103 1933 1933   Renamed Cowie 1941
E. Lester Jones Astoria Marine Astoria OR 88 1940 1940 1967  
Explorer  Lake Washington SY Seattle WA 220 1942 1942 1968  
Pathfinder  Lake Washington SY Seattle WA 229 1942 1942 1971 Scrapped 1972
Hilgard Robinson Marine Benton Harbor MI 66 1942 1942 1967  
Wainwright Robinson Marine Benton Harbor MI 66 1942 1942 1967  
Acquired by the U.S. Coast & Geodetic Survey from other sources (listed by year of acquisition)
Experiment Washington NSY Washington DC 90 1831 1835 1839 From USN 1835, returned 1839
Gallatin New York NSY Brooklyn NY 77 1831 1840 1859 Captured by CSA
Wave Brown & Bell New York NY 96 1832 1845 1858  
Bibb     160   1847 1879 From USRCS
Legare  R. & G. Schuyler New York NY 160 1843 1847 1854 From USRCS
Belle     60   1848 1857 From USAQMD, lost 1857
Crawford     60 1843 1848 1861 From USRCS, returned 1861
Ewing Abraham Cooper   91 1841 1848 1857 From USRCS
Gerdes         1848 1861 Hotel ship
Petrel     71 1846 1848 1860 Ex-Aiken Eclipse, captured 1860, sunk 1861
Robert J. Walker Joseph Tomlinson New York NY 133 1844 1848 1860 Lost 1860
Hetzel      150   1849 1874 From USAQMD, abandoned 1874
Jefferson  Charles Knapp Pittsburgh PA 160 1845 1849 1851 From USRCS, sank 1851
Morris     92   1849 1935 From USAQMD
Madison     79   1850 1858  
Baltimore         1851 1858  
Guthrie     66 1849 1851 1861  
Active      172 1836 1852 1862 Ex-Goldhunter, sold 1862
R. H. Fauntleroy     83   1854 1881 Sold 1881
Benjamin Peirce     70   1855 1868  
Sophia         1855 1861  
Vixen         1855 1864  
J. W. Bailey     70   1856 1873  
Dana     70   1856 1876  
Fire Fly         1856 1860  
Arctic     172 1856 1857 1857 Ex-Thomas Haight, to USLHS 1857
Sachem     121   1861 1862 On loan from USN
Marcy     91   1862 1875 From USRCS
Curlew     159   1864 1865  
Barataria     95   1867 1885  
Endeavor   Norfolk VA 117 1862 1867 1883 Ex-CSA gunboat Lady Davis
Lincoln  Fardy Bros. Baltimore MD 165 1864 1867   From USRCS
Sagadahoc     45   1867 1886  
Yukon     84   1873 1894  
Lively     46   1876 1886  
McArthur Mare Island NSY Vallejo CA 121 1874 1876 1915  
Eagre Van Dusen Williamsburg NY 140 1875 1878 1903 Ex-Mohawk,
Daisy      100 1869 1885 1891 Sold 1891
Matchless   Key West FL 100 1859 1885 1915  
Yukon   New York 75 1898 1898 1923 Sold 1923
Marinduque    Uraga, Japan 132 1901 1905 1932 Served in the Philippines
Romblon    Uraga, Japan 132 1901 1905 1921 Served in the Philippines
Fathomer  HK & Whampoa DY Hong Kong HK 152 1904 1906 1941 Ex-Orchid (USLHS), lost at Bataan 1942
Isis      180   1915 1920 Sank 1920
Discoverer Todd Shipyards Brooklyn NY 180 1918 1918 1922 Ex-Auk (AM 38), later Discoverer (ARS 3), sold 1947
Audwin   Morris Heights NY 53 1911 1919 1927 Sold 1927
Elsie III     52   1919 1944 From USN
Helianthus   Bristol RI 64 1912 1919 1939 From USN, returned to USN
Lydonia  Pusey & Jones Wilmington DE 185 1911 1919 1947  
Natoma  Charles L. Seabury Morris Heights NY 119 1913 1919 1935 Ex-SP-666 (USN)
Onward Charles L. Seabury Morris Heights NY 140 1906 1919 1921 Ex-Galatea, Ungava, from USN
Ranger Robert Jacob City Island NY 133 1910 1919 1933 Ex-Thomas Slocum, from USN 1919, sold 1933
Scandinavia Taylor Marine Rwy. Norfolk VA 61 1916 1919   Ex-SP 3363 (USN)
Sialia  Pusey & Jones Wilmington DE 207 1914 1919 1920 Ex-SP 543 (USN), sold 1920 as Yankee Clipper
Wenonah George S. Lawley Boston MA 163 1912 1919 1922 From USN, returned to USN
Wildcat     65   1919 1945  
Mikawe   Bay City MI 64 1916 1920 1939 Ex-MB Mikawe (USN)
Pioneer  Gas Engine & Power Morris Heights NY 187 1918 1922 1941 Ex-Osprey (AM 28), later Crusader (ARS 2)
Guide  New Jersey Dry Dock Brooklyn NY 188 1919 1923 1953 Ex-Flamingo (AM 32), later Viking (ARS 1), scrapped 1953
Echo Portsmouth NSY   65 1902 1928 1938 Ex-YFB 32, sold 1938
Oceanographer T. S. Marvel Newburgh NY 304 1899 1930 1942 Ex-Corsair, scrapped 1942
Davidson Luders Marine Stamford CT 75 1925 1933 1935 Ex-? (CG 242)
Dickins Dachel Carter Benton Harbor MI 75 1925 1933 1935 Ex-Volo (CG 144)
Faris Colonna's Norfolk VA 75 1924 1933 1946 Ex-Sonic (CG 223)
Miller Chance Marine Annapolis MD 75 1933 1933 1935 From USRCS
Pratt Gibbs Gas Engine Co. Jacksonville FL 75 1924 1933 1937 Ex-Patrol (CG 295)
Ritter Dachel Carter Benton Harbor MI 75 1925 1933 1935 Ex-Sono (CG-145), returned to USCG
Welker Rice Bros. East Boothbay ME 75 1925 1933 1937 Ex-CG 139, to USAQMD
George D. Cowie Great Lakes BB Chicago IL 103   1941 1962 Ex-Rhea III, sold 1962
Guide      140   1941 1942 Ex-Comoco, Coronia, Andradite (PYc 11), returned to USN 1942
Pioneer  Germania Werft Kiel, Germany 208 1929 1941 1942 From USN, returned to USN
Pratt     78   1941 1942 Ex-Midnight Sun (YP 96)
Bowen Calderwood   111 1943 1945 1957 Ex-SC 1361 (USN), scrapped 1957
Sosbee Hodgson Bros. East Boothbay ME 68 1930 1945 1961  
Bowie  Greenport Constn. Greenport NY 136 1943 1946 1967 Ex-PCS 1405 (USN), sold 1967
Derickson  Ballard Marine Seattle WA 136 1944 1946 1954 Ex-PC 1458 (USN), sold 1954
Hodgson  Burger & Burger Manitowoc WI 136 1944 1946 1967 Ex-PCS 1450 (USN), sold 1967
Parker Elizabeth City SY Elizabeth City NC 111 1943 1946 1957 Ex-SC 1277 (USN), scrapped 1957
Pioneer  Lake Washington SY Seattle WA 312   1946 1966 Ex-Mobjack (AGP 7)
Stirni  Calderwood SY Manchester MA 111 1943 1946 1957 Ex-SC 1358 (USN)
Tulip HK & Whampoa DY Hong Kong HK 190 1904 1947 1950 Served in the Philippines
Scott Thornycroft Southampton UK 73 1950 1955 1964 Sold 1965
Marmer Spedden SB Baltimore MD 100 1932 1957 1968 Ex-Walter Wyman (USPHS)
Research             Served in the Philippines
Peter G. Washington       1837   1846 Ex-USRCS, wrecked 1846