Pre-NOAA Research and Survey Ships - US Fisheries & Wildlife Service

(Ships withdrawn from service before NOAA's formation in 1970)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 USF&WS 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 Tons Ft. Built Acq'd. Disposition
Fish Hawk Pusey & Jones Wilmington DE 441 146 1879 1879 Retired 1926
Albatross Pusey & Jones Wilmington DE 638 234 1882 1882 Sold 1924
Grampus Palmer & Son, Robert Noank CT   83 1886 1886 Retired c1921
Osprey   San Francisco CA 50 72 1895 1912 Ex-Wigwam (ON 81501), sold 1921, later Foss 19, Kiowa
Roosevelt McKay & Dix Bucksport ME 654 182 1905 1915 Sold 1919, wrecked 1937
Auklet Elliot Bay Y. & E. Co. Seattle WA 25 48 1917 1917 Sold 1950
Murre Elliot Bay Y. & E. Co. Seattle WA 25 48 1917 1917 To USN 1942
Swan   Fairbanks AK   36 1917 1917 Scrapped 1924
Kittiwake Kyle & Purdy City Island NY 46 68 1908 1919 Ex-Raeo (ON 204966), USS Raeo (SP 588) 1918, sold 1948, later Harbor Queen, Entiat Princess
Petrel Britt Bros. Lynn MA 23 51 1917 1919 Ex-Cobra (ON ------), USS Cobra (SP 632) 1918, retired 1934
Merganser NY Y, L & E Co. Morris Heights NY 16 54 1909 1919 Ex-Calypso (ON 206289), USS Calypso (SP 626) 1918, retired 1942
Widgeon Seabury, Charles L. Morris Heights NY 57 68 1914 1919 Ex-Edithena (ON 212122), USS Edithena, sold 1949, later Ila Mae
Tern   Fairbanks AK   38 1920 1920 Sold 1929
Scoter   Tacoma WA 41 56 1920 1922 Ex-Clatsop (ON 219922), wrecked and sold 1949
Halcyon   East Boothbay ME 197 108 1917 1922  
Phalarope   East Boston MA 55 82 1881 1922 Ex-Adelita (ON 105989)
Shearwater Johnston Brothers Ferrysburg MI 95 85 1909 1922 To USCG 1940, sold 1944, later Cindy K
Ibis       30   1923 Retired 1946
Blue Wing     22 55 1918 1924 Ex-August (ON 216855), sold 1951 as El Don
Sea Gull       31   1924 Accidentally burnt 1926
Albatross II Norfolk NSY Portsmouth VA 521 148 1909 1926 Ex-Patuxent (AT 11), returned to USN 1934
Brant Kruse & Banks North Bend OR 166 100 1926 1926 Sold 1953, burnt and sank 1960
Red Wing     10 40   1926 Damaged and scrapped 1939
Teal Kruse & Banks North Bend OR 91 78 1927 1927 Sold 1966, restored 1997, active
Fulmar   Friendship ME   101 1914 1927  
Curlew   Morris Heights NY 28 61 1907 1927  
Gannet   Boston MA 16 61 1890 1927  
Crane Johnson Bros. Port Blakely WA 134 85 1928 1928 Sold 1960 as Brapo (ON 284723), later Fishing 5, Belle, Patricia, now Crane
Coot Wrang, George Bellingham WA 21 47 1929 1929 Retired 1947
Eider Nilsen & Kelez Seattle WA 76 88 1913 1930 Ex-Idaho (ON 210842), sold 1949, sank 1955
Penguin Ballard Marine RW Seattle WA 394 130 1930 1930 Sold 1951 as Penguin, later Carib Queen
Pelican Boat Harbor MR Newport News VA 94 73 1930 1930 Sold 1972, active (ON 537911)
Blue Wing   Pascagoula MS 22 50 1918 1932 Ex-August
Sandpiper Matthews Boat Port Clinton OH   46 1928 1932 To USN 1942 as YP 194, destroyed 1948
Brown Bear Winslow Marine Winslow WA 300 115 1934 1934 To USN 1941 as YP 197, returned 1946, sold 19?? as Baja Explorer (ON 980667)
Black Mallard   Pascagoula MS 18 56 1931 1935 Ex-Talvez, to Louisiana 1949
Heron   Tacoma WA   36 1919 1935  
Phalarope II   Newport RI 3 41 1932 1935  
Albatross III Bath Iron Works Bath ME 525d 103 1926 1939 Ex-Harvard, to USCG 1942, returned 1944, sold 1959
Heron II Sunde & Olsen Seattle WA   58 1940 1940 Sold 1969 as Heron (ON 526163)
Black Douglas Bath Iron Works Bath ME 360 140 1930 1941 To USN 1942, returned 1944, sold 1966
Swan II       66   1942 Disposed of 1945
Grizzly Bear Schertzer B&MW Seattle WA 45 58 1934 1942 From Alaska 1942, returned 1964, sold 1976 (ON 583647)
Black Bear       33 1934 1944 To Alaska 1960
Dennis Winn Northwestern SB Bellingham WA 540 148 1944 1948 Ex-LT Walter J. Will (FS 244), to Alaska 1960
Washington Astoria Marine Astoria OR 158 100 1946 1948 Sold to Korea 1949
Alaska United Concrete Long Beach CA   100 1947 1949 Ex-Alaska (ON 252331), sold late-1990s
King       42 1946 1949 To Alaska 1960
Sockeye       40 1946 1949 Acquired 1949, disposed of late 1960s
Penguin II Northwestern SB Bellingham WA 540 148 1944 1950 Ex-LT Raymond Zussman (FS 246), sold 1964, later Aurora (Colombia)
John R. Manning Pacific BB Tacoma WA 550 86 1950 1950 Sold 1969 as R. B. Hendrickson (ON 524645)
Kittiwake II Stephens Bros. Stockton CA 90 73 1944 1950 Ex-Jessie R. Nelson (ST 415), to Alaska 1960
Sablefish Grandy Boat Seattle WA 38 38 1949 1951 Sold 1971
Auklet II Blanchard Boat Seattle WA 38 57 1951 1951 To Alaska 1960
Ibis II Chambers & Franck Seattle WA   24 1951 1951 To Alaska 1960
Skipjack       43 1943 1956 To Alaska 1960
Capelin       40 1939 1957 To Alaska 1960
Albacore       40 1938 1957 To Alaska 1960
Mackinaw       52 1927 1957 Sank 1960
Shad Duwamish SY Seattle WA   44 1958 1958 To Alaska 1960