Gilbert T. Rude, Chief
of the Division of Coastal Surveys, entered the Survey as Deck
Officer on January
19, 1903. He was born in Sharps, Virginia on September 13, 1881,
and received his education at Washington College.
On entering the Service, he served 2 years aboard the Schooner
MATCHLESS, then a 2-year tour of duty in the Philippines. For
8 years he was Commanding Officer of the Ship TAKU in Alaska.
From 1915 to 1917 he commanded the Ship ISIS on the Atlantic
Coast and during World War I, he was transferred to the Navy,
serving first as Commanding Officer of the USS USIS and then
as navigating officer on the USS MERCURY. He was transferred
back to the Coast Survey in March 1919 and became Chief of the
then Section of Tides and Currents, which under his guidance
soon became a division.
In his early boyhood he had been interested in a "gadget" installed
on the waterfront near his home, and during his service as Chief
of Tides and Currents, his interest in this first hobby bore
fruit, as the standard tide gage was started and a new portable
automatic tide gage developed. He wrote many articles and publications
relating to tides and currents, and for one entitled "Tides
and Their Engineering Aspects," he was presented with the Norman
Medal in 1929 by the American Society of Civil Engineers.
From August 1928 to March 1931 he was inspector of construction
of the Ship HYDROGRAPHER, which he delivered to Washington in
April 1931. He became Chief of Coastal Surveys, which position
he held until retirement.
Some of the outstanding developments and improvements during
this period were the advancement of echo sounding; the development
of submarine valley surveys; the use of taut wire; the use of
radio acoustic ranging; study and development of radar for use
in surveying; the construction of the new survey vessels EXPLORER,
PATHFINDER, LESTER JONES, PATTON, HILGARD and WAINWRIGHT, and
the acquisition of the ships PARKER, BOWEN, STIRNI, and SOSBEE.
Captain Rude has taken an active part in scientific meetings
and has attended several of the International Hydrographic Bureau
meetings at Monaco. His invention, the Mariners Practical Star
Finder and Identifier, was purchased by the Navy and is furnished
to all naval vessels.
Captain Rude is a member of several engineering and scientific
societies, including the American Society Civil Engineers, Philosophical
Soc. of Washington, Assn. of American Geographers, Society of
American Military Engineers, International Aeroarctic Society
During his service in the Bureau, Captain Rude has been untiring
in his efforts to improve surveying methods and equipment and
he has always been alert to encourage others to do likewise.