The Coast and Geodetic Survey Ship E. LESTER
diesel, length 88 feet, beam 21 feet, draft 8 feet. Built in 1940
at Astoria Marine Company, Astoria, Oregon, for the Coast and Geodetic
Survey. In Pacific service 1940-1967. This vessel served for much
of its career in Alaskan waters. Named for Colonel Ernest Lester Jones
(1876-1929), Director of the Coast and Geodetic Survey from 1915-1929.
At the beginning of World War I, Colonel Jones was instrumental in
passing legislation that converted the field corps of the Coast and
Geodetic Survey from civilian status to commissioned officer status;
thus he is now known as the Father of the NOAA Commissioned Corps.
Colonel Jones took a leave of absence from the C&GS in WWI and
served as an Army Colonel on the staff of General “Black Jack”
Pershing as an intelligence officer. Colonel Jones suffered from the
effects of severe gassing which he endured during this period and
died ten years later as a direct result of being a gas attack casualty.
After return to the United States, he was instrumental in helping
found the American Legion and was the first President of George Washington
Post No. 1 in the Washington, D. C. area. Under Colonel Jones’
leadership, the Coast and Geodetic Survey experienced a renaissance
and made great strides in hydrography, oceanography, geodesy, and