length 103 feet, beam 18.5 feet, draft 6.8 feet 1933. Named
for Frank Wally Perkins (1844-1922), a Coast and Geodetic Survey
officer, who served 52 years between 1863 and 1915. He served
on the Mississippi, Tennessee, and Ohio Rivers with Rear Admiral
Samuel Philips Lee in 1864 and 1865. In 1901 he was made Assistant
Superintendent of the Coast and Geodetic Survey, a position
he held until his retirement in 1915. Prior to the ship PERKINS
conducting any surveys, World War II began and Commander George
Cowie was killed in a Japanese bombing raid on Manila. Subsequently,
the PERKINS was renamed the COWIE.
length 71.5 feet, beam 17.5 feet, draft 5.5 feet. Built in 1846,
acquired from the Navy in 1848, ex AIKEN ECLIPSE. In service
18481860 on Atlantic coast. Seized in December 1860 by South
Carolina, subsequently was issued a letter of marque and became
a privateer. On July 28, 1861, the PETREL put to sea and chased
the sail of what turned out to be the U.S. Frigate LAWRENCE.
This error proved fatal as the PETREL was sunk by the LAWRENCE.
length 70 feet, beam 17 feet, draft 6.8 feet. In service 1845-1857
on Atlantic coast. First commanding officer was Lieutenant Commanding
Carlile P. Patterson who conducted the first hydrographic surveys
for the Coast Survey in the Gulf of Mexico. Possibly named for
mythological bird, the phoenix which rises from its own ashes
after dying every 500 years. The phoenix supposedly came from
Phoenicia, home of seafaring people. This ship did in fact literally
rise from the dead as it was sunk when hit by a tornado on the
night of March 31, 1854, while riding at anchor in Mississippi
Sound and was afterward raised to survey for a few more years.
Another possibility is that it was named for the constellation
phoenix which bears resemblance to a primitive boat.