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Coast and Geodetic Survey Ship NATOMA. In service 1919-1935.

Steamer, length 304 feet, beam 33.3 feet, draft 15.3 feet. Built in 1899 as the yacht CORSAIR for the financier J.P. Morgan by T. S. Marvel and Sons, Newberg, New York. Sold to the Government for $1.00 in 1930. In service 1930-1942 on Atlantic Coast surveys. Served in the Navy during World War I and then again in World War II from 1942-1944 in the Solomon Islands. This vessel conducted many offshore surveys and discovered many of the canyons incising the continental slope between the Georges Bank area and Cape Hatteras. For this work it is commemorated by the features named Oceanographer Canyon and Corsair Canyon. In the realm of geophysics, Maurice Ewing conducted his first seismic reflection profiling experiments from the CEANOGRAPHER in 1935. During its World War I service, it was assigned anti-submarine patrol duty. In this capacity it engaged in a number of attacks on enemy submarines but is best known for its roll in rescuing many survivors of enemy submarine attack. During its tour in the Solomon Islands it served as a hydrographic survey ship. The hydrographers assigned to the ship named the famous “Ironbottom Bay.” Upon return to the United States for refurbishing, it was found to be in too poor of condition to salvage and was broken up and scrapped in accordance with the original agreement with J. P. Morgan.

Publication of the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), NOAA Central Library.

Last Updated: June 8, 2006 9:24 AM

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