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Launch, 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.


Schooner, 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.


Schooner, 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.

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

Last Updated: June 8, 2006 9:24 AM

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