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Steamer, dimensions unknown. Acquired by the Coast Survey in 1855, served on the Atlantic Coast. Served with the Navy during much of the Civil War. Conducted surveys, placed buoys, and engaged in pilotage duty at Port Royal Sound. After a storm scattered the Union fleet, the VIXEN, then commanded by Robert Platt, was the first vessel to arrive off Port Royal Sound in late October 1861 entrance prior to the battle. Placed buoys to delineate channel so that Du Pont’s fleet could attack the forts and shore batteries guarding the harbor. In 1862 served in the sounds and rivers of South Carolina and Georgia, and then in 1863-64 saw service in Florida. No record of this vessel following the Civil War.


Steamer, length 133 feet, beam 31 feet, draft 9.3 feet. Built in 1844 by Joseph Tomlinson at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In service 1848-1860. This ill-fated vessel was lost in a collision at sea approximately 12 miles southeast of Absecon Inlet Light on June 21, 1860, with a loss of twenty crew. No inquiry was ever conducted into the cause of this disaster and the remains of the vessel have never been found although it was the greatest disaster to ever occur in any ancestor agency of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Named for Robert J. Walker (1804-1869), United States Senator from Mississippi 1835-45, relative by marriage of Alexander Dallas Bache, Secretary of the Treasury 1845-1849 under President James Polk, Governor of strife-torn Kansas in 1857. Born in Pennsylvania, was ardent Union man and supported the Union cause throughout the Civil War.


Schooner, length 96 feet, beam 22 feet, draft 9.7 feet. Built by Brown and Bell in 1832 at New York, New York in 1832. It served with the Coast Survey in 1845-46 and then again following the Mexican War from 1853-1858.


Twin engine gasoline launch, length 75 feet, beam 13.7 feet, draft 4 feet. Built in 1925 at Rice Brothers in Booth Bay, Maine for the Coast Guard. Ex Coast Guard #139. In service 1933-1937 on Atlantic service at which time it was turned over to the Army Quartermaster Department. Named for Philip J. Welker (1857-1926) of the Coast and Geodetic Survey who served in United States waters, Puerto Rico, the Isthmus of Panama, and the Philippines between 1879 and his retirement in 1921.

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

Last Updated: June 8, 2006 9:24 AM

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