A Greek derivative meaning sailor or ship; a tropical mollusk having a many chambered, spiral shell with a pearly interior.
(Sch.: l. 76’; b. 19’)
The second Nautilus, the first ship designed for the Coast and Geodetic Survey, was completed in 1838. Until the spring of 1844 she carried out surveys for the Commerce Department in the Gulf of Mexico and along the Atlantic Coast, operating under Mr. F. R. Hossler (1838–1843) and Dr. A. D. Bache (1843–1844). In April 1844, although still a Coast and Geodetic Survey ship, she was put under the command of Lt. G. M. Bache, USN, to undertake surveys for the Navy. Three years later she was taken over by the Navy for temporary duties during the War with Mexico, as light draft vessels were needed for operations off the Gulf coast. Stich vessels, with their ability to ride over the sandbars frequently found at the entrances to harbors on that coast, and to patrol between those harbors close to shore, facilitated combined operations and the Navy’s important duty of providing General Taylor with a secure line of communications in the Gulf.
Nautilus was returned to the Coast and Geodetic Survey in July 1848 and performed survey duties for that agency until 1859.
The submarine (SS–29) was originally laid down as Nautilus 23 March 1911, however, her name was changed to H–2 (q.v.) on 17 November 1911, before she was launched.