NOAA Ship Mount Mitchell was built by Aerojet-General Shipyards in Jacksonville, Florida, and homeported in Ketchikan, Alaska. Commissioned on March 23, 1968, The ship’s main operation involved hydrographic survey and seafloor mapping throughout the Atlantic Coast and Virgin Islands.
The ship was commissioned with the Coast and Geodetic Survey as USC&GS Mount Mitchell. The ship then redesignated under NOAA Ship Mount Mitchell after USC&GS merged with other agencies to form NOAA in 1970. Eventually the ship decommissioned in 1995.
The ship is named after Mount Mitchell—a peak located in the Appalachian mountains in North Carolina. Mount Mitchel is known for holding the highest peak east of the Mississippi, which stands at 6,684 ft.