NOAA Ship Peirce was built by the Marietta Manufacturing Company in Point Pleasant, West Virginia, and homeported in Norfolk, Virginia. Commissioned in May 6, 1963, the ship’s main operation included hydrographic surveys involving nautical charting in the U.S. Atlantic coast, Gulf of Mexico, and the U.S. Caribbean Island territorial waters.
The ship is named after Charles Sanders Peirce (1839-1914) who contributed much of his time measuring the force of gravity around the world while working for the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey. With his collected data, he was tasked with determining the shape of the earth. Peirce served with the Coast Survey for 30 years and is the founder of pragmatism--a branch of philosophy.