NOAA Ship Murre II was built in by Maritime Shipyards in Seattle, Washington, and homeported in Juneau, Alaska. The ship’s main operation involved fishery research and cargo shipments in Southeast Alaskan waters.
Murre II played an integral role during World War II under the ownership of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The multipurpose ship was used to haul mail, fuel, passengers and various freight throughout the Aleutian Islands. Afterwards, the ship was assigned to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) at Kodiak, Alaska to transfer cargo and personnel to several locations and to provide a base for surveillance aircraft and crewmembers. The ship's main operation soon shifted to fisheries and oceanographic research in Southeast Alaska after FWS installed research equipment on the ship. After encountering severe weather conditions in the Gulf of Alaska, the ship became critically damaged. In 1987, the operation and maintenance of Murre II was assigned to the NOAA Corps. Eventually, the ship decommissioned in 1989.