From: Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships, Vol. I p 22
Albatross is any of several web-footed birds related to the petrels.
The second Albatross was owned by the Bureau of Fisheries, Department of Commerce. She was launched 19 October 1882 by Pusey and Jones Corp., Wilmington, Del., and commissioned as a Fish Commission vessel in November 1882, Commander Z. L. Tanner in command.
Between 1882 and 1898 Albatross assisted the Navy in several operations: correcting Caribbean charts for the Bureau of Navigation (1883--85) ; at the review of North Atlantic Squadron at Newport, R. I. (August--September 1884) : surveying the route for a telegraphic cable between San Francisco and Honolulu (October 1891--March 1892) ; and in the Bering Sea enforcing fur seal and fishery regulations (May--September 1893 and April--October 1894).
Albatross was transferred to the Navy Department 9 April 1898 and converted to a gunboat for use in the war with Spain. Upon completion of her conversion she made a brief cruise (11 August - 7 September) along the Mexican west coast and was returned to the Fish Commission in accordance with the Presidential order of 25 August 1898.
During World War I Albatross was transferred and formally commissioned in the Navy 19 November 1917, Commander J. J. Hannigan in command. She served in the American Patrol Detachment protecting oil supplies and shipments in the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean until returned to the Bureau of Fisheries 23 June 1919.