I went on several of the small Moran tugs in the 60s and managed to get on board ALICE M MORAN in Bermuda when she was quite new.
I am quite sure she was a 'commercial' vessel from the start. She was built in Japan. If the US Government had been involved that would have be a real problem with a Japanese built vessel!
On her voyage down to Bermuda for 'salvage station', I guess this would be about 1967 or 68, she went through some heavy weather and she missed the island by some 100 miles and so had to return and come back. A bit of embarrassment.
The ship was very 'bare'. No frills at all. As you say, all steel, no wood trim etc. I was just a youngster at the time, but she looked very 'cheap'. Nice looking ship bit it all seemed a bit 'over the top' with the streamlining. Not a patch on the ZWARTE ZEE! I prefer the earlier ELBE and CLYDE and better still, the OCEAAN class but the ultimate beauty was THAMES of 1938... (Dutch). Even more beauty... the Bustlers! :-)