US Navy’s New Survey Ship Named After Discoverer of Titanic’s Final Resting Place

A future oceanographic survey ship will be named USNS Robert Ballard after a retired U.S. Navy Commander and former director of the Center for Ocean Exploration.

Robert Ballard was a Professor of Oceanography at the University of Rhode Island’s Graduate School of Oceanography.

He is widely known for his 1985 discovery of the final resting place of the R.M.S. Titanic at a depth of 12,000 feet.

Ballard also led other shipwreck discoveries, including USS Yorktown (CV-5), USS Quincy (CA-39), and President John F Kennedy’s PT-109.

After retiring from naval service in 1995, he founded the distance learning program the JASON Project, which reached 12 million schoolchildren.

He was born in 1942, graduated from the University of California in 1965, earned an Army Reserve Commission, transferred and to the US Navy in 1967.

Assigned to the Office of Naval Research as a liaison officer at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, he worked with deep-submergence vehicle Alvin.