On patrol in the Pacific in 1943, a U.S. Navy vessel is cut in half by an enemy destroyer. Its young skipper saves most of his crew, despite his own injuries and goes on to become President of the United States. In this riveting new book, Titanic discoverer Dr. Robert Ballard takes you on his quest for John F. Kennedy's lost boat, PT-109. Archival photographs and personal stories bear witness to wartime danger and heroism.
Best known for his 1985 discovery of the Titanic, Robert D. Ballard has succeeded in tracking down numerous other significant shipwrecks, including the German battleship Bismarck, the lost fleet of Guadalcanal, the U.S. aircraft carrier Yorktown (sunk in the World War II Battle of Midway), and most recently John F. Kennedy's boat, PT-109. In addition to being a National Geographic Society explorer-in-residence, Ballard is president of the Institute for Exploration in Mystic, Connecticut.
Throughout his career Ballard has conducted more than a hundred deep-sea expeditions, using both manned and unmanned vehicles. A 1977 expedition he led in the Galápagos Rift found hydrothermal vents in the seafloor, along with their exotic ecosystems, a major scientific discovery.
Born June 30, 1942, in Wichita, Kansas, Ballard grew up in San Diego. "I grew up wanting to be Captain Nemo from 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea," he said. Ballard has a Ph.D. in marine geology and geophysics from the University of Rhode Island, where he is currently a full-time faculty member. He spent 30 years at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, where he helped develop manned submersibles and remotely operated vehicles for marine research. He went on to develop telecommunications technology to create "telepresence" for his JASON Project, which allows hundreds of thousands of schoolchildren to accompany him from afar on undersea explorations around the globe.
Ballard has 13 honorary degrees and 6 military awards; he is a commander in the U.S. Naval Reserve. He received the National Geographic Society's prestigious Hubbard Medal in 1996 for "extraordinary accomplishments in coaxing secrets from the world's oceans and engaging students in the wonder of science." He has published 18 books, numerous scientific papers and a dozen articles in National Geographic magazine. Ballard also has been featured in several National Geographic television programs, including the record-breaking Secrets of the Titanic.
Ballard's most recent discoveries include the Mediterranean Sea finds of sunken remains of ships along ancient trade routes (1997), two ancient Phoenician ships off Israel, the oldest shipwrecks ever found in deep water (1999), and four 1,500-year-old wooden shipsone almost perfectly preservedin the Black Sea (2000). Ballard is continuing his Black Sea project, which seeks evidence of a great floodpossibly linked to Noah's Arkthat may have struck the region thousands of years ago.
Complete with photographs from the expedition, archival photos and an introduction by Sen. Ted Kennedy, this captivating book should appeal to history buffs and Kennedy fans alike and could be an engaging introduction to PT 109's story and Kennedy lore…Publishers Weekly
A moving introduction to the young war hero who would later become president."Tribune Chronicle