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Bonhomme Richard 2008 Expedition

36The Ocean Technology Foundation and Naval Historical Center have been searching for the remains of the Bonhomme Richard, which sank in the western North Sea as a casualty of the American Revolution. A recent expedition to search for the remains of the BHR utilized the U.S. Navy’s nuclear research submarine, NR-1, to search nearly 400 square miles of the North Sea. The NR-1 is the Navy’s nuclear-powered deep submersible for both military and scientific missions. In service since 1969 and now in its final year of operation, this little-known ship has played a key role in numerous historic missions and served as a test platform for revolutionary undersea technologies. The search for the BHR was its final mission.

The project team recorded and investigated 26 wreck sites, some modern and some older and unidentified. The archaeology team is now in the process of analyzing the hundreds of hours of video footage taken by the NR-1 to determine which wrecks have the greatest potential of being the Bonhomme Richard. Another expedition is planned for summer 2009.