The Launching of Hero

At about 1030 (local time) on March 28, 1968, the National Science Foundation's new research ship began sliding down the ways at the Harvey F. Gamage shipyard in South Bristol, Maine. At that moment, the ship's sponsor, Mrs. Leland J. Haworth, wife of the Foundation's director, cracked the traditional bottle of champagne against the vessel's bow and proclaimed, "In the name of the United States, I christen thee Hero.

The event, which culminated several years of ship design and construction, was witnessed by many local citizens and about two dozen distinguished guests. In addition to Mrs. Haworth, they included Representative Peter N. Kyros (D. Maine); Dr. Leland J. Haworth, Director of the National Science Foundation; Dr. T. O. Jones, Director of NSF's Environmental Sciences Division; Mr. Thomas Pross, U. S. Maritime Administration; Mr. Stanley Potter, the ship's designer; and Mr. Harvey F. Gamage, her builder.

Following an inspection of the ship, a luncheon was held at the Naval Air Station, Brunswick, Maine, for the distinguished guests. Mrs. Haworth was presented with a plaque (carved from South American greenheart, the same kind of wood with which the vessel is sheathed) evidencing her sponsorship of the new ship. Congressman Kyros was the principal speaker

Mrs. Leland J. Haworth christens Hero. Looking on are Mrs. Thomas O. Jones, matron of honor, and Vice Admiral Roy A. Gano, USN (Ret.), master of ceremonies.christening the Hero

the launching
Above, Hero leaves shipyard at South Bristol and, below, moments later, floats in adjoining harbor.
afloat in the harbor
[This page reproduces a sidebar to the May/June 1968 Antarctic Journal article about the Hero. Some of the photos are scanned from a photocopy (sorry); the first two are credited "by U. S. Maritime Administration for NSF," and the one at lower right is credited "NSF Photo."]

Next page: historical photos from the 60's through the 80's.