The Christening and Launching of Hero

guests present for the launching of the Hero
Above, just before the christening of the Hero on 28 March 1968. The ship's sponsor, Mrs. Leland Haworth, wife of National Science Foundation director Leland Haworth, is second from left, prepared to smash the traditional bottle of champagne against the vessel's bow with the words, "In the name of the United States, I christen thee Hero."

This event was at the Harvey Gamage shipyard in South Bristol, Maine. In addition to Mr. and Mrs. Haworth, other distinguished guests included Representative Peter Kyros (Maine), Tom Jones (NSF), Thomas Pross (U.S. Maritime Admin.), Stanley Potter (ship designer), and Harvey Gamage (ship builder).

The above photo, credited to NSF, and its caption are from the USAP Photo Library (link to original).

Below, a sidebar reproduced from the May/June 1968 Antarctic Journal article about the 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
The photo just above is credited to NSF; the other two photos are credited "by U.S. Maritime Administration for NSF."

awaiting the launch of the Hero
The actual "launch" would not happen until some months later after the superstructure was completed, per this undated 1968 NSF photo from the USAP photo library (link to original) showing folks awaiting the launch of the Hero, which is mostly hidden by a pier structure.

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