In the summers of 2000-2002, the Naval History & Heritage Command's underwater archaeologists conducted surveys off the Normandy coast for U.S. Navy ships lost on and after D-Day in June 1944. This was an ambitious study, for more than 5,000 Allied ships and other craft participated in Operation Neptune, and official records indicate that by 19 June the U.S. Navy had lost 162 vessels. The survey areas comprised the waters off Omaha and Utah beaches, Pointe du Hoc, the heavily mined Banc du Cardonnet, and the Pointe et Raz de la Percee.
The Institute of Nautical Archaeology (INA) supported the 2000 survey, and INA board director George Robb provided the research vessel Robo, along with its complement of remote-sensing equipment. The Department of Defense Legacy Resource Management program and the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Ocean Exploration program supported the surveys in 2001 and '02, with additional corporate and private support.