Acclaimed ocean explorer Tim Taylor was bestowed the Distinguished Public Service Award (DPSA) at the National Museum of the U.S. Navy in Washington, D.C., on 24 May.
The award, the U.S. Navy’s highest civilian honor, is in recognition of exploration, discoveries, and service to
the Department of the Navy honoring the sailors and Marines who gave their lives in service to the nation.
Taylor received the DPSA for the work he has accomplished with his Lost 52 Project, which to date has discovered and documented seven lost World War II and Cold War submarines—and the final resting places of
288 servicemen. (The project’s name refers to the 52 U.S. submarines lost during World War II.)
The Lost 52 Project has provided data, imagery, and reports to the Naval History and Heritage Command on the wrecks of the USS S-28 (SS-133), Grayback (SS-208), Grunion (SS-216), R-12 (SS-89), S-26 (SS-131), and Stickleback (SS-415).
“Mr. Taylor’s responsible approach demonstrated by conducting non-invasive investigations, respectful public outreach efforts, and coordination with the Navy is commendable and appreciated,” reads his DPSA presentation. “Each discovery of a wreck site by the Lost 52 Project provided an opportunity to remember and honor the unique service of our submariners and helped bring closure to their families and shipmates.”
“I am honored and proud to accept this award,” Taylor said. “It is important that we continue to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedoms and liberties. It is the hope of me and my team that our work contributes to keeping the stories of these men and their families alive for future generations.”
Among the many notable recipients of the Navy DPSA are Joe Rosenthal, the Pulitzer Prize–winning photographer known for the iconic Iwo Jima flag-raising photo; Tom Hanks; Steven Spielberg; and ocean explorer/retired Navy Captain Don Walsh for being the first, along with Jacques Piccard, to dive to the deepest ocean depths in 1960.
To learn more about the Lost 52 Project, visit lost52project.org.