Bonhomme Richard Search

The Global Foundation for Ocean Exploration leads the search for the remains of the Revolutionary War ship Bonhomme Richard (BHR).  Commanded by U.S. Naval hero John Paul Jones, the ship sank off the coast of England in 1779 during a vicious battle with the British. It was during this battle that Jones shouted his famous words from the deck of the BHR: “I have not yet begun to fight!”

GFOE Vice President Melissa Ryan started this project in 2006 when she was with the Ocean Technology Foundation, and GFOE was asked to continue leading the project. We have provided the only continuity in the project from year to year, and have the institutional knowledge to make it a success.  We identify the assets and technologies needed for mission objectives, liaise with high-level personnel in the French and U.S. Navies, work with the media, and raise funds for expeditions. Over the years, 12 different USN Commands have participated, and more than 600 French and US Navy personnel have gone to sea on BHR missions.

GFOE supports the participation of young engineers and filmmakers in these expeditions. Our current focus is the investigation of a high priority wreck site first discovered by the French Navy on a joint expedition in 2012. The site has revealed an iron anchor, rigging block, lengths of partially buried wooden planking, and other artifacts indicating that it may be an 18th-century wreck.