Robert Edward Townsend, Jr. (born September 13, 1943) is an American former competition swimmer, Pan American Games gold medalist, and former world record-holder.
Townsend participated in the 1964 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan, where he swam for the gold medal-winning U.S. team in the preliminary heats of the men's 4x200-meter freestyle relay. He won a gold medal as a member of the winning U.S. team in the men's 4x200-meter freestyle relay at the 1963 Pan American Games.
Townsend attended Yale University, where he was a standout swimmer for coach Phil Moriarty's Yale Bulldogs swimming and diving team from 1963 to 1965. He won an NCAA national championship in the 400-yard individual medley (1963), and three more as a member of winning Yale teams in the 400-yard freestyle relay (1963, 1964, 1965).