Robert Dexter Conrad

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Robert Dexter Conrad
Born 20 March 1905
Orange, Massachusetts
Died 26 July 1949
New York City
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Navy
Years of service 1927-1947
Rank Captain
Unit Director of the Planning Division, Office of Research and Inventions
Awards Legion of Merit
Navy Distinguished Service Medal

Robert Dexter Conrad, born on 20 March 1905 in Orange, Massachusetts, graduated from the United States Naval Academy and was commissioned ensign in June 1927.

Naval career[edit]

Following duty in USS Florida (BB-30), he attended the Postgraduate School at Annapolis, Maryland, and earned a Master of Science degree in naval architecture at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in June 1932.

Then ordered to the Portsmouth Navy Yard (New Hampshire), he served there until the fall of 1933 when he took a leave of absence to study at Cambridge University, England.

Returning to the United States, he served in the Design and Construction Division and in the Research and Information Section of the Bureau of Construction and Repair; then, from August 1937 to June 1939, at the Experimental Model Basin at Washington, D.C.. Duty at Mare Island followed and in November 1940 he was appointed Assistant Naval Attaché, later Special Naval Observer, at the American Embassy, London.

World War II service[edit]

In January 1942 he returned to Washington, D.C. Initially in the Bureau of Ships, he became Head of the Progress and Planning Section in the Office of the Coordinator of Research and Development, Office of the Secretary of the Navy in April and remained in that post until May 1945.

He was awarded the Legion of Merit for his work during that period. After the end of the war in Europe, Captain Conrad continued his research work through many organizational changes, and was eventually designated Director of the Planning Division, Office of Research and Inventions, later the Office of Naval Research. He was awarded the Navy Distinguished Service Medal for his work both during and after the Second World War.[1]


Captain Conrad retired in 1947 and died at New York City on 26 July 1949.

Award named in his honor[edit]

The Navy's top scientific award, an annual award to the individual making an outstanding contribution in naval research and development bears Captain Conrad's name: the Captain Robert Dexter Conrad Award.[2]

Ship naming[edit]

The USNS Robert D. Conrad (T-AGOR-3), a research ship operated by Columbia University, was named in his honor.

See also[edit]


This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. The entry can be found here.

  1. ^ Department of the Navy — Naval Historical Center (19 October 2005). "Robert D. Conrad". Retrieved 13 September 2013. 
  2. ^ Office of Secretary, Department of the Navy (22 September 1987). "SecNav Instruction 5061.9G: Captain Robert Dexter Conrad Award for Scientific Achievement" (PDF). Signed by H. Lawrence Garrett, III. Retrieved 13 September 2013. 

External links[edit]