Scientific Research

Scientific Research (HMWM5)

Location: New London, CT 06320 New London County
Country: United States of America

N 41° 20.62', W 72° 5.59'

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World War I

World War I broke out in Europe in 1914, and President Woodrow Wilson firmly resolved that the United States would stay neutral. However, public opinion turned to outrage in 1915, when a U-boat (a German submarine) fired two torpedoes at the Lusitania, a British luxury liner on a voyage from New York to Liverpool. The Lusitania sank in 18 minutes off the coast of Ireland, carrying 1,198 people, including 128 Americans, to their deaths.

In February 1917 Germany stepped up submarine warfare, targeting neutral as well as enemy ships. In mid-March U-boats sank two American ships, and Wilson called a special session of Congress. At Wilson's urging, Congress declared war in early April.

There was no way to detect the presence of a submerged submarine at the time. Shortly after the declaration of war, the navy authorized the National Research Council to establish a research facility at Fort Trumbull to develop technology capable of defeating the U-boat as fast as possible. A team of top scientists from several universities assembled in New London and worked in buildings on the cove south of the fort. Franklin Roosevelt, assistant secretary of the navy at the time, transferred funds for the research effort, which was named the Navy Experimental Station at New London. By the end of the war the station was one of ten primary centers devoted to antisubmarine research.

The station closed in 1918 soon after the end of the war. The researchers went on to distinguished careers in academia and industry. Two of them, R. A. Millikan and P. W. Bridgman, received Nobel Prizes in physics. Twenty-two years after the station closed, several members of this team of scientists formed the nucleus of a new research effort, when America again faced the German U-boat menace in World War II.
HM NumberHMWM5
Placed ByFort Trumbull State Park
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Saturday, October 11th, 2014 at 12:50am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18T E 743208 N 4580985
Decimal Degrees41.34366667, -72.09316667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 41° 20.62', W 72° 5.59'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds41° 20' 37.20" N, 72° 5' 35.40" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)860
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 1-99 East St, New London CT 06320, US
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