Robert Lundgren Biography
I was born April 9, 1963 in Bethesda, Maryland and have lived in Maryland my entire life. My interest in ships and the Navy began when my Aunt, Ruth Ewing, gave me a book called "Day of Infamy" by Walter Lord when I was 10 years old. She worked for BuShips and her husband, my Uncle, Bill Ewing had been in the Merchant Marine during World War II and their stories continued to peak my interest.
After graduating from high school, I found work as a crewman on passenger ships sailing on the Potomac River and Chesapeake Bay, working my way up the ranks to become first mate. In 1985 passed tests given by the United States Coast Guard and became a licensed Captain able to operate 100 gross ton passenger ships for the inland water ways of the United States. I was lucky to be qualified as a river pilot and brought tall ships to Washington DC as well as Jacques Cousteau and his ship Calypso to Mount Vernon. As part of the Smithsonian Institute, I was also lucky enough to be part of the crew which conducted the second survey of the wreck of the USS Monitor on board the Peter W. Anderson.
At night during this time I attended college, hoping to become a naval architect. However, after my parents passed away and the ship company went out of business, I found a job working at the Uniformed Services University for the Health and Sciences, which was run by the Army to train medical students for their first four years. Again, I worked my way up and now work at the National Institute of Health as a Veterinary Anesthesiologist. I met my wife Dawn here at NIH and have now been happily married for the past 16 years. We have two children, Cara and William, of whom I am quite proud.
My interest in the Navy and history however has never faded and I am lucky to be close to the National Archives, Naval Historical Center, Library of Congress, and the Naval Academy to do research. The story of the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal between Kirishima, Washington, and South Dakota was a mystery to me, especially the details on Kirishima. Along with Richard Worth and Sander Kingsepp, I have researched this as well as other topics over the past six years. My story about this battle would not have been possible without the extraordinary help of Nathan Okun, Dr. Robert Ballard, James Grace, who wrote The Naval Battle of Guadalcanal: Night Action, 13 November 1942 Naval Institute Press, 1999, and Charles Haberlein who runs the Naval Historical Center, along with the many staff members at the National Archives. I believe it is the most accurate depiction of the events that transpired that night, however, I am always looking for more material to either add to my knowledge or to correct any errors. My next project is on the Battle of Samar in 1944.