Navy goes on the hunt for famous shipwreck

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Captain Ahab had Moby Dick. Bob Neyland's white whale is the Bonhomme Richard.

For decades, thrillseekers, archaeologists and professional treasure hunters have searched for the wreckage of the Bonhomme Richard, a Continental Navy ship from the Revolutionary War that sank on Sept. 25, 1779, off the coast of Yorkshire, England, in the choppy waters of the North Sea.

But the ship is legally the property of the U.S. Navy, which is responsible for preserving whatever may be left of it. A big part of that job falls to Neyland, chief archaeologist for the Navy's Underwater Archaeology Branch, based at the Washington Navy Yard. The tiny unit is responsible for identifying and preserving sunken and historically important Navy vessels from colonial-era warships to World War II fighter planes....

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