NOAA Dedicates Sign Marking 40 Years Since USS Monitor's Discovery

Aug 28, 2013

The wreck of the Civil War vessel USS Monitor lies off the coast of Cape Hatteras. It's been 40 years since its discovery.
Credit Monitor National Marine Sanctuary /

The NOAA’s Monitor National Marine Sanctuary held a ceremony in Beaufort yesterday to unveil sign recognizing the 40th anniversary of the USS Monitor's discovery. The sign is the first of five to be dedicated that marks a place of significance in the Civil War vessel’s history. The USS Monitor was discovered 40 years ago in 230 feet of water about 16 miles off the coast of Cape Hatteras. 

The Duke University Marine Lab headed the research team that discovered the ship with sonar in August 1973. The team identified the ship as the Monitor the following year. It was the first ironclad warship commissioned by the U.S. Navy in the Civil War, and it played a major role in the Battle of Hampton Roads. It was lost at sea in December 1862.

A photo of the Outer Banks from space showing the approximate position of the Monitor National Marine Sanctuary.
Credit NASA

The NOAA plans to dedicate four more signs in remembrance of the USS Monitor in North Carolina, Virginia and New York.