In Memoriam: Edward L. Bland, Jr.


The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution announces with great sorrow the death of retiree Edward L. Bland, Jr., on July 15 in Livingston, Texas.  He was 88.

Ed was born May 28, in Richmond, VA.  He received his diploma from John Marshall High in Richmond in 1940.

Ed began his career at WHOI in 1966 as a lab assistant in the Alvin group and began working as an Alvin pilot in June of 1967. On October 16, 1968, two steel cables supporting Alvin’s lowering cage snapped at the beginning of dive 308 one hundred twenty miles south of Cape Cod.  Ed was the pilot on this particular dive.  The sub plunged 15 feet, then bobbed to the surface where it stayed long enough for Ed along with Roger Weaver and Paul Stimson, to scramble to safety, leaving their lunches behind. Alvin then sank to the 5,000 – foot bottom where it rested until recovery the following year along with its well-preserved sandwiches – which inspired a new line of deep-sea microbiological investigations initiated by Holger Jannasch. Ed had his last Alvin dive—his 75th—in October of 1972 and retired from WHOI in 1987.

Prior to his career at WHOI, he served as a chief radioman on US Navy submarines from 1941-1963.

Further information will be posted when available.


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