Don Walsh went to sea with the Navy a half century ago. Enlisting as an Airman in 1948, he retired as a Captain in 1975. After graduation from Annapolis he served in submarines, including command of USS Bashaw in the late 1960s. Naval service included both Korean and Vietnam wars.
In addition to submarines, Walsh was designated the Navy’s first deep submersible pilot when he had command of the Bathyscaph Trieste from 1958-1962. In 1960 he and Jacques Piccard piloted Trieste to the deepest place in the world ocean…seven miles down in the Marianas Trench. For the past 40 years he has remained active in the design, construction and operation of deep submersibles. Walsh has also worked at the North and South Poles and has made 30 expeditions to the Arctic and 20 to the Antarctic. From November 2002 to February 2003 he made a 70-day circumnavigation of the Antarctic continent on a Russian icebreaker.
A mountain ridge, “The Walsh Spur,” is named after him in the Antarctic.
He has a B.S. from the US Naval Academy; M.S. and Ph.D. in oceanography from Texas A&M University; and an M.A. in political science from San Diego State University.
After Navy retirement 1975, Dr. Walsh became dean of marine programs and professor of ocean engineering at the University of Southern California. Leaving USC after 10 years he started International Maritime Inc. a consulting practice that he still heads. Walsh served for six years as a Director of The Explorers Club, which elected him as an Honorary Life Member and Honorary Director. He is a recipient of the Club’s Lowell Thomas Medal and its highest award, The Explorers Medal. He lives Dora Oregon, population 10. When not working around his ranch, he flies his experimental biplane.