Raymond Aker

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Raymond Aker (March 10, 1920 – January 4, 2003) was a U.S. historian who was noted as an authority on the voyages of Francis Drake in the late 16th century. Aker served as president of the Drake Navigators Guild in California, which promotes Drake and his explorations. It was the work of Aker that helped ensure that Drake received credit for the discovery of Cape Horn, at the southern tip of South America.


Aker was born in Yonkers, New York and grew up in Atherton, California. He was interested in sailing from an early age, and developed a hobby of making models and paintings of ships. He continued this hobby throughout his life, making detailed drawings and models of ships.

At age nineteen in 1939, he enrolled in the California Nautical School. After the attack on Pearl Harbor, he left early in 1942 he left early to become a deck officer on troop transport ships. After World War II, he worked for 29 years at Westinghouse on projects that include the Polaris missile and ship propeller design.

He also continued to develop his skills as a navigator and mariner. He developed a fascination with Drake and used his own nautical skills to reconstruct Drake's 1577–1580 circumnavigation of the globe, during which Drake landed on the west coast of North America and founded a temporary colony of New Albion at a still undetermined spot, possibly in Northern California. Like many in the Drake Navigators Guild, Aker was a proponent of the theory that Drake landed at...
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