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“Deepest wreck dive in history” hits US Navy destroyer sunk in WWII

A U.S. Navy destroyer sunk in World War II and located nearly 6,500 meters below sea level off the Philippines was hit in the world’s deepest wreck dive, a team said American exploration.

A crewed submersible filmed, photographed and inspected the wreckage of the USS Johnston off Samar Island during two eight-hour dives that ended late last month, the tech company said. Texas-based navy Caladan Oceanic.

Caladan founder Victor Vescovo, who piloted the submersible, tweeted a dramatic video of the sinking on Sunday.

The 115-meter-long ship was sunk on October 25, 1944 during the Battle of the Leyte Gulf as US forces fought to liberate the Philippines – then an American colony – from Japanese occupation.

Its location in the Philippine Sea was discovered in 2019 by another expedition group, but most of the wreckage was out of reach of their rc vehicle.

“I just finished the deepest wreck dive in history, to find the main wreckage of the destroyer USS Johnston,” Vescovo tweeted. “We located the forward 2/3 of the ship, upright and intact, at a depth of 6456 meters. Three of us through two dives inspected the ship and paid tribute to its brave crew.”

Only 141 of the ship’s 327 crew survived, according to US Navy records. Of the 186 dead, approximately 50 were killed by enemy action, 45 died on rafts from wounds and 92 crew members, including Captain Ernest Evans, were alive in the water after the ship sank. , but were never heard from again.

“The skipper was a fighter from the soles of his wide feet to the ends of his straight black hair,” Ensign Robert C. Hagen, the ship’s artillery officer, said, according to the Navy.

The Caladan Oceanic backed expedition found the bow, deck and midsection intact with the hull number “557” still visible.

Two full five-inch gun turrets, two torpedo mounts and several gun mounts remain in place, he said.

Team navigator and historian Parks Stephenson said the wreckage suffered damage from the intense surface battle 76 years ago.

“It caught fire on the largest warship ever built – the Imperial Japanese Navy battleship Yamato, and retaliated with ferocity,” Stephenson said.

Sonar data, images and field notes collected during the dives would be transmitted to the U.S. Navy, Vescovo said.

Last year, USS Nevada, an iconic American battleship that survived the attack on Pearl Harbor, has been found in the Pacific Ocean.


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