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Explorers Discover Deepest Wreck: World War II US Navy Destroyer





A US Navy destroyer that engaged a superior Japanese fleet in the biggest naval battle of World War II in the Philippines has become the deepest wreck to be discovered, explorers say.

The USS Samuel B. Roberts, popularly known as Sammy B, was identified Wednesday broken into two pieces on a slope at a depth of 22,916 feet.

That puts it 1,400 feet deeper than USS Johnson, the deepest wreck discovered last year in the Philippine Sea also by American explorer Victor Vescovo, founder of Dallas-based Caladan Oceanic Expeditions. He announced the latest find with UK-based EYOS Expeditions.

It has been an extraordinary honor to locate this incredibly famous ship and in doing so have the chance to tell its story of heroism and duty to those who may not know the ship and the sacrifice of its crew, has said Vescovo, a former navy commander, in a statement.

The Sammy B. saw action in the Battle of Samar, the final phase of the Battle of Leyte Gulf in October 1944, in which the Imperial Japanese Navy suffered its greatest loss of ships and failed to dislodge the American forces of Leyte, which they invaded. earlier as part of the liberation of the Philippines.

According to some records, the destroyer disabled a Japanese heavy cruiser with a torpedo and significantly damaged another. After spending nearly all of her ammunition, she was badly hit by the lead battleship Yamato and sank. Of a crew of 224, 89 died and 120 were rescued, including the captain, Lt. Cmdr. Robert W. Copeland.

According to Samuel J. Cox, retired admiral and naval historian, Copeland said there was no greater honor than to have led the men who showed such incredible courage in standing fighting against crushing obstacles, whose survival could not be hoped for.

This site is a sacred war grave and serves to remind all Americans of the high cost borne by previous generations for the freedom we take for granted today, Cox said in a statement.

The explorers said that until the discovery, historical records of the location of the wreckage were not very accurate. The research involved using the deepest side-scan sonar ever installed and operated on a submersible, well beyond standard commercial limits of 19,685 feet, EYOS said.




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