A team managed to locate the sunken remains of a US Navy destroyer hit by the Japanese military during World War II.
The shipwreck is considered that of Deepest ever found.
The USS Samuel B Roberts was sunk during the Battle of Samar in the Philippine Sea in October 1944. It is located 6,895 meters below the surface.
The financier and adventurer from Texas vYoVescovo used his own deep-sea submersible to discover the “Sammy B” beaten, but mostly intact.
The ship is famous for its heroic last stand against the Japanese.
A ‘heroic’ defender
Outnumbered and outgunned, the USS Samuel B Roberts it managed to contain and thwart several enemy ships before sinking.
Of the 224-man crew, 89 lost their lives.. The remaining 120 survived by clinging to lifeboats for more than 50 hours.
Vescovo, a Navy reservist at the time, said it had been an extraordinary honor to have located the ship and, in doing so, to have the opportunity to retell its story of heroism and duty.
“We like to say that steel does not lie and that the remains of these ships are the last witnesses of these battles that they fought,” he told BBC News.
“The Sammy B engaged Japanese heavy cruisers at point-blank range and fired so fast it ran out of ammunition – it got to the point of firing smoke grenades and flares just to try and start fires at the Japanese ships and kept firing. It was an act of extraordinary heroism. Those men, side by side, were fighting to the death.”
In the images captured by the submarine, known as Limiting Factor, it is possible to see the structure of the hull, weapons and torpedo tubes.
The Sammy B has holes from Japanese bullets and there is evidence of a massive impact to the stern.
Due to its corrugated appearance, it seems that it was the bow of the ship that directly impacted the seabed.
To make sense of the depth of the place where the boat lies, it must be understood that 98% of the ocean beds are less than 6,000 meters deep. Only a few places in the great tectonic trenches reach depths greater than 6,000 meters.
The Battle of Samar, part of the Battle of Leyte Gulf, was a fierce event. Heavy fighting eventually resulted in the withdrawal of Imperial Japanese forces.
Several ships were lost in the depths.
Last year, Vescovo managed to find the destroyer USS Johnston at a depth of 6,460 meters.
There may be others at greater depths than the Sammy B or the Johnston.
“There are two other American boats not found: the USS Gambier Bay (escort aircraft carrier) and the USS Hotel (destroyer),” says Kelvin Murray of EYOS, the company that organized and led the Vescovo expedition.
“We have historical records indicating places where they could have sunk. We take a look looking for the Gambier Bay, but this detective work and all this kind of depth operations have never been done before. I don’t want to use the phrase ‘needle in a haystack’ because there is a lot of research behind it looking to reduce the size of the haystack. But there is a certain amount of luck in all of this.”
Vescovo was the first person to visit the deepest points of the five oceans of the planet.
He also scaled the highest peaks on all seven continents; and recently went to space in the New Shepardthe rocket and capsule system developed by the founder of amazon Jeff Bezos.
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