“Deepest wreck dive” hits US WWII ship off the Philippines | News from the Philippines

The 115-meter-long ship was sunk on October 25, 1944 as US forces fought to liberate the Philippines from Japanese occupation.

A US Navy destroyer sunk in World War II and located nearly 6,500 meters (21,325 feet) below sea level off the Philippines was hit in the world’s deepest wreck dive , said an American exploration team.

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.

The 115-meter-long (377-foot-long) ship was sunk on October 25, 1944, during the Battle of Leyte Gulf as US forces fought to liberate the Philippines – then an American colony – from occupation. Japanese.

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,” tweeted Caladan Oceanic founder Victor Vescovo, who piloted the submersible.

“We located the front 2/3 of the ship, upright and intact, at a depth of 6456 meters. Three of us on 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.

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.

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