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‘Deepest wreck dive’ reaches US WWII ship off Philippines



A crewed submersible filmed, photographed and surveyed the wreckage of the USS Johnston off Samar Island.

PHOTO: AFP/CALADAN OCEANIC

  • A US navy destroyer sunk throughout World Conflict II has been reached on the earth’s deepest shipwreck dive.
  • The 115-metre-long ship was sunk on October 25, 1944 in the course of the Battle of Leyte Gulf.
  • Sonar information, imagery and discipline notes collected in the course of the dives can be turned over to the US Navy.

A US navy destroyer sunk throughout World Conflict II and mendacity practically 6 500 metres under sea degree off the Philippines has been reached on the earth’s deepest shipwreck dive, an American exploration crew mentioned.

A crewed submersible filmed, photographed and surveyed the wreckage of the USS Johnston off Samar Island throughout two eight-hour dives accomplished late final month, Texas-based undersea expertise firm Caladan Oceanic mentioned.

The 115-metre-long ship was sunk on October 25, 1944 in the course of the Battle of Leyte Gulf as US forces fought to liberate the Philippines – then a US colony – from Japanese occupation.

Its location within the Philippine Sea was found in 2019 by one other expedition group, however many of the wreckage was past the attain of their remotely-operated automobile.

“Simply accomplished the deepest wreck dive in historical past, to seek out the principle wreckage of the destroyer USS Johnston,” tweeted Caladan Oceanic founder Victor Vescovo, who piloted the submersible.

“We situated the entrance 2/3 of the ship, upright and intact, at a depth of 6456 meters. Three of us throughout two dives surveyed the vessel and gave respects to her courageous crew.”

Solely 141 of the ship’s 327 crew survived, in keeping with US Navy data.

The Caladan Oceanic-backed expedition discovered the bow, bridge and mid-section intact with the hull quantity “557” nonetheless seen.

Two full five-inch gun turrets, twin torpedo racks and a number of gun mounts stay in place, it mentioned.

Workforce navigator and historian Parks Stephenson mentioned the wreck bore the harm inflicted in the course of the intense floor battle 76 years in the past.

“It took hearth from the most important warship ever constructed – the Imperial Japanese Navy battleship Yamato, and ferociously fought again,” mentioned Stephenson.

Sonar information, imagery and discipline notes collected in the course of the dives can be turned over to the US Navy, Vescovo mentioned.



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