(ORDO NEWS) — A US Navy destroyer that took on a superior Japanese fleet in the biggest naval battle of World War II in the Philippines has become the deepest wreck discovered to date, researchers say.
The US Navy destroyer USS Samuel B. Roberts, known as the Sammy B, was found wrecked in two at a depth of 6,985 meters.
That’s 426 meters deeper than the destroyer USS Johnston, the previous deepest wreck discovered last year in the Philippine Sea by American explorer Victor Vescovo, who also responds to the Samuel B. Roberts find.
The deepest wreck
“Sammy B.” took part in the Battle of Samar, the final phase of the Battle of Leyte Gulf in October 1944, during which the Imperial Japanese Navy suffered the greatest loss of ships and was unable to dislodge American troops from Leyte, which they had captured 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 Japanese ship.
Having used up almost all of her ammunition, the destroyer received a critical hit from the lead battleship Yamato and sank.
Of the 224 crew members, 89 were killed and 120 were rescued, including the captain and lieutenant.
The researchers said that prior to the discovery, historical records of where the wreck lay were not very accurate.
The search used the deepest side-scan sonar ever installed and operated on a submersible, far exceeding the standard commercial depth limit of 6,000 meters, according to a statement from British expedition organization EYOS.
Thanks to this equipment, scientists managed to find a ship sunken at great depths.
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