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A ‘heroic’ US destroyer sunk fighting the Japanese navy in WWII discovered more than 4 miles down in the Pacific, making it the deepest shipwreck

The U.S. Navy destroyer escort USS Samuel B. Roberts (DE-413) circa in June 1944, while off Boston, Massachusetts.

WikiCommons

  • Explorer Victor Vescovo and a team from EYOS expeditions discovered the wreck of the USS destroyer Samuel B. Roberts. 
  • The ship also called the Sammy B, is the deepest shipwreck ever discovered.
  • Of the 224 crew, 135 survived its sinking and clung to life-rafts for 50 hours, awaiting rescue.

An explorer has discovered the remains of the 1944 USS destroyer escort Samuel B. Roberts (DE-413), also referred to as the Sammy B.

Explorer Victor Vescovo and a team from EYOS expeditions discovered the wreckage on  June 22.

It sits 22,621 feet deep in the Philippine Sea, equivalent to roughly 51 Empire State buildings. 

The bow of destroyer escort Samuel B. Roberts. Photo was taken from DVS Limiting Factor during the scientific research dive off Samar. Samuel B Roberts wreck found at a depth of 6.895 metres, now making her the current deepest shipwreck recorded.The bow of destroyer escort Samuel B. Roberts. Photo was taken from DVS Limiting Factor during the scientific research dive off Samar. Samuel B Roberts wreck found at a depth of 6.895 metres, now making her the current deepest shipwreck recorded.

Victor Vescovo/WikiCommons

It is the deepest shipwreck ever discovered, according to CNN. 

CNN reports that Vescovo, who founded the exploration company Caladan Oceanic, made six dives over eight days to find the ship. 

The team used a custom-built side-scan sonar system to locate the sunken vessel. 

In a blog post, Vescovo said it has been an “extraordinary honor to locate this incredibly famous ship.” It was a chance to “retell her story of heroism and duty to those who may not know of the ship and her crew’s sacrifice,” he wrote.

An underwater shot of the sunken Sammy B shipAn underwater shot of the sunken Sammy B ship

Caladan Oceanic

“In difficult times, it’s important to reflect on those who sacrificed so much, so willingly, in even more difficult times to ensure our freedoms and way of life.”  Vescovo continued. 

The Samuel B. Roberts was built in 1944 at the Brown Shipbuilding Company of Houston, Texas, according to the Naval History and Heritage Command. 

According to the heritage site, The Sammy B ship fought in the Battle off Samar,  the central action of the Battle of Leyte Gulf. It was part of a naval force sent to protect the US amphibious invasion of the Philippines in 1944.

An underwater shot of the sunken Sammy B ship.An underwater shot of the sunken Sammy B ship.

Caladan Oceanic

The US flotilla of smaller ships fought an intense sea battle with a 23-strong fleet of heavily armed Japanese battleships and cruisers.

The Samuel B. Roberts fought at close quarters and sunk the Japanese heavy cruiser Chōkai with torpedoes and intense shelling. Roberts fought with other ships for another hour, firing more than 600 shells before a Japanese battleship ripped a hole in her hull, and the abandon ship order was issued. 

Of the 224 crew, 135 survived its sinking and clung to life-rafts for 50 hours, awaiting rescue, the BBC reported.

Samuel B. Roberts received a Presidential Unit Citation “for extraordinary heroism in action.” 

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