US WW2 destroyer deepest wreck ever found

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US WW2 destroyer deepest wreck ever found

November 02, 2019 - 14:46
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Famous Second World War US Navy destroyer that fought in Battle of Leyte Gulf is the ‘Deepest wreck ever found’. Explorers aboard the RV Petrel encountered the shattered remains of the American Fletcher-class destroyer 6,220m (20,406ft) beneath the Philippine Sea.

For Johnston’s supreme courage during the Battle off Samar, she was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation. The ship received six battle stars for service in World War II. Its captain Lieutenant Commander Ernest E. Evans posthumously received the Medal of Honor.

The ship was most famous for her bold action in the Battle off Samar. The sacrifices of Johnston and her little escort carrier task unit "Taffy 3" helped stop a massive Japanese fleet from attacking vulnerable U.S. landing forces, and eventually inflicted greater losses to the Japanese attackers than they suffered. After a bruising three-hour fight, in which Johnston sank "destroyer after destroyer", according to the US Navy, the vessel succumbed to the onslaught.

Of the crew of 327, only 141 survived. Of the 186 lost, about 50 were killed by enemy action, 45 died on rafts from battle injuries and 92, including Evans, were alive in the water after Johnston sank, but were never heard from again.

Explorers aboard the Research Vessel Petrel used an undersea drone to locate and film the twisted remains of the warship.

Eerie video footage shows mangled gun emplacements, two funnels and other, unrecognisable hunks of twisted metal strewn across the seabed. “There is no hull structure intact that we can find. This wreck is completely decimated, it is just debris,” the crew of the Petrel said in a video released on Wednesday.

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