American WWII submarine recovered off the coast of Japan

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The recovered wreck
NOS News

An American submarine that was wrecked during World War II has been found off the coast of Japan. The USS Albacore disappeared on November 7, 1944 with 85 people on board while on patrol. It probably hit a mine.

Based on archival research, a Japanese professor was able to identify the area where the Albacore had wrecked, a few kilometers off the coast of the northern island of Hokkaido. At the time, the submarine had to keep an eye on the shipping routes to and from Japan.

In May last year, an underwater camera found a wreck about 250 meters deep. It then took months before the vessel could be identified due to strong currents, vegetation and murky water. This eventually succeeded due to some specific changes made to the Albacore, such as a radar dish and air holes in the hull.

The USS Albacore

The Albacore was one of the most successful submarines of the war, according to the US Navy. During eleven missions, the submarine managed to sink at least ten enemy ships, including the new aircraft carrier Taiho during the Battle of the Philippine Sea.

The Ministry of Defense has succeeded in informing the relatives of 76 of the 85 people on board about the find. William Bower, who was born two months after his father’s death, speaks of an emotional moment to CNN.

“I have tears in my eyes because I know that my father’s mother never got over it. How grateful she would have been to hear this. My mother was not allowed to experience it either, but luckily someone is still in his family who now know his final resting place.”

Because the wreck is a war grave, it is forbidden to disturb the peace there. However, the Japanese discoverer plans to do more research in August.

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