Sunken US Navy destroyer in WWII discovered off the Japanese coast


A team of underwater explorers in the Pacific Ocean discovered the wreckage of a US Navy destroyer sunk by a kamikaze plane attack during World War II.

The USS Mannert L. Abele was operating off the north coast of the Japanese island of Okinawa on April 12, 1945, when it suddenly found itself “surrounded by hostile aircraft,” the Naval History and Heritage Command said in a statement from press this week, as he announced that the ship had been identified on Thursday.

After the Sumner-class destroyer engaged and damaged several enemy aircraft, one aircraft managed to crash alongside it, penetrating its broadside, the command said, adding that a minute later it was “in the waterline by a Yokosuka MXY- 7 Oka. ”

Known as the “Cherry Blossom,” the Ohka was a rocket-propelled human-guided bomb “and the resulting explosion caused the bow and stern of the ship to buckle rapidly,” the statement said, adding that it became the first US warship sunk by the weapon which was identified as “an early cruise missile” and fired up to 425 mph.

Along with four fighter aircraft, the inshore fire support ships fought off further enemy attacks and began rescuing the survivors from Abele. However, 84 sailors were lost at sea.

The discovery of the ship “allows some closure to the families of the lost and gives us all another opportunity to remember and honor them,” he said. Command Director Samuel J. Coxa retired US Navy Rear Admiral

As seen from an American aircraft carrier, a Japanese suicide bomber crashes into the sea off the coast of Okinawa, Japan, in June 1945. access point

The ship was found in December by a group called the Lost 52 Project, which searches for submarines and Navy warships sunk during World War II.

The Lost 52 Project said in a statement on its website that the ship was providing support for Operation Iceberg, the code name for the Battle of Okinawa.

He added that the death of President Franklin D. Roosevelt the same day “outshone” the sinking. Five weeks later, the United States dropped atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Tim Taylor, the leader of the Lost 52 Project, said in the statement that the discovery was “very emotional” for him because his father had been “almost to the same fate” when his ship, the USS Telfair, was hit by kamikaze. stroke.

The command said it had established the Abele as a “sunken US military vessel protected by US law and under the jurisdiction of the Department of the Navy” and a respected sailors’ war grave.

Discovery expeditions continue to search for US Navy ships lost during World War II. The USS Albacore submarine was identified by the command off the coast of Hokkaido in February.

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