Wreck searchers have reported finding the escort destroyer USS Samuel B Roberts, which sank during World War II in 1944.
Renowned explorer and ocean explorer Victor Vescovo announced on Thursday, June 23, that the wreck of the USS Samuel B Roberts had been found. The broken in half wreck of the US Navy escort destroyer was located by researchers at a depth of 6895m. This is more than 400m deeper than USS Johnston record holder to date. The discovery was made during a joint expedition between Caladan Oceanic Expeditions and EYOS Expeditions
The American ship was sunk in 1944 during a battle in Leyte Gulf. The clash went down in history as the greatest air and sea battle in history. On 23-26 October 1944, the Japanese Combined Fleet and the US Pacific Fleet faced each other. The battle ended with the Japanese defeated and was the decisive Allied victory in the region.
The search for the wreck by Caladan Oceanic and EYOS has been underway since 17 June and during this time the researchers have made a total of six dives. The searchers first discovered small debris, which they identified as belonging to the USS Samuel B Roberts, and then found the entire wreck.
Following Victor’s information on Twitter, I can reveal that we have found the wreck of the USS Samuel B. Roberts at a depth of 6895m. Victor and sonar operator Jeremie Morizet found it resting on its keel and crouched on its back. The wreck is broken in two. It will take me some time to fully analyse the photos, but at first glance it is almost intact, except for the stern, which was torn all the way to the rudder posts during the battle – reported Parks Stephenson.
According to the information provided by the discoverers, the ship sank in one piece, but broke after hitting the bottom. The current state of preservation of the wreck, although it is in two parts, has been described by researchers as very good.
The ship slammed into the bottom, but instead of soft sand it encountered hard rock. The bow was crushed and the stern fell into a ridge that broke the keel. As a result, the stern separated where a salvo from a battleship hit the surface, which tore off her port side. I will give more details later, after a thorough analysis. My report, like the one I wrote last year for the wreck of the USS Johnston, will be submitted to the Naval History and Heritage Command – Stephenson explained in his official post.
All photos were taken by Jeremie Morizet from the observer’s seat of the DSV Limiting Factor vessel. This was the last expedition where the Limiting Factor was used to search for wrecks. The vessel will pass into the hands of a new owner next month.
Without a doubt, in 2021 one of the most important diving events in Poland was the expedition to the wreck of the steamer SS Karlsruhe. You will read more about it in the 19th issue the DIVERS24 quarterly magazine! The digital version of the magazine is available free of charge, while the printed version you can buy in our online shop.
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