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Explorers discover a World War II naval destroyer, discovering the deepest shipwreck

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The Associated Press

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Manila, Philippines (AP) —Explorers say the U.S. Navy destroyer, which engaged the superior Japanese fleet in the greatest naval battle of World War II in the Philippines, is the deepest shipwreck found. became.

USS Samuel B. Roberts (commonly known as "Sammy B") was confirmed on Wednesday to be split in two on a slope 6,985 meters (22,916 feet) deep.

This makes her 426 meters (1,400 feet) deeper than USS Johnston. This is the deepest shipwreck discovered in the Philippine Sea last year by the American explorer Victor Bescobo, the founder of the Dallas-based Karadan Marine Expedition. He announced his latest discoveries with the UK-based EYOS Expeditions.

"It was a great honor to find this incredibly famous ship. By doing so, her hero and duty to those who may not know the ship. I have the opportunity to tell the story again. The sacrifice of her crew, "former Navy commander Bescobo said in a statement.

Sammy B. participated in the Battle of Leyte Gulf, the final stage of the Battle of Leyte Gulf in October 1944. In this battle, the Imperial Japanese Navy suffered the largest ship loss and was unable to drive the US military away. From Leyte they had previously invaded as part of the liberation of the Philippines.

According to some records, the destroyer invalidated a Japanese heavy cruiser with a torpedo and caused serious damage to another heavy cruiser. After running out of almost all ammunition, she was critically struck by the flagship battleship Yamato and sank. Of the 224 crew, 89 died and 120 were rescued, including her captain, Major Cmdr. Robert W. Copeland.

According to retired admiral and naval historian Samuel J. Cox, Copeland leads men with such incredible courage into battle. "There is no more honor," he said. Overwhelming odds, I couldn't expect to survive from there.

"This site is a sacred war grave and reminds all Americans of the enormous costs of previous generations for the freedom we take for granted today. It helps, "Cox said in a statement.

Explorers said the historical record of where the wreck was was not very accurate until its discovery. According to EYOS, this study used the deepest side scan sonar installed and operated on submersibles. This is well beyond the standard commercial limit of 6,000 meters (19,685 feet).