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#344881 11/12/2019 03:11 AM
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Skynyrd Offline OP
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Wow, quite a rarity to find a MIA WW2 sub, and for good reason - There are battleships and carriers still MIA in the vast expanses and depth of the pacific, it would take quite a bit of effort, research, resources and luck to find a sub.
They even managed to photograph a legible nameplate with a ROV to quickly confirm the subs identity.



The last resting place of WW2 submarine the USS Grayback is found off the coast of Okinawa using high-tech undersea drones 75 years after the Japanese dropped a 500 pound bomb on it sending it 1,400ft down

The missing WWII submarine the U.S.S Grayback was found in June after the ship mysteriously disappeared 75 years ago off of Japan
It was presumed lost, along with 80 American servicemen, in March 1944
The Grayback sank more than a dozen ships during the war
Researchers with Lost 52 Project are dedicated to finding the final resting places of the 52 U.S. submarines lost in action during WWII
They combed Japanese military records which said their planes dropped a 500-pound bomb on the Grayback 100 miles east-southeast of Okinawa
This year a Japanese researcher reviewed those records and found one digit of the Grayback's final coordinates was mistranslated
The real location of the Grayback was about 100 miles off and the sub discovered 1,427 feet deep and 50 nautical miles south of Okinawa

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7673005/Missing-WWII-submarine-USS-Grayback-75-years-went-missing.html

Last edited by Skynyrd; 11/12/2019 03:12 AM.

Doug
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Thanks for posting

An amazing effort that paid off - and hopefully provides some closure to the relatives of the crew.

Last edited by Eric26; 11/14/2019 03:19 AM.
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Skynyrd Offline OP
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RIP to the crew and, as stated, this will make a huge difference to relatives and those who remember and care.

These guys suffered some of the highest attrition of any service during the war, their missions were done in secret so they were largely unsung. Very likely the subs loss wasn't even announced until after the war. Unlike other ship types and aircraft, there tended to be no survivors, so absolutely no one or no way to know any details of their last mission.

Rare exceptions, if you've never read about the USS Tang, check it out. Was actually the top scoring sub of the war, it was sunk in battle after sinking other Jap ships by its own torpedo on a circular run. Was sunk in relatively shallow water [under 200 ft], but thats not the reason why there were survivors. Most of the survivors [10 or so] were blown off the bridge and picked up by enemy ships they were just attacking ,,, Although a scant few managed to escape via an escape compartment using methods and equipment AFAIK had not been tried before or since, and some perished in the attempt. Those that survived captivity were able to tell of the final moments and as you may imagine, these details were none too comforting. Most of the crew concentrated on the front of the sub where the escape compartment was located, up until then the sub was submerged but on an even keel. The concentration of desperate men towards the front cause it to angle nose down, those that made it had to lock the hatches to prevent more from coming in and adding to the angle. Quite a harsh but necessary thing to do.
Air was running out and everyone grew lethargic, I think about 6 guys made the escape attempt, 1 at a time via a compression chamber which itself was quite an ordeal. 4 out that 6 survived to make it to the surface, though one went mad and paddled away into eternity and another was internally torn apart by the bends. The survivors reported after the war that the doomed crew in the sub was largely at peace, very little fighting, raging or panic, probably due to the lack of oxygen dulling their senses. They even saw some writing out their farewell notes then simply went to sleep.

This is all from memory of a book I read years back, quite a story. https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/913019.Clear_the_Bridge_


Doug
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Commander of the Tang received three Navy Crosses, three Silver Stars and the MOH!

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Skynyrd Offline OP
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Richard O'Kane , certainly one top the top heroes of the war on any side.

Just read the wiki account https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Tang_%28SS-306%29, it differs from my memory of reading the book in certain details but I'll assume it is correct.
It says the sub bottomed out at 180ft then some of the crew tried escaping, I recall that it was not bottomed out but still at a nose down angle, and they were trying to escape before it bottomed out thus increasing the distance to the surface ... Not that it would have made much difference, the nose must have been close to the bottom anyhow given the shallow depth and length of the vessel. It also says 13 men made the escape attempt [the only time in history this method was used successfully], and 5 survived to be picked up hours later.
I presume the bulk of them died from bends, thats quite a distance underwater to come up from without taking the proper, timed breaks which divers need to avoid the bends. The Momsen lung gave them a bare chance to do this, but in their panic and confusion it is doubtful if any of them thought of anything more than bolting to the surface ASAP, I'm sure any of us would do the same. 1 guy in the book said he didn't make any stops at all and suffered no ill effects and has no idea why, while others were torn apart from the inside.

Was sunk by her very last torpedo after mauling multiple convoys.


Doug
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Not to change the subject to much - a favorite book is Operation Drumbeat

interesting insight to life on a U-Boat.


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