World War II submarine missing for 75 years has been found

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It has been 75 years since the USS Grayback disappeared with 80 sailors on board. Now, an organization that searches for sunken WWII submarines has solved the mystery of where it crashed.

Underwater explorer Tim Taylor and his Project Lost 52 team announced on Sunday that they had located the long-lost submarine on June 5 about 1,427 feet underwater off Okinawa, in Japan.

Last year, researcher Yutaka Iwasaki discovered that the Navy originally made a mistake in translating Japanese war records which specified where the Grayback likely sank. All the while, the Navy’s historical records had listed an incorrect longitude for the location of the submarine.

Armed with this information, along with recently discovered and translated Japanese mission logs, Taylor told CNN his team had embarked on an expedition to find the Grayback, this time to the area southwest of Okinawa. .

With the help of autonomous underwater vehicles, remote control vehicles, and advanced imaging technology, the team discovered the Grayback about 100 miles from the area where it was originally thought to be was shot.

The find has been officially confirmed by the Navy, Robert S. Neyland, chief of the underwater archeology branch of the Naval History and Heritage Command, said in a press release.

The Grayback disappeared in 1944

On January 28, 1944, the Grayback set sail from Pearl Harbor for the East China Sea for its 10th combat patrol.

About a month later, the submarine reported the sinking of two Japanese cargo ships on February 19. But the attack left the Grayback with only two torpedoes, and it was ordered to return from patrol.

Although the Grayback was due to arrive in Midway on March 7, more than three weeks have passed without seeing the submarine. And on March 30, 1944, the Grayback, one of the most successful submarines of WWII, was declared lost.

Families will finally close

Gloria Hurney, whose uncle Raymond Parks died on the Grayback, said she was not sure the Grayback would ever be recovered.

So when she first learned of the discovery, she felt a mixture of shock, disbelief, sadness and grief. Eventually, however, those feelings turned into relief, comfort, and peace.

“The discovery puts an end to questions surrounding the Grayback regarding its sinking and location,” Hurney said in a statement to CNN. “I believe it will provide healing as the loved ones of the crew members come together to share their stories.”

The Navy echoed this sentiment.

“Each discovery of a sunken craft is an opportunity to remember and honor the service of our sailors,” Neyland said in a statement. “Knowing their final resting place brings closure, in part, to their families and shipmates and allows our team to better understand the circumstances in which the boat was lost.”


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