Okinawa, Nov (SF) .- A team of private oceanic explorers discovered off the coast of Japan a submarine of the United States Navy of World War II, which had been missing for 75 years because of a one-digit error in the coordinates of the location of the submersible.
In January 1944, the USS Grayback, one of the most successful US submarines of World War II, sailed from Pearl Harbor for a combat patrol, but was attacked by a Japanese bomber. When the ship did not return in more than three weeks, it was listed as missing.
After the war, the Navy tried to reconstruct a complete history of the 52 submarines that it had lost. The story, published in 1949, provided approximate locations of where each submarine had disappeared. However, the Navy had, unknowingly, based on a faulty translation of the Japanese war records, so the coordinates indicated in the report were incorrect.
The mistake was discovered last year by amateur researcher Yutaka Iwasaki, a Japanese systems engineer. In turn, his work caught the attention of Tim Taylor, an underwater explorer who had set out to find the remains of every American submarine lost in the war.
The explorers found the submarine 435 meters below sea level off the coast of Okinawa. The discovery took place in June, but it was made public this Sunday, on the eve of Veterans Day.
The USS Grayback was discovered with much of its body intact and its plaque still placed in the front, although it showed signs of having been bombed.
The finding is part of Taylor’s Lost 52 Project and his wife Christine Dennison. After finding the USS Grayback, the couple spent months looking for relatives of the 80 American sailors who died on board, and now “can be honored again,” Dennison told ABC News.