The wreckage of the American companion destroyer Samuel B. Roberts was discovered 6,895 meters below the surface. The ship sank during World War II. (undated image published June 25, 2022)
| photo: Profimedia.cz
The Battle of Samar Island took place on October 25, 1944 and is one of the largest in naval history. Dozens of vessels from the American and Japanese fleets sank into the Philippine Sea Trench, which is up to ten and a half kilometers deep.
Of Sammy B.’s 224 crew members, 89 were killed in the battle. The remaining survivors waited for 50 hours in rescue boats to help.
Vescovo, one of the Navy’s reserves, said finding the destroyer was an “incredible honor.” “We like to say that steel does not lie and that the wrecks of these ships are the last witnesses to the battles,” Vescovo told the BBC.
In the pictures of the wreckage of the weapon and torpedo tubes
“Sammy B. fought Japanese heavy cruisers at a very short distance and ran out of ammunition,” Vescovo described, continuing: “All he had left were smoke bullets and flares, which he fired in the hope of causing fire on Japanese ships. Men on both sides fought to the death, “said Vescovo.
In the pictures of the wreck taken by the submarine Limiting Factor, it is possible to see the structure of the hull, weapons and torpedo tubes.
Explorers combine historical records with modern technology to “shrink the haystack in which they look for the needle” represented by this or that shipwreck. “We were also looking for the aircraft carrier Gambier Bay, but it’s a detective work and no one has done any underwater operations of this kind,” said Vescovo, who was the first person to visit the deepest places on the Earth’s five oceans.
Only about two percent of the ocean floor is below 6,000 meters. The wreck of the USS Samuel B. Roberts was discovered at a depth of almost seven kilometers.