On Wednesday, the 75th anniversary of the “date which will live in infamy,” the NOAA ship Okeanos Explorer dispatched a robotic vehicle to explore two Japanese mini submarines, an event that they live-streamed.
In what marks the first US shots fired in World War II, the USS Ward fired at one mini-sub on the morning of December 7, 1941, sinking it, after it was first spotted attempting to enter the harbor, partially submerged. Ninety minutes after the Ward sunk the sub, the aerial attack by the Japanese began.
"Until now, only a handful of explorers and scientists have seen these relics of the war in the deep sea," James Delgado, the director of maritime heritage, NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, said in a statement before the dive, "but thanks to technology, anyone and everyone can now dive with us in the first live exploration of the 'midget' submarines that represent the beginning of the war in the Pacific."
“The aft ends of the torpedo tubes and mechanisms are visible through the gap at flange,” the scientists reported in a document with their observations about the sunken sub provided by NOAA. “This was for us a reminder of not only the deadly intent of the mission, but also its failure.”
Thanks to NOAA for this great offering. It is always thrilling to visit wrecks and imagine what happened... in this case, we know.
That's it for now. See you next time.
PS As a matter of interest, Maritime Maunder has passed the 31,000 reader mark! No idea what has triggered the sudden interest and following, but we are not only gratified, but humbled. Thank you.