Lost for Nearly 80 Years: Missing WWII Submarine Built in New England Found in Japan
In a reminder of just how big our oceans are – as well as the sacrifices made by our servicemen and women – a military submarine built right here in New England was just recently discovered halfway across the world, nearly 80 years after it disappeared.
The U.S.S. Albacore was constructed by the Electric Boat Company in Groton, Connecticut, and conducted 11 war patrols. It’s also credited with sinking 10 enemy ships, according to Naval History and Heritage Command.
But on November 7, 1944, the celebrated vessel wrecked off the coast of Japan and remained missing for eight decades. Japanese professor Dr. Tamaki Ura led the pursuit, using a Remotely Operated Vehicle to compare the wreck with U.S. Naval data in confirming the ship’s identity.
There were several obstacles, however, as marine growth, strong currents, and poor underwater visibility made it difficult to verify the submarine’s identity. But there remained enough key features to confirm that it was in fact the Albacore.
U.S. Navy Rear Admiral (retired) and NHHC Director Samuel J. Cox released the following after the discovery:
“As the final resting place for Sailors who gave their life in defense of our nation, we sincerely thank and congratulate Dr. Ura and his team for their efforts in locating the wreck of Albacore. It is through their hard work and continued collaboration that we could confirm Albacore’s identity after being lost at sea for over 70 years.”
The news provides bittersweet closure to the families of the U.S.S. Albacore’s crew, as the location marks the final resting place for the sailors who gave their lives in defense of the United States.