WWII Submarine Discovery with 46 entombed

01/24/2017 01:35 pm ET Updated Jan 24, 2017

The First US Submarine Casualty of WWII has Been Discovered!  

36 sailors trapped for days waiting for rescue that never came…

Sonar image of USS S-26 by Tiburon Subsea Inc.

New York City: January 24th, 2017 marks the 75th anniversary of the first US Submarine to sink in WWII. On the 24th of January 1942 the USS S-26 was proceeding from Pacific Panama Canal Zone to its patrol station in company of submarines S-21, S-29, S-44 and their escort vessel, 154’ long PC-460. At 22:10 the escort vessel sent a visual message to the submarines that she was leaving the formation and that they should proceed on their assigned mission. The S-21 was the only submarine to receive this message. and shortly thereafter in the darkness of night, PC-460 mistook submarine USS S-26 (SS-131) for a German U-boat and rammed her on the starboard side of the torpedo room. The submarine sank within a few seconds.

The sinking of the USS S-26 and her crew of 46 is a story of survival and ultimate tragedy. Thirty-Six brave men of the S-26 survived the initial sinking of their submarine and hoped that they would be rescued before time ran out. A buoy containing a message was sent to the surface by trapped sailors. The message read that they were trapped inside the three middle compartments awaiting rescue. Tragically these men sat for days in their “ocean coffin" waiting for a rescue that never came. They remain entombed on the ocean floor as we mark the 75th anniversary of the sinking of the USS S-26. The submarine rests in deep water in the Pacific Ocean and is designated an official war grave.

Tim Taylor, President of (New York City based) Tiburon Subsea Services Inc., made the discovery of the USS S-26. The USS S-26 is the 8th submarine discovered of 52 missing US WWII Submarines and the second discovery for Mr. Taylor.

Mr. Taylor says "A return expedition to fully survey the site is scheduled for 2017. On January 24th, 2017 the 75th Anniversary we honor the memory, heroic efforts and sacrifices made by the servicemen and the families of the S-26. "

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