The USS Samuel B Roberts has been discovered decades after its sinking. The U.S. Navy destroyer escort was found recently off the Philippine coast. The ship, also referred to as “Sammy B,” was in combat during World War II but sank in 1944. As of 2022, it’s the deepest shipwreck ever located.
The History of the USS Samuel B Roberts
During World War II, the U.S. Navy destroyer escort was engaged in a battle off Samar, an island in the Philippines. This battle was part of the larger Battle of Leyte Gulf, and the ship was up against a hearty Japanese fleet. It eventually ran out of ammunition, but they continued to fight.
The Yamato, lead battleship for the opposing side, hit the ship and caused critical damage. It was then, after the crew members fought tirelessly in one of the largest naval battles in history, that the Samuel B Roberts ship sank on October 25, 1944. The Sammy B is known for its famous last stand against the fleet.
It has been nearly 78 years since the wreck, but in June 2022, the ship was discovered by a team of explorers, including prominent explorer Victor Vescovo. The location where historical records stated the ship to be was not completely accurate, so the team had to take some innovative approaches to find the USS Samuel B Roberts.
Part of the dive on the Sammy B. It appears her bow hit the seafloor with some force, causing some buckling. Her stern also separated about 5 meters on impact, but the whole wreck was together. This small ship took on the finest of the Japanese Navy, fighting them to the end. pic.twitter.com/fvi6uB0xUQ
— Victor Vescovo (@VictorVescovo) June 24, 2022
Deepest Shipwreck Ever Found
It was eventually found at a depth of more than 22,600 feet. The USS Samuel B Roberts was on a slope, broken into two pieces. The discovery was made after six dives and a lot of implementation of innovative technology. The deepest side-scan sonar ever used on a submersible, one that goes beyond the 6,000-meter standard, was what ultimately assisted in the discovery of the ship.
The title of “deepest shipwreck” has been taken by the Samuel B Roberts from the USS Johnston, but there are still at least two other contender ships that have yet to be discovered: the USS Gambier Bay and the USS Hoel. It is possible that these ships could be located even deeper than the Sammy B. The deep-sea searches that are being conducted are the first of their kind and will require a lot of additional research before anything else can be found.
So, what is the deepest shipwreck ever found? As of right now, the USS Samuel B Roberts wreck can be given credit for being the deepest discovered wreck.
A Tribute to the Lives Lost
The Sammy B shipwreck pays tribute to the lives lost in the battle. The destroyer escort originally held 224 passengers. Out of the 224 passengers, 89 were killed. The shipwreck is a reminder of the heroic sacrifice the crew made during the war.
The USS Samuel B Roberts fought in a battle at point-blank range with little chance of survival. Although they knew this, the crew members continued to fight and were able to contain some enemy ships before they ultimately went down. The crew and ship are remembered to this day for their final stand and heroism.
The discovery of the Samuel B Roberts serves as a reminder to remember and commemorate their sacrifices. The site of the USS Samuel B Roberts wreck allows us to reconnect with a vital piece of history. It’s been over 78 years since the sinking of the ship, but the memory of the crew and their famous last stand continue to live on.
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