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Wreck of Samuel B. Roberts Found

27 Jun 2022

On 25 Oct 1944, the powerful Japanese Center Force came upon a much smaller force consisted of three destroyers and four destroyer escorts, escorting six slow escort carriers in the Philippine Sea. In a daring decision, the destroyers and destroyer escorts, aided by aircraft, despite being far smaller than the battleships and cruiers they were facing, charged at the attackers. At the end of the Battle off Samar, the Americans lost two escort carriers, two destroyers, a destroyer escort, and several aircraft, but they also sank three Japanese cruisers and caused Takeo Kurita to withdraw and thus preventing further losses among the defenseless troop ships and transports in Leyte Gulf. One of the American ships lost of the destroyer escort USS Samuel B. Roberts.

On 22 Jun 2022, the wreck of USS Samuel B. Roberts was discovered by the exploration company Caladan Oceanic, founded by Victor Vescovo. In two pieces, the wreck was lodged on a slope on the sea floor, representing the deepest wreck to be surveyed at the depth of 6,895 meters (22,621 feet). The team also went lower to over 7,000 meters in search of carrier USS Gambier Bay which was also lost at the Battle off Samar, but failed to find her. Caladan Oceanic currently has plans to dive again next month in hope of locating Gambier Bay's wreck.

For more information:
CNN: Explorers find the world's deepest shipwreck four miles under the Pacific
WW2DB: The Leyte Campaign



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