USS Harder: Wreckage of a WWII submarine found off the Philippines

USS Harder: Wreckage of a WWII submarine found off the Philippines

Image source, The Lost 52/US Navy Project

Screenshot, The waters in and around the Philippine Islands are home to famous World War II shipwrecks.

  • Author, Joel Guinto
  • Role, bbc news

The wreckage of a U.S. Navy submarine that sank most Japanese warships during World War II has been found in the South China Sea, some 80 years after it was sunk by enemy forces.

The USS Harder was found 3,000 feet (914 m) underwater off the island of Luzon in the northern Philippines.

The Harder was sunk in combat on August 29, 1944, along with her crew of 79 men.

On one of her last war patrols, she sank three Japanese destroyers and severely damaged two others over four days, according to the U.S. Navy History and Heritage Command (NHHC).

This forced the Japanese to change their battle plans and delay their carrier force, which contributed to their defeat.

“Harder got lost in the course of the victory. We must not forget that victory has a price, as does freedom,” said Samuel J. Cox, a retired U.S. admiral who heads the NHHC.

The Philippines was one of the main battlefields in the Pacific during World War II, as the United States fought to reclaim its former colony from the Imperial Japanese Army.

The waters of the archipelago and its surroundings have served as a resting place for famous battleships from World War II.

The Harder, which sailed under the motto “Hit ’em Harder,” was found by the Lost 52 project, which aims to find the 52 American submarines lost during World War II. She was found sitting upright on her keel, or back, and relatively intact, the U.S. Navy said.

The submarine and its crew were later awarded the Presidential Unit Citation for their service during the war. The honor recognizes extraordinary heroism in action.

Its captain, Commodore Sam Dealey, was posthumously awarded the United States’ highest military decoration, the Medal of Honor.