In the deepest wreck dive to date, American exploratory team pays tribute to the WWII Navy destroyer USS Johnston

Manila, April 4 2021: An American exploration team has reached the deepest shipwreck of a US navy destroyer sunk during World War II and lying nearly 6,500m below sea level off the Philippines.

Submersible equipment and cameras filmed, photographed and surveyed the wreckage of the USS Johnston off Samar Island during two eight-hour dives completed last month, Texas-based undersea technology company Caladan Oceanic said.

The 115m ship was sunk on October 25, 1944 during the Battle of Leyte Gulf as US forces fought to liberate the Philippines, then a US colony from Japanese occupation. Its location in the Philippine Sea was discovered in 2019 by another expedition group, but most of the wreckage was beyond the reach of their remotely-operated vehicle.

“Just completed the deepest wreck dive in history, to find the main wreckage of the destroyer USS Johnston,” tweeted Caladan Oceanic founder Victor Vescovo, who piloted the submersible.

The team located the front 2/3 of the ship, upright and intact, at a depth of 6456 meters. Only 141 of the ship’s 327 crew survived, according to US Navy records.

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