Explorers have located the world’s deepest wreckage in the Philippine Sea at a depth of 6,895 meters (22,621 ft). On June 22, 2022, sonar expert Jeremie Morizet and millionaire adventurer Victor Vescovo found the wreckage of the USS Samuel B Roberts, also known as “Sammy B.” During World War II, the USS Samuel B. Roberts, a destroyer escort measuring 93 meters (306 feet), was constructed for the American Navy. The broader Battle of Leyte Gulf, which included the Battle off Samar, it traded gunfire with a sizable Imperial Japanese Navy flotilla until meeting her watery demise in October 1944.
The USS B. Johnston and a tiny US fleet put up a valiant battle against the Imperial Japanese Navy despite being just a destroyer escort. But finally, it was overpowered, sinking to the bottom with around 89 of the crew’s 224 members. The USS Samuel B. Roberts’ last struggle against overwhelming odds and superior firepower is remembered as a heroic event in American naval history.
However, no one was convinced of its precise position. Vescovo, the founder of Caladan Oceanic, and the EYOS Expeditions crew set out to find the wreck in six dives that took place between June-17 and 24 using submersible vehicles and sonar-beaming ships. On June 18, they finally succeeded in locating the wreck thanks to a Sammy B-specific three-tube torpedo launcher.
The Sammy B’s full wreck, split in half from bow to stern and sitting on a slope at a depth of 6,895 meters, was then found on a subsequent dive (22,621 feet). It surpasses the USS Johnston (6,469 meters), examined by Vescovo last year, by 426 meters, making it the deepest wreck ever discovered and explored (1,398 feet).
In a statement sent to IFLScience, Vescovo stated, “It was an unbelievable honor to discover this immensely historic ship and, by doing so, have the possibility to recount her narrative of valor and responsibility to others who may not be aware of the ship and her crew’s sacrifice.” The sheer bravery of those who fought in this fight against genuinely overwhelming odds – and prevailed – never ceases to astound me.