A U.S. Navy destroyer was sunk by a kamikaze in 1945 during the Battle of Okinawa in World War II, the group’s leaders said Wednesday. The destroyer was found.
USS Mannert L. Abele was the first warship to be hit at the time A new Japanese weapon Called Ohka – essentially a flying bomb capable of reaching speeds of 600 miles per hour.
The ship was found in December by a group called the Lost 52 Project, which works to find Navy submarines and warships sunk during World War II.
The U.S. Navy’s Naval History and Heritage Command in Washington, which tracks 3,000 ships and submarines that the service has lost at sea in peacetime and war, confirmed the discovery in April.
“The Battle of Okinawa was the largest battle of the Pacific campaign,” said Tim Taylor, director of the Lost 52 program. “There were 50,000 casualties on the U.S. side alone, so it’s a huge discovery.”
“It’s a really deep connection for me,” he added. “My father’s boat was hit by kamikazes in the same area – about 90 miles south of the area – 10 days before the Abele sank.”
The small warship was one of many that surrounded Okinawa during the campaign to seize the island by force during World War II. It uses radar to spot enemy aircraft coming from mainland Japan and relays the information to aircraft carriers, which can then launch fighter jets to intercept them.
Abele, pronounced ABLE-ee, repelled numerous attacks by Japanese kamikaze pilots flying suicide missions towards the end of World War II. But it succumbed after two planes hit its starboard side and exploded, sending it to the bottom. Its exact location – until recently – was unknown.
In all, 84 of the Abel’s crew were killed by the two explosions, the sinking of the ship, or by the Japanese pilots who subsequently strafed and bombed survivors in the water.
Retired Rear Admiral Sam Cox, who led the Naval History Command, said identifying the ship was fairly easy given the evidence provided by the Lost 52 team.
The Navy regards the Abele and others like it sunk in battle as a grave and will leave the ship untouched.
About a dozen Navy destroyers like the Abell sank along with other ships during the Battle of Okinawa, killing about 5,000 sailors, Admiral Cox said.
The Lost 52 Project, named for the number of US Navy submarines lost in World War II, has located many wrecks, including USS Grayback – a submarine sunk in battle Left Okinawa a year before Abele. Mr Taylor has been using autonomous underwater vehicles to locate and investigate shipwrecks.
The family of the former crew member welcomed Abel’s discovery.
“I think my dad would be very interested and want to see every detail,” said Scott Andersen, whose father, Roy, was a junior officer on the Abell. “But I’m not sure what kind of trauma it’s going to provoke.”
In 2007, Roy Andersen wrote a book about the warship’s wartime service, titled Three Minutes on Okinawa. He died in 2014 at the age of 94, his son said.
“He once told me that he had hardly had a good night’s sleep since the ship sank,” Mr Andersen said.
The ship with the same name, Lieutenant Commander Mannette L. AbelCommanded the USS Grunion, a submarine lost at seaDuring the war, he was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross for sinking three Japanese ships in one day. On July 4, 1944, the Navy built a ship for him.
according to naval history [OnApril121945theship”suddenlyfounditselfsurroundedbyenemyaircraft”whilepatrolling75milesoffthenortherncoastofOkinawaAt1:38pmtheship’sgunnershitaJapanesedivebomberignitingitandsendingitcrashingintotheseaAboutanhourlaterthreeJapaneseZerofightersapproachedAbeleshotdownonebutanothercrashedintothestarboardsideoftheshipandexplodedkillingninesailors[1945年4月12日，这艘船在冲绳北部海岸75英里外巡逻时“突然发现自己被敌机包围”。下午1点38分，船上的炮手击中了一架日本俯冲轰炸机，点燃了它，使其坠入大海。大约一个小时后，三架日本零式战斗机靠近了。Abele击落了一架，但另一架坠入船的右舷并爆炸，炸死九名水手。
A minute later, Abele was hit again, but this time by a rocket-powered plane called Ohka, which means “cherry blossom” in Japanese. Ohka’s pilot crashed into the boat, and more than 2,600 pounds of explosives it was carrying exploded, ripping Abele in two and sinking it in 4,500 feet of water.
Admiral Cox said the Abell and other Navy warships near Okinawa helped divert kamikaze attacks away from troop transports and supply ships supporting the fighting ashore.
“There’s no escape for ships,” Admiral Cox said. “They have to stay and fight.”