Sunken vessel was US WWII submarine; 78 perished

Last Updated: Tuesday, February 2, 2010 - 21:05

Honolulu: The Navy on Tuesday confirmed the
sunken wreckage of a vessel found in the Philippines` Balabac
Strait is that of a World War II submarine, the USS Flier.

"We hope this announcement will provide some closure
to the families of the 78 crewmen lost when Flier struck a
mine in 1944," Rear Adm. Douglas McAneny said.

The wreckage of the 1,525-ton (1,383-metric ton) Gato
class sub was located at a depth of 330 feet (100 meters) last
spring by a team from YAP Films, which used information
provided by the family of Al Jacobson, an ensign and last
surviving member of the crew, the Navy said. Jacobson died in

The Navy said father and son divers Mike and Warren
Fletcher of the TV show "Dive Detectives" captured the first
views of the sunken sub in 65 years. Footage provided by YAP
to the Naval History and Heritage Command aided in the
identification of the sub.

In early August 1944, Flier left Fremantle,
Australia, on its second war patrol.

On August 13, while passing through shallow water
to enter the South China Sea, the sub struck a mine and
quickly sank. Fourteen of 86 crewmen escaped, but only eight
survived the subsequent long swim to reach shore.

"The Flier was found because all the right people
came together for all the right reasons," Mike Fletcher said.


First Published: Tuesday, February 2, 2010 - 21:05

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