Sunken vessel was US WWII submarine; 78 perished
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Last Updated: Tuesday, February 02, 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 2008.

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 02, 2010, 21:05

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