An expedition discovered the wreckage of a US Navy ship sunk during the Second World War at a depth of 6,500 m off the coast of Philippines, a team member reported Sunday.

“We have just made the deepest dive in history to find the remains of the destroyer USS Johnston”, tweeted Victor Vescovo, founder of the American company Caladan Oceanic, which directed the submarine that located the ship.

During two eight-hour dives at the end of March, the team was able to film, photograph and study the ship’s wreck off the coast of the island of Samar, said Caladan Oceanic, a firm specializing in underwater technologies.

The 115 m long destroyer sank on October 25, 1944, during the Battle of Leyte Gulf, one of the largest naval battles in history and which marked the beginning of the end for Japan.

Other explorers located it in the Philippine Sea in 2019, but most of the ship was not within range of any remote control device.

“We located 2/3 of the front of the ship, standing and intact, at a depth of 6,456 m. Three of us, in two dives, examined the ship and paid tribute to its brave crew.” Vescovo specified.

Only 141 of the ship’s 327 crew survived, according to US Navy files.

The expedition found the bow, bridge and central section intact. The helmet number “557” was still clearly visible.

Two towers, torpedo reserve points and numerous gun mounts were also visible, according to the expedition.

Parks Stephenson, navigator and historian of the expedition, pointed out that in the wreckage of the ship you could see the damage it suffered during that intense battle, more than 75 years ago.

“It was fired upon from the largest warship ever built, the battleship Yamato, of the Imperial Japanese Navy, and it fought back violently,” Stephenson said.

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