USS Grayback: Missing WW2 submarine found after 75 years

Image source, Tim Taylor-Lost 52 Project
Image caption,
A plaque on the front of the wreckage identifies the submarine as the USS Grayback

An American submarine that went missing in World War Two has been rediscovered at the bottom of the East China sea.

The USS Grayback and its 80 crew members disappeared in 1944 when it was attacked by a Japanese aircraft.

An underwater exploration project found the submarine off the coast of Okinawa, Japan, after finding military documents with the correct coordinates to locate it.

The original coordinates had been mistranslated and were missing a digit.

The families of the 80 crew members who were onboard the submarine have been told about its discovery.

For Kathy Taylor, whose uncle John Patrick King was on the vessel, the discovery brings closure.

"I committed from the very beginning, when I was a little girl, that I was going to find him or follow him or keep his memory alive," she told ABC News.

How was the submarine recovered?

The Lost 52 Project - whose aim is to locate lost US submarines from World War Two - led the mission to find the USS Grayback off the coast of Okinawa.

They realised that the original Japanese mission logs of where the USS Grayback had sunk had been mistranslated, leaving out a digit, and were wrong by at least 100 miles (160km).


Along with the use of new drone technology, the recovered military documents meant the team could correctly locate the submarine, which was 1,400ft (430m) down.

"The confirmation of the site as a US Navy sunken military craft ensures it is protected from disturbance, safeguarding the final resting place of our sailors," said Tim Taylor, who set up the project.

Credited with sinking at least 14 ships during the war, the USS Grayback was one of 52 submarines that was lost in action.

It received two Navy Unit Commendations and eight battle stars.

Image source, Tim Taylor-Lost 52 Project
Image caption,
The USS Grayback first launched in 1941 and travelled to Australia as well as Japan