The ships included the vessel that fired the first American shot of World War II.
The sunken remains of five Japanese and two U.S. warships have been found off the Philippines, particularly in Surigao, a team of deep-sea explorers funded by billionaire Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist Paul Allen has announced.
Out of the 5 ships that were found is the vessel that fired the first American shot of World War II. Ahead of the anniversary of Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941, the revealed underwater footage showing several ships found in Philippine waters.
One of the ships is the USS Ward, the destroyer that fired the first American shot in the war on the morning of the surprise attack, just outside Pearl Harbor.
According to reports, the five Japanese warships were among seven Imperial Japanese Navy vessels that took part in the Battle of Surigao Strait on October 24, 1944. The team then headed to Ormoc Bay, where it found the wreckages of U.S. ships USS Ward and USS Cooper in 250-meter-deep waters.
According to Kickerdaily, the team leader Robert Kraft said the shipwrecks are where they are supposed to be, basing from historical records. “The Surigao Strait is a very confined area, so the historical records and the actual reports of that battle are fairly accurate,” he said.
The ships, with about 4,000 men aboard, are believed to have sunk during the Battle for Leyte Gulf in October 1944, the largest naval of World War II. National Museum Director Jeremy Barns said the government would preserve the wreckage.