A shipwreck found off the coast of Okinawa, Japan, has been identified as the USS Mannert L. Abele (DD-733) by the Naval History and Heritage Command (NHHC).
The USS Mannert L. Abele (DD-733) was an Allen M. Sumner-class destroyer of the United States Navy. The ship was laid down by Bath Iron Works in Bath, Maine, on the 9th of December 1943, and launched on the 23rd of April 1944.
The destroyer was sunk on April the12th,1945, near Okinawa, resulting in the loss of 84 crewmen according to a book by Roy S. Andersen who was among the survivors. It was the first US warship to be damaged or sunk by the Yokosuka MXY7 Ohka, a rocket-powered human-guided kamikaze attack aircraft.
NHHC’s Underwater Archaeology Branch (UAB) used information provided by Tim Taylor, an ocean explorer and CEO of Tiburon Subsea, and Taylor’s “Lost 52 Project” team to confirm the identity of the USS Mannert L. Abele (DD-733).
“Mannert L. Abele is the final resting place for 84 American Sailors who made the ultimate sacrifice in defence of their country,” said NHHC Director Samuel J. Cox, U.S. Navy rear admiral (retired). “My deepest thanks and congratulations to Tim Taylor and his team for discovering this wreck site. Its discovery allows some closure to the families of those lost and provides us all another opportunity to remember and honour them.”
The wreck site now holds a protected status under U.S. legislation and falls within the jurisdiction of the Department of the Navy. Although non-intrusive actions such as remote sensing documentation are permitted on sunken military vessels belonging to the U.S. Navy, any activities that have the potential to disrupt these sunken crafts must be coordinated with NHHC (Naval History and Heritage Command).
Header Image : USS Mannert L. Abele (DD-733) – Image Credit : Naval History and Heritage Command