Lost WWII US Navy Destroyer Found Near Okinawa

84 sailors died when the Mannert L. Abele was attacked in 1945
By Steve Huff,  Newser Staff
Posted May 28, 2023 11:30 AM CDT
Lost WWII US Navy Destroyer Found Near Okinawa
The USS Mannert L. Abele   (Naval History and Heritage Command)

Recently the ocean gave up one of its many mysteries, reports NBC News, when a group of civilian underwater explorers known as the Lost 52 Project unveiled a major discovery. They found the long-lost wreckage of the USS Mannert L. Abele, a Navy destroyer sunk in the Pacific by a kamikaze aircraft attack off the coast of Okinawa during World War II. On April 12, 1945, the Abele was operating off the northern coast of Okinawa when it faced incoming fire. The ship engaged and damaged multiple enemy aircraft. But the Abele met its end when a Yokosuka MXY-7 Ohka, a rocket-powered, human-guided bomb, crashed beside it. This kamikaze attack caused the ship's bow and stern to quickly buckle, and the warship went down. Eighty-four sailors died.

The discovery of the Mannert L. Abele is a remarkable achievement that provides some semblance of closure to the families of the sailors lost in the attack. According to the New York Times, this discovery is not only historically significant but for some, deeply personal. This was a big find for the Lost 52 Project, which is on a mission to track down World War II-era sunken subs and battleships. Project leader Tim Taylor told the Times that this discovery was "a monumental find" with a "very deep connection" for him because his father's "ship was hit by a kamikaze just 10 days before the Abele was sunk in the same area." (More World War II stories.)

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