Ocean explorer discovers WWII submarine . . . hit ’em Harder

An octopus clambers up the side of US WWII submarine - Harder - discovered in South China Sea

WWII submarine USS Harder, and its entombed crew of 80 servicemen, has been found in the South China Sea at a depth of 1140 metres (3750 feet).

Tiburon Subsea CEO Tim Taylor announced the discovery. It’s the ninth WWII submarine he’s found, which now brings closure to families of 452 servicemen lost in battle. Taylor works with the Lost 52 Project, an offshore underwater archaeological expedition in the Pacific waters dedicated to finding 52 US submarines lost in the war.

USS Harder was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation for six successful war patrols including sinking five destroyers and rescuing an embedded special forces team working behind enemy lines.

“Working with pioneering underwater robotic technology has allowed me and my team to document each gravesite with advanced 4D modelling photogrammetry, resulting in the most comprehensive historical archeological records available today,” says Taylor.

underwater image of WWII submarine discovered in South China Sea

The submarine has been described as one of the most iconic vessels of WWII by US media and is said to have sunk the most Japanese warships.

“We specifically went out looking for the Harder. It is such an iconic submarine. Submarines are designed to keep water out and keep men in. These men are there, inside this,” Taylor told NBC News.

Taylor was drawn to the project as his father fought in the war. And now he’s advocating for regulation around underwater tourism.

Bow of submarine found in South China Sea. Lost in WWII

“Underwater there’s no one watching you. A tourist or a pirate can go to these sites and vandalise them. I discover these things [sites], I put them on the map, and then they become targets. Underwater tourism has to have some sort of regulation on it.”

Taylor says the strangest thing he’s seen below the water is man’s impact. “You’ll see Coca-Cola cans. It just shows you how small the ocean is getting.

“The ocean is our life on this planet,” he says. “People don’t understand that. There is so much involved with fisheries and energy and weather – we are just starting to study that. The blue economy is a one and half trillion economy. By 2030 it’ll be three trillion. Most of the things that live on the planet live in the ocean, it’s three dimensional.”

In July 2023, scientists confirmed an urban legend of more than 80 years by ‘finding’ a Royal Navy submarine buried in a town park in Dartmouth, in the English county of Devon. Experts from the University of Winchester used ground penetrating radar to scan the site where the old boat was believed to rest – along with landfill – which created Coronation Park, on the banks of the river Dart.

Spotlight Job

OEM business development manager UK

Southampton (hybrid)

Vetus is seeking a dynamic and highly motivated OEM business development manager to join its team in the UK. In this pivotal role, you will be responsible for preparing and implementing a comprehensive account plan, aimed at achieving ambitious sales and marketing objectives.

Full job description »

Comments are closed.

This article was written and/or edited by the UK-based MIN team.

Skip to content