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Wreck of the US WWII submarine that 'sank the most Japanese warships' found off the coast of Luzon

By AYIE LICSI Published May 27, 2024 8:02 pm

The wreckage of a US navy World War II submarine, which was said to have sunken the most Japanese warships, has been located off the coast of the Philippines.

USS Harder, nicknamed "Hit 'em HARDER," was found by the Lost 52 Projects by Tim Taylor aiming to locate where old sunken submarines from the six-year war.

The sub was about 3,000 feet below water off the island of Luzon sitting upright on its keel and is "relatively intact" except for some damage on its conning tower.

Led by Commander Samuel Dealy, the USS Harder made a reputation for its fifth patrol for sinking three destroyers and heavily damaging two others in four days. These attacks forced a Japanese fleet to leave Tawi-Tawi a day before its schedule, as per the Naval History and Heritage Command (NHHC).

It was in August 1944 when the submarine was lost at sea off Luzon as it was going on its sixth patrol. USS Harder, together with USS Haddo, attacked and destroyed escort ships off Bataan, and later traveled to Caiman Point.

The sub was sunken by a Japanese ship that evaded the American vessel's torpedoes. There were 79 crewmembers onboard the USS Harder.

Several other vessels have been found in waters near the Philippines, including the wreck of Musashi, one of the biggest Japanese warships built, which was found in the Sibuyan Sea by billionaire Paul Allen.

Meanwhile, Taylor's Lost 52 Projects has located other lost World War II submarines, including USS Grayback, USS Grunion, and USS Stickleback.

With the relocating of the USS Harder, the NHHC honored the valor of Dealy and the crew of the sub.

"Harder was lost in the course of victory. We must not forget that victory has a price, as does freedom," NHHC Director Samuel J. Cox, U.S. Navy rear admiral (retired) said.

"We are grateful that Lost 52 has given us the opportunity to once again honor the valor of the crew of the 'Hit 'em HARDER' submarine that sank the most Japanese warships – in particularly audacious attacks – under her legendary skipper, Cmdr. Sam Dealey."