Identifying the Wreck
Page 4


Stern section

It appeared to us that the stern section hit the bottom, tail first. This did much damage to the empennage, which has since collapsed as a result. However, a close examination revealed the single-ring propeller guard and small rudders that were characteristic of the Pearl Harbor subs. There was a long length of heavy steel cable wrapped around the entire section of sub, but we didn't see a hole punched through the hull plates as was observed on the other two wreck sections. Neither end of the cable was obvious, so we could determine if the cable was punched through the hull plates of the stern section or simply wrapped around. The seam flange at the forward end of the section is pristine, with no remnants of the mid section attached.

What the wreck tells us

We derived the following conclusions after our examination of the wreck:

Taken together, the condition of the wreck led us to one inescapable conclusion: We had found a midget submarine that had participated in the Pearl Harbor attack, but we were not the first. The submarine had previously been found, raised, prepped for disposal and then dumped.

This conclusion, as so many often do, generated more questions than answers. Who originally found it, and where? Thus began the next phase of our investigation.


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