Researchers found the wreckage of a U.S. warship sunk by a Japanese torpedo during the final days of World War II, 18,000 feet below the surface of the Pacific Ocean Friday, Reuters reported.
“I hope everyone connected to this historic ship will feel some measure of closure at this discovery so long in coming,” said Paul Allen, who is co-founder of Microsoft Corp and led the search.
Allen and his team spent months combing a 600-square mile patch of ocean for the wreckage after a 2016 discovery about the ship’s last movements. They found the ship Friday.
U.S cruiser Indianapolis was in the North Pacific Ocean, heading back from a mission to deliver parts of the atomic bomb that would soon destroy Hiroshima, when it was blasted by a Japanese submarine on July 30, 1945.
The ship went down in about 12 minutes.
Some 800 of the 1,196 crew members survived, but only 316 were rescued alive five days later, the others drowning or perishing due to sharks, exposure or dehydration.
The ship’s sinking and the crew’s harrowing experiences after the blast were immortalized in the movie “Jaws” in a speech by fisherman Quint, played by Robert Shaw.
Allen’s team found the ship somewhere in the Philippine Sea but did not reveal the exact location at the Navy’s request. They easily identified the cruiser, as some of the wreckage still bore signage with its name.
The Navy said it planned to honor the 22 survivors from the Indianapolis still alive and their families.