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USS Helena Wreck Found: WWII Ship Sunk by Japan in 1943

USS Helena Wreck Found: WWII Ship Sunk by Japan in 1943

Microsoft co-founder Paul G. Allen speaks about the completion of the Allen Brain Atlas during a news conference on Capitol Hill Sept. 26, 2006, in Washington, D.C. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

By    |   Wednesday, 18 April 2018 01:45 PM

After being missing nearly 75 years, the USS Helena wreck has been found lying in its Pacific Ocean grave.

The USS Helena, a St. Louis-class light cruiser, was destroyed by a Japanese torpedo during World War II and sent to its resting place 3,000 feet below the ocean surface in 1943, according to Newsweek.

She sank during her engagement in the battle of Kula Gulf on July 6 off the Solomon Islands, taking with her 168 of its approximate 700 officers and crew.

Survivors made it to the safety of nearby islands while under enemy fire, either on life rafts or clinging to the sides of them. Some of the warship’s survivors couldn’t be rescued for 10 days, and during that time they were forced to go into hiding to escape notice by Japanese patrols.

The wounded who reached the Vella Lavella island were treated by the natives.

The USS Helena was the third such discovery made by the research vessel Petrel, which is owned by billionaire Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen.

“We do these missions as testament to the brave souls who served on these ships,” said Robert Kraft, Allen’s director of subsea operations, Newsweek reported. “Each ship has a story that touches families and friends of those who perished or survived. It’s gratifying to hear those stories each time we announce a new discovery.”

The Helena was witness to several significant battles during the war. She was moored in Pearl Harbor during the Dec. 7, 1941, Japanese attack there, an event that brought the U.S. into World War II. The ship lost 34 sailors in that engagement.

The Helena also participated in the Battle of Guadalcana, the first major allied campaign against the Japanese after the U.S.’s entry into the war.

The Helena’s discovery comes one month after the Petrel found of the WWII aircraft carrier USS Lexington off the coast of Australia. Last August, the research vessel found the USS Indianapolis in 18,000 feet of water in the Philippine Sea.

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The USS Helena wreck has been found lying in its Pacific Ocean grave after being missing nearly 75 years.
uss helena, wreck, found, wwii
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2018-45-18
Wednesday, 18 April 2018 01:45 PM
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