Search for Lost Subs PDF Print E-mail

Search for Lost Submarines

In the first sixty years after the end of World War II, no one was able to find any of the 52 American submarines lost during the War whose exact locations were not already known.  In most cases, the submarines were lost with all hands, and the exact locations of their sinkings were "lost to history."

Advances in technology and the dedication of those who seek to explore the depths has changed all that. Since 2005, divers have discovered five sunken submarines.

Further discoveries are expected.
 

Secrets of the Sub

Victory At Cost

Victory at a cost

During World War II, The United States Submarine Force, encompassing less than 2% of the U.S. Navy's fleet, inflicted destruction on Japanese maritime power. U.S. submarines were responsible for sinking over 30% of the Japanese Navy including eight aircraft carriers, one battleship and eleven cruisers.  More importantly, the Submarine Force sank 2,400 Japanese merchant ships totaling 4.9 million tons.

Chart of Enemy Ships

However, this success did not come without risk. Out of a total of 14,000 submariners who fought in peril under the sea took losses of over 3,500 officers and men.  Approximately one in four submariners never returned.

victory-bonefish-plaque-2_web

The USS Bonefish submarine plaque is one of fifty-two memorials at the Waterfront Memorial at Bowfin Park.