Survivor of newly found WWII shipwreck: ‘So many’ to rescue

Daryl Weathers points to the spot where USS Abner Read broke apart after hitting a sea mine left by the Japanese after they abandoned Kiska Island in Alaska’s Aleutian Islands in 1943. Weathers talked about the experience Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2018 at his home in Seal Beach, Calif. Scientists say they have discovered part of the ship that was blown off the Navy destroyer during World War II in Alaska’s Aleutian Islands (AP Photo/Chris Carlson) The explosion, which ripped the stern off the USS Abner Read, also covered many of the men in oil, which prevented some from being rescued.

“They were so slippery, you couldn’t get ahold of them,” Daryl Weathers, who was aboard the ship when it hit the mine, said this week from his home in Los Angeles. DISCOVERY: Scientists find missing stern of #WWII destroyer, #USSAbnerRead , revealing final resting place for 71 @USNavy Sailors lost when ship struck a mine off Kiska, AK, August 18, 1943: https://t.co/vbFTjbl5Tt @UDelaware @Scripps_Ocean pic.twitter.com/GlPBwg0fVf — NOAA Ocean Explorer (@oceanexplorer) August 15, 2018 The remaining 250 crew members made the ship watertight, and it limped back to the West Coast for repairs. Only one body among the 71 men killed was recovered. This undated U.S. Navy photo, provided by the National Archives, shows the destroyer USS Abner Read at sea. The Abner Read hit a mine left by the Japanese after they abandoned Kiska Island in Alaska’s Aleutian Islands in 1943, ripping the stern off. But the ship never sank and was refitted and returned to duty. Now, 75 years after the ship’s stern broke off, it has been located off Kiska by a team of scientists funded by the U.S. government. (U.S. Navy/National Archives via AP) Nearly 75 years later, scientists using multi-beam sonar have discovered the 75-foot stern about 290 feet (88 meters) below the Bering Sea.

The scientists from Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego, and the University of Delaware found it last month during a research mission funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The researchers confirmed the discovery with a remotely operated craft, which provided high definition video in real time to those on the research ship.

"To hit success is obviously extremely joyous for everybody. There’s lots of cheering you know, it’s like scoring a touchdown," said Andrew Pietruszka, an underwater archaeologist with Scripps. In this July 17, 2018 photo provided by Project Recover, project engineer Andy Nager and archaeologist Andrew Pietruszka ready a pole-mounted multibeam sonar unit for survey as they search for the stern of the destroyer USS Abner Read in the waters off Kiska Island, Alaska. Now, 75 years after the ship’s stern broke off, it has been located off Kiska by a team of scientists funded by the U.S. government. (Project Recover via AP) The euphoria ended with the realization that it was the final resting place for U.S. service members. Those aboard the research vessel held a wreath-laying ceremony to honor the dead.

"We take the protection […]

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