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Famous US World War II submarine found ‘intact’ near Pangasinan

MANILA, Philippines — A legendary American World War II submarine was located near Pangasinan almost 80 years since it was last seen on patrol.

The United States' Naval History and Heritage Command (NHHC) reported the USS Harder (SS-257) was found 3,000 feet below Pangasinan's Dasol Bay, upright and mostly intact save for damage behind its conning tower.

According to the NHHC, the Harder and its 79-man crew were last seen on August 24, 1944 during its sixth war patrol in the Americans' fight against the Japanese in World War II.

Two days before being lost, the submarine sank two Japanese escort ships off the Bataan Peninsula then headed north along the Luzon coast with two other submarines to look for more targets.

Japanese records by NHHC said the Harder was hit by Japanese escort ship CD-22 on its fifth depth charge attack after the submarine missed firing three torpedoes.

"Harder was lost in the course of victory. We must not forget that victory has a price, as does freedom," NHHC Director and retired US Navy admiral Samuel J. Cox said in a statement.

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The wreck was confirmed by the Lost 52 Project, which is currently searching the 52 American submarines lost during World War II. Prior to the Harder, the group already located at least six other submarines.

"We are grateful that Lost 52 has given us the opportunity to once again honor the valor of the crew of the 'Hit 'em Harder' submarine," Cox also said. "[The wreck is] the final resting place of sailors that gave their life in defense of the nation and should be respected by all parties as a war grave."

The submarine was captained by Commander Samuel Dealey, a Medal of Honor recipient for his actions during the Harder's fifth patrol when it sank at least three Japanese destroyers.

In its previous four patrols, the Harder sank 14 Japanese warships and merchant vessels.

Japan occupied the Philippines during World War II after bombing American base Pearl Harbor in December 1941.

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Credit belongs to : www.philstar.com

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