Innovative underwater survey technology uncovers forgotten USS Harder wreck

In a historic discovery, the wreckage of the USS Harder, a US Navy submarine renowned for sinking the most Japanese warships during World War II, has been found in the South China Sea. The submarine, which was submerged for nearly eighty years, was discovered by Tiburon Subsea CEO Tim Taylor and his team in collaboration with the Lost 52 Project.

The USS Harder lies 3,000 feet (914 meters) underwater off the Philippine island of Luzon. The submarine and its 79-man crew were sunk on August 29, 1944. Before its demise, the USS Harder had managed to sink three Japanese destroyers and severely damage two other ships, as reported by the Naval History and Heritage Command (NHHC).

The discovery was part of the Lost 52 Project, an initiative dedicated to locating the 52 American submarines lost during World War II. The project has garnered international recognition from both Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC) and Philippines National Museum. It is hailed as pioneering and exhaustive offshore underwater archaeological expedition in Pacific waters.

Tim Taylor is renowned for his expertise in developing Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) technology, driving innovation in oceanic data collection solutions. In an exclusive interview with NBC News’ Tom Llamas, Tim Taylor detailed the process of the discovery. He explained how working with pioneering underwater robotic technology allowed him and his team to document each gravesite with advanced 4D modeling photogrammetry, resulting in comprehensive historical archeological records available today.

By Sophia Gonzalez

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