Wreckage of San Diego WW II Ship Discovered

Wreckage found on the seafloor off the Philippines has been confirmed to be the remains of the USS Ommaney Bay, an aircraft carrier that was destroyed near the end of World War II less than a year after began its second deployment out of San Diego..

A Japanese kamikaze plane slammed into ship on Jan. 4, 1945, in the Sulu Sea, killing nearly 95 crew members. The Navy had to scuttle the ship due to the extent of the damage.

Officials said Tuesday an underwater archaeology branch confirmed that the wreckage is that of the USS Ommaney Bay, a 512-foot, steam engine powered ship that was less than half the size of today’s nuclear powered aircraft carriers.

“Ommaney Bay is the final resting place of American Sailors who made the ultimate sacrifice in defense of their country,” the command’s director, Samuel J. Cox, said in a statement. “This discovery allows the families of those lost some amount of closure and gives us all another chance to remember and honor their service to our nation.”

On June 10, Ommaney Bay headed for the western Pacific, where it carried out air cover and strikes during the invasion of the Palau Islands. The ship also participated in the Battle of Leyte Gulf, which crippled much of the Japanese fleet, helping the U.S. win the war.

(Photo Courtesy: Naval History and Heritage Command)

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