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    Legendary WWII Submarine USS Harder Discovered After 80 Years

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    The depths of the South China Sea have revealed a historic artifact from the annals of World War II, as a renowned U.S. Navy submarine, the USS Harder, has been discovered more than 80 years after its sinking.

    The submarine, famed for its extraordinary success against Japanese warships, was located 3,000 feet below the surface off the Philippines’ northern island of Luzon.

    The USS Harder, distinguished by its motto “Hit ’em harder,” embarked on six perilous patrols during the war, with its fifth patrol being its most triumphant.

    During this mission, the vessel sank three Japanese destroyers and severely crippled two others in just four days, consequently forcing a change in Japanese battle strategy and contributing to their eventual defeat.

    The discovery of the USS Harder was made possible by the concerted efforts of Tim Taylor, CEO of Tiburon Subsea, and the Lost 52 Project, an initiative dedicated to locating the 52 U.S. submarines lost during World War II.

    Previous discoveries by this project include the wrecks of the USS Grayback, USS Stickleback, and several others, showcasing an enduring commitment to honoring the sacrifice of those who served.

    The sunken submarine now rests upright, with its structure “relatively intact,” which, along with the gathered data, aided in its positive identification by the Naval History and Heritage Command (NHHC).

    The preservation of the site allowed for a conclusive verification that the wreck found is indeed the USS Harder.

    The NHHC’s director, retired Admiral Samuel J. Cox, solemnly reminded us that “Harder was lost in the course of victory. We must not forget that victory has a price, as does freedom.”

    The sentiments evoke a deep respect for the bravery and valor of the crew aboard the Harder and their commander, Samuel D. Dealey.

    Cmdr. Dealey’s leadership was posthumously recognized with the Medal of Honor for his outstanding contribution during the Harder’s fifth patrol.

    Japanese escort ship CD-1 down” by Yabashinu is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

    The submarine itself was honored with a Presidential Unit Citation for the first five patrols and earned six battle stars for its service during the war.

    The Harder’s final battle took place during its sixth war patrol, alongside the USS Haddo and the USS Hake. The trio took on Japanese escort ships off Bataan, Philippines, and while Haddo departed to restock torpedoes, the Harder continued its hunt for targets.

    Firing a torpedo – ca1918 E. Muller Jr. postcard” by over 26 MILLION views Thanks is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

    On August 24, 1944, the submarine encountered Japanese forces, and following a fierce engagement, was sunk by depth charges.

    The loss of the USS Harder and its crew had significant implications on the trajectory of the war. Before its final patrol, the Harder had effectively disrupted Japanese forces, leading to a hasty and disorganized departure of Admiral Jisaburo Ozawa’s fleet from Tawi-Tawi. This disruption played a pivotal role in the Japanese defeat at the Battle of the Philippine Sea.

    Relevant articles:
    World War II sunken Navy sub found, WJBF
    USS Harder: WW2 submarine wreck found off Philippines, BBC
    After nearly 80 years, the wreck of the USS Harder has been found, Yahoo
    USS Harder, legendary WWII sub that led to Japanese surrender, found 80 years after torpedoing, New York Post

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