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    Legendary USS Harder Submarine Discovered Off Philippines After 80 Years

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    The wreckage of the USS Harder, a legendary U.S. Navy submarine lost during World War II, has been located off the coast of Luzon in the Philippines, 80 years after it was sunk by Japanese forces.

    The submarine, which was found 3,000 feet below the ocean’s surface, is sitting upright and remains “relatively intact,” with notable damage behind its conning tower from a Japanese depth charge attack.

    The USS Harder, renowned for its aggressive and effective combat tactics, earned the nickname “Hit ’em HARDER” during its service in the Pacific Theater.

    Japanese warship and excursion boats on Elliott Bay, Seattle, n.d.” by IMLS DCC is licensed under CC BY 2.0

    Under the command of the esteemed Cmdr. Samuel D. Dealey, the submarine achieved a formidable record, sinking a number of Japanese warships and significantly disrupting enemy operations.

    Notably, during its fifth patrol, the USS Harder sank three destroyers and heavily damaged two others within a span of four days.

    Jan. 20, 1942: Corvette HMAS DELORAINE presses home her attack on Japanese fleet submarine I-124 – Phil Belbin.” by Kookaburra2011 is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

    This feat forced the Japanese fleet to leave the area ahead of schedule, which contributed to their defeat in the subsequent battle in the Philippine Sea.

    “Harder was lost in the course of victory. We must not forget that victory has a price, as does freedom,” said NHHC Director Samuel J. Cox, U.S. Navy rear admiral (retired). “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 that sank the most Japanese warships – in particularly audacious attacks – under her legendary skipper, Cmdr. Sam Dealey.”

    1944 04 01 USS Harder rescues Ensign John Halvin- Tom Freeman” by aeroman3 is licensed under CC PDM 1.0

    The Harder’s valorous actions did not go unacknowledged; it received the Presidential Unit Citation for its first five patrols and six battle stars for World War II service.

    Commander Dealey, who was lost along with his 79 crew members on August 24, 1944, was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his extraordinary leadership and courage.

    The discovery was made possible by the efforts of the Lost 52 Project, an initiative that seeks to locate the 52 U.S. submarines that were sunk during the Second World War.

    USS Grayback” by sjrankin is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

    Tim Taylor and his team have previously located other lost submarines, such as the USS Grayback, USS Stickleback, and USS Grunion.

    For his contribution to this project, Taylor received a Distinguished Public Service Award from the Navy in 2021.

    The wreckage site of the USS Harder now acts as a war grave, a solemn resting place for the sailors who gave their lives defending their nation.

    The NHHC reminded that the site “represents 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.”

    Other famed WWII warships have been found in the waters off the Philippines, including the wreck of the Musashi, one of the largest Japanese warships ever built, discovered by U.S. billionaire Paul Allen in 2015.

    Relevant articles:
    Legendary U.S. World War II submarine located 3,000 feet underwater off the Philippines, CBS News
    USS Harder, legendary WWII sub that led to Japanese surrender, found 80 years after torpedoing, New York Post
    USS Harder: Wreck of lost US World War II submarine found off the Philippines, WION

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