On Wednesday, Dec. 7, the public will be able to watch a remotely operated vehicle visit the underwater wreckage of two Japanese mini submarines involved in the Pearl Harbor attack 75 years ago.
The expedition is coordinated by maritime archaeologists and scientists with NOAA’s Office of Ocean Exploration and Research and Office of National Marine Sanctuaries.
On the morning of Dec. 7, 1941, U.S. naval vessels and aircraft on patrol outside Pearl Harbor spotted a partially submerged submarine trying to enter the harbor. Ninety minutes before Pearl Harbor was bombed by air, the sub fired on the destroyer USS Ward, which then fired back, sinking it.
The event marks the first U.S. shots fired and the country’s entry into WWII in the Pacific.
The second submarine to be explored during the dive disappeared that morning, before the attack. It was discovered in shallow waters in 1951, raised by the U.S. Navy, and taken out to sea to be dumped in deeper water.
In 1992, the University of Hawaii’s Undersea Research Laboratory rediscovered it, and has since been periodically visiting the site, the last time in 2013.