Offshore Samar Island, Philippines Sea (March 31, 2021) – An expedition privately funded and executed by two former US Navy Officers has successfully re-located, surveyed, and filmed the USS Johnston, the world’s deepest known shipwreck that principally lies at a depth of 21,180ft (6,456m). The funder of the expedition, Victor Vescovo, is a former US Navy Commander (Ret.) who personally piloted his submersible DSV Limiting Factor down to the wreck during two separate, eight-hour dives. These constituted the deepest wreck dives, manned or unmanned, in history.
The USS Johnston (DD-557) was a US Navy Fletcher-class destroyer that sank in battle on 25th October 1944. The Johnston measured 376 ft (115m) long with a beam of 39ft. The ship was sunk during an intense battle against vastly superior Japanese forces off the coast of Samar Island during the Battle of Leyte Gulf, widely cited as the largest naval battle in history. “In no engagement in its entire history has the United States Navy shown more gallantry, guts and gumption than in the two morning hours between 0730 and 0930 off Samar,” wrote Rear Admiral Samuel E. Morison in his History of U.S. Naval Operations in World War II. Upon the commissioning of the ship, the destroyer’s 3⁄4 Native American Captain from Oklahoma, Commander Ernest Evans, told his crew that he would “never run from a fight,” and that “anyone who did not want to go in harm’s way, had better get off now.” None of his crew did so.