New York City: January 24th, 2017 marks the 75th anniversary of the first US Submarine to sink in WWII. On the 24th of January 1942 the USS S-26 (SS-131) was proceeding from Pacific Panama Canal Zone to its patrol station in company of submarines S-21, S-29, S-44 and the escort vessel, the 154’ long PC-460. At 2210 the escort vessel sent a visual message to the submarines that she was leaving the formation and that they could proceed on the duty assigned. The S-21 was the only submarine to receive this message. Shortly there-after PC-460 mistook submarine USS S-26 (SS-131) at night for a German U-boat and rammed her on the starboard side of the torpedo room and the submarine sank within a few seconds.
The sinking of the USS S-26 and her crew of 46 is a story of survival and ultimate tragedy. Thirty -Six brave men of the S-26 survived the initial sinking of their submarine and hoped that they would be rescued before time ran out. A message was sent up by trapped sailors stating that they were trapped inside the three middle compartments. The men sat for days in their “ocean coffin" waiting for a rescue that never came.
A team led by award winning Ocean Explorer and Explorers Club Fellow Tim Taylor have made their second discovery of a lost US WWII Submarine. The USS S-26 is the 8th of wars 52 missing US Submarines. The USS S-26 rests in deep water in the Pacific Ocean.
USS S-26 Discovered
WWII US Submarine Casualty
36 sailors were trapped for days and waited for a rescue that never came…
They remain entombed on the ocean floor as we mark the 75th anniversary of the sinking of the USS S-26. We honor the memory, heroic efforts and sacrifices made by the servicemen and the families of the S-26.