The USS Jacob Jones was first American destroyer to be sunk in combat by an enemy
Last week, the wreck of a US destroyer was discovered off Scilly by a German submarine. It had been missing for 105 year. USS Jacob Jones, the first US destroyer to be hit by enemy fire, was sunk in 1917.
Darkstar, an elite group of British aqua explorers was responsible for the discovery.
“We are thrilled to announce that we have identified the wreck of USS Jacob Jones, the first US destroyer to be sunk by enemy action… She lies in 120M of water 60 miles south of Newlyn, Cornwall,”The divers team posted the following Facebook message.
It was noted by the group that they had not taken anything out of the wreckage site, and it promised to contact the US Embassy. “over next steps.”
According to British media, Darkstar used GPS coordinates provided by UK Hydrographic Office to locate the shipwreck.
This vessel is one of six Tucker class destroyers that were built prior to the US entering World War I. It has been on the seabed ever since it was attacked by a German submarine in 1917. Historical records claim that the Jacob Jones sink in eight minutes and did not issue a distress signal, taking with it 66 persons.
According to multiple sources Hans Rose, commander of U-53 German submarines that attacked the destroyer took several wounded sailors into his command and then radioed Queenstown the exact coordinates of what was happening.
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Jacob Jones crew members assisted in getting men into liferafts and out of the water. Lieutenant Stanton F. Kalk was able to swim between the life rafts until he succumbed from exhaustion and cold in the Atlantic waters. For his heroic actions, he was posthumously awarded with the Navy’s Distinguished Service Medal.
“No human remains were found or personal artefacts. But for me, the thing that brought it home was the bent prop shaft – which shows the trauma the vessel must have been through when it was torpedoed. Absolutely incredible,”Dominic Robinson was one of the divers who told British media.