Sunday, May 03, 2009

In Memoriam - USS Lagarto (SS-371) - Sunk May 3, 1945

While on only her second combat patrol USS Lagarto (SS-371) was sunk with all hands by the Japanese minelayer Hatsutaka. The minelayer reported making a depth charge attack on a submerged submarine in 30 fathoms of water.

In 2005, a group of private deep-sea divers discovered Lagarto's wreck in the Gulf of Thailand in 225 feet of water, well short of Lagarto's maximum diving depth. The divers found a large rupture in the submarine's hull, indicating that one of the Japanese depth charges exploded in very close proximity to the submarine.

In 2006, U.S. Navy divers surveyed and photographed the wreck and confirmed her identity.

The minelayer responsible for sinking Lagarto was in turn sunk by an American submarine, USS Hawksbill (SS-366) 12 days later.

For more information about the discovery of USS Lagarto, please visit the website of the divers who discovered her in 2005.


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