U.S. Navy WWII Submarine Missing For 75 Years Is Discovered; 3 Oklahomans Among Service Members Onboard
A U.S. Navy submarine missing for 75 years, has been discovered off the coast of Okinawa, Japan.
Three sailors with Oklahoma ties were among the men on board the vessel when it went missing.
The USS Grayback deployed from Pearl Harbor on January 28, 1944, for its 10th combat patrol. Two months later, it was listed as missing and presumed lost.
“It’s closure for all of us, not just the families, but all of us. meaning all of the veterans that knew these folks,” Yukon Veterans Museum founder Rick Cacini said.
A group of undersea explorers with the Lost 52 Project made it their goal to find all 52 missing WWII submarines.
Last year, an amateur researcher discovered a mistake in the latitude and longitude where the Grayback was thought to have sank. The records were off by about 100 miles.
“In the military, it’s a feeling that we have, that we never leave a man behind,” Cacini said. “I’ve been overseas enough to know you have to take care of each other.”
Among the 80 service members aboard when the Grayback went missing, First Class Radio Technician Robert Vernon Hansen left behind his wife, Loretta Jean Hansen, in Oklahoma City.
Lee Carroll Stanford was a Chief Motor Machinist's Mate. He lived with his parents in Ardmore when he was deployed.
Ross Lillard Capshaw served as a pharmacists’ Mate. He was born in Oklahoma City and deployed out of California.
“Now, on the books, we have found the ship. We have found the people,” Cacini said.
The leader of the “Lost 52 Project,” said his team was "elated" by the discovery. But said it's also sobering, because they found 80 servicemen as well.
The submarine was found 1,400 feet below the surface.
“We thank the Lord for having given us the opportunity to find these folks, and I think Hansen, Stanford and Capshaw are now resting very peacefully,” Cacini said.