No one had seen it yet – just the team that had recorded it.
It wasn’t fair for anyone else in the world to see it before these two women had the chance. It had been long-stretching, painful mystery that finally had a real, however bitter, ending.
Lost 52 Project
The mystery started long before Lost 52 Project got its hands on the case, but they wanted to be the ones that finally finished it.
Tim Taylor and his wife Christine Dennison’s private company had one very clear goal that would take them from foreign libraries to the freezing depths of the ocean floor.
The “52” in their name came from the 52 lost US submarines during WWII.
Between their resources and support from various governments, their life’s work was to find these lost vessels. But finding them wasn’t the only vital task.
It gave the families of the departed a chance to have closure.
So, when he was finally given a chance to look for the U.S.S Greyback, he immediately jumped on the chance. Even if the passage of time had made sure the families of the 80 lost souls knew there was no getting them back, they would at least have the truth.
This project, however, wasn’t your standard salvage job.
The actual location of the submarine had been a mystery for over 75 years. It just wasn’t where it should have been. The other issue was how many “enemies” the Greyback had made over her ten-mission journey.
Lots Of Data
Tim poured through the notes again, making sure he had every detail right.
The Greyback – also nicknamed the S.S. 208 – had left Pearl Harbor on January 28th, 1944. Nearly a month later, the sub had sent a message that it had sunk another two Japanese vessels. This left them with a rather large problem.
Because of the long string of attacks, they were down to just two torpedoes.
They would have to dock at Midway Atoll – at least that was the plan. But over 3 weeks after their planned arrival, there was still no word from them. It was then Tim found his first clue
War chatter and enemy documents said that a Japanese carrier-based plane had spotted them and sank them.
He poured over the translation again, feeling his heart pounding and an idea forming. It couldn’t be that simple … could it?
Getting The Originals
All it took was a quick call to the corresponding Japanese offices.
They were quick to respond with the original documents. Between him and a translator, a small but alarming error appeared – one that would explain the entire mystery.
The US documents had been translations.
But in the speed and heat of war of WWII, one single number in the latitude and longitude had been transcribed incorrectly. Everyone had been looking in wrong place.
Starting The Search
Tim and his wife rushed to get their team and equipment together.
Between the newest robotics and other ground-breaking technology at their hands, it didn’t take long for their underwater camera to finally find the 300-foot submarine nestled in the ocean floor. The Greyback had indeed been sank.
Even with the damage inside – a clear message they had run into trouble, Tim could see just how amazing the sub was.
She had been built by Groton, Connecticut’s Electric Boat Company the one that built the US Navy’s first sub ever. This girl had some serious fire power back in her day.
First Step Done
Her maximum surface speed was 20 knots and at lower speeds she could stay underwater for up to 48 hours.
Between that, the water displacement of 2,410 tons and a range of just over 12,500 miles, she was not an easy ship to take down. But the most important part was also going to be the hardest.
Showing The Family
They gathered as much photo evidence and video as possible before heading back.
There would be no public broadcast or announcement, until he was able to show the family members. The first two were women who had lost their uncles. They braced as Tim hit the play button.
A Little Peace
“This is where your uncles are,” he said. “This is the Greyback.”
The women covered their mouths and tears started to flow. One said, “He’s come back. Thank you.” It was a solemn moment, but one they hoped would help heal old wounds.