A US First World War ship, lost to the depths of the ocean since sinking in 1917, has been discovered by British divers.
The lost vessel was found 40 miles off the Isles of Scilly on Thursday by a group of experienced divers.
Six Tucker-class destroyers were developed and built for the United States Navy prior to the country’s entry into World War I, including the USS Jacob Jones.
She was a magnificent ship and the first American destroyer to be destroyed by hostile fire.
A German submarine torpedoed her in 1917 off the Isles of Scilly.
Dominic Robinson, one of the divers who took part in the mission, said the find was significant only for its historical value.
The Jacob Jones was the first such ship to be lost to enemy action, said Dominic, 52, who added: ‘It’s such an incredible find.’
Due to its historical significance, “the ship”, which has been missing for more than a century, is on many people’s wish list.
It’s especially intriguing in America because of the amount of money spent on the design of the destroyer.
The USS Jacob Jones was sent overseas after the United States joined World War I in April 1917.
The ship was returning to Ireland and was about 40 miles from the Isles of Scilly when the German submarine spotted it.
With a long history of deep diving exploration, Dominic and his team at Dark Star have located wrecks all over the UK, including HMS Jason in Scotland and the submarine HMS B1.
“One of the most amazing things about this vessel was the extraordinary stories that accompanied its sinking,” said Plymouth diver Devon.
As the ship began to sink, the armed depth charges began to explode, which killed the majority of the men who had originally been unable to flee the ship. The captain of the destroyer had ordered the deployment of all liferafts and boats.
A few crew members and officers also attempted to rescue men by helping them into life rafts.
Stanton F. Kalk stood out because he spent his time swimming in the cold Atlantic Ocean between the rafts.
But he eventually died from the effects of cold and fatigue despite being awarded the Navy Distinguished Service Medal for bravery that day.
Captain Hans Rose of the German submarine performed a remarkable act of charity when he carried two seriously injured crew members to his own ship after seeing all of Jacob Jones’ men in the sea.
He then radioed his opponents at the American base in Queenstown the coordinates of the survivors so that they could rescue them.
In eight minutes, Jacob Jones sank without making a distress call.
Dominic, a certified deep-sea diver with over 30 years of experience, explained how he and the other Dark Star divers were able to recognize the ship.
Dominic said: “We had already made the decision to search for the vessel, but due to its depth and isolation, getting there is extremely difficult.
The UK Hydrographic Office, which has information on the location of the wrecks on the seabed but does not know which ones, presented us with a variety of GPS positions, so we have spent this week visiting these areas.
We spent a lot of time looking for the ship before discovering it on the second day of diving on other nearby wrecks.
Five of us entered the ocean that day, and the ship was about 110 meters above the seabed and 115 meters below.
Since the remains of the wreckage had Jacob Jones’ name scrawled on it, it was immediately obvious that it was Jacob Jones.
The ability of this steamship to move at such a high rate was made possible by its large boilers and powerful engines.
Underwater, “battleships look considerably different from freighters – we could actually see the guns, the torpedo tubes and one of the propeller shafts which was bent 390 degrees – which would have happened when the ship exploded or when it hit the seabed.”
No personal items or human bones were discovered, Dominic continued.
However, the twisted propeller shaft, which illustrates the agony the ship had to go through when it was torpedoed, was what really struck me.
The ship had eight 21-inch torpedo tubes and four 4-inch guns, and was 315 feet (96 meters) long and just over 30 feet (9.1 meters) wide.
She was powered by two steam turbines, each capable of accelerating the ship to a maximum speed of 30 knots (34.5 miles per hour).