November 25, 2019

Fascinating Story: Missing WWII U.S. Navy Submarine U.S.S. Greyback Located After Missing for 75 Years. The Key? One Incorrectly Translated Digit.

U.S.S. Greyback


The U.S.S. Greyback is a United States submarine sunk off the coast of Japan in World War II, with 80 seamen aboard.  The New York Times fittingly published a fascinating article on Veteran's Day about the recent discovery of the Greyback. Lost for 75 years, she was discovered due to a collaborative effort between an amateur Japanese WWII researcher and the privately-funded Lost 52 Project, whose mission is to find as many of the still-missing U.S. submarines as possible using technology only available in the last 10 to 15 years.

When the Lost 52 Project started, 52 submarines from World War II remained missing.   At that time, researchers thought that 47 had the possibility of being found.  The remaining 5 submarines were thought to have been either run aground or otherwise completely destroyed.

And as for the collaborative effort from the amateur WWII Japanese researcher Yutaka Iwasaki?   Well, upon reviewing Japanese war records from WW I and comparing them to United States war records, Mr. Iwasaki found that the U.S. Navy's 1949 records about the lost sub had one significant error.   The Navy had relied on a faulty translation of Japanese information, in which one digit ... one digit ... of the latitude and longitude of the sub's supposed sinking location was translated wrong. With Mr. Iwasaki's correct translation, the Lost 52 Project was able to find the U.S.S. Greyback.


I cannot begin to imagine the emotions brought onto the families and loved ones of the  seamen who perished in the Greyback upon learning that the lost submarine had been found.  Hopefully among the emotions are a sense of relief and closure.  Heartwarming to know that our fallen, lost heros are not forgotten.

And to all those who have served our country in the military, thank you for your service.

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About Mary Rae Fouts, EA


Mary Rae Fouts, EA provides Tax Services, Insurance Consulting Services, Annuity Consulting Services, and Expert Witness Services to clients who typically have technical or complex concerns.  For more information visit FoutsFinancialGroup.com.

Mary Rae Fouts

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