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WWII submarine USS Harder located 'relatively intact' near Philippines

A 4D photogrammetry model of the USS Harder wreck site found by The Lost 52 near the Philippines island of Luzon, which was announced on Friday. Photo by 2nd Lt. Mary Andom/U.S. Navy
A 4D photogrammetry model of the USS Harder wreck site found by The Lost 52 near the Philippines island of Luzon, which was announced on Friday. Photo by 2nd Lt. Mary Andom/U.S. Navy

May 24 (UPI) -- The legendary World War II submarine USS Harder was located off the Philippines island of Luzon by an organization dedicated to finding the subs the United States lost during the conflict, officials said Friday.

The organization Lost 52, found and documented the last resting place of the Harder in 3,000 feet of water near Luzon, sitting upright and "relatively intact."

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"Harder was lost in the course of victory," said Naval History and Heritage Command Director Samuel J. Cox, in a statement.

"We are grateful that Lost 52 has given up the opportunity to once again honor the valor of the crew of the 'Hit'em Harder' submarine that sank the most Japanese warships -- in particular audacious attacks -- under her legendary skipper Cmdr. Sam Dealey."

The submarine which earned the nickname "Hit 'em Harder," and became one of the most feared vessels in the Pacific as it was credited with sinking five Japanese destroyers and rescuing a special forces unit trapped behind enemy lines, during World War II.

Japanese eventually managed to sink the Harder with a depth charge on Aug. 24, 1944. Seventy-nine crew members lost their lives.

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For its heroics, which often frustrated Japanese operations in the Pacific, the Harder was awarded six battle stars for World War II service, while Dealey was awarded four Navy Crosses, the Medal of Honor and the Presidential Unit Citation.

The Harder is protected by U.S. law and under the jurisdiction of the Navy, as the grave site of those onboard, officials said. Any activities around such sites as the Harder must be coordinated with the Naval History and Heritage Command.

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