Wreck of destroyer that fired the first U.S. shot at Pearl Harbor discovered (VIDEO)
By Chris Eger
In the early hours of Dec. 7, 1941, an aging warship crewed by reservists fired on an unidentified submarine trying to creep into Pearl Harbor. That destroyer has now been found.
In conjunction with the Philippine National Museum, it was announced Wednesday that the privately funded research vessel Petrel has located the final resting place of the destroyer USS Ward in Ormoc Bay near the island of Leyte in the Philippines. Conducting survey operations in the area to discover and chart a number of famous shipwrecks of American and Japanese ships in the region, the Seattle-based ship has in the past located the wrecks of the cruiser USS Indianapolis and Japanese battleship Musashi.
In a statement issued through Paul Allen, who backed the expedition, Ward’s location was confirmed earlier this month and released this week for the anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, where the destroyer played a pivotal role.
USS Ward as she appeared in Sept. 1918. (Photo: U.S. Navy)
As detailed by the Naval History and Heritage Command, the Ward was a World War I-era Wickes-class destroyer not much larger than the super yachts of today. Bordering on obsolescence and manned almost entirely by reservists from Minnesota, she was on patrol