By Camille Diola/philstar.com - Microsoft co-founder and billionaire Paul Gardner Allen announced that he has located the supposed wreckage of the Japanese battleship Musashi in the Sibuyan Sea.
Allen, who owns the NBA’s Portland Trail Blazers and the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks, said in a statement that the warship was discovered by his luxury megayacht’s remote operated vehicle, or ROV, one kilometer below sea level.
“World War II Battleship Musashi that sank in 1944 is found, 1-kilometer deep by M/Y Octopus [in the] Sibuyan Sea,” Allen said on Tuesday, adding that the chrysanthemum bow seal of the Imperial Army of Japan is inscribed on it.
Allen also released two photos of the sunken ship and a video of the exploration.
The mammoth Musashi was the largest battleship in naval history. It was hit by dozens of torpedoes and bombs before it capsized along with its commander, Admiral Toshihira Inoguchi.
“The Musashi is truly an engineering marvel and, as an engineer at heart, I have a deep appreciation for the technology and effort that went into its construction,” Allen said.
The 62-year-old philanthropist said he and his team of researchers started their search for the Musashi more than eight years ago. On March 1 and 71 years after it was sunk by American warplanes during the Battle of Leyte Gulf, the team successfully located it in the Philippines.
“I am honored to play a part in finding this key vessel in naval history and honoring the memory of the incredible bravery of the men who served aboard her,” Allen also said.
The exact location of the battleship had been unknown, but Allen’s team narrowed the search area by commissioning a deep sea survey of the Sibuyan waters separating the Visayas from Luzon.
Allen said he had long been interested in war history. His exploration team had early participated in the discovery of the wreck of the British Royal Navy’s HMS Hood, the last battle cruiser built for the fleet.
“Since my youth, I have been fascinated with World War II history, inspired by my father’s service in the US Army,” he added.