History

Wreckage of Japanese WWII battleship located by Microsoft co-founder's research team

  • U.S. Navy

     (U.S. Navy)

  • U.S. Navy

     (U.S. Navy)

  • This photo shows what is believed to be the anchor of the Japanese battleship Musashi, which was sunk by US forces during World War II. Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen claimed early Wednesday to have recovered the battleship's wreckage in the Sibuyan Sea off the Philippines. (Courtesy Paul Allen)

    This photo shows what is believed to be the anchor of the Japanese battleship Musashi, which was sunk by US forces during World War II. Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen claimed early Wednesday to have recovered the battleship's wreckage in the Sibuyan Sea off the Philippines. (Courtesy Paul Allen)

Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen says that he and a team of researchers have located the wreckage of the Japanese battleship Musashi, more than 70 years after it was sunk during World War II.

If confirmed as the Musashi, the find would complete eight years of searching by Allen's team, who have outfitted the billionaire's yacht, M/Y Octopus, with high-tech equipment to map undersea topography. A statement released by Allen's publicity agency Edelman early Wednesday said the wreckage had been located Sunday by a Remote Operated Vehicle (ROV) outfitted with a high-definition camera. 

"Since my youth, I have been fascinated with World War II history, inspired by my father's service in the U.S. Army," Allen said. "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. 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 tweeted out two pictures of the wreckage, which was located in the Sibuyan Sea off the central Philippines, less than a mile below the surface. 

Japanese officials have not made any public statement confirming or denying the ship is the Musashi. Spokespeople for the Philippines' Navy and Coast Guard told AFP that they had not been informed of any such discovery. 

Completed in 1942, Musashi was one of the heaviest warships ever constructed, weighing in at just under 73,000 tons and armed with nine 18-inch main guns. It was sunk on Oct. 24, 1944 during the Battle of Leyte Gulf after being repeatedly torpedoed and bombed by U.S. forces.