Missing WWII submarine with West Virginia, Kentucky men aboard found off coast of Japan

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Lt. Commander, Carthel Hill Smith Jr. of Prestonburg, Ky., and Gunner’s Mate First Class John Clinton Wyatt of Gandeeville, West Virginia

OKINAWA, Japan (WOWK/WSPA) – A submarine with a crew of 80 sailors presumed lost at sea in World War II has been found off the coast of Okinawa, Japan 75 years later. One of those sailors was from Floyd County, Kentucky, and another was from Roane County, West Virginia.

Lt. Commander, Carthel Hill Smith Jr. of Prestonburg, Ky., and Gunner’s Mate First Class John Clinton Wyatt of Gandeeville, West Virginia both were on the Grayback which has been located at a depth of about 1,400 feet off the coast of Okinawa, Japan.

The privately funded Lost 52 Project located the submarine using technology like an underwater drone and sonar. Its mission is to find the 52 submarines lost in World War II.

The USS Grayback sunk more than a dozen Japanese ships until a plane dropped a bomb on it. Smith Jr., Wyatt, and the other 78 sailors aboard made the ultimate sacrifice.

Seven of the 52 submarines lost in World War II have been found, according to the Lost 52 Project. You can see the full list of sailors who were on the USS Grayback online.

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