SYDNEY (AFP) — The wreck of the first US ship sunk during World War II has been revealed in detail for the first time on the seabed off southeastern Australia, researchers said Wednesday.
Images of the merchant vessel City of Rayville, which was sunk in 1940 by a German mine, were taken by state-of-the-art sonar technology and remotely operated vehicles, Deakin University scientists said.
“It was very exciting to see the City of Rayville for the first time,” said lead researcher Daniel Ierodiaconou.
The wreck could possibly still contain the remains of the first US sailor to die in the war – more than a year before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour brought the US into the conflict, Ierodiaconou told AFP.
The 6,000-tonne City of Rayville was carrying a cargo of lead, wool and copper from South Australia to New York via Melbourne when it struck a mine in a newly-laid German minefield in the Bass Strait on November 8, 1940.