Posted by Rebekah
Feb 04 2010

Originally Posted February 2, 2010

Flier flying away

The USS FLIER has been found!!!!!

In the sixty-six years after the war ended, only a handful of non-grounded submarines have ever been found.  Due to the secrecy of most of their missions, some of their fates have never been known, and some some simply disappeared in the depths.

Since the USS Flier had survivors, there was a good general idea of where the Flier might be located, but the water where she went down was near a deep channel.  The Flier could have been located in water only a couple of hundred feet deep to nearly one thousand feet deep.  In any case, the Navy, knowing the Flier was lost, announced her loss with most hands, and closed Balabac Channel to keep other submarines from Flier’s fate.

In 1998, Al Jacobson, the youngest officer who survived the sinking, traveled back to the Palawan archipelago with his younger son Steve,  to visit the places where he had “involuntarily visited”.  He asked to be taken to the place where Flier likely sunk.  The ocean was too cloudy that day, but native fishermen told them that on days when the water was crystal clear, they had seen a submarine down there, but it was too deep to dive on.  (Moreover, the wreck was “guarded” by two dangerous fish).

Al never gave up finding the Flier, and started to research where, precisely, she may have come to rest.  He died of brain cancer in 2008, but his family and two sons kept going.

In the spring of 2009, Steve and his son traveled to the Palawan group with YAP Films and found a submarine right were Al’s research indicated she would be.  As is normal, no one announced this find because, though it may be obvious that what has been found is a US submarine, only the Navy, looking a photographs and film of a wreck and comparing it to the last-known configurations and photographs of submarine, can confirm which one it is.  It takes several weeks to several years, which is why, though found last spring, it has taken this long to officially confirm that the wreck found last year is indeed the Flier!

No photographs as of yet, but here is the official press release!

I knew Al for close to three years, and this was his greatest wish was to find her to give the families of his friends the gift of knowing where their loved ones laid.    He always talked about wanting to see her again, and finding out if someone had opened the aft escape hatch, and just to see her one more time.  I’m sorry he wasn’t able to do so, but it is AMAZING that his dream has been fulfilled.

THIS certainly changes the floorplan and the exhibit!  I was going to post a bit about the exhibit floorplan in the next day or so, but now I have to re-write it to include this new development!

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