Wartime Japaneses sub wreck found

A Japanese Second World War submarine wreck has been found partially buried in the seabed of a Papua New Guinea harbour.

Australian and New Zealand warships found it 180 feet underwater while working to clear wartime explosives, Australia's Defence Department said.

Simpson Harbour is in the town of Rabaul, which was a major Japanese military base on the north-east coast of the South Pacific nation.

The wreck is partially buried in sand but upright. Australian navy historians had concluded from underwater images that the wreck is Japanese.

"The Royal Australian Navy will now work with Japanese authorities to assist in determining the wreck's identity," said the department.

Gary Oakley, an Australian War Memorial curator and a former submariner, said it appeared to be a midget submarine crewed by one or two men.

"It doesn't look big enough to be an ocean-going submarine," he said after examining indistinct images of the wreck.

Japanese midget submarines were transported by ship or larger submarines and used covertly to infiltrate enemy targets including Pearl Harbour in Hawaii and Sydney Harbour.


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