Ship That Survived Pearl Harbor Met Its End Years Later In Baffling Military 'Experiment'

Nearly three miles beneath the surface of the Pacific Ocean, robotic devices crawl their way across the seafloor. The motorized explorers eventually land on something far different than the sediments lining the depths. Yes, it’s the wreckage of a World War II ship. And as the machines examine it, they help solve the huge mystery of why this vessel sank.

Surviving Pearl Harbor

Now, the USS Nevada endured severe damage long before her mysterious sinking. For one thing, the massive battleship survived the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. And then the vessel went on to fight in WWII, where suicide bombers attempted to destroy her. Despite all this, the ship still returned home in a functional state.

Sinking the unsinkable

From there, the military used the USS Nevada in their atomic bomb testing – but that didn’t bring her down to the depths of the Pacific, either. Instead, she sank in 1948, not as the result of any conflict or bomb-testing program. So what exactly was it that sank the unsinkable ship? Well, thanks to a crew of explorers in 2020, we now have a clearer picture.

The open seas

The USS Nevada was one of two 27,500-ton battleships constructed in Quincy, Massachusetts, ahead of the WWI effort. After her commission in March 1916, it took two years for the vessel to hit the open seas. Eventually, she headed to the British Isles to aid in the European conflict.

Increasingly resilient

At the end of the war, the ship sailed through the Atlantic, Caribbean and Pacific, completing various exercises and fleet drills along the way. And soon enough, the vessel reached her 10th anniversary of service – receiving modernizations between 1927 and 1930 to make her even tougher at sea.