Pearl Harbor Submarine Mystery Solved
Mini-sub that sank USS Oklahoma comes to light
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 7, 2009 4:30 PM CST
Updated Dec 7, 2009 4:48 PM CST
FILE- In this Dec. 7, 1941 file photo provided by the U.S. Navy, the USS Arizona is pictured in flames after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.   (AP Photo/U.S. Navy, File)
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(Newser) – A Japanese mini-sub believed to have played a crucial role in the battle of Pearl Harbor has been found. The mini-sub was one of five deployed during the 1941 attack from larger “mother” submarines, University of Hawaii researchers say. The other four have already been found, but the fifth is the only one that successfully deployed its torpedoes—it is believed to have sunk USS Oklahoma with a torpedo 68 years ago today. Dozens of survivors observed the anniversary in Hawaii.

Because the other subs were all found with torpedoes intact or sunk by misfires, the “new find sheds light on a World War II mystery that has eluded historians for nearly seven decades," the lead researcher tells the Honolulu Star-Bulletin. Though the sub survived the attack, the crew is thought to have scuttled it 12 hours after the engagement to hide it from the US military.