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An American submarine that went missing in World War II is found off of Japan's coast

The USS Albacore is pictured in Groton, Conn., on May 9, 1942.
Naval History and Heritage Command
The USS Albacore is pictured in Groton, Conn., on May 9, 1942.

The wreckage of a U.S. submarine from World War II was found off the coast of Hokkaido in northern Japan — after disappearing almost 80 years ago.

The USS Albacore, credited with sinking at least 10 enemy vessels during the war, was found by the University of Tokyo's Tamaki Ura and positively identified by the Naval History and Heritage Command, the Navy said on Thursday.

Albacore was long assumed to be lost forever. According to Japanese records, the submarine, with a crew of 85 men on board, likely struck a mine just off the shore of Hokkaido on Nov. 7, 1944, the NHHC said.

"Most importantly, the wreck represents the final resting place of Sailors that gave their life in defense of the nation and should be respected by all parties as a war grave," read the Navy's press release.

The NHHC said its archaeologists used underwater imagery provided by Ura's team to confirm the remains were those of the Albacore. Data from the Japan Center for Asian Historical Records mentioning the loss of an American submarine steered Ura to the site of the wreckage. Ura's team used data collected from a remotely operated vehicle to verify the historical records.

Six of the Albacore's enemy sinkings were enemy combat ships, making the vessel one of World War II's top combat submarines, according to the Navy.

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