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Navy divers confirm sunken wreck is USS Houston

August 18, 2014 - 12:49pm

PEARL HARBOR, Oahu — Divers from the U.S. and Indonesian navies have confirmed that a sunken vessel in the Java Sea is the World War II wreck of the cruiser USS Houston.

The Japanese sank the Houston during the Battle of Sunda Strait on Feb. 28, 1942. The sunken vessel is the final resting place for about 700 sailors and Marines.

U.S. Pacific Fleet commander Adm. Harry Harris announced the identification Monday and said divers have documented evidence the watery gravesite has been disturbed.

Assessments conducted in June to determine the condition of the Houston found that hull rivets, a metal plate and unexploded ordnance were removed from the ship. There’s also oil actively seeping from the hull.

Officials are working on measures to keep the site from further disturbance.