The crew of E/V Nautilus have discovered the USS Peterson, DD 969. It was led by Robert Ballard – famous for discovering the RMS Titanic. Nautilus pinpointed the wreck (approximately 2,400 meter of water) on July 7. At first it looked like coral studded cargo but then the wreck was identified by the Ocean Exploration Trust as DD 969.
The destroyer USS Peterson was built at Ingalls' Pascagoula Shipyard and was commissioned in 1977. It was decommissioned on Oct 4, 2002, and two years later (Feb 16, 2004) it was sunk by the U.S. Navy as part of DD-21 programme weapon test. Until now the exact location of the wreck had been unknown.
Video Into the Unknown: The Wreck of the USS Peterson by EVNautilus
The crew of Nautilus also explored the U-166 wreckage together with several of its targets (such as SS Robert E. Lee and SS Gulf Penn). The Nazi U-boat is the only one known sunk in the Gulf (during the World War II).
"To our knowledge, this particular wreck site has not been mapped with 3-D mapping," said a spokeswoman with Ocean Exploration Trust, Susan Poulton.
Having found the U-boat location, Nautilus returned for further exploration to the site with two remotely operated vehicles – Argus and Hercules.
Video Mapping a German U-boat By EVNautilus
"Our mapping team went in and did surveys of the area, which will help our archaeologists better understand what happened and how she sunk.
"We have the historical references, but now we actually have the physical evidence and the physical forensic archaeology," Poulton added.
Video Exploring U-boat Victims: SS Gulfpenn By EVNautilus