- The Washington Times - Monday, March 21, 2005

HONOLULU (AP) — The wreckage of a large World War II-era Japanese submarine has been found by researchers in waters off Hawaii.

A research team from the University of Hawaii discovered the I-401 submarine Thursday during test dives off Oahu.

“We thought it was rocks at first, it was so huge,” said Terry Kerby, pilot of the research craft that found the vessel. “But the sides of it kept going up and up and up, three and four stories tall. It’s a leviathan down there, a monster.”

The submarine is from the I-400 Sensuikan Toku class of subs, the largest built before the nuclear ballistic missile submarines of the 1960s.

They were 400 feet long and nearly 40 feet high and could carry a crew of 144. The submarines were designed to carry three “fold-up” bombers that could be assembled for flight within minutes.

Mr. Kerby said the main hull is sitting upright and is in good shape. The I-401 numbers are clearly visible on the sides, and the anti-aircraft guns are in almost perfect condition, he said.

The submarine found Thursday is the second Japanese vessel discovered off Oahu by the Hawaii Undersea Research Laboratory. In 2002, researchers found the wreckage of a much smaller Japanese sub that was sunk on December 7, 1941, off Pearl Harbor.

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