Search for Those on Eternal Patrol
Honoring the men, their memory, and their mission
STEP Ventures represents a close-knit company of explorers and historians who share a passion in locating submerged cultural resources. STEP Ventures, in partnership with the Lost 52 Project, is committed to honoring and preserving the memory of lost mariners, submariners, airmen, and service platforms.
STEP aims to answer longstanding questions and seeks to advance the state-of-the-art in marine research and exploration using the latest technologies and data analytic methods.
It is from the most sacred of these projects that STEP derives its name, Searching for Those on Eternal Patrol.
USS Lyon County
Documented in 2017
USS LST-904 / USS Lyon County was an LST-542-class tank landing ship that served in the Far East in World War II (Sep-Dec 1945). She was awarded 1 battle star for her service and sunk as a target on 13 May 1959.
Though several surface photographs of USS Lyon County have been preserved, no sub-sea images of this vessel existed prior its discovery and documentation by STEP Ventures. Although the search for this vessel was conducted as part of a training activity in preparation for a more complicated exploration, it turned out to be a more challenging undertaking than anyone expected and a joy to work on for all involved!
Somewhat surprisingly, the reported depth profiles and geographic coordinates of this vessel, as recorded in the public domain, were kilometers off-base. Upon discovering no wreck at the expected location, STEP proceeded to systematically expand its search pattern and then tracked a directional debris field to ultimately discover and document the USS Lyon County's final resting place.
Documented in 2017
The USS Devilfish (SS-292) was a Balao class submarine that served in World War II (Dec 1944 - Aug 1945). She was awarded three battle stars for her service and transferred into inactive reserve status in April 1946. On 14 August 1968, the Devilfish was sunk by the USS Wahoo (SS-565) as part of a MK 16 MOD 8 torpedo test.
Using the reported wreck location in the public domain, supplemented by an analysis of the deck logs of the USS Wahoo from the test date, STEP was able to quickly locate the USS Devilfish wreckage at a depth of over 3,500 meters. The forward and aft sections of the USS Devilfish are separated by nearly 2 NM and located almost 3 NM from the location reported in the public domain.
EXPEDITION 2017: HAWAII
The USS S-28 (SS-133) commissioned December 13, 1923 and spent 16 years taking part in various Navy exercises in the Caribbean and eventually in the Pacific. When the bombs fell on December 7th, she was being overhauled at Mare Island Naval Shipyard outside of San Francisco, California. She was one of several S-boats that were put into service in World War II and was initially sent to Alaska to defend the Aleutians against a possible Japanese invasion. With 49 US sailors on-board, the USS S-28 was lost during a naval training exercise of the coast of Oahu on July 4, 1944.
EXPEDITION 2018: Japan and Alaska
USS GRUNION (SS-2016)
The USS Grunion (SS-216) was commissioned April 11, 1942 and began her first war patrol off the Aleutian Islands where she sank two enemy patrol boats before being sunk by her own torpedo during an attack on a Japanese merchant ship. The 2018 STEP funded expedition located the bow section of USS Grunion which completed the earlier discovery of the larger stern section in 2007 by an expedition led by the family of her commanding officer. Additional searches off the coast of Eastern Japan for USS SCAMP (SS-277 and USS TRIGGER (SS-237) were hampered by weather and did not result in any further discoveries.