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July 1, 2019 - Navy Officially Identifies USS S-28

Today, the US Navy officially identified the submarine wreckage discovered in 2017 with the support of STEP Ventures as the USS S-28.  The STEP Ventures team is proud to have been a part of this effort that provides closure to the family members of the US Navy personnel lost on the S-28. We would also like to thank the US Navy’s History and Heritage Command for their work with Tim Taylor to analyze the data required to make this identification.


More information, can be found here: NAVAL TODAY

3D Photogrammetry Imagery of the stern section of the USS S-28

September 2017 - WII Submarine USS S-28 found off the Coast of Hawaii

The lost WWII Submarine, USS S-28, is considered to be one of the most important lost ships in the central Pacific. The USS S-28 sank on July 4th, 1944 and was discovered, explored and surveyed in 2650 meters (8700 feet) of water off the coast of Oahu, Hawaii. She holds an entombed crew of 49 US sailors.

History and Expedition

The data collected to date of the USS S-28, consisting of mapping and filming of the wreck by the discovery team, will be shared with the US Navy for use in helping to determine the cause of its loss.

The keel of USS S-28 (SS-133) was laid down in April of 1919, just months after the end of the First World War. This S-Class Submarine was 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. The S-28 was later lost during a naval training exercise off the coast of Oahu on July 4, 1944.

Expedition S-28 used state of the art deep water autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) as well as a  remotely operated vehicle (ROV). STEP is pleased to be teaming with Mr. Taylor, who has a reputation for working with the latest in undersea technology in collaboration with top specialists in underwater exploration. This is Mr. Taylor's third US WWI submarine discovery since 2010 and is now part of his ongoing "Lost 52 Project." STEP looks forward to continuing to work with the "Lost 52 Project" and shares its commitment to preserving and honoring the legacy of lost WWII Submariners and the bravery of our sailors for future generations.


The STEP team plans to search for and document additional lost WWII submarines as well as other historically significant vessels that their research determines have a probability of being found using a combination of archival research and the latest in subsea search technology.

USS S-28 HISAS Sonar Image
USS S-28 ROV Dive Tim Taylor
Support Research Vessel
USS S-28 Stern
USS S-28 Side Scan Sonar
USS S-28 3D Image
USS S-28 Bow Torpedo Tubes
USS S-28 Propelle
USS S-28 Rations
S-28 Hatch
USS S-28 Periscope
USS S-28 Deck Gun

September 2018 - USS Grunion Bow Discovered in Alaskan Waters

The 2018 expedition was organized to search for up to eight lost WWII submarines off the eastern seaboard of Japan.

Between August 3rd and September 30th, 2018 the STEP team conducted numerous AUV and ROV surveys off of the RV Ocean Titan in search of the eight lost WWII submarines over 16 pre-defined search areas using state of the art 4500-meter HUGIN AUVs equipped with high resolution sonar.

The 2018 season was interrupted on numerous occasions due to weather, most notably five typhoons.  Additional logistics delays limited the expedition to conducting surveys for only two lost US submarines, USS SCAMP (SS-277 and USS TRIGGER (SS-237), in the high probability search areas.  Due to a limited operational season, the expedition was unable to discover any wreckage.

In late September 2018, while returning to the US from their 2018 expedition to Japan, the STEP team conducted a search for the yet undiscovered bow section of the USS GRUNION (SS-216) in the waters off Kiska, Alaska.  Using data provided by the Abele family, (the family of Commanding Officer of USS GRUNION at the time of its loss), that located the stern section of the USS GRUNION, the STEP team was able to locate and document the condition of the bow section.  STEP is in the process of reviewing the data on the bow section and plans to turn it over to the Abele family and the US Navy for their use in further understanding the circumstances of the loss of the USS GRUNION.

Grunion 2.jpg

Bow Section of USS Grunion

May 27, 2021 - Ocean Explorer Awarded US Navy’s Highest Civilian Medal

Acclaimed Ocean Explorer Tim Taylor has been bestowed the Distinguished Public Service Award by U.S. Secretary of the Navy. The medal was awarded in a private ceremony at the National Museum of the U.S. Navy in Washington DC. This is the Navy’s “highest civilian honor”, in recognition of exploration, discoveries, and service to the Department of the Navy honoring the Sailors and Marines that gave their lives in service to the nation. Mr. Taylor and his “Lost 52 Project” have discovered and documented seven WWII Submarines and the final resting place of 288 servicemen.


"It's not about finding wrecks. It's not about finding ships," Taylor said. "The loss of someone even 78 years ago, and not knowing where they are, leaves a hole in families. The importance of our work is to connect families and bring some type of closure and peace even generations later."

More information, can be found here: NBC News, and Lost 52 Project

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