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The American Wreck or USS Salute served its final days as a minesweeper during WWII until it struck one in 1945.
|Name Dive Site:||American Wreck, USS Salute|
|Depth: ||18-33m (59-108ft)|
|Accessibility: ||Boat, Speedboat|
|Inserted/Added by: ||labuan_tourism|
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The American Wreck lies south-east of Rusukan Kecil Island, 1.4 km away from the Australian wreck and about 24 km from Labuan. It is the USS Salute, a US Navy Minesweeper built in Seattle, Washington in 1943 by Winslow Marine Railway and Shipbuilding Co. It was first put into service in Hawaii in 1944 escorting convoys between Pearl Harbor and several ports in the Far East. Later it was involved in intense action, providing protection for anti-aircraft vessels and submarine, as well as minesweeping. After several minesweeping operations in the Philippines, the ship began operating in Brunei Bay where it struck a mine in 1945. Nine US sailors lost their lives when she sank. Today this fifty meter long and ten meters wide wreck offers ample marine life and all kinds of sponges and algae have started covering the wreck.
Messages from readers:
The damage caused by the mine is clearly evident. The bow now faces towards the stern. Much of the aft area is still recognizable and the propeller blades can just be seen in the sand. Care should be taken when penetrating the wreck. Live ammunition shells and depth charges are present. Wine bottles, cutlery and shoes are scattered around. Fish life is all over the wreck. Encrusting coral, clams, barnacles and spiny black urchins cover much of the wreck. Scorpionfish and lionfish are numerous. Schools of fish include snapper and sweetlips.
When entering the wreck also keep in mind that it is the final resting place for 9 sailors. Ralph Shafer is still entombed in the engine room area.
Divelogs from members:
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