American researchers reported last week that they’d found a Japanese midget submarine sunk by a U.S. ship before the attack on Pearl Harbor. The USS Ward fired the first U.S. shots of World War II at a 78-foot, two-man sub near the entrance to the harbor; the sub sank without firing its torpedoes. Just one hour later, Japanese planes dive-bombed the U.S. Pacific fleet and plunged the nation into war. Researchers from the Hawaii Undersea Research Laboratory said they knew their find—located 1,200 feet down, a few miles from Pearl Harbor—was historic because it had a bullet hole in its conning tower and both torpedoes still on board. “To actually come across it was a sobering moment,” said researcher Terry Kerby, “realizing that was the shot that started the Pacific war.”
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