Wreck of the USS Jacob Jones (DD-61) discovered after 105 years, first Navy destroyer lost in combat

Image of the USS Jacob Jones (DD-61).

Jones was a Tucker-class destroyer commissioned on February 10, 1916, and torpedoed and sunk by U-53 on December 6, 1917, with the loss of 66 men. The survivors were ironically saved in part due to the kindness of the German commander, who radioed the location of the survivors to allied authorities. Because the ship’s power had been knocked out immediately after being hit by the torpedo, she was unable to send a distress call.

The Jones was the first Navy destroyer lost in combat.

The wreck was discovered on Thursday, August 11, 2022, by British divers. Among the artifacts located was the ship’s bell.


I bet that Bell will go for a lot of money.

Actually, it won’t.

Military vessel wrecks remain the property of their respective nations. Salvors can request reimbursement and a reasonable fee for raising artifacts from a wreck, but anything recovered from the wreck is the property of the United States Government.

I bet they will still sell it.

Interesting history and find.

Would be interesting to compare its rate of decay to the Titanic.

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Not with a military vessel they won’t. Virtually no court in the world would allow them to keep the proceeds.

That ship is a tomb for fallen sailors. They just need to leave it alone.


It should be explored sufficient to catalog it. That can be done with minimal disturbance, particularly since most of the ship will be inaccessible at this point.

I think the bell should be taken and placed with the ship’s memorial exhibit. The bell is not attached to the wreck at this point and can be recovered without disturbing the wreck. Nothing else should be taken, however.


And who pays for that?