Saturday, September 13, 2008

6 Sept 2008 the oceanographic survey ship USNS Pathfinder, under Military Sealift Command, started searching in Ukrainian territorial waters for the SS Armenia, sunk in 1941 by the German Luftwaffe, one of the world’s most powerful air forces at the time. The World War II Soviet-flagged hospital ship was sunk with 7,000 people on board. The high-tech, 328.5-foot-long Pathfinder must scour murky waters for one shipwreck among many at depths ranging from 100 meters to 1,000 meters. Scientists will use a side-scan sonar and multibeam sonar. If sonars indicate a possible wreck, a remotely operated vehicle with video capabilities will be used to verify findings.

Here is info about SS Armenia from this site:

“Armenia” was the main hospital ship of Black Sea Navy during WWII, having 119 men of medical staff in addition to the regular crew. It made near 15 runs and evacuated more than 15000 people. “Armenia” was sunk on 6 November 1941 near Aj-Todor cape (depth 450 m). Approximately 7000 wounded men, civilians and almost all evacuated medical staff of Black Sea Navy were killed during the bombing of “Armenia” by German bombers – that was the largest catastrophe on Black Sea, with only 8 men survived. That was a very mysterious catastrophe – despite the fact that there were several another hospital ships in the port, the captain of “Armenia” received the order to take all medical staff from the hospitals of enclosed Sevastopol, also many officials from the evacuated organizations in addition to thousands wounded men. Destroyer and many patrol ships should have escorted the overladen “Armenia” for good AA defense, but at the last moment the captain of “Armenia” received the order to start on its last journey only with two small patrol boats.

the pictire of SS Armenia comes from

Details of the sinking here in russian:


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