Navy submarine used as a target vessel in the 1930s found off Maryland coast

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OCEAN CITY, Md. — A salvage company says that it has likely discovered the wreckage of a century old submarine off the coast of Maryland.

The Baltimore Sun reported Thursday that the USS R-8 was a U.S. Navy sub that was used for target practice at the end of its life in the 1930s.

Atlantic Wreck Salvage said that it identified the wreck using sonar as well as historical records. The firm said that the R-8 is one of a few American submarines that’s in diveable waters on the East Coast and yet to be located.

“It appears from the sonar images that the site will reveal a very well-preserved example of an R-class submarine in existence anywhere,” said Cpt. Eric Takakjian, a member of the R-8 recovery team.

Garry Kozak, a sonar expert who looked over the data, said there’s little doubt that the R-8 has been located.

R-8 was one of 27 R-class submarines commissioned by the U.S. Navy during World War I. It was built in 1918 and participated in Naval training off the coasts of California and the Gulf of Mexico.

In 1930, the submarine became part of the Inactive Naval Reserve Fleet at Philadelphia. It was later used as a target in an aerial bombing and sank to the bottom of the ocean in 1936 near Ocean City.

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