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WASHINGTON (AP) – Civilian researchers say they have located the wreck of the World War II heavy cruiser USS Indianapolis.

The ship played a critical role in the atomic bombing of Hiroshima before being struck by Japanese torpedoes.

The sinking of the Indianapolis remains the Navy’s single worst loss at sea. Nearly 900 were killed, many by sharks, and just 316 survived.

The expedition crew of Research Vessel Petrel says it located the wreckage of the Indianapolis on the floor of the North Pacific Ocean, more than 18,000 feet below the surface.

The Petrel’s owner, Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, says discovering the ship honors the brave men of the Indianapolis and their families and offers a measure of closure.

The Indianapolis sank between Guam and Leyte Gulf on July 30, 1945.

(Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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