The Bell From This World War I Shipwreck Was Recently Salvaged After Concerns Were Raised About Someone Stealing It

Jolyon Rogers - - illustrative purposes only

During World War One, a ship known as the USS Jacob Jones was blown up by German troops after they launched a torpedo from a submarine. The attack caused the vessel to sink in just eight minutes, taking 64 American soldiers with it.

The ship’s enormous bell has been salvaged from the wreck. It is set to go on display at the National Museum of the U.S. Navy in Washington, D.C., after restoration work is complete.

In August 2022, the shipwreck was discovered off the southwestern coast of England. Since then, the Naval History and Heritage Command (NHHC) and the U.K. Ministry of Defense have been trying to document the site and preserve the wreck.

Normally, the U.S. Navy’s policy is to leave newly discovered shipwrecks undisturbed. However, military officials raised concerns over how someone may try to steal the ship’s bell.

“The bell was laying out there and had this kind of ‘take me’ stamped on it,” said Sam J. Cox, a retired U.S. Navy rear admiral and director of the NHHC.

“Just about every wreck from World War One, World War Two [near Britain] has had anything valuable stripped from it.”

The bell was made from brass and weighed 80 pounds. It will “serve as a memorial to sailors who made the ultimate sacrifice in the defense of both the United States and the United Kingdom.”

During the underwater mission, a remotely operated vehicle was used to capture photos and videos of the shipwreck. An American flag and a wreath were also placed at the site in honor of the men who died.

Once the bell was hauled to the surface, it was transferred to Wessex Archaeology, a private firm based in the U.K. that was under contract with the NHHC. Later this year, it will be sent to an underwater archaeology lab for conservation treatment.

Jolyon Rogers – – illustrative purposes only

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