Divers find wreckage of first U.S. destroyer sunk by enemy fire

Drivers off the southwestern coast of England have reported finding a World War I U.S. Navy destroyer that was sunk by a German submarine more than a century ago. 

he USS Jacob Jones, which was hit by a torpedo on December 6, 1917 in the English Channel, holds the distinction of being the first U.S. Navy destroyer ever to be lost to enemy action, according to the Naval History and Heritage Command 

Sixty-four of the destroyer's 110 officers and crew died when the ship went down. 

Darkstar, a group of expert divers from the U.K., discovered the wreckage about 400 feet underwater and 60 miles south of Newlyn, Cornwall, dive team member Steve Mortimer said in a Facebook post. 

The team said they did not disturb the site and had contacted the U.S. Department of State to alert them of their discovery. 

The USS Jacob Jones was patrolling off the Virginia coast when war broke out between the United States and Germany on April 6, 1917, according to the NHHC. 

The ship was ultimately deployed to escort supply convoys around the United Kingdom and would rescue hundreds of survivors of British warships hit by enemy fire — including picking up 305 survivors from the torpedoed British cruiser Orama. 

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