June 12th marks the 80th anniversary of the sinking of the USS R-12 WWII Submarine lost off Key West in 1943. It was discovered in October 2010 by the Lost 52 Project exploration team led by Ocean Explorer, Tim Taylor. The underwater gravesite of 42 submariners is in 600 feet of water in the Gulf of Mexico.
This historic find was the first WWII discovery made by Mr. Taylor who has since gone on to 8 more discoveries that include 7 Submarines (USS S-26, S-28, USS Grunion, USS Grayback, USS Stickleback, USS S-35) and the Destroyer Manner L. Abele making a total of 372 WWII sailors and Submariners.
The families of the USS R-12 have played an important role in history by sharing their personal stories of loss and sacrifice with the world. Their voices are powerful in reminding us that we must never forget our war heroes and the importance of finding closure and peace through the discoveries of our WWII.
One of those stories involves the only two foreign sailors, Brazilian Lieutenants J.L Demoura and A.GD Almedia, who were lost in a US submarine sinking during the war. During the height of Covid on November 15th, 2020, The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Charles Sexton (WPC 1108), the coastal patrol ship USS Zephyr and the Brazilian training ship “Brazil” held a memorial wreath-laying ceremony at sea in honor of the Brazilian navy officers and U.S. Navy military members who died on the USS R-12.
Tim and his wife Christine have dedicated years of research, meeting and interviewing families and made multiple filming expeditions with their team to the USS R-12 grave site. In recognition of the discovery, the Brazilian Navy made Christine Dennison and Tim Taylor honoree Submariners and the Brazilian Navy league awarded their “Medal of Honor.”
This work is sanctioned by the US Navy History and heritage Command and is strongly supported by countless families around the world who have received closure in learning of their loved ones final resting place. In 2021 Tim was presented the US Navy’s highest civilian award the “Distinguished Public Service Medal”. He is a Fellow of the prestigious Royal Geographical Society of London, and a recipient of the International Navy League “Man of the Sea” award, Brazilian Navy Honorary Submariner Medal, and the Brazilian Navy League Medal of Honor for his work with the USS R-12.
Non-profit organization Ocean Outreach and its Lost 52 Project is dedicated to ocean, environmental and educational projects around the world. Tim Taylor is CEO of Tiburon Subsea specializing in building autonomous underwater robotics and overcoming barriers to adoption of the latest technology with their platform organization. Christine Dennison is the Co-founder and President of Mad Dog Expeditions an internationally recognized technical scuba diving and exploration company based in New York City. For more than 20 years Christine has been diving and exploring in remote regions of the world. Among her accomplishments, Christine is the first woman to dive and explore beneath the Arctic Sea ice and ice caves of the Canadian High Arctic.