Microsoft co-founder begins live-stream tour of sunken Japanese battleship

Story highlights

  • A live-stream tour of the ship is underway
  • Japan's giant battleship Musashi was sunk off the Philippines in World War II
  • A team led by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen said last week it had found the wreck
Watch the underwater tour of the Musashi wreck now on CNN.com and CNN mobile

(CNN)[Breaking news update, posted 9:04 p.m. ET]

The live stream from what is believed to be the wreck of the World War II battleship Musashi in the waters around the Philippines began at 9:03 a.m. local time (9:03 p.m. ET) Friday. An underwater camera showed various sections of the ship, which displaced 69,000 tons when it was built, putting it in the largest class of battleships at that time.
    [Previous story, posted at 7:47 p.m. ET]
    It's a journey beneath the waves and back in time.
    Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen plans to live-stream an underwater tour of a wreck off the Philippine coast that's believed to be the remains of a long-lost World War II Japanese battleship.
    Allen, a philanthropist, said last week that he and his research team had discovered the wreck of the Musashi, which was once one of the two largest warships in the world. They had been searching for the ship for more than eight years.
    After the discovery last week, the team shared photos and video footage of parts of the vessel. Now, they're planning to take viewers on a real-time tour of the wreck with the unmanned submersible they used to find it at a depth of around 1 kilometer (3,280 feet).
    The live-stream is scheduled to start at 9 a.m. Friday, Philippines time (9 p.m. Thursday, ET). It's expected to show various parts of the warship, including the bow and stern sections and the conning tower.
    Launched in 1940, the Musashi was, at the time, the largest class of warship ever constructed, displacing more than 69,000 tons. It was one of two Yamato-class battleships constructed by the Imperial Japanese Navy.
    The ship sank on October 24, 1944, during the Battle of the Sibuyan Sea, part of the Battle of Leyte Gulf in the central Philippines. According to U.S. Navy documents, torpedo planes from U.S. aircraft carriers scored at least 10 hits on the battleship over the course of four hours. Navy dive bombers also hit the ship 16 times, but it was the torpedo hits that doomed the Musashi.
    More than 1,000 of the Musashi's crew were killed during the battle and sinking. Over 1,300 survivors were taken aboard by other Japanese warships, according to the U.S. Navy report.
    "We are proud to have played a role in finding this key vessel in naval history and are honored to share it with the survivors, the families of those who perished and the world," Allen said in a statement.
    He has said his long fascination with World War II history was inspired by his father's service in the U.S. Army.
    Last week, he tweeted images of the wreck, including one that he said showed the bow of the ship -- featuring a distinctive chrysanthemum, the emblem of Japan's royal family -- and a big anchor.
    Another photo showed valves on which the Japanese characters for "main valve handle" and "open" are legible.
    Robert Kraft, director of subsea operations for Allen's Vulcan company, who will provide commentary during the live-stream, spoke more about the process.
    "We used historical records from four countries, detailed undersea topographical data and advanced technology to identify the wreckage as the Musashi," he said. "That moment of discovery was exhilarating."
    Kazushige Todaka, the director of Japan's Kure Maritime Museum, said last week after viewing the information posted by Allen that it appeared that the vessel was the Musashi, although pictures of the entire body of the ship were needed to know for sure.
    Todaka said, given the location and the depth at which the wreck was found, he was "90% sure" that the ship was the Musashi.
    "I was really surprised because the location of the sunken ship has never been identified since it went down," he said. "I have heard countless stories in the past that the ship was discovered, but they all turned out not to be true."
    Todaka said Allen's team had been in contact with the museum about the expedition and the ship's potential location.