Sometime in the past three months, a group of unknown scuba divers drifted 135 feet down into the deep blue waters here.
Their destination was the ghostly wreck of the USS Emmons, a World War II destroyer battered by kamikaze planes and scuttled by the U.S. military in 1945.
The divers slipped inside the Emmons, pried loose an engraved metal plate, and disappeared again into the blue.
The looting of the Emmons builder’s plaque – a plate showing construction and commission dates – has drawn the attention of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service and riled former crew members.
NCIS was considering a criminal investigation of the alleged vandalism on Wednesday, NCIS spokesman Ed Buice said.