Wreckage found of WWII aircraft carrier USS Lexington
Wreckage found of WWII aircraft carrier USS Lexington
A 5-inch gun on the USS Lexington as it is seen at the bottom of the Coral Sea off the coast of Australia
08 March, 2018, 03:27
The search team released pictures and video of the Lexington, one of the first ever United States aircraft carriers, and some of the planes which went down with the ship.
In 1942, during the Battle of the Coral Sea, it was hit by several torpedoes and bombs from the Japanese Navy, and scuttled by the US during World War II.
The wreck of the "Lady Lex", as she was known, was discovered by the crew of Allen's research vessel, RV Petrel, on 4 March at a depth of 3,000m and was positively identified when her nameplate was found on the remains of the ship's stern.
Robert Kraft, director of subsea operations for the project, explained that locating the Lexington was a priority because it was one of the capital ships lost during WWII, per Allen's website.
Allen said he wanted to pay tribute to the vessel and the fearless people who served on the ship.
The battle helped stop a Japanese advance that could have cut off Australia and New Guinea from Allied sea supply routes and crippled two Japanese carriers, leading to a more conclusive USA victory at sea a month later at the Battle of Midway.
The Lexington was deliberately sunk by the U.S. Navy after being struck by Japanese torpedoes and bombs during the battle.
Wreckage from the USS Lexington, an aircraft carrier sank during the Second World War, has been found by search team led by the billionaire co-founder of Microsoft, Paul Allen.
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Around 200 sailors were killed in the Japanese attacks, though about 2,750 were rescued by the carrier's escorting task force before she was given the coup de grâce.
The ship will not be retrieved as the US Navy considers it to be a war grave.
Paul Allen's team did it again.
"With other US ships standing by, 2,770 crewmen and officers were rescued, including the captain and his dog Wags, the ships ever-present mascot", a statement on Allen's website says.
The aircraft carrier is Allen's latest underwater find.
"We honour the valour and sacrifice of the "Lady Lex's" Sailors - all those Americans who fought in World War II - by continuing to secure the freedoms they won for all of us". He's used his Petrel to discover several other sunken ships and artifacts, including the famed naval cruiser USS Indianapolis, which CNN reported Allen discovered in August 2017 at the bottom of the Pacific.
"This was the first carrier-versus-carrier battle in history and was the first time Japanese forces suffered a permanent setback in its advances on New Guinea and Australia", Allen's team pointed out in a press statement.
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