Aircraft carrier sunk in WWII discovered at bottom of Coral Sea

An expedition crew has made a historic discovery in the Coral Sea: a U.S. aircraft carrier sunk after a four-day battle against Japanese forces in World War II.


Two miles below the surface of the Coral Sea, a long lost aircraft carrier has been found.

An expedition crew on board the research vessel Petrel discovered the wreckage of the USS Lexington on Sunday, shining new light on "Lady Lex" for the first time in 76 years.

Robert Kraft is the director of subsea operations for the vessel's owner, Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) ROBERT KRAFT, DIRECTOR OF SUBSEA OPERATIONS FOR PAUL ALLEN, SAYING:

"She is an iconic aircraft carrier, one of the very first, she's CV-2."

Images from the expedition revealed a ship in good condition.

Cannons sit largely intact while fixed-wing aircraft rest on the seafloor.

The Lexington was scuttled in May 1942 after suffering damage from the Japanese in one of the first carrier versus carrier battles in history... the Battle of the Coral Sea... in which 216 crew members were killed.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) PAUL MAYER, R/V PETREL PILOT, SAYING:

"Getting out here, this is the last piece of the puzzle."

Paul Mayer pilots the underwater vehicle used to find the wreckage.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) PAUL MAYER, R/V PETREL PILOT, SAYING:

"For me personally, I feel a bit of relief, then I look forward to the next part of it, which is exploring the wreck. Then very soon after that, I look forward to going for the next one."

The next one... where ever it may be.


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Source: Times of Oman, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bdAVuyIdeSU