The wreckage of a US aircraft carrier sunk during World War II has been found by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen.
The USS Lexington was located on Sunday at a depth of about two miles in the Coral Sea, circa 500 miles off Australia’s east coast.
We've located the USS Lexington after she sank 76 yrs ago. #RVPetrel found the WWII aircraft carrier & planes more than 3000m (~2mi) below Coral Sea near Australia. We remember her brave crew who helped secure 1st strategic US win in the Pacific Theater https://t.co/20ehjafD7d pic.twitter.com/HIvxNUDbsX
— Paul Allen (@PaulGAllen) March 5, 2018
The ship was found by Allen’s company Vulcan, which has also located 11 of 35 aircraft associated with the carrier.
“To pay tribute to the USS Lexington and the brave men that served on her is an honor,” Allen wrote in a blog post Monday.
“As Americans, all of us owe a debt of gratitude to everyone who served and who continue to serve our country for their courage, persistence and sacrifice.”
Launched as an aircraft carrier in 1925, the ship was lost in the Battle of the Coral Sea in May 1942. Some 216 crew members died when fighting three Japanese carriers, although an estimated 2,770 crewmen and officers survived.
“Lady Lex” went down with 35 planes. So far, #RVPetrel has found 11 of them. Here’s a look at two Douglas TBD-1 Devastators, resting on top of each other, and a close up of a Grumman F4F-3 Wildcat. https://t.co/19CuqvopwB pic.twitter.com/FEWZYD0iEo
— Paul Allen (@PaulGAllen) March 6, 2018
The carrier was scuttled by the U.S. Navy after being struck by several Japanese bombs and torpedoes.
As it is considered a war grave by the United States military, the ship will not be retrieved from the depths.
In August last year, Vulcan discovered the heavy cruiser USS Indianapolis in the Pacific Ocean.