Wreckage of WW2 aircraft carrier discovered

Wreckage of the USS Lexington, a U.S. aircraft carrier used in World War II, was discovered at the bottom of the Coral Sea around 800 kilometres off the eastern coast of Australia by the expedition organised by Paul Allen, co-founder of Microsoft.

AA guns of USS Lexington (by Navigea Ltd)

The ship was discovered by a research vessel named Petrel, belonging to Allen’s company Vulcan Inc. According to Robert Kraft, director of subsea operations for Vulcan Inc., USS Lexington was one of the capital ships that was lost during WW2. It was commissioned as a battle cruiser (similar to battleships but built for speed), though in 1925, it was launched as an aircraft carrier. From May 4 to 8, 1942 the vessel, nicknamed Lady Lex, and the USS Yorktown faced off against three Japanese carriers in the Battle of the Coral Sea. The U.S. carriers delivered a serious blow to the Japanese forces advancing on New Guinea and Australia. On May 8, Lexington was damaged when it was hit by multiple torpedoes and bombs, though the final blow came from a secondary explosion that led to out-of-control fires. The conflagration caused the crew to abandon ship. That evening, to prevent its capture, the USS Lexington was scuttled.  The USS Phelps sank the crippled carrier once 2770 crew and officers had been rescued. A number of 216 of its crew did not survive the clash.

(after Navigea Ltd & Live Science)

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