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Aircraft Carrier USS Lexington, Sunk During WWII, Found In Coral Sea

International Business Times logo International Business Times 3/6/2018 Suman Varandani

Video by International Business Times

The wreckage of a United States aircraft carrier, named USS Lexington that was sunk by the Japanese during World War II, was found on the floor of the Coral Sea more than 500 miles off the eastern coast of Australia. The carrier was discovered by a team of explorers led by billionaire Paul Allen, the U.S. Navy confirmed Monday.

The ship, which was part of the Battle of the Coral Sea from May 4-8, 1942, was found in a remarkably well-preserved condition. Microsoft co-founder Allen released a statement Monday along with photos and a video of the carrier.  ​

“To pay tribute to the USS Lexington and the brave men that served on her is an honor,” Allen said. “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.”

USS Lexington, which was one of the first U.S. aircraft carriers ever built, was known as “Lady Lex” and went down with 35 aircraft on board. When the ship was attacked, more than 200 crew members died, while over 2,000 were rescued.

“Lexington was on our priority list because she was one of the capital ships that was lost during WWII,” said Robert Kraft, director of subsea operations for Allen. “Based on geography, time of year and other factors, I work with Paul Allen to determine what missions to pursue. We’ve been planning to locate the Lexington for about six months and it came together nicely.”

Adm Harry Harris, head of the U.S. Pacific Command, praised the discovery.

"As the son of a survivor of the USS Lexington, I offer my congratulations to Paul Allen and the expedition crew of Research Vessel (R/V) Petrel for locating the 'Lady Lex,'" Harris said.

“Our Navy’s strength comes from those who have gone before. This is our heritage. Our Navy’s strength comes from those who serve now. This is who we are. No one should doubt that today’s warriors are ready to fight tonight and win,” he told Fox News on Monday.

The U.S Navy considers the aircraft carrier a war grave due to which it will not be retrieved, reports said.

Last year in August, Allen-led R/V Petrel expedition discovered the wreck of the USS Indianapolis, which sank in July 1945. It was struck by Japanese torpedoes and resulted in the deaths of nearly 900 crew members, while only 316 lived.

“As we look back on our Navy throughout its history, we see evidence of an incredible amount of heroism and sacrifice. The actions of sailors from our past inspire us today,” Sam Cox, director of the Naval History and Heritage Command, told editors of Paul Allen’s site at the time. “So many ships, so many battles, so many acts of valor help inform what we do now.”

Allen's team has also found other vessels including a Japanese warship, the Musashi, and an Italian naval vessel, Artigliere — both from the same era.


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