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The wreck of the aircraft carrier USS "Lexington" has been found! - video

The crew of the RV search vessel ‘Petrel’ has announced that they have located and identified the wreck of the US aircraft carrier USS ‘Lexington’. Paul Allen’s team made their discovery on 4 March 2018. The ship was sunk during an air and sea battle in the Coral Sea in 1942. For the next 76
Published: March 6, 2018 - 14:05
Updated: July 22, 2023 - 16:31
The wreck of the aircraft carrier USS “Lexington” has been found! – video

The crew of the RV search vessel ‘Petrel’ has announced that they have located and identified the wreck of the US aircraft carrier USS ‘Lexington’. Paul Allen’s team made their discovery on 4 March 2018. The ship was sunk during an air and sea battle in the Coral Sea in 1942. For the next 76 years, the resting place of the aircraft carrier remained unknown.

Paul Allen and his team go from success to success. After locating, among other things, the final resting place of the Japanese the super battleship “Musashi”, finding the sunken heavy the cruiser USS “Indianapolis” and raising a ship’s bell from a British legend – the wreck of HMS “Hood”, it was time for another spectacular discovery – the wreck of an American aircraft carrier from World War II, the USS “Lexington”.

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[blockquote style=”2″]”This is a tribute to the USS ‘Lexington and all the brave men who served on that ship. As Americans, we owe a debt of gratitude to those who served our country and those who continue to do so. For their courage, perseverance and sacrifice.” – Paul Allen said[/blockquote].

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The unit, operating in the Pacific, was severely damaged by Japanese aviation during the battle in the Coral Sea. As a result of the damage, the American command decided to abandon and self-sink the aircraft carrier. Interestingly, USS “Lexington” popularly known as “Lady Lex”, was the first large aircraft carrier built by the US.

[blockquote style=”2″]”The wreck of the USS “Lexington” was a priority for us because it was one of the ships lost during World War II. My job is to type out what missions we will do when. Taking into account the geographical location, the seasons and other factors, I type what we have to work on. It took us six months to prepare for this mission and everything went very smoothly.” – said Robert Kraft, director of subsea operations on Paul Allen’s team.[/blockquote]

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The wreck rests at an unreachable depth of 3,000 metres for divers, about 500 Mm off the east coast of Australia. What draws most attention, however, is the state of preservation of the US Navy ship, as well as the aircraft that went down with it.

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Probably everyone has already had time to look at the photos attached to the text, because who would be able to resist? It is extremely rare to see such phenomenally preserved wrecks, which have been resting in the depths of the sea for 76 years. The photos taken by the crew of the RV “Petrel” with the help of remote-controlled robots are simply breathtaking.

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The “Lexington” together with the aircraft carrier “Yorktown” took part in the battle on the Coral Sea – 4-8 May, 1942. On the second day of the battle the ship was hit by two torpedoes and three bombs dropped by the Japanese aircraft. At the beginning it was thought that the damage was not serious and the aircraft carrier continued the battle, receiving planes and reached the speed of 25 knots.

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The situation changed when the ship experienced a series of aviation gasoline fume explosions and fires that were uncontrollable. At 17.00 the order was given for the crew to abandon ship, and at 19.56 the destroyer USS “Phelps” sank the aircraft carrier and the 35 aircraft on it with two torpedoes.

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The battle of the Coral Sea was unique in several respects. It was the first time that Japanese forces had suffered such a sustained setback in combat in the New Guinea and Australia area and had lost their edge in the Pacific War. It was also the first time that aircraft carriers, two American and three Japanese, faced each other in battle. It was also the first time in history that, in a naval battle, the units fighting each other, never came within sight of each other.

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The events of those days ushered in an entirely new form of naval warfare, with aircraft and aircraft carriers taking the lead. A month later, American forces surprised the Japanese at the Battle of Midway, where they permanently reversed the course of the Pacific War and began their march to ultimate victory.

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The USS “Lexington” was launched on 3 October 1925 and entered service on 14 December 1927. Originally commissioned at the Fore River shipyard as a cruiser, she was eventually built as the first of the large aircraft carriers of the US Navy. The “Lexington” was over 270 metres long and 32 metres wide, with a draught of 7.4 metres and a displacement of 50,000 tonnes.

The 16 boilers and 4 steam turbines gave a total power output of 209,710 hp and allowed a top speed of 34.82 knots. Using an economy speed of 10 knots, the vessel had an operational range of 10,000 Mm. The ship’s armament consisted of 8 guns of 203 mm calibre and 12 guns of 127 mm calibre. The aircraft carrier had at its disposal a number of 91 planes, for the service of which it had 1 catapult and 2 aerial lifts. The whole was operated by a crew of 2,122 men.

Source: paulallen.com, wikipedia.org

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About author

Tomasz Andrukajtis
Editor-in-chief of the DIVERS24 portal and magazine. Responsible for obtaining, translating and developing content. He also supervises all publications. Achived his first diving certification – P1 CMAS, in 2000. Has a degree in journalism and social communication. In the diving industry since 2008.
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