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Wreck of one of the most important aircraft carriers of WWII found

The year is just beginning, but the crew of the research vessel RV “Petrel“, has already recorded a great success! This time the team created by Paul Allen found and identified the wreck of the USS “Hornet”, considered one of the most important aircraft carriers of World War II. Finding the wreck of the aircraft
Published: February 12, 2019 - 16:15
Updated: July 22, 2023 - 17:51
Wreck of one of the most important aircraft carriers of WWII found

The year is just beginning, but the crew of the research vessel RV “Petrel“, has already recorded a great success! This time the team created by Paul Allen found and identified the wreck of the USS “Hornet”, considered one of the most important aircraft carriers of World War II.

Finding the wreck of the aircraft carrier USS “Hornet” is the result of this year’s first RV “Petrel” expedition, and already the second success we have reported recently. Less than a week ago we reported on finding the wreck of a Japanese battleship IJN “Hiei”. The wreck of the aircraft carrier USS “Hornet” was discovered at the end of January 2019. It lies on the bottom of the South Pacific Ocean, at a depth of 5330 meters.

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Hornet-6

USS “Hornet” from the point of view of the Americans, played a key role in the most important moments of World War II, taking place at sea. It took part in the so-called “Doolittle Raid” and the legendary “Battle of Midway”. From the deck of the aircraft carrier, US Army Colonel James Doolittle led the first air attack on Japanese targets, including Tokyo.

Hornet-4

The ship was sunk during the battle of the Santa Cruz Islands, after a merciless coordinated attack by Japanese dive bombers and torpedo planes. The final fatal blow was dealt by torpedoes from two Japanese destroyers, which sent the aircraft carrier to the bottom. As a result of these events, 140 sailors from a crew of nearly 2,200 died.

Hornet-7

The crew of the RV “Petrel” continue their mission to locate the wrecks of more ships that have an extremely important place in American history from World War II. The team’s late founder, Paul Allen, was extremely interested in aircraft carriers, so this discovery commemorates him in a special way and is a tribute from the entire research team.

Hornet-1

The ten-man team involved in the expedition managed to locate the position of the sunken aircraft carrier by combining data from national and maritime archives. These included official logbooks and reports on the activities of other ships involved in the final battle of the USS Hornet. Positions and sightings from nine other US ships in the vicinity of the aircraft carrier were plotted on a graph to generate a starting point for the search grid.

Hornet-3

The wreck was discovered during the first dive, to which an AUV was sent. This was then confirmed by video footage taken by a remotely operated vehicle ( ROV).

Hornet-2

USS “Hornet” (CV-8) was built in the shipyard of Newport News Shipbuilding Company. The keel was laid on 25 September 1939 and construction was completed on 14 December 1940. The ship entered service with the US Navy on 20 October 1941. Yorktown class aircraft carrier was the 7th ship named “Hornet”. It was 230 metres long and over 25 metres wide, with a top speed of 32.5 knots. The range of the aircraft carrier was set at 12,500 Mm, while maintaining an economy speed of 15 knots.

Hornet-5

Source: paulallen.com

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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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