Researchers Find US Aircraft Carrier That Was Deliberately Sunk In WWII And The Pictures Are Astounding
Photo: US Navy/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images
How about a big round of applause for Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen for using his massive wealth for funding projects of historical significance instead of blowing it all on cocaine and hookers?
According to Gizmodo, the Allen-chaired company Vulcan, Inc. had their research vessel Petrel patrolling the waters roughly 500 miles off the Australian east coast Sunday afternoon, and after nearly six months of planning, they finally found the USS Lexington resting along the ocean floor in three pieces at a depth of two miles.
“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
Not only did the team find the aircraft carrier’s main section, bow and stern (the latter two were found about a mile away), but they were also able to find 11 of the 35 planes that went down with the ship. The planes were surprisingly in remarkable shape, with a Felix the Cat sticker still clinging to the side of one of them.
In fact, many of the anti-aircraft cannons aboard the Lexington are also in great shape, and the pictures and video the crew aboard the Petrel brought back with them are astounding.
Unless you’re a WWII buff, odds are you don’t know the USS Lexington‘s story. Well, the short version is that it was deliberately sunk during the Battle of the Coral Sea in 1942 after sustaining heavy damage from Japanese planes and torpedoes. To prevent the Japanese from capturing her, the crew aboard “Lady Lex” (some 2,735 sailors) were rescued before she was deliberately sent to the bottom of the sea, where she has been resting quietly for almost 76 years.