US WWII-era aircraft carrier found off Australian coast

US WWII-era aircraft carrier found off Australian coast

The USS Lexington, or "Lady Lex", as it was nicknamed, fought alongside another US aircraft carrier, the USS Yorktown, during the Battle of the Coral Sea, which lasted from 4 to 8 May 1942.

Photographs of the well-preserved wreckage show Lexington's nameplate and guns. In the crash killed 216 people, 2735 members of the crew were saved.

"Lexington was on our priority list because she was one of the capital ships that was lost during WWII", Robert Kraft, director of subsea operations for Vulcan Inc., said in a statement from the company.

"[This is] to pay tribute to the USS Lexington and the fearless men that served on her", he said.

In total the Imperial Japanese Navy sank three US ships, including the Lexington, and damaged the Yorktown.

The team had already located other sunken warships - including the USS Indianapolis which went down in July 1945 with almost 900 crew members - but Allen, the billionaire son of a WWII veteran, was personally invested in finding the USS Lexington. The engagement marked the first carrier-on-carrier battle in naval history, signifying a new type of naval warfare.

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Now Allen's crew has located the aircraft carrier USS Lexington about 500 miles off the Australian coast and two miles below the ocean's surface, Allen announced Monday.

The ship that found the Lexington, the Research Vessel Petral, has equipment capable of diving to 6,000 meters (about three and a half miles).

U.S. ships were able to rescue more than 2,000 sailors before the Lexington ultimately sank from the damage sustained from a bombardment of Japanese torpedoes.

The USS Lexington is a particularly.

Admiral Harry Harris, who leads U.S. Pacific Command, praised the discovery in a statement congratulating Allen's team for locating "Lady Lex". "We honor the valor and sacrifice of the 'Lady Lex's" sailors-all those Americans who fought in World War II-by continuing to secure the freedoms they won for all of us". The ship will not be disturbed because it is considered to be a war grave.

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