Searchers find sunken aircraft carrier

Fate allowed the carrier Lexington to escape the destruction its sister ships suffered at Pearl Harbor.

She was at sea, ferrying fighter aircraft to Midway Island in December 1941.

Not long after, the Lexington was given orders to block any Japanese advances in the Coral Sea, which it did alongside the Yorktown.

In May 1942, the Lexington was badly damaged during the Battle of the Coral Sea, the first carrier battle in history, and it was sunk by a destroyer to prevent the inferno from being a beacon to Japanese vessels and war planes.

More than 2,000 surviving crew members watched the demise of the first U.S. aircraft carrier sunk at sea.

“She didn’t turn over. She is going down with her head up. Dear old Lex. A lady to the last,” one of “Lady Lex’s” officers is reported to have said at the time.

And that’s the last anyone saw of the Lexington.

Until yesterday.

The Lexington had turned the tide of the war in the Pacific by taking out two Japanese aircraft carriers before the crucial Battle of Midway.

The expedition to locate the ship was funded by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, whose teams had previously located the USS Indianapolis (August 2017), USS Ward (November 2017), USS Astoria (February 2015), Japanese battleship Musashi (March 2015) and the Italian WWII destroyer Artigliere (March 2017).

  • Wow – What a find!

    Thanks Bob.

  • TBH

    That is awesome! I’m intrigued on Paul Allen funding – I’m curious if this is a hobby of sorts to find these sunken war ships, or if there is a sort of government or other incentive that makes these expeditions a type of “investment” of his.

    Off to Google now – hoping it is a quick answer!

    • TBH

      Oh – the following link is embedded perfectly in Bob’s article and explains everything. It seems, at least on the surface, to appear that he is just doing these types of things for the greater good because he has more money than he will ever need. Thanks for the article!

    • Joseph

      Yep! Paul Allen does this on his own with his own custom built super-yacht that has been converted into a professional ocean research ship! He does oceanic science research around the world, and also hunts for lost wrecks on the side.