An underwater search team led by the billionaire co-founder of Microsoft, Paul Allen, has discovered the wreckage of the USS Lexington, a 76-year-old World War II aircraft carrier sunk in the Coral Sea.
The Independent reports that the wreckage of the USS Lexington has been discovered in the Coral Sea by a team led by the co-founder of Microsoft, Paul Allen. The ship which was known as the “Lady Lex” was discovered 3,000 meters below the surface of the Coral Sea, 500 miles off the eastern coast of Australia. The team’s search vessel, the RV Petrel, took photos of the underwater aircraft carrier include aircraft that were extremely well preserved. Photos show that the aircraft had the five-pointed star insignia of the US Army Air Forces on the wings, along with the squadron’s “Felix the Cat” insignia.
We've located the USS Lexington after she sank 76 yrs ago. #RVPetrel found the WWII aircraft carrier & planes more than 3000m (~2mi) below Coral Sea near Australia. We remember her brave crew who helped secure 1st strategic US win in the Pacific Theater https://t.co/20ehjafD7d pic.twitter.com/HIvxNUDbsX
— Paul Allen (@PaulGAllen) March 5, 2018
The Lexington was sunk during the first ever battle between aircraft carriers during the Battle of the Coral Sea, which took place between May 4 and May 8, 1942. The battle took the lives of 200 crew members from the USS Lexington. The carrier was deliberately sunk by another U.S. warship after it was critically damaged by Japanese torpedos and bombs. 2,800 members of the ship’s crew were rescued before the ship was sunk.
More fm #LEXINGTON CV2. This is a Grumman F4F-3 #Wildcat fighter of VF-31 Fighter Squadron 31, the Tomcatters. Note 4 Japanese kills & squadron's Felix the Cat insignia. B&W shot is April 1942: both these planes went down w/Lex. F1 flown by LCDR John Thach; F13 by LT Ed O'Hare. pic.twitter.com/ApKHM6tnwi
— Chris Cavas (@CavasShips) March 5, 2018
In a blog post about the discovery, Paul Allen said, “To pay tribute to the USS Lexington and the brave men that served on her is an honor. As Americans, all of us owe a debt of gratitude to everyone who served and who continue to serve our country for their courage, persistence and sacrifice.”
Navy Admiral Harry Harris Jr., head of the US Pacific Command, commented on the discovery of the carrier saying, “As the son of a survivor of the USS Lexington, I offer my congratulations to Paul Allen and the expedition crew of Research Vessel (R/V) Petrel for locating the ‘Lady Lex,’ sunk nearly 76 years ago at the Battle of Coral Sea.” He continued, “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.”
President Donald Trump paid tribute to Veterans of the Battle of the Coral Sea at a 2017 event commemorating the seventy-fifth anniversary of the battle.