View Full Version : USS Lexington, Hornet Found

03-07-2018, 09:00 AM
World War II carrier “Lady Lex” found 2 miles under sea by Allen expedition
Scuttled after fire in first carrier v. carrier battle, Lexington rests out of human reach.
Sean Gallagher - 3/6/2018, 6:00 PM

Paul Allen, the co-founder of Microsoft, has put his money into many passion pursuits. Underwater archaeology—specifically, finding ships sunk during World War II—is one of the most prominent. Last August, Allen's research vessel Petrel discovered the wreckage of the USS Indianapolis, the cruiser that delivered components of the two nuclear bombs dropped on Japan to close the war. A 2015 Allen expedition on his personal yacht Octopus recovered a bell from the HMS Hood, the Royal Navy cruiser sunk by the German battleship Bismarck that led to the loss of over 1,400 men. The expedition also surveyed the wrecks of "Ironbottom Sound" off Guadalcanal—the site of massive losses by the Allied navies during the long battle for that island.

Now, the Petrel has located the USS Lexington—the aircraft carrier that, along with the USS Yorktown, fought the first-ever carrier duel with the Imperial Japanese Navy in the Battle of the Coral Sea.

The Petrel located the Lexington's wreck with a Hydroid Remus 6000 drone submersible, an autonomous underwater vehicle equipped for searching large areas of seabed and rated for operations at 6,000 meters (3.7 miles). With its side-scan sonar, the Remus 6000 is capable of mapping over 100 square kilometers per deployment. The Petrel's Remus is the only privately owned AUV of its type in the world—others are operated by various navies and research institutions. An Argus 6000 remotely operated submersible was used to inspect the wreck visually.

The damage dealt by the Lexington's and Yorktown's aircraft to the Japanese carrier Shōkaku, the decimation of the air wing of the carrier Zuikaku, and the sinking of the light carrier Shōhō would change the direction of the war, weakening Japan's naval air power just before the Battle of Midway. The battle also preempted a Japanese invasion of Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, which would have allowed Japan to attack eastern Australia.

Bombed and torpedoed multiple times, the Lexington was still afloat. But when fires caused by the bombing reached the Lexington's aircraft fuel stores and burned out of control, the ship had to be abandoned, and the destroyer USS Phelps was ordered to scuttle the ship with torpedoes. It took five to do the job because two torpedoes, including one located by the crew of the Petrel, were duds. The crew abandoned ship, but the Lexington went down with 35 aircraft aboard, settling to the bottom of the ocean two miles beneath the surface; 216 crewmembers died during the fight.

Images from the Argus 6000 ROV show the Lexington and some of its aircraft in amazingly good condition after 76 years (or at least good condition for a ship that was deliberately sunk with torpedoes). Grumman F4F Wildcat fighters bearing the "Felix the Cat" logo of the VF-3 Navy fighter squadron (now carried on by the Navy's VF-31) were visible, as were Douglas TBD Devastator dive bombers.

LINK (https://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2018/03/paul-allens-rv-petrel-finds-sunken-uss-lexington-2-miles-down-in-coral-sea/)

03-22-2018, 10:57 PM
It is in really good condition for being in Sea Water for so long, a pity it isn't in more accessible Waters.

04-19-2018, 12:00 AM
Now they need to find the good ol Indianapolis, maybe it's a shark nest now, the iorny

04-19-2018, 06:54 AM
It was found in 2017, Google will guide you. Lots of good pictures too.

Shari D CST
05-10-2018, 03:02 PM
Now they need to find the good ol Indianapolis, maybe it's a shark nest now, the iorny

It was noted in the very first part of the first paragraph of the story that this was already accomplished by the same individual. In fact, it was just done last year.

08-06-2018, 10:29 PM
Amazing video !!!

01-23-2019, 09:30 PM
Thanks for the great info! It's really a treasure to keep.

02-13-2019, 05:49 AM
Sunken aircraft carrier Hornet — best known for Doolittle Raid — located miles below the waves
By: J.D. Simkins   12 hours ago
An International Harvester aircraft tug can be seen as clear as day onboard the USS Hornet, which was sunk nearly 77 years ago. The wreckage was located late last month by the late Paul Allen's R/V Petrel expeditionary team. (R/V Petrel)
The research vessel Petrel crew members are no strangers to historic underwater archaeological discoveries, having located sunken World War II aircraft carriers, destroyers and cruisers scattered across the floor of the vast Pacific Ocean.

Originally championed by deceased Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen — a philanthropist who also owned the Seattle Seahawks — the Petrel crew found a new wreck about 3.3 miles below the South Pacific’s surface, the Yorktown-class flattop Hornet (CV-8).

Finding the carrier famous for launching the harrowing April 18, 1942, Doolittle bombing raid on Tokyo — the first American air raid on the Japanese homeland since entering the war ― was the Petrel’s first mission of 2019, one that was documented and can be viewed as part of a two-part series on CBS.

“We had the Hornet on our list of WWII warships that we wanted to locate because of its place in history as a capitol carrier that saw many pivotal moments in naval battles,” Robert Kraft, Vulcan’s director of subsea operations, said in a press release.

“Paul Allen was particularly interested in aircraft carriers so this was a discovery that honors his memory.”

Allen, who passed away on Oct. 15 in Seattle, helped blaze a trail for the crew’s previous finds, which included the Juneau, the Atlanta-class light cruiser famous for carrying all five Sullivan brothers, and the Indianapolis, the sunken Portland-class heavy cruiser that remains the Navy’s single greatest loss at sea.

Sunken ship of legendary Sullivan brothers discovered nearly 3 miles beneath the surface
Sunken ship of legendary Sullivan brothers discovered nearly 3 miles beneath the surface
A total of 687 men from the Atlanta-class light cruiser died in the attack, including all five Sullivan brothers.

Months after launching the Doolittle Raid and subsequently joining in a decisive naval victory at Midway, the Hornet sailed toward the hotly contested Solomon Islands — notably Guadalcanal — to provide air cover for U.S. ground forces mired in a seesaw campaign.

Learning that a large force of Imperial Japanese Navy ships were approaching, the Hornet and the aircraft carrier Enterprise maneuvered to attack.

On Oct. 26, 1942, the Battle of Santa Cruz Island began. Aircraft from both navies pounded opposing ships.

The Hornet came under a coordinated attack by Japanese dive bombers and torpedo planes. Within 10 minutes, the carrier was dead in the water, all power and communications disrupted.

An 18-year-old gunner on board the Hornet, Richard Nowatzski, looked on frantically as his flattop was struck by three bombs and two torpedoes.

“The two torpedoes that came in … it took that Hornet and shook it just like a dog with a bone," Nowatzski, now 95, told CBS News. “They used armor piercing bombs, now when they come down, you hear 'em going through the decks … plink, plink, plink, plink … and then when they explode the whole ship shakes. ... We stopped dead in the water."

Two bombers damaged by anti-aircraft fire then slammed into the flattop, one into the carrier’s island and the other into the its port side.
A smoke trail can be seen from a Japanese "Val," a type 99 shipboard bomber that struck the carrier Hornet's tower after being damaged by anti-aircraft fire just hours before the ship went under. Bursts of anti-aircraft fire fragmentation can be seen striking the water adjacent to the ship. (Naval History and Heritage Command)
Still afloat, the Hornet was being towed by the heavy cruiser Northampton until another wave of Japanese planes approached, one of which put a torpedo into the Hornet’s starboard side, causing a 14-degree list.

Over a 35-minute span, 11 more Japanese bombers flying in two waves attacked the Hornet.

Thirty-two minutes after the last bomb detonated on the carrier’s flight deck, Capt. Charles P. Mason gave the “abandon ship” order.

Then four more dive bombers swooped down, scoring a hit on Hornet’s forward hangar.

But the flattop still didn’t sink.

Two American warships fired 16 torpedoes to scuttle the carrier. It continued to float.

As enemy forces neared, they set Hornet ablaze with shell fire and hightailed it to the southeast to outrun Japanese scout planes dropping flares to signal the American retreat.

Two Japanese destroyers fired four more torpedoes at the Hornet on Oct. 27 and the carrier finally slipped under the surface, ferrying the bodies of 140 American sailors with it.

Nearly 77 years after the Hornet nuzzled into a watery grave, CBS shared the R/V Petrel’s crystal clear video with Nowatzki, who quickly noticed the gun he worked on.

“I used to stand on the right side of that gun,” he said. “That’s where my equipment was.”

With vivid imagery bringing on a flood of memories, the old sailor then cracked a smile.

“If you go down to my locker, there’s 40 bucks in it. You can have it!”

More photos from the R/V Petrel crew’s discovery of the Hornet can be seen at the LINK to NAVY TIMES (https://www.navytimes.com/news/your-navy/2019/02/12/sunken-aircraft-carrier-hornet-best-known-for-doolittle-raid-located-miles-below-the-waves/)