Sunken World War II aircraft carrier found by deep-sea expedition

Update: Paul Allen passed away on October 15, 2018. The Microsoft co-founder and son of a World War II veteran, Allen supported a research team that spent years searching for shipwrecks associated with the war. His discoveries also include the U.S.S. Indianapolis and the world’s largest sunken battleship, the Musashi. David Mearns, a marine scientist who worked with Allen, shared the following today in an email to National Geographic: “Paul’s interest in marine exploration and shipwrecks was very personal, which grew in part from his father’s service during WWII. But in pursuing his passion and curiosity he also invited the world to join these exciting explorations through the computers he helped create. His important discoveries and illumination of naval history have ensured that the sacrifice of those who served is not forgotten.”The U.S.S. Lexington has finally been found, decades later and thousands of feet underwater.The crew of Research Vessel Petrel (R/V Petrel), the exploration ship of billionaire and Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, discovered the wreckage of the World War II-era aircraft carrier Monday. It was found about two miles below the surface of the Coral Sea and more than 500 miles off the eastern coast of Australia.The Lexington is one of the first aircraft carriers built by the U.S. It went down in 1942 with 216 crewmembers and 35 aircraft on board, and it’s finally been found.Wartime RelicsAllen is the son of a WWII veteran, and the R/V Petrel team had been planning to locate the Lexington for about six months after they were given coordinates for where the sunken ship might be. For this, they retrofitted their 250-foot vessel, originally deployed to the Philippine Sea in 2017, with subsea equipment that can reach depths up to three and a half miles. (Read: “How Microsoft Billionaire Found Largest Sunken Battleship“)

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