WWII Aircraft Carrier USS Lexington has been Found at the Bottom of the Coral Sea

first published on March 6, 2018 by

WWII aircraft carrier USS Lexington has been found at the bottom of the Coral Sea by billionaire philanthropist Paul Allen and his private research vessel Petrel. Located just east of Australia and under nearly two-miles of ocean, the venture released stunning underwater photos and video of “Lady Lex’s” final resting place.

Image of USS Lexington (CV-2) on March 4, 2018. via Paul Allen

After more than 75 years at the bottom of the ocean, the aircraft carrier USS Lexington (CV-2) has been discovered by Microsoft co-founder turned billionaire adventurer Paul Allen. Releasing a statement from his website,

“Wreckage from the USS Lexington was discovered by the expedition crew of Research Vessel (R/V) Petrel on March 4. The Lexington was found 3,000 meters (about two miles) below the surface, resting on the floor of the Coral Sea more than 500 miles off the eastern coast of Australia.”

Image of USS Lexington (CV-2) on March 4, 2018. via Paul Allen

Adding, “To pay tribute to the USS Lexington and the brave men that served on her is an honor,” he said. “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.”

USS Lexington (CV-2) Oct. 14, 1941. National Archives

The battle of the Coral Sea was a crucial turning point in the Pacific theater for the US and her allies. After its sweeping victories across the pacific in the wake of Pearl Harbor, the Japanese imperial navy had set its sights on choking Australia’s vital supply lines by capturing the Salomon island’s and Port Moresby on the island of New Guinea.

Image of USS Lexington (CV-2) on March 4, 2018. via Paul Allen

Now infamously known as the first naval battle in history in which the opposing enemies never came within sight of each other, aircraft from both sides would duke it out in the skies above the Coral Sea in early May of 1942. Though the Japanese would sink more allied ships during the engagement they were ultimately turned back, and the US Navy would clinch its first major strategic victory. The Lexington would be severely damaged during the battle – losing 216 of her crew in the ferocious fighting. She would later be scuttled by a friendly destroyer to keep her from falling into enemy hands, remaining hidden beneath the waves until now.