Wreckage of the "Lady Lex" Found

Raptor

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I don't have anything to add to this, I just thought it was cool that people are still looking for ship that were sunk so long ago and even cooler that they managed to find some (the same group has found others, which are listed at the end of the article).

Wreck of Aircraft Carrier USS Lexington Located in Coral Sea After 76 Years

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By The Editors - March 5, 2018
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.
“To pay tribute to the USS Lexington and the brave men that served on her is an honor,” said Paul Allen. “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.”
As one of the first U.S. aircraft carriers ever built, the Lexington became known as “Lady Lex” and went down with 35 aircraft on board.
Lexington was on our priority list because she was one of the capital ships that was lost during WWII,” said Robert Kraft, director of subsea operations for Mr. Allen. “Based on geography, time of year and other factors, I work with Paul Allen to determine what missions to pursue. We’ve been planning to locate the Lexington for about six months and it came together nicely.”
The USS Lexington was originally commissioned as a battlecruiser but was launched as an aircraft carrier in 1925. She took part in the Battle of the Coral Sea (May 4-8, 1942) along with the USS Yorktown against three Japanese carriers. This was the first carrier versus carrier battle in history and was the first time Japanese forces suffered a permanent setback in its advances on New Guinea and Australia. However, the U.S. lost the Lexington and 216 of its distinguished crew.
The Lexington had been hit by multiple torpedoes and bombs on May 8 but it was a secondary explosion causing uncontrolled fires that finally warranted the call to abandon ship. The USS Phelps delivered the final torpedoes that sank the crippled Lady Lex, the first aircraft carrier casualty in history. With other U.S. ships standing by, 2,770 crewmen and officers were rescued, including the captain and his dog Wags, the ships ever-present mascot.
During the Battle of the Coral Sea the Japanese navy sank USS Lexington (CV-2), USS Sims (DD-409), and USS Neosho (AO-23), and damaged the USS Yorktown. The Japanese lost one light carrier (Shōhō) and suffered significant damage to a fleet carrier (Shōkaku).
“As we look back on our Navy throughout its history, we see evidence of an incredible amount of heroism and sacrifice. The actions of Sailors from our past inspire us today,” said Sam Cox, Director of the Naval History and Heritage Command and retired U.S. Navy Rear Adm. “So many ships, so many battles, so many acts of valor help inform what we do now.”
The Battle of the Coral Sea was notable not only for stopping a Japanese advance but because it was the first naval engagement in history where opposing ships never came within sight of each other. This battle ushered in a new form of naval warfare via carrier-based airplanes. One month later, the U.S. Navy surprised Japanese forces at the Battle of Midway, and turned the tide of the war in the Pacific for good.
Based on some initial success with his M/Y Octopus, Allen acquired and retrofitted the 250-foot R/V Petrel with state-of-the-art subsea equipment capable of diving to 6,000 meters (or three and a half miles). Since its deployment in early 2017, the ship was active in several missions in the Philippine Sea before its transition to the Coral Sea off the Australian Coast.
Allen-led expeditions have also resulted in the discovery of 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). His team was also responsible for presentation to the British Navy in honor of its heroic service. Allen’s expedition team was permanently transferred to the newly acquired and retrofitted R/V Petrel in 2016 with a specific mission around research, exploration and survey of historic warships and other important artifacts.

 

DC

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There are in unidentified targets in Pearl Harbor. One is believed to be a mini sub that was able to shoot a few torps during the attack. There is a pic of torp trails that confirm this.
 

AWP

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Paul Allen's guys have found a number of historic warships over the years.

Fox's write up and some pictures. The F4F Wildcat is remarkable, you can even see the Felix the Cat logo of VF-3 (now VFA-31). That's Butch O'Hare's squadron at the time of his Medal of Honor flight. (This isn't his plane though)

USS Lexington discovered by billionaire Paul Allen's crew 76 years after WWII sinking

1520297650317.jpg
 

AWP

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Looking at the plane again, it already has 4 victory markings and you can see the panel leading to the .50 cals in the right wing. Unreal.
 

SaintKP

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This is nothing short of amazing, makes you really wonder what else is on the depths of the ocean floor that we haven't discovered yet.
 

Devildoc

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The Battle of Coral Sea was a tactical victory for Japan, a strategic victory for the allies. It really hammered home the importance of carriers, and refined tactics that would help the US be successful at Midway.

As for the Lex, they knew the exact lat/long of where she sank. I wonder why it took so long to find her.
 

Gunz

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Paul Allen's guys have found a number of historic warships over the years.

Fox's write up and some pictures. The F4F Wildcat is remarkable, you can even see the Felix the Cat logo of VF-3 (now VFA-31). That's Butch O'Hare's squadron at the time of his Medal of Honor flight. (This isn't his plane though)

USS Lexington discovered by billionaire Paul Allen's crew 76 years after WWII sinking

1520297650317.jpg


Stunning photo.

Thank god for guys like Allen who have the money and the time and the historical interest to do stuff like this.
 

AWP

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The Battle of Coral Sea was a tactical victory for Japan, a strategic victory for the allies. It really hammered home the importance of carriers, and refined tactics that would help the US be successful at Midway.

As for the Lex, they knew the exact lat/long of where she sank. I wonder why it took so long to find her.

I used to think the same thing, but then I read two books by Clive Cussler about his organization's search for missing ships, aircraft, etc.

Something sinks. The coords may not be the best, especially in battle. Things drift, even underwater, ships break up, sections sink at different rates, thermal conditions can hamper sonar, landmarks are lost or changed, many items have to be visually inspected (rocks are a huge culprit), items are obscured by sand so they appear smaller on sonar than expected, etc.

There's a famous case, I think the H-bomb at Palomares, where a new technique was used to minimize the search grid, but even then one can spend days or weeks "mowing the grass" while looking for an object.
 

Devildoc

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I used to think the same thing, but then I read two books by Clive Cussler about his organization's search for missing ships, aircraft, etc.

Something sinks. The coords may not be the best, especially in battle. Things drift, even underwater, ships break up, sections sink at different rates, thermal conditions can hamper sonar, landmarks are lost or changed, many items have to be visually inspected (rocks are a huge culprit), items are obscured by sand so they appear smaller on sonar than expected, etc.

There's a famous case, I think the H-bomb at Palomares, where a new technique was used to minimize the search grid, but even then one can spend days or weeks "mowing the grass" while looking for an object.

Yeah, that's all true. Plus it was at 10,000 feet depth.

They still never found the nuke jettisoned over Tybee Island.
 

AWP

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A close up of the Wildcat. You can barely make out a name which is speculated to be that of Noel Gayler. Typically you see a pilot's name on the left/ port side of the a/c, but this the right. Out of curiosity, I went looking for VF-3 photos of that era and the few a/c with a pilot's name had those on the right/ starboard side. Those are 4 of his 5 total kills before he went on to three Navy Crosses and untimately Director of the NSA and CINCPAC when the Vietnam POW's were released.

Unreal.

Paul G. Allen Expedition Discovers the Sunken USS Lexington and Her Aircraft

WildcatPAllenTwitterPage.jpg
 
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