News National USS Lexington found in Coral Sea after 76 years

USS Lexington found in Coral Sea after 76 years

USS Lexington
A 76-year-old warship from the Battle of the Coral Sea has been found. Photo: Paul Allen
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The wreckage of a World War II warship that sunk more than 76 years ago has been discovered off Australia’s eastern coast.

The USS Lexington, also known as Lady Lex, was discovered on Sunday 3000 metres below the surface, resting on the floor of the Coral Sea.

The aircraft carrier – one of the first ever build in the US – was found 800 kilometres off Australia after it sunk with 35 aircraft on board during the Battle of the Coral Sea in May 1942.

More than 215 crewmen were reportedly killed on the Lexington during the battle, while 2735 others were rescued.

The discovery was made by a crew funded by billionaire and co-Microsoft founder Paul Allen, as part of his Research Vessel Petrel philanthropy.

Mr Allen congratulated his crew following the discovery and paid tribute to the “brave men that served on her”.

“(This is) to pay tribute to the USS Lexington and the brave men that served on her is an honour,” Mr Allen wrote on his website.

“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.”

Footage provided by Mr Allen’s expedition showed the carrier lying in three sections, with the main portion of the ship more than a kilometre from the bow and stern, and a concentration of aircrafts.

The warship is said to have been hit by multiple torpedoes and bombs before sinking.

The battle of the Coral Sea was fought between May 4 and May 8, and was a major naval battle between the Imperial Japanese Navy and forces from the US and Australia.

It was the first naval engagement in history where opposing ships never came in sight of each other and is often thought of as the battle that stop Japan’s advance during World War II.

Mr Allen’s 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).

USS Lexington
A Douglas TBD-1 Devastator aircraft found at the wreckage. Photo: Paul Allen