An expedition led by Paull Allen, co-founder of Microsoft, has discovered where rest the remains of the «USS Lexington», sunk in the battle of the Coral Sea
It ran on May 8, 1942 when, during the fight that took place in the Coral Sea(the “first battle of aircraft carriers in history”, as José Manuel Gutiérrez reveals in his book ” Guerra del Pacífico”), the combination of the impact of Several torpedoes and an explosion caused by the gases of the gasoline took to the bottom of the seas the aircraft carrier USS Lexington. The collapse of that colossus with its 35 airplanes was a real setback for the US Navy.
However, its destruction was not in vain, because the fierce fight that kept together with several vessels more against the Japanese prevented them from taking Port Moresby (in the vicinity of Australia ) and was a blow for the Japanese since the entry of States United in World War II . “This battle, which went unnoticed, was very important, because it was the first strategic failure of the Japanese in this war,” adds the Spanish expert in his work.
Since that May 8, the tomb of the ” USS Lexington ” (also known as the ” Lady Lex “) had been hidden under the darkness of the seabed. However, an expedition led by billionaire Paul Allen (the co-founder of Microsoft and promoter of the search) has reported the discovery of his remains at about 3,000 meters depth and about 800 kilometers from the Australian coast.
Specifically, the ship’s wreck appeared on radars last Sunday almost 76 years later. And it is that, the Second World War is still capable of surprising us today.
As Robert Krafr (director of underwater operations of the project) has revealed in a statement, discovering the wreck of this colossus always remained among its primary objectives. “The” Lexington “was on our list of priorities because it was one of the important ships that were lost during the Second World War,” he explained.
No wonder so, in addition to his heroic performance in the race, was born in 1928 as the second aircraft carrier of the United States Army. And all this, despite the fact that -in principle- it was designed as a battle cruiser.
The finding has been celebrated by the historic community near the vessel. “As the son of one of the survivors of the USS Lexington, I congratulate Paul Allen and the expedition of the research boat” Petrel “to find the” Lady Lex “, said Admiral Harry B. Harris, Chief of the Pacific of the USA, in the same statement.
However, this is not the only wreck found by the co-founder of Microsoft, whose expeditions have managed to discover several ships that were shipwrecked in the past. Some as famous as the ” USS Indianapolis ” (the same vessel that transported several pieces of one of the North American nuclear bombs) in August of 2017.
The “USS Lexington” was originally designed as a battle cruiser. However, in 1925 it was reconverted into an aircraft carrier when the United States Navy realized the importance of air support to confront the enemy at sea.
In 1928 he became the second aircraft carrier of the United States Army. The following news of this ship is during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. And it is that, he was lucky not to be bombarded by the Japanese when he was at sea that day.
During the battle of the Coral Sea, the ” Lexington ” was confronted by the ” USS Yorktown ” to three Japanese vessels in what is considered the first setback of the Japanese navy in its advance in New Guinea and Australia. The fight, in fact, is considered as crucial to contain the advance of Japan in the Pacific and to avoid a possible invasion of Australia.
The “Lexington” was hit by several Japanese torpedoes and bombs until a fire caused by a second explosion caused his evacuation to be ordered.
The “USS Phelps” gave him the coup de grace, which sank the ship in front of other American boats that were able to rescue 2,770 people from the ship, including the captain, who survived a battle in which 216 crew members died.
During the war, in addition to the Lexington, the Japanese fleet managed to sink the “USS Sims” and the “USS Neosho”, and caused damage to the “Yorktwon”. For their part, the Japanese lost the aircraft carrier “Shoho” and suffered serious damage in the “Shokaku”.
Source: ABC History