The awe-inspiriting video taken of the USS Lexington at the bottom of the Coral Sea shows just how well this aircraft carrier has weathered 76 years in its watery grave. On March 4, 2018, the research vessel, (R/V) Petrel, which belongs to co-founder of Microsoft Paul G. Allen, discovered the Lady Lex about 500 miles off Australia’s eastern coast.
One of the first things observed was just how “remarkably well-preserved” the USS Lexington is after sitting two-miles below the surface of the ocean for all these years, reports Fox News. The video taken of the Lady Lex shows details that you might not expect to see in a shipwreck sitting at the bottom of the sea.
It was May 8, 1942, when Japanese torpedoes and bombs crippled the USS Lexington, an aircraft carrier with almost 3,000 crew members on board. Nearby U.S. ships were able to rescue 2,700 of the carrier’s sailors, but 200 never made it off that ship after they were killed in the battle.
The ship was evacuated and once all living souls were safely on board other ships, the USS Phelps torpedoed Lady Lex to keep the aircraft carrier from falling into enemy hands. In the video taken from the ship’s two-mile-deep grave, there is no mistaking the nameplate of the USS Lexington. This leaves no doubt of the name of this newly discovered vessel.
We've located the USS Lexington after she sank 76 yrs ago. #RVPetrel found the WWII aircraft carrier & planes more than 3000m (~2mi) below Coral Sea near Australia. We remember her brave crew who helped secure 1st strategic US win in the Pacific Theater https://t.co/20ehjafD7d pic.twitter.com/HIvxNUDbsX— Paul Allen (@PaulGAllen) March 5, 2018
This discovery brought pride to the U.S. military. Commander of U.S. Pacific Command Adm. Harry B. Harris Jr. told Fox News, how grateful he was for this find.
“We honor the valor and sacrifice of the Lady Lex’s sailors — all, all those Americans who fought in World War II — by continuing to secure the freedoms they won for all of us.”
Harris is especially invested in this discovery as his father was one of the sailors who safely made it off the USS Lexington all those decades ago. Harris was in Australia this week when the Lady Lex was discovered. He said he was in the land down under “to meet with my counterparts and reinforce our amazing alliance.”
Looking back: #Carrier USS LEXINGTON CV 2, begun as a battlecruiser, initially designated CV -- Cruiser, Heavier Than Air -- as a member of the Scouting Force, originally armed with 8-inch guns. Sunk at Battle of the #Coral Sea on 8 May 1942. A great name. https://t.co/gc2OhaLopE pic.twitter.com/Vfa3NE72FK— Chris Cavas (@CavasShips) March 5, 2018
His position as Commander of the U.S. Pacific Command entails overseeing 370,000 military personnel. He is also responsible for 100 million square miles, monitoring threats in this area – “which is half the Earth’s surface,” reports Fox News.
“Alongside our allies, friends, and partners, bound together by shared values, the United States is committed to maintaining a free and open Indo-Pacific, which has brought security and economic prosperity to all who live in this critical region.”
CBS News refers to the discovery of the Lady Lex as a “piece of prized World War II U.S. Naval history.” The USS Lexington was a major player in WWII with being credited with “helping stop Japan’s maritime advance,” reports CBS.
The Lady Lex is famous for being the first vessel to fight in a war without “opposing ships” coming in sight of each other as they carried out the battle with attacks from carrier-launched aircraft. The planes arrived over the heads of the enemy before the ship was ever spotted.