The wreck of the The Second World War The USS Hornet aircraft carrier (CV-8) was discovered off the Solomon Islands by a research organization set up by the late billionaire Paul Allen.
The carrier was located in late January by the crew of the research vessel Petrel resting on the soil of the South Pacific, according to a statement released Tuesday by the organization Allen's Vulcan. Vulcan oversees Allen's network of organizations and initiatives, including research conducted by R / V Petrel.
The researchers used information from the national and naval archives to find the ship, as well as reports of action from other ships involved in the fatal battle of the Santa Cruz Islands in 1942. L & # 039; Wreckage was found at a depth of nearly 17,500 feet.
"The positions and sightings of nine other US warships in the region have been plotted on a graph to generate the starting point of the search grid," Allen's organization said in a statement. . "In the case of Hornet, it was discovered during the first dive mission of the autonomous underwater vehicle of Petrel and confirmed by a video sequence of the remote-controlled vehicle."
Hornet is best known for his role in the famous Doolittle raid on Japan in April 1942. The aerial attack was conceived following Pearl Harbor, according to the same source. Naval History and Heritage Commandand was the first raid on the Japanese homeland by American planes. While none of the 16 B-25 bombers launched from Hornet reached the designated airstrip in China, the raid greatly boosted the morale of the United States.
The aircraft carrier was also involved in the decisive Battle of Midway in June 1942 when US naval forces defeated a Japanese fleet.
Hornet was sunk during the brutal battle of the Santa Cruz Islands, which took place from October 25 to 27, 1942. After incessant attacks by Japanese bombers and torpedo planes, the crew of Hornet was forced to abandon the ship, Allen said. The US Navy's attempts to defeat the aircraft carrier were unsuccessful, and four torpedoes were fired by two Japanese destroyers to sink the Hornet in the late evening on October 26th. On his crew of nearly 2,200, 111 sailors lost their lives in the battle.
USS Enterprise, another Yorktown-class carrier, suffered significant damage during the battle. "With the loss of Hornet and the extensive damage to Enterprise, the Battle of Santa Cruz was a Japanese victory, but at an extremely high cost," said Rear Admiral (Ret'd) Samuel Cox, Director of Command and Control. History and naval heritage, in a statement. "About half of the Japanese planes were shot down by greatly improved US Navy anti-aircraft defenses, and as a result, Japanese carriers were no longer fighting for nearly two years."
"Hornet was on our list of World War II warships that we wanted to locate because of its place in history as an aircraft carrier that has seen many decisive moments in naval battles," he said. said Robert Kraft, director of Vulcan's underwater operations. "Paul Allen was particularly interested in ships of historic and capital importance, so this mission and discovery is a tribute to his legacy."
Paul Allen, co-founder of Microsoft deceased October 2018 complications of non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
The research organization created by Allen has located a multitude of wrecks of historic military ships, including the wreckage of the ship. Hiei, one of the first Japanese battleships to be sunk by US forces during the Second World War. The group also found the wrecks of the USS Helena, the USS Lexington and the USS Juneau.
Vulcan's greatest discovery, however, took place in 2017, when Allen and his team found the long lost wreck of the USS Indianapolis in the Philippine Sea.
Researchers around the world are trying to locate WWII wreck sites. The wreckage of the American bomber B-24, for example, was discovered in Papua New Guinea, in a separate project. The wreckage of the plane was found in 2018, 74 years after its destruction by a violent fight against the Japanese forces.
Last summer, a team of scientists from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography of the University of California at San Diego and the University of Delaware situated the missing stern of the destroyer USS Abner Read, which was ripped off by a Japanese mine in the remote islands of the Aleutians.
Seventy-one lives were lost as a result of the August 18, 1943 incident, although the crew's exploits allowed the Abner Read to stay afloat. The sailors worked quickly to repair the damage and kept the watertightness of the main part of the Abner Read hull. Two nearby US ships towed the destroyer back to the port.
Also last year, a mystery of several decades over the fate of a ship that went missing during a WWII rescue mission was finally resolved.
The wreck of the Wold Empire, a tug of the Royal Navy, was discovered by the coastguards off Iceland. The ship sank on November 10, 1944 with the loss of its 16 crew members.
An extremely rare fighter jet, Spitfire, piloted by a pilot who later participated in the "Great Escape" was also recovered from an isolated Norwegian mountain last year.
Nicole Darrah from Fox News contributed to this article. Follow James Rogers on Twitter @jamesjrogers