09:06 GMT +322 October 2019
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    USS Lexington after Japanese bombers target ship

    Billionaire Discovers Ruined US Aircraft Carrier from WWII Near Australia

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    Microsoft co-founder and professional sports franchise owner Paul Allen and an exploration crew have discovered a sunken US aircraft carrier from World War II months after ending a 72-year mystery about the location of another US Navy destroyer from the same time period.

    On August 19, the owner of the Seattle Seahawks and the Portland Trail Blazers announced that a team (not a football or basketball team) he had assembled had finally located the wreckage of the USS Indianapolis in the Philippine Sea. A Japanese submarine took down the Portland-class heavy cruiser and most of its 1,196 sailors. Out of the 317 people who escaped the sinking ship alive on July 30, 1945, 17 were still alive when the ship's remnants were found last fall.

    Allen's team and personal research vessel, the R/V Petrel, continued their exploration and discovered the USS Lexington on Monday about 500 miles off Australia's east coast.

    The ship was one of the first American aircraft carriers and one of the main targets of the Japanese sneak attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941, although the Lexington was at sea at the time of the attack and thus escaped the fate of most of the Pacific Fleet moored at the naval base. It was heavily damaged by Japanese carrier bombers after the Battle of the Coral Sea in May 1942 and scuttled by the US Navy to prevent its capture.

    "We've located the USS Lexington after she sank 76 years ago," Allen said in a statement Monday. "To pay tribute to the USS Lexington and the brave men that served on her is an honor. 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."

    Allen's R/V Petrel has now discovered the USS Lexington, the USS Indianapolis, the Japanese warship Musashi and the Italian battleship Artigliere, according to USNI News.

    aircraft carrier, US Navy, Australia
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