WWII aircraft carrier USS Lexington found off the coast of Australia

Updated 2018-03-06 17:44:01 Xinhua

The sunken remains of a U.S. aircraft carrier that was lost during the battle of the Coral Sea 76 years ago, has been found 800 km off the northeast coast of Australia on Tuesday.

In May 1942, just months after U.S. forces were decimated in Pearl Harbor, Australia feared the threat of a Japanese invasion was imminent.

To save Australia and put a halt to the ever increasing Japanese advance, the Americans sent the USS Lexington and the USS Yorktown down under to fight in the famed- battle of the Coral Sea.

Although credited with staving off the Japanese threat, Lady Lex' suffered irreparable damage during the conflict and eventually succumb to multiple torpedos impacts, bombs and onboard fires.

Located by Paul Allen, the co-creator of the American software Firm Microsoft, the billionaire has recently turned his hand to deep ocean exploring and also managed to find the wreckage the USS Indianapolis last year.

In a statement he said he embarked on the search to pay tribute to the brave men that served.

"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."

A serving relative of one of the lost sailors took to social media to express his gratitude for the discovery.

"As the son of a survivor of the USS Lexington, I offer my congratulations to Paul Allen and the expedition crew of Research Vessel Petrel for locating the 'Lady Lex'," U.S. Pacific Commander Admiral Harry Harris said on Twitter.

"Our Navy's strength comes from those who have gone before. This is our heritage. Our Navy's strength comes from those who serve now."

Also discoverd at the scene of the wreckage were several aircraft including a number of Douglas TBD-1 Devastators and several Grumman F4F-3 Wildcats.

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