US Navy carrier was found after 76 years | Eurasia Diary -

20 July, Saturday

US Navy carrier was found after 76 years

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On October 26, 1942, the USS Hornet was mortally wounded in a Japanese onslaught during the Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands. It carried 2,200 crew, 140 of whom were lost that day.

When the warship slipped beneath the waves early the next morning, it was the last time a human eye had gazed upon the Hornet's gray hull, untill now.


It had lain dormant on the murky ocean floor -- some three miles beneath the surface -- for more than 76 years.

The ship's discovery was announced Tuesday by Vulcan Inc., the company founded by the late Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, which owns the Petrel.

The researchers sent down one of the robots, which found the Hornet on its first dive mission.

The Hornet was famed for launching the Doolittle Raid against Tokyo and other Japanese sites in April 1942, showing just four months after the Pearl Harbor attack that the Japanese mainland was vulnerable to American air assaults. Two months later it played a pivotal role in the Battle of Midway, in which it helped sink four Japanese carriers.

"About half the Japanese aircraft engaged were shot down by greatly improved U.S. Navy anti-aircraft defenses," retired Rear Adm. Samuel Cox told CNN. "As a result, the Japanese carriers did not engage again in battle for almost another two years."

The USS Hornet (CV-8) was commissioned in 1941 and saw about a year of valiant service before sinking.


Cox told CNN the Navy's general rule is to keep shipwrecks untouched. He called the Hornet'swreckage "hallowed ground," with 140 sailors finding their final resting place there.


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