A research vessel called R/V Petrel has discovered, last month, the wreckage of an aircraft carrier of the United States Navy from the World War 2, at a depth of more than 5000 meters in the South Pacific, close to Solomon islands.
On October 25, 1942, the USS Hornet was severely damaged by the Japanese during the Santa Cruz island battle. The USS Hornet was carrying 2200 crew members, out of which 140 lost their lives.
The aircraft carrier sank the next day. The discovery of the USS Hornet carrier was announced by Vulcan, inc ( the company founded by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen ).
In order to find the USS Hornet, the expedition team used information from the archives of two United States warships who noticed the aircraft carrier days before it sunk. The expedition team established a search perimeter around the area where the USS Hornet was last seen.
Petrel has two probes that can be sent to explore oceans and seas at a depth of up to 5 kilometers. One of these robots was sent down to find the USS Hornet and it was found at a depth of 5000 meters.
The discovery of the USS Hornet represents a new success for Petrel. In the last few years it has discovered many other World War 2 sunken ships of the United States Navy, of the UK Navy, Italy and Japanese navy. In march of last year, Petrel also discovered the wreckage of the USS Lexington.
Robert Kraft, the man in charge of Vulcan’s exploration teams said the USS Hornet has been one of their main targets because its place in history as an aircraft carrier that witnessed many crucial moments.
The USS Hornet is famous for having launched the Doolittle raid on Tokyo and other points of interest in Japan in April of 1942, showing just four months after the Pearl Harbor attack that Japan was vulnerable from attacks launched by U.S. Navy. Two months later, the USS Hornet played a crucial role in the Midway Battle, helping the U.S. navy destroy four Japanese aircraft carriers. That decisive victory changed the fate of the Pacific war.
Although the USS Hornet received many decorations, the aircraft carrier spent only a short time on the water. After it was used at Guadalcanal, the USS Hornet was truck by Japanese bombers in the Santa Cruz island battle. The USS Hornet sank and the Japanese won the battle.
However, the price paid by the Japanese was very high: almost half of Japan’s air force were destroyed by the United States.