Wreck of World War II car­rier dis­cov­ered

The Charlotte Observer (Sunday) - - News -

A re­search ves­sel funded by the late Seat­tle bil­lion­aire Paul Allen has dis­cov­ered the wreck­age of an Amer­i­can air­craft car­rier sunk in the South Pa­cific dur­ing World War II. It is the lat­est in an on­go­ing ef­fort to dis­cover sunken ves­sels.

Allen’s Vul­can Inc. an­nounced this week that an au­ton­o­mous sub­ma­rine sent by the crew of the re­search ves­sel Pe­trel found the USS Hor­net nearly 17,500 feet deep near the Solomon Is­lands.

The Hor­net was best known for its part in the Doolit­tle Raid in April 1942, the first air at­tack on Ja­pan. It also par­tic­i­pated that June in the de­ci­sive Bat­tle of Mid­way, which helped turn the tide of the war.

The Hor­net suf­fered se­vere dam­age from Ja­pa­nese dive-bombers and tor­pedo planes dur­ing the Bat­tle of Santa Cruz Is­land in Oc­to­ber 1943, and U.S. ships then un­suc­cess­fully at­tempted to sink it be­cause it was be­yond sav­ing. The Hor­net fi­nally went down when two Ja­pa­nese de­stroy­ers fired tor­pe­does the next night.

Most of the crew of 2,170 men had aban­doned the ship by the time it sank, but 111 were killed.

The Vul­can pro­ject has lo­cated about 20 ves­sels to date. Allen, who co­founded Mi­crosoft will Bill Gates, died Oct. 15 in Seat­tle from complications of non-Hodgkin’s lym­phoma.

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