World War II carrier “Lady Lex” found 2 miles under sea by Allen expedition

So, Paul Allen strikes again after finding the USS Indianapolis in the Pacific under 5500m of water (The ship that transported two key components of one of the bombs we later dropped on Japan) - this time he’s found the USS Lexington:

Bombed and torpedoed multiple times, the Lexington was still afloat. But when fires caused by the bombing reached the Lexington’s aircraft fuel stores and burned out of control, the ship had to be abandoned, and the destroyer USS Phelps was ordered to scuttle the ship with torpedoes. It took five to do the job because two torpedoes, including one located by the crew of the Petrel, were duds. The crew abandoned ship, but the Lexington went down with 35 aircraft aboard, settling to the bottom of the ocean two miles beneath the surface; 216 crewmembers died during the fight.

Images from the Argus 6000 ROV show the Lexington and some of its aircraft in amazingly good condition after 76 years (or at least good condition for a ship that was deliberately sunk with torpedoes). Grumman F4F Wildcat fighters bearing the “Felix the Cat” logo of the VF-3 Navy fighter squadron (now carried on by the Navy’s VF-31) were visible, as were Dauntless TBD Devastator dive bombers.

Some of the wreckage is in crazy good condition considering the depth, damage caused and the length of time its been on the bottom you can see the kill markers and the squadron mascot on the side of one of the wrecked planes:

Not a great video but shows some cool bits:

Full article link.

If you haven’t read about the USS Indianapolis I really would recommend you do - its a fascinating and tragic story and the discovery of the wreck being so deep and in such incredible condition made for some incredible photos.


Seen this yesterday and meant to post about it. Unreal how well things have been preserved.


Fantastic photos. Surprised no-one else has mentioned it but the USS Indianapolis story is recounted by a drunken Quint in the film Jaws, not entirely accurately but the truth is just as sad (delayed pick up resulting in far more deaths).