The USS Lexington, an aircraft carrier sunk by the Japanese during the Battle of the Coral Sea in World War II, has recently been rediscovered off the coast of Australia. It was found by a team of explorers led by billionaire and Microsoft co-founder, Paul Allen.
"To pay tribute to the USS Lexington and the brave men that served on her is an honor," said Allen on his web page. "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."
Allen also explained that he undertakes these kinds of ventures, where he finds and preserves artifacts from WWII, as a way to honor his father, who proudly served in America's war effort during that era.
The news was also significant to another father-son relationship, as the current commander of the U.S. Pacific fleet is the son of a survivor from the Lexington.
"As the son of a survivor of the USS Lexington, I offer my congratulations to @PaulGAllen and the expedition crew of Research Vessel (R/V) Petrel for locating the ‘Lady Lex,’ sunk nearly 76 years ago at the Battle of the Coral Sea," said Admiral Harry B. Harris Jr. "We honor the valor and sacrifice of the Lady Lex’s Sailors — all those Americans who fought in #WorldWarII — by continuing to secure the freedoms they won for all of us."
Harris also linked history to current U.S. interests in the Pacific region, which has seen some aggressive posturing by the Chinese navy in waters claimed by several other nations over the last few years. United States naval carriers are a strong symbol of America's stabilizing presence in the area.
"Alongside our allies, friends and partners, bound together by shared values, the United States is committed to maintaining a free and open Indo-Pacific, which has brought security and economic prosperity to all who live in this critical region," said Harris while visiting Australia.
The wreckage was first discovered by the expedition crew of Research Vessel (R/V) Petrel. The carrier, which was dubbed the "Lady Lex," had been lost for 76 years. Although 216 crew members and 35 aircraft were lost in the event, over 2,000 crew members managed to survive.
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