• Morgan Sellars

WWII aircraft carrier wreck site discovered

Seventy-six years ago, a WWII aircraft carrier, the USS Hornet, was sunk during the Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands, which was fought from October 25 - October 27, 1942. Over 100 of the 2,200 crewmen on the carrier were lost as the crew was forced to abandon ship after an attack from Japanese bombers and torpedo planes.

Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen set up a research operation which sent out a research vessel called the R/V Petrel. On the first dive mission, in January 2019, one of the two robots was sent out and found the aircraft carrier almost three miles underwater in the South Pacific, near the Solomon Islands.

Fox News reports, "Hornet was sunk during the brutal battle of the Santa Cruz Islands that raged from Oct. 25 to Oct. 27, 1942. After enduring relentless attacks from Japanese bombers and torpedo planes, Hornet’s crew was forced to abandon ship, Allen’s organization noted. Attempts to scuttle the carrier by the U.S. Navy were unsuccessful and it took four torpedoes launch by two Japanese destroyers to finally sink Hornet in the late evening of Oct. 26. Out of her crew of almost 2,200, 111 sailors lost their lives in the battle."

According to CNN, "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."

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