Searchers from vessel Petrel, owned by billionaire explorer Paul Allen have found the wreckage of the USS Lexington.
The aircraft carrier sunk 76 years ago near Australia.
The Lexington was critically damaged by Japanese forces during the battle of the Coral Sea on May 8, 1942.
“Lexington was on our priority list because she was one of the capital ships that was lost during WWII,” said Robert Kraft, director of subsea operations for Allen, in a statement.
One of the first US aircraft carriers ever built, the vessel dubbed “Lady Lex” was located at the bottom of the Coral Sea nearly two miles below the surface by the expedition crew of Research Vessel Petrel on Sunday, Allen said.
The Lexington was lost in May 1942 along with 216 of its crew and 35 aircraft during what is considered the first carrier battle in history — the Battle of the Coral Sea.
“The Battle of the Coral Sea was notable not only for stopping a Japanese advance but because it was the first naval engagement in history where opposing ships never came within sight of each other,” read the statement from Allen.
“To pay tribute to the USS Lexington and the brave men that served on her is an honor,” Allen said in a statement.
“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.”
Sources: Wyatt Olson, Military.com, CNN