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BANGKOK (AP) – A piece of prized World War II U.S. naval history, the wreckage of the aircraft carrier USS Lexington, which was sunk by the Japanese in a crucial sea battle, has been discovered by an expedition funded by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen.

The expedition team announced that the wreckage of the Lexington, crippled by the enemy and then scuttled on May 8, 1942, in the Battle of the Coral Sea, was found Sunday on the seabed in waters 3,000 meters (about 2 miles) deep, more than 800 kilometers (500 miles) off Australia’s east coast.

uss lexington Wreckage Of Famed US World War II Carrier Discovered

This handout photograph photo obtained March 5, 2018 courtesy of Paul G. Allen shows wreckage from the USS Lexington, a US aircraft carrier which sank during World War II, that has been found in the Coral Sea, a search team led by Microsoft co-founder Paul G. Allen announced March 5, 2018.
The wreckage was found March 4, 2018 by the team’s research vessel, the R/V Petrel, some 3,000 meters (two miles) below the surface more than 500 miles (800 kilometers) off the eastern coast of Australia. Remarkably preserved aircraft could be seen on the seabed bearing the five-pointed star insignia of the US Army Air Forces on their wings and fuselage. (Photo credit: Douglas Curran/AFP/Getty Images)

In addition to helping stop Japan’s maritime advance, the sea battle is famous for being the first in which the opposing ships did not come in sight of each other, carrying out their attacks with carrier-launched aircraft.

(Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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