The late Paul Allen’s research team announced they found the wreckage of the World War II-era aircraft carrier USS Wasp (CV-7) in the Coral Sea.
The team aboard R/V Petrel found the Wasp wreck nearly 14,000 feet below the sea’s surface. Petrel is a research and exploration vessel used by Allen’s researchers to locate historically significant shipwrecks and explore underwater ecosystems. Wasp was found in January, but the discovery was not announced until today.
On September 15, 1942, the carrier was hit by three Japanese torpedoes, according to the U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command.
Wasp was supporting the effort to reinforce U.S. forces fighting on Guadalcanal when it was hit by the torpedoes. The carrier couldn’t be saved and was scuttled by USS Lansdowne (DD-486), according to the History and Heritage Command.
Miraculously, the vast majority of Wasp’s crew survived. Five nearby destroyers, including Lansdowne, were able to save 171 officers and 1,798 enlisted men, while 26 officers and 167 men were killed, according to the History and Heritage Command.
During the past year, researchers aboard Petrel have located numerous World War II-era wrecks. Since last March, the team has found the wreckage of carrier USS Lexington (CV-2), cruisers USS Juneau (CL-52) and USS Helena (CL-50), Japanese ship IJN Hiei, and USS Hornet (CV-8).