The crew of the R/V Petrel research vessel announced that they have located the wreck of the USS Hornet, a World War II aircraft carrier that sunk in October 1942 during the Battle of Santa Cruz Island. As shown in the video below, the wreck was discovered in late January nearly 17,700 feet below the surface on the floor of the South Pacific Ocean close to the Solomon Islands. 140 of the Hornet’s crew of almost 2,200 were lost in the ship’s final battle.
The expedition team aboard Petrel is part of a historic ship-finding project put together by Microsoft co-founder and aviation entrepreneur Paul Allen, who passed away in October 2018. “We’ve done a number of these explorations to try and find sunken warships,” Allen once said of the project. “We try to do these both as really exciting examples of underwater archeology and as tributes to the brave men who went down on these ships.”
The USS Hornet is best known for launching the Doolittle Raid and for its crew’s role in the Battle of Midway, for which its Torpedo Squadron 8 received a Presidential Unit Citation for extraordinary heroism. The carrier was commissioned on Oct. 20, 1941, and was in service for just over one year.