WATCH: WW II Aircraft Carrier That Launched Doolittle Raid Found 17,000 Feet Beneath South Pacific

By  //  February 15, 2019

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USS Hornet FOUND AFTER 76 YEARS UNDER THE SEA

WATCH: Late last month, the research vessel R/V Petrel found the World War II aircraft carrier’s wreckage more than 17,000 feet below the surface of the South Pacific, near the Solomon Islands. (CBS News video)

The USS Hornet, famous for launching Jimmy Doolittle’s raid on Japan during World War II, was sunk by enemy torpedos and bombs on October 26, 1942, during the Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands.

The 770-foot aircraft carrier carried 2,200 crew, 140 of whom perished that day.

Late last month, the research vessel R/V Petrel found the World War II aircraft carrier’s wreckage more than 17,000 feet below the surface of the South Pacific, near the Solomon Islands.

During World War II in the Pacific Theater, in addition to launching the Doolittle Raid on Tokyo, she participated in the Battle of Midway and the Buin-Faisi-Tonolai Raid.

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In the Solomon Islands campaign, she was involved in the capture and defense of Guadalcanal and the Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands where she was irreparably damaged by enemy torpedo and dive bombers.

Faced with an approaching Japanese surface force, Hornet was abandoned and later torpedoed and sunk by approaching Japanese destroyers.

Hornet was in service for a year and six days and was the last U.S. Nay fleet carrier ever sunk by enemy fire.

For these actions, she was awarded four service stars, a citation for the Doolittle Raid in 1942, and her Torpedo Squadron 8 received a Presidential Unit Citation for extraordinary heroism for the Battle of Midway.

Researchers aboard the R/V Petrel located the wreck of the Hornet in late January, resting on the sea floor in the southern Pacific at a depth of more than 17,000 feet. Remote cameras captured images of the ship’s deck and guns. (Navigea Ltd., R/V Petrel image)

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