USS Lexington wreck found in Coral Sea.

Discussion in 'War at Sea' started by Smudger Jnr, Mar 6, 2018.

  1. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin

    The aircraft carrier was scuttled after sustaining several torpedo hits during the Battle of the Coral Sea.
    I saw this on the BBC and thought you should see it:

    USS Lexington: Lost WW2 aircraft carrier found after 76 years - WW2 ship USS Lexington found after 76 years

    dbf, canuck, Swiper and 4 others like this.
  2. Oldman

    Oldman Very Senior Member

    Thanks for the post.
    Hope we get a documentery about the search in the near future
  3. KevinBattle

    KevinBattle Senior Member

    3,000 metres down and paintwork on the aircraft still good enough to read.
  4. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    Mr Allen's Twatter worth keeping an eye on at the mo I suspect.
    (For remarkable Lexington shots, and what motivated billionaires do with their cash)
    Paul Allen (@PaulGAllen) | Twitter
  5. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    An interesting historical discovery.

    Had the US Pacific Fleet carriers not being at sea at the time of the Pearl Harbor,Japanese expansion in the Pacific would have been difficult to contain.

    Many years ago there was the US documentary series,"Victory at Sea" on the BBC, which covered the Pacific naval clashes comprehensively....seems never to have been broadcast since.
  6. Dave55

    Dave55 Very Senior Member Patron

    Love "Victory at Sea". They are pretty loose with editing and accuracy but still wonderful to watch.
    They are all available on YouTube for free.

    Smudger Jnr likes this.
  7. A-58

    A-58 Not so senior Member

    This Wildcat is in remarkable condition. It's from the Lexington's air group that didn't make it off the flight deck before going down.


    Yes, containment would have equated to holding on as best you can until the Essex carriers and newer BBs and CAs started appearing in bulk numbers in 1943 or so. Then a lot of catch up would be played from that point on. Not sure how that would've affected the "Germany First" line of thought. Holding onto Australia, New Zealand, Hawaii and India would've taken a great deal of assets used in North Africa, Sicily and Italy. The war would've probably gone into '46 or '47 easily.

    Yes I know that "what if's" are frowned upon here in the WW2TTO (World War 2 Talk Theatre of Operations), but since the specter of US carriers littering the bottom of Pearl Harbor was briefly hit upon, I just had to speculate just a bit farther. Yes, I do feel better now.
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2018
  8. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    I think that the Western Allies realised by the end of 1942 that the limit of Japanese expansion had been reached.....the Achilles heel being the long supply and communication lines which the Japanese had created in overrunning territories.

    Then in early 1943, the overall plan for the path to victory over the Axis powers was agreed at Casablanca....victory over Germany would be the priority with the defeat of Japan to follow..

    Learning from the rise of Nazism and the myth generated by them that Germany was not defeated on the battlefield,but from back stabbing from within,the Allies declared a policy of unconditional surrender would be applied to both Axis powers with the establishing of democracy being the building block from their defeat.

    The fundamental reason for the policy of victory over Germany as a priority was determined by the Western powers as a means of liberating Europe first but above all to aid the Russians and relieve the pressure of the German campaign as far as possible on the Eastern Front.

    Incidentally,as regards the end of the war against Japan,apparently before the nuclear dimension came into being,the plan was that the Japanese mainland would have been invaded in January 1946 with a predicted Allied casualty figure of 1 million.
    A-58 likes this.
  9. Dave55

    Dave55 Very Senior Member Patron

    Too deep for the Java Sea scrap metal ghoals to get at it, hopefully.
  10. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin

    Hopefully you are correct in you assumption.
  11. A-58

    A-58 Not so senior Member

    Yes, I agree. At the time (mid to late 1942) the Japanese Empire was at the end of their rope and could not extend their holdings much farther. Guadalcanal was about as far as they could've made it, and they weren't able to keep their forces amply supplied there. The Aussies stopped them in New Guinea, so no more threat from that region was possible. Holding the line in eastern India stopped them there. Of course the Allied Command couldn't have possible realized that the Japanese were over extended at the time of the beginning of the Guadalcanal Campaign, just like they couldn't have imagined how far away the German effort on developing the A-bomb was compared to the Allied effort was. What most people don't realize, Fat Man and Little Boy had both Hitler's and Germany's name wrote all over them still in the early spring of 1945. Just my opinion of course.
  12. canuck

    canuck Token Colonial Patron

    Interesting. That is the first I've heard of that direction. Is it documented? It's certainly not my area of knowledge so that is a pure question, not a challenge.
  13. A-58

    A-58 Not so senior Member

    It's well covered over in WW2F someplace. Some of those people over there are pretty smart. Remember, it was "Germany First" all the way, including the products of the Manhattan Project. And those bombs were destined for the Europe and the Mighty 8th AF operating out of England with the new B-29s. B-17s and 24s could not carry the weight of the A-Bombs. If the war would've lasted in the ETO long enough, Berlin might had the honor of being the first city pounded by Little Boy. Maybe Dresden would've gotten Fat Man. Who knows how many would've followed, and how many A-Bombs would have been expended.
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2018
  14. A-58

    A-58 Not so senior Member

    Let's get back on track here gentlemen. Ladies too if DBF is on the air now.





    And after....

    The "Lady Lex", AKA CV-2 sitting on the bottom of the Coral Sea. Not too bad of shape eh?


    The destroyer USS Felps fired 5 torpedoes to scuttle the Lexington when it was realized that it could not be saved. Really they wanted to keep the IJN from capturing it as a war prize. That would've cancelled out all the "losing of face" over the Doolittle Raid eh? Anyway, two of the fish the Felps fired were duds. Here's one of them. The USN had big problems with torpedoes early in the war.


    More aircraft on the bottom.


    The killer hits that finished her off.

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  15. Dave55

    Dave55 Very Senior Member Patron

    The Aussies and ........ ? :)
  16. Dave55

    Dave55 Very Senior Member Patron

  17. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    The Lexington and Saratoga were at 33000 tons,the largest carriers that the USN possessed and as the RN capital ships owed their design features from the Great War....envisaged and contracts signed in the latter stages of the war and finally delivered in late 1927.Still the Lexington was only 15 years old when it was scuttled.Both carriers must have had refits to mod them as international tensions came about in the 1930s

    Digressing....... I do not think that the US had any plans for utilising atomic bombs against Germany,Japan was chosen because of the intransigent attitude of the Japanese military government,the anticipated bloodbath likely when invading the Japanese homeland linked with the obedience to the Emperor.There were overtures from certain of the Japanese leadership in the summer of 1945 which failed on the principle of unconditional surrender but the main point was that only the Emperor could decide the surrender of the Japanese.However the big problem which the Japanese had, and Germany experienced, which affected their ability to wage war in its latter stages was a distinct lack of oil plus the ramping up since December 1941 of the US war machine and its superior technology.......the days of superiority of such Japanese aircraft such as the Zero were long gone.

    As regards the overall plan for the air war in the Pacific and Europe theatres of operation,the US specially projected the B 29 and the B 32 back up as the bombers of choice to take on the Japanese mainland as soon as suitable territory could be overrun within range of Japanese mainland targets and airfields laid down.The B 29 and B 32 were never intended for deployment in Europe during the war....the verdict on the B 32 was that its performance fell short of that of the B 29 resulting in a short military use.

    The US government were alert to the fact that the whole of Europe could be overrun by Hitler.....I doubt if Hitler would have recognised Eire as a neutral country,he would have seized it citing protection.In order that the US could at least strike at Hitler in Europe,the Intercontinental Bomber was conceived in the form of the B 36 which if called upon for it's intended role might well have been too the end technology advances saw the introduction of the jet engine to assist its piston engined power plants when the aircraft entered service.
  18. canuck

    canuck Token Colonial Patron

    But obsolete before they were even built. Just as well or they would likely have found a grave at Pearl Harbor. It is an interesting evolution and somewhat impressive that the U.S. Navy was able to recognize the influence of new technology and make the correct decision to shift to aircraft carriers. Both the Lexington and Saratoga had a positive role to play in WW2 that the original battlecruiser's could never have met.
  19. A-58

    A-58 Not so senior Member

    Well, the US 32nd Infantry Division was sent in as well, but the Aussies were having a hell of a fight on their own on the Kokoda Trail at first.
  20. A-58

    A-58 Not so senior Member

    Roosevelt was interested in dropping the bomb on Germany, but the Manhattan Project was not that far along by the time Germany surrendered.

    Read on:

    Would the atomic bomb have been used against Germany?
    canuck likes this.

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