World: Crew hunts for fabled U.S. carrier in a graveyard for WWII ships - PressFrom - US

WorldCrew hunts for fabled U.S. carrier in a graveyard for WWII ships

00:20  12 february  2019
00:20  12 february  2019 Source:

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A ship graveyard or ship cemetery is a location where the hulls of scrapped ships are left to decay and disintegrate, or left in reserve. Such a practice is now less common due to waste regulations and so some dry docks where ships are broken

This is a list of aircraft carriers of the Second World War . Aircraft carriers serve as a seagoing airbases, equipped with a flight deck and facilities for carrying, arming, deploying and recovering aircraft.

The research vessel Petrel made history in 2017 when it discovered the wreck of the USS Indianapolis, which was sunk in 1945 by a Japanese submarine in one of America's worst naval disasters. Now, that same crew is focusing on the whereabouts of the USS Hornet, one of the most fabled carriers of the World War II, the ship that launched 1942's famous Doolittle bombing raid on Tokyo.

You might think looking for an aircraft carrier, something so big, would be a straightforward thing. But the South Pacific is a big ocean, and east of the Solomon Islands, it's about three miles deep.

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Aircraft carriers are warships that act as airbases for carrier -based aircraft. In the United States Navy, these consist of ships commissioned with hull classification symbols CV (aircraft carrier ), CVA

The United States Navy, United States Coast Guard, and United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) use a hull classification symbol

So, where to start looking?

This search begins in Ironbottom Sound, the infamous graveyard for ships and men around Guadalcanal, where some of the most intense and costly naval battles of the Second World War were fought. It's where the RV Petrel and her crew begin the hunt for a wreck that's been lost for 77 years.

The Hornet was engaged in the 1942 battle for control of the skies over Guadalcanal, where U.S. Marines were holding a crucial airstrip the Japanese desperately wanted back.

It was a new kind of sea war. Richard Nowatzki, who was 18 that day on the Hornet (he's 95 now), spoke to correspondent Mark Phillips about the attack on his ship: "I looked up, and there was a Japanese dive bomber on his way down with his tracer bullets coming out of his wings, right at me!

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The Staten Island boat graveyard is a marine scrapyard located in the Arthur Kill in Rossville, near the Fresh Kills Landfill on the northern shore of Staten Island, New York. The place has been recognized as an official dumping ground for old wrecked tugboats, barges and decommissioned ferries.

Sunken battleships are the wrecks of large capital ships built from the 1880 s to the mid 20th century that were either destroyed in battle, mined, deliberately destroyed in a weapons test, or scuttled.

"The two torpedoes that came in … it took that Hornet and shook it just like a dog with a bone. Then we start listing over to the right and no power – we stopped dead in the water."

The Hornet was finished. One hundred and forty of her crew were dead. The rest were ordered to abandon ship. The Japanese then sank her.

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Fabled WWII aircraft carrier discovered 77 years after it was sunk The USS Hornet is best known for launching the important Doolittle Raid in April of 1942 and its role in winning the Battle of Midway . Richard Nowatzki, 95 now, was an 18-year-old gunner on Hornet when enemy planes scored several hits, reports CBS News' Mark Phillips. "When they left, we were dead in the water," Nowatzki said. "They used armor piercing bombs, now when they come down, you hear 'em going through the decks … plink, plink, plink, plink … and then when they explode the whole ship shakes." With 140 of her crew already dead, the order was given to abandon ship.

An aircraft carrier is a warship that serves as a seagoing airbase, equipped with a full-length flight deck and facilities for carrying, arming, deploying, and recovering aircraft.

The US air force launched a bombardment against the Japanese supply convoy that was lying at anchor in the atoll. Most of the ships were sunk either at anchor or while trying to escape. The B-25 Mitchell, manufactured by North American Aviation and named for a pioneer of U . S . military aviation

It was tactical victory for the enemy, as the Hornet became another wartime tragedy, another lost grave.

The Petrel has come to try to find it. In 140 square miles of ocean, they're looking for the proverbial needle in a haystack.

But Rob Kraft and his team have done their homework. In a project funded by the late Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, who had a passion for maritime history, they've outfitted a state-of-the-art, deep-sea research vessel. They've researched records from other ships involved in the battle, and plotted where those ships thought they were. But in battle, records are often unreliable.

They even looked at records in the Japanese naval archives from the ships that sank the Hornet.

"So, the U.S. narrative and the Japanese Imperial navy, wartime navy logs, both point to the same rough place?" asked Phillips.

"Yeah, in close proximity, so that's a good clue," Kraft replied.

A good enough clue to go have a look. The Petrel dropped a torpedo-shaped underwater drone over the side. It's programmed to dive down – in this case more than three miles down – and to scan the bottom with sonar waves, looking for something that shouldn't naturally be there.

After about an hour and a half trip to the bottom, the probe starts its first survey. It's a tense time; only when the thing is retrieved and its data examined does the crew know if it's found anything.

The data shows mile after mile of empty seabed … until what looks like debris. Has it found something?

The scan shows something that looks suspiciously like a ship, but is it enough to warrant another dive? "I'm thinking about it, yeah," Kraft said.

He didn't think for long.  Only the Petrel's camera-laden, remotely operated sub can find out if it's a ship, or the ship.

It's not a dive machine being launched over the side, it's a time machine – things that go down through the water, and back into the past.

The search for the Hornet – three miles down and from 77 years ago –continues on "CBS This Morning" tomorrow.

Statue based on famous WWII 'kissing sailor' photo spray-painted with '#MeToo'.
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