‘Amazingly intact’ World War II aircraft carrier found in Pacific
Experts have detected a World War II US aircraft carrier that is “amazingly intact” in spite of drooping on the bottom of the Pacific for more than 60 years.
The ship is upright, listing only slightly and may even have an plane inside
The former ‘USS Independence’ is resting in 2,600 feet (800 meters) of water off California’s Farallon Islands with its hull and flight deck very well preserved and clearly visible, scientists with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said yesterday.
There also presents a plane in the hangar bay of the vessel, the top ship of its class of light aircraft carriers that were crucial during the American naval offensive in the Pacific.
“After 64 years in the sea, Independence sits on the bottom as if ready to launch its planes,” said James Delgado, chief scientist on the mission and maritime heritage director for NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries.
He added, “The ship was imposed to two atomic blasts after the war.”
“It is a reminder of the industrial power and skill of the ‘greatest generation’ that sent not only this ship, but their family and friends to war.”
The carrier is one of the deepest known shipwreck in the sanctuary, the NOAA said.
Independence worked in the central and western Pacific from November 1943 to August 1945 and later was one of more than 90 vessels assembled as a target fleet for atomic bomb tests in 1946 in the Marshall Islands.
Damaged by heat, shock waves and radiation, Independence survived the tests and returned to the United States.
It was docked in San Francisco until age caught up with her and she was dragged out to sea for destroying in January 1951.
Independence was known as part of a two-year NOAA mission to locate historic shipwrecks in the Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary and nearby waters.