Naval historians aboard the research vessel Petrel have discovered another wreck of a Japanese aircraft carrier. The “Akagi” met a watery grave in the Battle of Midway in June 1942 and the casualty figures were 2,000 Japanese and 300 Americans. World War Two ended years ago but even now wrecks are being discovered on the seabed and they reveal the extent of destruction that is unleashed during wars.

WWII led to a massive loss of lives and valued possessions like aircraft carriers. Historians say four Japanese carriers were sunk during the battle and “Akagi” is one. It was discovered by Petrel and is lying at a depth of nearly 18,000 feet and more than 1,300 miles from Pearl Harbor.

The Guardian describes how the wreck was located. Experts aboard the research vessel Petrel carried out a review of high-frequency sonar images of the warship.

Based on its dimensions and location the researchers concluded that it had to be the carrier "Akagi." One of the high-frequency sonar images of the wreck site showed the relatively intact wreck lying on the seabed. It was upright on its keel, and the bow and the stern were visible. Also, portions of the badly damaged flight deck could be seen.

Memories of World War Two

The Japanese aircraft carrier “Akagi” was initially a 33,000-tonne heavy battlecruiser but converted to a carrier for the surprise attack on the US Pacific fleet at Pearl Harbor. Subsequently, it was deployed to eliminate the US carrier threat in the Pacific and engage in the Battle of Midway. This pertained to the invasion and occupation of the Midway Atoll.

US torpedo bombers failed to destroy the aircraft carriers "Kaga" and "Akagi" and finally the Americans used dive-bombers from USS Enterprise. The ships suffered damage and Japan torpedoed them.

The Guardian provides some information about the research vessel Petrel.

Its owner is the late Paul Allen, the billionaire co-founder of Microsoft. Activities of RV Petrel relate to locating sunken ships for which it has necessary onboard equipment. The crew works in coordination with the US Navy and other agencies around the world. Their efforts have helped to discover more than 30 vessels so far.

Robotics comes into play

According to the BBC, deep-sea explorers of the research vessel Petrel have located a couple of Japanese aircraft carriers that were sunk during World War Two.

The team took the help of robotics in the form of autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) fitted with sonar to pinpoint the locations of the "Kaga" and "Akagi." These are two Japanese carriers that were casualties of the Battle of Midway between the US and Japan in 1942. The former was discovered last week, followed by the latter. Seven ships were sunk in the battle and four of them belonged to Japan.

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