Japanese aircraft carrier Akagi found in Central Pacific

Japanese aircraft carrier Akagi found in Central Pacific

The Japanese aircraft carrier Akagi pictured in the months before the Pearl Harbor attack (Photo: National Museum of Naval Aviation)

The American research vessel Petrel has located the wreck of the Japanese World War II aircraft carrier Akagi, Petrel‘s crew confirmed on their vessel’s official Facebook page on Monday, October 21.

The announcement of the discovery comes days after Petrel’s crew had located Kaga, Akagi‘s sister ship, some 5,400 metres below the surface within the 1.5-million square kilometre Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument in the Central Pacific.

Both Akagi and Kaga were sunk along with the Japanese carriers Hiryu and Soryu in the June 1942 Battle of Midway, which many historians regard as one of the major turning points of World War II in the Pacific. These four carriers plus two others had participated in the earlier attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.

Akagi was found some 18 nautical miles from Kaga but no other details about the recently discovered wreck have been given.

Further, Petrel‘s crew have reported that, during its dive on Kaga, their remotely operated vehicle (ROV) suffered damage that could not be repaired on site, hence the absence of photographs and video of Akagi‘s wreck.

The research team have stated that they will return to Akagi‘s wreck site as well as the possible locations of the wreck sites of Hiryu and Soryu but have not disclosed any tentative dates of their return.

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