Ocean searchers find another US World War 2 wreck

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Ocean floor searches for United States warships sunk during World War Two have had more success.

The searches, funded by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, have located a number of famous ships over the past six months.

These include USS Indianapolis off Tinian, the carrier USS Lexington in the Coral Sea, and the USS Juneau in Iron Bottom Sound off Honiara in Solomon Islands.

The latest find is also in the Solomons – the light cruiser USS Helena which sank slowly after being hit by a Japanese torpedo on July 6th 1943 during the Battle of Kula Gulf.

More than 730 of the 900 crew survived, including 165 who drifted, either in or hanging on to the sides of liferafts for more than two nights, before reaching the shores of Vella Lavella, which was mostly in Japanese hands.

Protected by Solomon Islanders, two coastwatchhers and a pastor, they were eventually rescued by a flotilla of US Navy vessels on 16 July.

USS Helena, named after the capital of Montana, was one of the vessels damaged during the attack on Pearl Harbour.


SOURCE: RADIO NZ