BREAKING NEWS : Hank Aaron, baseball legend and former home run king, dies at 86 Full Story

Researchers discover Japanese carrier from the World War II Battle of Midway

A team of deep-sea explorers and historians have discovered a Japanese aircraft carrier that sank during the historic Battle of Midway in World War II.

Posted: Oct 22, 2019 5:10 PM
Updated: Oct 22, 2019 5:10 PM

A team of deep-sea explorers and historians have discovered a Japanese aircraft carrier that sank during the historic Battle of Midway in World War II.

The wreckage of Akagi, which was sunk on June 5, 1942, during the significant four-day naval battle that killed 3,057 Japanese and 307 Americans, was located on Sunday, Vulcan Inc. said in a press release.

Crew aboard the Research Vessel Petrel, which is owned and operated by Vulcan Inc., determined the ruins belonged to Akagi by taking sonar images identified by the vessel and matching them with the dimensions and location of the lost warship.

"Every shipwreck we find reminds us all of the ultimate sacrifice made by those who served their countries," said Robert Kraft, Vulcan Inc.'s director of undersea operations, in a press release. "Our team is truly honored to have discovered the Japanese Flagship Carrier, Akagi."

The ruins of Akagi were found in the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument, resting more than 17,000 feet below the surface of the Central Pacific ocean about 1,300 miles northwest of Pearl Harbor, the press release said.

The carrier was found by an Autonomous Underwater Vehicle, according to Vulcan. The vehicle uses a side-scan sonar which records a specific search area of the ocean floor. When the vehicle returns, the sonar data is analyzed for anomalies that could be debris or an actual wreck. Once located, the AUV is sent down again to do a high-frequency scan.

"It's been a privilege to work as part of this team during this expedition," said Frank Thompson, a historian with the Naval History and Heritage Command who was on the Petrel for the expedition. "I hope the discoveries we made shed new light on this pivotal battle and inspire others to study history."

Second wrecked ship found this week

This marks the second Japanese carrier from the Battle of Midway to be discovered in the past week.

The carrier Kaga discovered on October 16 was the first sunken Japanese aircraft carrier to ever be found. Kaga and Akagi are two of four Japanese fleet carriers that sunk during the battle.

"Unlike land battles, war at sea leaves no traces on the surface," Thompson said. "The efforts made by the Vulcan team aboard Petrel in finding the wrecks of Kaga and Akagi will give historians a new perspective of one of World War II's pivotal battles."

The Battle of Midway took place six months after Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor. After the attack, the Imperial Japanese Navy planned to invade and capture Midway Island by luring American aircraft carriers into an ambush.

However, US cryptographers were able to intercept Japanese communications about the strike and determine when and where the Japanese were planning to attack. The US Navy was waiting for the Japanese when they arrived.

On June 4, US torpedo bombers attacked the Japanese fleet, which included four carriers, the Akagi, the Hiryu, the Kaga, and the Soryu. The initial wave of torpedo bombers was nearly wiped out, but the attack drew Japanese fighters away from the carriers.

A second wave of American dive bombers from the USS Enterprise and USS Yorktown attacked the fleet, fatally damaging the Akagi, Kaga and Soryu. A third attack caught the Hiryu and inflicted major damage. The four carriers were eventually scuttled by Japanese destroyers.

The US lost one carrier, the USS Yorktown, in the battle. According to US Navy's Naval History and Heritage Command, the four Japanese carriers that sank participated in the attack on Pearl Harbor. The Japanese lost 100 trained pilots at Midway, who could not be replaced.

"In a larger strategic sense, the Japanese offensive in the Pacific was derailed and their plans to advance on New Caledonia, Fiji, and Samoa postponed. The balance of sea power in the Pacific had begun to shift," according to the naval history command's account of the battle.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 601937

Reported Deaths: 9593
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion831111322
Lake44972678
Allen32498545
Hamilton29039315
St. Joseph27133380
Elkhart24291343
Vanderburgh19160246
Tippecanoe17799130
Johnson14871292
Porter14631167
Hendricks14188247
Madison10851219
Vigo10636178
Clark10520137
Monroe9299110
Delaware9055134
LaPorte8972160
Howard8134142
Kosciusko800382
Warrick665197
Hancock6575103
Bartholomew637999
Floyd6322109
Wayne6076161
Grant5937113
Dubois552578
Boone544967
Morgan530594
Henry503464
Marshall499884
Cass478663
Dearborn470745
Noble468357
Jackson420747
Shelby410781
Lawrence387478
Clinton370642
Gibson365559
DeKalb344264
Montgomery340754
Harrison340544
Knox333139
Miami317344
Steuben311545
Whitley301725
Wabash299747
Adams299035
Ripley296545
Putnam292049
Huntington288659
Jasper287634
White270340
Daviess266073
Jefferson257938
Fayette245148
Decatur244883
Greene238162
Posey236927
Wells233350
LaGrange226361
Scott221838
Clay220932
Randolph212148
Jennings195836
Sullivan190833
Spencer188019
Fountain182127
Washington182022
Starke174443
Jay166322
Owen162837
Fulton162330
Orange156333
Carroll155415
Rush153318
Perry151227
Vermillion147334
Franklin146933
Tipton130932
Parke13018
Pike115626
Blackford110522
Pulaski96137
Newton90521
Brown86833
Benton85910
Crawford7839
Martin72313
Warren6757
Switzerland6455
Union6227
Ohio4787
Unassigned0375

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 849704

Reported Deaths: 10518
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin100046706
Cuyahoga845231068
Hamilton63092447
Montgomery42660405
Summit34405754
Lucas31041611
Butler30546229
Stark25443429
Warren19436140
Lorain18767223
Mahoning17163337
Lake15882153
Clermont15697110
Delaware1422678
Licking13067137
Trumbull12680313
Fairfield1262180
Greene11915136
Medina11439167
Clark10802265
Wood10230158
Allen9774126
Portage9163107
Miami907373
Richland9035117
Marion7420113
Tuscarawas7280179
Columbiana7263124
Pickaway719550
Wayne6954169
Muskingum690741
Erie6090127
Hancock547590
Ross543487
Scioto533664
Geauga501155
Darke465591
Ashtabula449373
Lawrence447053
Union444928
Sandusky433062
Mercer432088
Huron423541
Seneca423465
Auglaize419662
Shelby419421
Jefferson415469
Belmont411240
Washington383340
Athens37379
Putnam372674
Madison349929
Knox347922
Ashland342538
Fulton335243
Defiance327782
Crawford319472
Preble318437
Brown307121
Logan304132
Ottawa289243
Clinton286643
Williams275866
Highland271818
Jackson261345
Guernsey249825
Champaign249328
Fayette234429
Morrow23014
Perry228318
Holmes222864
Henry216849
Hardin210133
Coshocton203521
Van Wert200545
Gallia194726
Wyandot193851
Pike172417
Adams172015
Hocking169824
Carroll153216
Paulding143221
Noble119940
Meigs106823
Monroe100331
Harrison87821
Morgan82229
Vinton68913
Unassigned00
Fort Wayne
Cloudy
26° wxIcon
Hi: 27° Lo: 26°
Feels Like: 16°
Angola
Cloudy
23° wxIcon
Hi: 24° Lo: 23°
Feels Like: 11°
Huntington
Cloudy
25° wxIcon
Hi: 27° Lo: 25°
Feels Like: 15°
Fort Wayne
Cloudy
26° wxIcon
Hi: 28° Lo: 27°
Feels Like: 16°
Lima
Cloudy
29° wxIcon
Hi: 30° Lo: 28°
Feels Like: 18°
Colder Friday
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events