The wreckage of a US aircraft carrier credited with helping save Australia from possible Japanese invasion during World War II has been found off the Queensland coast.
In May 1942, the USS Lexington, along with 216 of its crew and 35 aircraft, was lost during the Battle of the Coral Sea.
Seventy-six years later, a search led by US billionaire Paul Allen has now located the wreckage around 800 kilometres off the coast of Queensland.
“To pay tribute to the USS Lexington and the brave men that served on her is an honour,” Mr Allen said in a statement.
“As Americans, all of us owe a debt of gratitude to everyone who served and who continue to serve our country for their courage, persistence and sacrifice.”
Mr Allen, who co-founded Microsoft with Bill Gates, has invested heavily in under-sea exploration.
His research vessel has discovered several other wrecks including that of another warship, the USS Indianapolis, last year.
The USS Lexington, nicknamed “Lady Lex”, was originally designed as a battlecruiser but was converted into an early aircraft carrier for the US Navy.
Lady Lex took part in the Battle of the Coral Sea along with the USS Yorktown, and was credited with helping stop the Japanese advance in the Pacific during World War II.
Before the USS Lexington went down, Japan had just attacked the US battleship fleet at Pearl Harbour, and it was feared an invasion of Australia was imminent.
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