Researchers discovered the wreck of the Imperial Japanese Navy carrier ‘IJN Kaga’ which sank at the Battle of Midway in June 1942. The wreck is located in the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument off the Midway Atoll. The warship was part of the six-fleet carrier that launched planes and was key to the attack at Pearl Harbor in 1941.
IJN Kaga, located 5,400 meters below the surface of the Central Pacific, was scuttled by the Japanese destroyers on 4 June 1942 to prevent it from falling into enemy hands, after being attacked by approximately 30 dive bombers and two torpedoes launched by the USS Nautilus, during the Battle of Midway.
Of the crew members onboard, 814 were killed at that battle. Another three Japanese fleet carriers – Akagi, Sōryū and Hiryū – were sunk during the battle.
The aircarft carrier was found by the crew of R/V Petrel, the lead ship in the ongoing expedition funded by late Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen to find ships and aircraft that were lost in World War II.
The crew aboard R/V Petrel spent several weeks surveying the massive area, documenting more than 500 square nautical miles, all within the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument.
This project is significantly different from previous missions as it required a level of investigation, analysis and survey of a carrier-based engagement initially separated by over 150nm, a total area covering thousands of square nautical miles. It was a major carrier-to-carrier battle that left its eerie evidence strewn for thousands of miles across the ocean floor. With each piece of debris and each ship we discover and identify, our intent is to honor history and those who served and paid the ultimate sacrifice for their countries,
…said Robert Kraft, director of subsea operations for Vulcan Inc.