[ti:Ocean Explorers Discover Sunken Warships from World War II]
[00:00.04]Deep-sea explorers have reported finding two Japanese warships
[00:06.40]that sank during a major battle in World War II.
[00:12.52]Explorers and researchers used a robotic underwater vehicle
[00:18.10]to help with their search in the northern Pacific Ocean.
[00:23.92]The vehicle is equipped with sonar, which measures sound waves to create images.
[00:32.28]The team told The Associated Press (AP) it discovered a warship
[00:37.06]after examining sonar images collected from the vehicle on Sunday.
[00:44.12]The team said it appears the sunken ship is the Japanese aircraft carrier Akagi.
[00:52.60]The wreckage was found near Midway Atoll, an island about 2,100 kilometers northwest of Hawaii.
[01:04.16]A private research ship, the Petrel, is leading the exploration.
[01:10.88]A private American company, Vulcan Inc., is providing support.
[01:17.60]Vulcan was started by Paul Allen, the co-founder of Microsoft Corporation.
[01:24.76]Allen died last year.
[01:27.39]Rob Kraft is head of Vulcan's undersea operations.
[01:34.16]He told The Associated Press that based on the data collected,
[01:38.84]his team is sure they found the aircraft carrier.
[01:44.16]"It can be none other than Akagi," he said.
[01:49.44]Kraft added that the warship was sitting among a pile of wreckage
[01:54.54]and the surrounding ground was heavily affected by the ship hitting the seafloor.
[02:02.08]The Akagi was the second warship found in the area.
[02:07.24]Last week, the Petrel research team reported finding another Japanese aircraft carrier, the Kaga.
[02:16.36]Sonar images of the Kaga showed it was in a similar condition.
[02:22.80]The front of the carrier is thought to have hit the seafloor at a high rate of speed,
[02:28.28]creating a large crater and spreading debris in the area.
[02:34.88]During the battle, bombs struck the Kaga, causing a massive fire.
[02:40.36]Yet sonar images show that the ship stayed mostly together when it sank.
[02:48.64]Historians consider the Battle of Midway in 1942
[02:53.65]an important victory for the United States during World War II.
[03:00.00]American and Japanese aircraft carriers and warplanes
[03:04.47]fought the battle about 320 kilometers off Midway Atoll.
[03:11.60]At the time, the atoll was home to a U.S. military base
[03:16.17]that provided naval and air support against the Japanese.
[03:22.16]Japan's military had planned to capture Midway Atoll in a surprise attack.
[03:28.80]But U.S. forces gained possession of Japanese communications before the attack
[03:34.92]and were waiting when the forces arrived.
[03:38.96]More than 2,000 Japanese and 300 Americans died in the fighting.
[03:46.56]Seven ships, five Japanese and two American, sank during the battle.
[03:53.00]Until now, only one of the seven had been found.
[03:58.04]The crew of the Petrel is hoping to find all the lost ships.
[04:04.76]Robert Kraft said the research ship's efforts started with Paul Allen
[04:10.24]and his desire to honor his father's military service.
[04:15.68]But he says the project now extends way beyond that beginning.
[04:21.72]"We're honoring today's service members, it's about education
[04:26.77]and, you know, bringing history back to life for future generations," he said.
[04:35.64]Frank Thompson is a historian with the Naval History and Heritage Command in Washington, D.C.
[04:44.48]He also is part of the Petrel research team.
[04:49.64]"We read about the battles, we know what happened," Thompson told the AP.
[04:55.48]"But when you see these wrecks on the bottom of the ocean and everything,
[05:00.24]you kind of get a feel for what the real price is for war."
[05:06.48]He added: "You see the damage these things took,
[05:10.29]and it's humbling to watch some of the video of these vessels because they're war graves."
[05:18.68]I'm Bryan Lynn. 更多聽力請訪問51VOA.COM