From September 8-12, 2023, a team led by the Ocean Exploration Trust aboard E/V Nautilus conducted in-depth archaeological assessments of three World War II aircraft carriers lost during the Battle of Midway. The assessments include the first visual survey of Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) Akagi, the first detailed views of USS Yorktown since it was first located 25 years ago, and a comprehensive survey of IJN Kaga. These historically significant wrecks were explored in their final resting places within Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument, the largest protected area in the US and one of the largest in the world.
Throughout the mission, the video surveys were streamed live via NautilusLive.org, allowing the public and those with personal connections to the Battle of Midway an opportunity to explore and honor this history and engage with the onboard expedition team. Archaeologists from Japan, the U.S., and over 100 experts around the world were able to connect to ship operations via telepresence technology, helping guide the mission and providing valuable real-time interpretations throughout the surveys. Each dive was launched and closed with protocol ceremonies to honor this place and all who lost their lives in ways that reflected their significance to Kānaka ʻOiwi (Native Hawaiian), Japanese, and US military families and communities.
You can read the full press release here.