Billionaire Paul Allen's deep sea exploration team has located the wreck of another American naval legend, the USS Helena, CL-50, in the depths of New Georgia Sound.
The Brooklyn-class light cruiser was active in the Pacific war right from the first moments. She took a torpedo at Pearl Harbor but quick and decisive action by her crew kept her afloat and allowed her to fight back on that awful day.
The Helena was an active participant in the terrible naval attrition of the Solomon Islands campaign, including defense of the first American offensive beachhead on Guadalcanal. Later she took three torpedoes and sank in the Battle of Kula Gulf. But before sinking, this 6-inch gunned cruiser was credited with sinking the Japanese heavy cruiser (8-inch guns) Furutaka as well as the famous and very historic destroyer Fubuki. The Helena was the only American 6-inch gunned cruiser to be lost in the war.
Allen's team has uncovered other famous American ships lost in the Pacific war. They include the heavy cruiser Indianapolis (CA-35) that transported part of the first atomic bomb actually used in warfare to Tinian, the aircraft carrier Lexington (CV-2) that participated in the historic Battle of the Coral Sea, and the anti-aircraft cruiser Juneau (CL-52) that went down with the five Sullivans brothers on board, also in the fighting around the Solomon Islands.