Paul Allen’s Petrel research ship finds out where USS Wasp’s WWII odyssey ended

Paul Allen’s Petrel research ship finds out where USS Wasp’s WWII odyssey ended

5:26pm, 13th March, 2019
One of the USS Wasp’s five-inch guns looms out of the murk of the Coral Sea. (Photo courtesy of Paul Allen’s R/V Petrel / Navigea) The USS Wasp, an aircraft carrier that saw service during World War II from Iceland to Guadalcanal, has been located lying 14,000 feet deep in the Coral Sea 77 years after its sinking. It’s the latest find chalked up to the R/V Petrel, a research vessel whose expeditions have been funded by the late Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen and his estate. The Petrel has been plying the waters of the Pacific Ocean and surrounding seas for years, to document the resting places of historic shipwrecks and conduct scientific studies. The Wasp was found on Jan. 14 with the aid of a sonar-equipped autonomous underwater vehicle and a camera-equipped remotely operated vehicle. The Wasp was commissioned in 1940 and began service on the Atlantic front, providing defensive fighter cover for U.S. Army planes landing in Iceland. It also played a support role in Operation Calendar and Operation Bowery, two U.S.-British campaign aimed at defending the island bastion of Malta against German and Italian air raids. When the Wasp accomplished its mission and headed back to the British Isles, Prime Minister Winston Churchill messaged his thanks for the aircraft carrier’s double duty. “Who said a wasp couldn’t sting twice?” he wrote. From Iceland to Guadalcanal, the played a pivotal role on multiple fronts during WWII. Here's just a little bit about the aircraft carrier's significance. — Vulcan Inc. (@VulcanInc) The ship’s final mission was to serve as an escort for the 7th Marine Regiment, which was heading to Guadalcanal with reinforcements for the pivotal battle there in 1942. On Sept. 15, 1942, four torpedoes from a Japanese submarine struck the Wasp and set the ship ablaze. Within minutes, the Wasp was engulfed in flames, but Capt. Forrest P. Sherman held off on abandoning ship until he was satisfied that no survivors were left aboard. Forty-five aircraft went down with the ship, and some of them show up clearly in the R/V Petrel’s video of the underwater wreck site. But most of the 2,248 men of the Wasp got off safely. Fewer than 200 men died, and 366 were wounded. For more about the USS Wasp and its discovery, check out and .
Paul Allen’s Petrel research vessel finds the USS Hornet, 77 years after sinking

Paul Allen’s Petrel research vessel finds the USS Hornet, 77 years after sinking

11:41am, 12th February, 2019
This 5-inch gun is part of the wreckage from the historic USS Hornet. (Photo courtesy of Paul G. Allen’s Vulcan Inc.) Chalk up another historic shipwreck discovery for the , the research vessel funded by the late Seattle billionaire Paul Allen: This time it’s the , the World War II aircraft carrier that was sunk by Japanese forces in 1942. The Hornet is best-known as the launching point for the , the first airborne attack on the Japanese home islands after Pearl Harbor and the United States’ entry into the war. Led by U.S. Army Lt. Col. Jimmy Doolittle, the raid in April 1942 provided a boost to American morale and put Japan on alert about our covert air capabilities. Two months later, the Hornet was one of three U.S. carriers that surprised and sunk four Japanese carriers during the tide-turning Battle of Midway. The Hornet was lost near the Solomon Islands in the South Pacific on Oct. 26, 1942, during the Battle of Santa Cruz. The carrier weathered a withering barrage from Japanese dive bombers and torpedo planes — but the crew eventually had to abandon ship, leaving the Hornet to its sinking. About 140 of the Hornet’s nearly 2,200 sailors and air crew members were lost.. “With the loss of Hornet and serious damage to Enterprise, the Battle of Santa Cruz was a Japanese victory, but at an extremely high cost,” retired Rear Adm. Samuel Cox, director of the U.S. Navy’s Naval History and Heritage Command, . “About half the Japanese aircraft engaged were shot down by greatly improved U.S. Navy anti-aircraft defenses. As a result, the Japanese carriers did not engage again in battle for almost another two years.” The Petrel took on the search for the Hornet as part of its mission to investigate scientific phenomena and historical mysteries in the South Pacific. The 250-foot research vessel’s previous shipwreck finds include the USS , the USS , the USS and the . The ship’s latest expedition took place in January,. “We had Hornet on our list of WWII warships that we wanted to locate because of its place in history as an aircraft carrier that saw many pivotal moments in naval battles,” said Robert Kraft, who heads the Petrel project as director of subsea operations for Vulcan. “Paul Allen was particularly interested in historically significant and capital ships, so this mission and discovery honor his legacy.” The Petrel’s 10-person expedition team zeroed in on the Hornet’s position by piecing together data from national and naval archives that included official deck logs and action reports from other ships engaged in the battle. Positions and sightings from nine other U.S. warships in the area were plotted on a chart to generate the starting point for the search grid. The discovery of the Hornet was made during the first dive mission of the Petrel’s autonomous underwater vehicle, at a depth of nearly 17,500 feet, and confirmed by video footage from the research ship’s remotely operated vehicle. , a 95-year-old California resident who was a gunner on the Hornet, and showed him video of the aft gun that he operated. “I used to stand on the right side of that gun, and that’s where my equipment was,” Nowatzki said. “If you go down to my locker, there’s 40 bucks in it. You can have it.” That might be tough: The precise location of the wreck is not being disclosed, to protect the underwater gravesite from being disturbed any further.
Paul Allen’s Petrel research vessel finds the USS Hornet, 76 years after sinking

Paul Allen’s Petrel research vessel finds the USS Hornet, 76 years after sinking

11:10am, 12th February, 2019
This 5-inch gun is part of the wreckage from the historic USS Hornet. (Photo courtesy of Paul G. Allen’s Vulcan Inc.) Chalk up another historic shipwreck discovery for the , the research vessel funded by the late Seattle billionaire Paul Allen: This time it’s the , the World War II aircraft carrier that was sunk by Japanese forces in 1943. The Hornet is best-known as the launching point for the , the first airborne attack on the Japanese home islands after Pearl Harbor and the United States’ entry into the war. Led by U.S. Army Lt. Col. Jimmy Doolittle, the raid in April 1942 provided a boost to American morale and put Japan on alert about our covert air capabilities. Two months later, the Hornet was one of three U.S. carriers that surprised and sunk four Japanese carriers during the tide-turning Battle of Midway. The Hornet was lost near the Solomon Islands in the South Pacific on Oct. 26, 1943, during the Battle of Santa Cruz. The carrier weathered a withering barrage from Japanese dive bombers and torpedo planes — but the crew eventually had to abandon ship, leaving the Hornet to its sinking. About 140 of the Hornet’s nearly 2,200 sailors and air crew members were lost.. “With the loss of Hornet and serious damage to Enterprise, the Battle of Santa Cruz was a Japanese victory, but at an extremely high cost,” retired Rear Adm. Samuel Cox, director of the U.S. Navy’s Naval History and Heritage Command, . “About half the Japanese aircraft engaged were shot down by greatly improved U.S. Navy anti-aircraft defenses. As a result, the Japanese carriers did not engage again in battle for almost another two years.” The Petrel took on the search for the Hornet as part of its mission to investigate scientific phenomena and historical mysteries in the South Pacific. The 250-foot research vessel’s previous shipwreck finds include the USS , the USS , the USS and the . The ship’s latest expedition took place in January,. “We had Hornet on our list of WWII warships that we wanted to locate because of its place in history as an aircraft carrier that saw many pivotal moments in naval battles,” said Robert Kraft, who heads the Petrel project as director of subsea operations for Vulcan. “Paul Allen was particularly interested in historically significant and capital ships, so this mission and discovery honor his legacy.” The Petrel’s 10-person expedition team zeroed in on the Hornet’s position by piecing together data from national and naval archives that included official deck logs and action reports from other ships engaged in the battle. Positions and sightings from nine other U.S. warships in the area were plotted on a chart to generate the starting point for the search grid. The discovery of the Hornet was made during the first dive mission of the Petrel’s autonomous underwater vehicle, at a depth of nearly 17,500 feet, and confirmed by video footage from the research ship’s remotely operated vehicle. CBS News caught up with Richard Nowatzki, a 95-year-old California resident who was a gunner on the Hornet, and showed him video of the aft gun that he operated. “I used to stand on the right side of that gun, and that’s where my equipment was,” Nowatzki told CBS. “If you go down to my locker, there’s 40 bucks in it. You can have it.” That might be tough: The precise location of the wreck is not being disclosed, to protect the underwater gravesite from being disturbed any further.
A perfect pump? This high-tech sports ball inflator finds early traction with MLS teams

A perfect pump? This high-tech sports ball inflator finds early traction with MLS teams

9:15am, 12th May, 2018
Former Sounders FC defender James Riley uses TorrX’s ball pump. (Photo via TorrX) TAYLOR’S TAKE ON THE WEEK IN SPORTS TECH: Inflating a soccer ball or football with the exact amount of air doesn’t seem like a huge deal. But whether it was the controversy that arose from “” or the damage an overinflated soccer ball can have on a teenager’s head, accurate gauge pressure is actually quite important. That’s why is finding early traction with its high-tech ball pump that has a built-in gauge and LED screen, making it easy to quickly inflate or deflate a ball to a precise pounds per square inch (PSI) measurement. Customers from around the world at all levels of soccer, from Major League Soccer to NCAA to leagues in Europe, are using the pump. The Seattle-area startup is focusing initially on soccer, but basketball, volleyball, rugby, and water polo teams have purchased its product. The company has validation from athletes like , a former Seattle Sounders FC defender who is building a youth soccer coaching program. “I have seen a lot of products come and go during my college and MLS career, but I really believe TorrX is the pump of the future because it is so accurate, easy to use, and durable,” he said in an email. Former U.S. Olympian and World Cup hero , who is now an assistant coach with the Santa Clara women’s soccer team, also vouched for the pump, particularly with . “I absolutely love my TorrX because it confirms that the weight of the ball will be age appropriate and absolutely spot on,” she told GeekWire. “As a coach, and parent, having the proper air pressure in the ball reassures me that the players and my kids will be safe. Anything we can do to help lower the number of concussions, the better. If the weight is right, as advocates for the game and its players, we can feel good sending our kids out to play. And at the end of the day, the experience on the field should have them leaving the field better and happier than when they got there.” Tom and (Photo via TorrX) , a veteran entrepreneur and City of Kirkland councilmember, came up with the idea for Torrx with his co-creator Sally Otten. “The TorrX checks a number of boxes for the user,” he said in an email. “First, it was designed to virtually eliminate the stresses that lead to needle breakage. In fact, this was the primary problem that seeded the effort to create the TorrX. Second, the TorrX enables easy access to a new level of accuracy in ball sports. Now, there is really little excuse for a ball that is under or over inflated. Coaches/referees/league or match management can now become much more specific about what constitutes a perfectly inflated ball for their sport and be sure the standard is easily adhered to.” The pump can inflate 50 soccer balls on one charge. It designed to get better over time, with algorithms that learn how to get the PSI more and more accurate with each use. The pump is currently available on but TorrX is exploring other sales channels. The company is bootstrapped and employs less than ten people in the Seattle region. Highlights from the week in sports tech Seattle Mariners pitcher James Paxton . Mobile alerts helped my colleague Kurt Schlosser , but he also relied on a $150 per month cable subscription. Perhaps the NBA’s idea will find traction. Speaking of the Mariners, the only way fans can watch next week’s game against Texas on May 16 will be via Facebook. The game won’t even be on TV. It’s part of Facebook inked with the MLB. Retired NBA star Chris Bosh showed up at the launch of NASA’s Mars InSight lander from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California — GeekWire space and science editor Alan Boyle . Fornite has become a cultural phenomenon. Now the video game is being blamed for keeping pitcher David Price off the field. The NBA and Intel Capital a new collaboration. Topgolf continues to stay innovative, with Lyft, which will have designated pick-up and drop-off zones at the high-tech golf driving range facilities. ESPN inked a deal with UFC , ESPN+. Former Ticketmaster CEO Nathan Hubbard , Rival. NFL rookie QB Sam Darnold to enhance film sessions. looks at how video and new tech is changing track and field. Can blockchain technology ? The inventor of the yellow first-down marker was into the National Inventors Hall of Fame. Thanks for tuning in, everyone! — Taylor Soper