Thursday, February 11, 2016

USS Lexington, Corpus Christi Texas

The USS Lexington, Corpus Christi Texas

The USS Lexington sits in Corpus Christi Bay. She is one of the first things that you notice as you enter the city across the Harbor Bridge.
Lady Lex is an Essex class aircraft carrier built during WW II. She was completed in only 14 months at the Bethlehem Steel Company in Quincy, Massachusetts during the post Pearl Harbor flurry to rearm the Pacific Fleet. Lexington was commissioned in February of 1943 and saw extensive service in battles across the Pacific.  Nicknamed the Blue Ghost because the Japanese Air Force thought they had sunk her and she reappeared,  the ship was awarded 11 battle stars for service in major engagements and a Presidential Citation for heroism in action against enemy Japanese forces.
The Lexington was decommissioned after the resolution of WW II, but in the early 1950's was updated and recommissioned, serving until 1991.
Decommissioned but still serving her country the USS Lexington Museum on the Bay is here to remind us of the sacrifices made in the name of our liberty.

WW II era SPD-3 Dauntless on the Hangar Deck

WW II era N3N Yellow Peril on the Hangar Deck

We arrived at the museum and spoke with the trolley driver, who is retired US Navy and served on the Lexington. He and Fred exchanged some military service stories as we enjoyed the sunny afternoon. We opted to walk up the ramp and entered on the Hanger deck where a former aircraft elevator now serves as the Museums ticketing area.
The Hanger deck houses exhibits of WW II era aircraft like the Yellow Peril flight trainer that reminds me of the crop dusters that most of them became in their later years.
There is also a 3D Mega Theater, a museum gift shop and a flight simulator. The food service are called the Mess Deck is located near the fantail.

F-14 Tomcat on the Flight Deck

F2H-2 Banshee on the Flight Deck
We headed upstairs, well up ladder to the flight deck.  It was a beautiful place to be on a Sunny day. The flight deck holds and impressive array of aircraft, an up-close look at the anti-aircraft guns and  a glimpse of the bridge. I loved seeing her flags flying in the breeze. Here we found the modern aircraft that we are used to seeing. Intruder, Tomcat, Phantom and Hornet were all represented.

Fred under the wing of an AE-6 Intruder

We could see the aircraft arresting gear and area for the launching catapult.  It is hard to imagine the controlled chaos it must be to launch an entire squadron of planes under battle conditions.

Fred was happy to point out the fire suppression equipment

Damage Control suits

The lower decks contain the crews quarters and living areas. The Medical and Dental offices are there as well as the Barber shop and a beautiful chapel.
There is an extensive Mess Hall exhibit as well as crew quarters that show sleeping and personal storage areas. We enjoyed looking at the scale model gallery that reminded me of all the models my brothers put together when they were young.

You can find more photos of the USS Lexington in our Flickr Album.

Visiting the Lexington was a great experience. We both recommend it. Only the Hanger Deck and Flight Deck are wheelchair accessible.

Lexington Museum on the Bay
2914 Shoreline Blvd
Corpus Christi, TX
1-800-LADY LEX 

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