During the days of WWII, no other Essex Class carrier broke more records than the USS Lexington. Since its decommission in 1991, the exalted U.S. Navy aircraft carrier has been housed at Corpus Christi Beach and serves as a naval aviation museum, educational facility, and popular tourist attraction. Whether you are a passionate history buff or looking for something fun to do in the area, a visit to the USS Lexington in Corpus Cristi, TX is an absolute must!
If you love your visit to the USS Lexington in Corpus Cristi, TX, then you will also enjoy the museums we have listed on our Rockport Local Area Guide!
History of the USS Lexington
Also recognized as the “Blue Ghost,” the USS Lexington was officially commissioned in 1943. The Essex-class carrier was originally named USS CABOT, but received a new title in honor of its predecessor. The original USS Lexington, CV-2 was sunk in the Coral Sea during the time of the new Lexington’s construction.
The ship began its accomplished career in Pearl Harbor when it joined the Fifth Fleet. During the war, the carrier participated in almost every major operation in the Pacific Theater. Altogether, it sunk and destroyed more than 300,000 tons of enemy cargo, shot down 15 planes, destroyed 372 enemy aircraft with her own planes, and pulverized more than 475 on the ground. The Japanese reported they had sunk the USS Lexington at least 4 times, but after each attempt, she returned to fight again! This earned her the nickname “Blue Ghost.”
Once the war ended, the USS Lexington served short terms in San Diego and Pensacola before officially retiring in Corpus Cristi, TX.
Fast Facts About the USS Lexington
- Housed up to 3,000 crew members during WWII.
- Flight Deck measured at 910 feet.
- Height from water line to flight deck measured at 52 feet.
- Maximum Speed: 30+ Knots
- Displacement: 42,000 Tons
Visiting the USS Lexington in Corpus Cristi, TX
Since October of 1992, the USS Lexington museum has been inspiring and educating thousands of visitors per year. They aim to improve the quality of life in the community while instilling pride and patriotism in all who come to see this national treasure. Here are some of the most popular tours and exhibits onboard the USS Lexington!
Touring the Aircraft
Each deck of the USS Lexington contains incredible artifacts and galleries for you to explore! You will feel just like a WWII sailor as you encounter the flight deck’s preserved artillery, the crew’s galley, captain’s cabin, the engine room, and so much more!
Pearl Harbor Exhibit
Travel back in time and experience the enveloping story of Pearl Harbor in a whole new way. Inside of the exhibit, you will see a 1/2400 scale set of Pearl Harbor with models of the ships positioned just as they were on that fateful day. You will also find realistic battle animations, the Japanese plans of attack, and FDR’s famous address to Congress.
3D Mega Theater
You are on a mission to defend the world’s oceans! A 12,000-watt state-of-the-art sound system places you and your family right in the middle of one of the greatest engineering feats in the history of warfare! With stunning visual context, you will find yourself aboard the USS Ronald Reagan conducting flight operations in a simulated war exercise.
For a thrilling experience unlike any other, step into the flight simulator and become the pilot of a WWII fighter jet! You’ll be responsible for virtually launching from the aircraft carrier, hitting every target, and returning safely! You never know what’s going to happen, so prepare yourself to think and act quickly if you want to become the next great F/18 pilot!
Is the USS Lexington Haunted?
No one truly knows for sure, but the USS Lexington is recognized as one of the most haunted ships in the U.S. Several sailors were killed in battle during the ship’s glory days, and many visitors have claimed to feel and even see their presence. Reports of strange noises, screams, and even firing artillery have attracted many spirit-seekers to the ship, most notably the producers of “Ghost Hunters.” The tales have become so popular, the museum opened a Haunting on the Blue Ghost Exhibit for their bravest guests to enjoy.
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