The story of two USS Lexingtons - KRISTV.com | Continuous News Coverage | Corpus Christi

The story of two USS Lexingtons

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USS Lexington (CV 2) USS Lexington (CV 2)

A ship lost during one of the most storied battles of US Naval history has been discovered off the coast of Australia and it turns out to be USS Lexington.

A research team, led by Microsoft billionaire Paul Allen discovered the ship 500 miles off of the coast and about 9,800 feet below the surface.

Lexington was a central component of the US Navy in the Pacific theater during World War II, but sustained heavy damage from the Japanese fleet in the battle of Coral Sea.  

The ship couldn’t be salvaged, so the Navy had to sink it. Nearby ships rescued close to 3,000 Sailors from the heavily damaged ship, but 216 died onboard.

Capt. Steve Banta, the executive director of the USS Lexington Museum that sits in Corpus Christi Bay couldn’t be more excited about the sudden discovery.

“The fact that, of all of the other ships, that they would have found the other carrier Lexington, we're really excited about it because we really feel a tie to that ship because of what we have here on this ship,” Banta said.

But the discovery did cause some confusion.

“Our phone has been ringing off the hook,” Banta said. “We've been getting a lot of e-mails, people have been wondering about the connection of this ship with that one.”

So what exactly is the connection?

The recently discovered USS Lexington was fighting in the Pacific theater when it was attacked by the Japanese during the Battle of the Coral Sea.

It sunk and was lost, along with 35 aircraft.

At the time of the ships sinking, work crews were building another aircraft carrier, USS Cabbot, but asked the Navy to change the name in honor of the Lady Lex that went down in the war.

The USS Lexington that we have here was commissioned in 1943 and also saw combat during World War II, participating in nearly every operation in the Pacific Theater.

The nickname “The Blue Ghost” was given to our Lexington by famed propagandist Tokyo Rose because the Japanese believed Lexington to be sunk.  

So, that’s how our ship got its name. The same name as the ship found underwater.

The Lexington Museum that we can visit today displays personal items from the crew of the sunken USS Lexington. Banta hopes this discovery will inspire more people to learn about the history of both ships.

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