Monday wasn’t a normal school day for a group of juniors at Flatonia High School. Students traveled to Corpus Christi to get a unique tour of USS Lexington.
The Flatonia Rotary Club along with USS Lexington planned the second annual “Heritage Pride Tour.” It’s a tour meant to teach students the value of history, and learning about those who served before them.
Tanner Tipton, who visited the Lexington for the first time, said her classmates recently learned about World War II and the history of the Lexington.
“I’m definitely about all hands-on and going and seeing and learning about, so that this is like a great experience in itself,” Tipton said.
During their trip, they students heard the personal stories of two WWII veterans. Students heard from WWII veteran and Pearl Harbor survivor, Captain Bob Batterson. They also heard from Joe Sassman, former Grumman F6F Hellcat Pilot who shared some of his experiences fighting onboard Lexington during WWII.
Sassman, a volunteer tour guide at the Lexington, said he’s fortunate to be able to inspire young minds like the students from Flatonia High School.
“We’re happy to pass on our history, because we count on these young people that are going to pass on and do what we did and maybe more,” Sassman said.
Meanwhile, many students spoke fondly of their experience. They toured different parts of the ship like the flight and hangar deck, the engine room and the ship’s bridge.
“The ship is way bigger than I thought it was, so that was super cool,” Tipton added, “especially that this ship has been in battle before.”
After hearing from the veterans, the students ate lunch and took part in a scavenger hunt.
For more information on how to book a similar tour, contact the Marketing and Sale Office at 361-888-4873 Ext. 305.