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Remembering military veteran that brought USS Lexington to Coastal Bend

Posted at 6:44 PM, Mar 02, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-03 14:24:53-05

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — U.S. Navy veteran, Rear Admiral James H. Scott, USN (Ret.), died February 23, 2023.

James Scott, 96, served in the U.S. Navy for more than three decades. He moved up in the ranks, earning Rear Admiral status, which is a senior naval flag officer rank.

Scott played an influential role in the Landing Force 16, a group consisting of prominent community leaders. In 1991, they were pivotal in petitioning and fundraising to bring the USS Lexington to Corpus Christi.

In 1992, the USS Lexington arrived at Naval Station Ingleside and became a permanent Texas resident. Right after, the United States Navy officially signed over the USS Lexington to city officials and it docked on North Beach.

"There's no doubt that he's the reason the ship came here and the reason why we're able to be successful," said Steve Banta, Executive Director for USS Lexington, "It's important that we have this community connection and it's all because of Admiral Scott."

Based in Pensacola, Florida for over three decades, the USS Lexington, also known as the "Blue Ghost," was used for training operations before arriving to the Coastal Bend.

When it finally arrived, Scott and the Landing Force 16 believed Corpus Christi was the right place for the ship. Corpus Christi is home of the naval aviation training headquarters.

"No one else could match what the Landing 16 did," said Banta, "What James Scott did, he left a lasting legacy in this community and it takes dedication to even be part if a pioneering group like that."

Along with bringing the Blue Ghost to the area, Rear Admiral Scott was involved in his community. He was a member of the Mustang group, a charity organization that helped uplift and donate to the community.

With his efforts to serve his country and many other life accomplishments, Scott will be remembered for his commitment in bringing American history to Corpus Christi.

"He knew what the ship represents and he knew what it could become," said Banta, "You can just look around and you can see what he did. The foundation was laid out by Admiral Scott and the Landing Force 16. We're grateful for him. It takes real passion and love for what you do to advocate for something like the USS Lexington."

Memorial services will be held for Rear Admiral James Scott Saturday, March, 25, 2023. It will take place at 11 a.m. at the Church of the Good Shephard, located at 700 S Upper Broadway, Corpus Christi, TX 78401. Following the memorial service, there will be a dedicated ceremony with final military honors.

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