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USS Lexington commemorates 79 years since it was commissioned

How the historic ship became a museum in the Coastal Bend
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Posted at 7:41 AM, Feb 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-21 10:07:25-05

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The USS Lexington is commemorating 79 years since the historic ship was commissioned February 17, 1943. Steve Banta, the Executive Director for the USS Lexington said the CV -16 was the fifth ship to bare the name during battle.

“Served honorably during the war and of course then after the Cold War. Then in the 60’s this ship was turned into the training carrier for the U.S. Navy served out of Pensacola but the admirable ending up in charge of training for naval aviation has always been headquartered here in Corpus Christi," said Banta.

The USS Lexington was also the longest serving Essex class aircraft carrier of World War II. The ship, also known as the Blue Ghost, displays military artifacts and more than 20 aircraft.

“It made sense it would come here as a museum in the 90’s. The ship was decommissioned in the 1991. And one year later in 1992 exactly one year later, it opened as a museum here in the Coastal Bend in Corpus Christi," Banta said.

Banta said it was the quickest turn around for any ship to become a museum and it's all thanks to the Coastal Bend community.

“This ship represents, initially naval aviation during World War II and into the Cold War and then as a training carrier into the 60’s through the 90’s. But it really represents all veterans and that is what we are proud of. This ship represents veterans and their service to this country and we just love sharing the history with our guests," said Banta.

The museum is open to the public year round seven days a week and opens at 9:00 a.m. and closes at 5:00 p.m. To schedule a visit or self guided tour, click here.