NewsLocal News


USS Lexington served proudly in almost every American war

lex history.PNG
Posted at 3:01 PM, Nov 14, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-14 16:01:34-05

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Did you know there have been five USS Lexington’s in our rich US Navy history?

Yep. The Lexington’s legendary beginning happened in the American Revolutionary War.

“Well actually Lexington comes from the name of the ‘shot heard round the world’, and so that’s what started the Revolutionary War,” said Steve Banta, executive director of the USS Lexington Museum. “So they named one of the first ships of the US Continental Navy … they named it to Lexington.“

The Lexington re-emerged after the Revolutionary War as a steam-powered ship to lead the union in the US Civil War.

Later, a different ship was built: the iconic CV 2 “Lady Lex” Essex Class aircraft carrier.

It was out on maneuvers on another historic day in our nation’s history: December 7, 1941.

The USS Lexington dodged the attack on Pearl Harbor.

But her “lady luck” ran out the next year when Japanese torpedo attacks severely crippled her during the battle of the Coral Sea.

Soon after, the Lexington would be avenged as a new aircraft carrier making a comeback in 1943. She was commissioned after the renaming of the USS Cabot. The Japanese called her the “Blue Ghost” after thinking she had sunk at least four times, reappearing in new locations.

After a brief retirement, the Lexington was modernized and brought back into service. Later, she became a Navy trainer carrier in Pensacola. She stood guard during the Cuban missile crisis and trained Navy aviators during Vietnam.

Yet, after her decommissioning in 1981, she still had good bones and was looking for a place to call home. She finally found it as a museum in 1992 in Corpus Christi. Long live the USS Lexington Museum.

“This ship is almost 80 years old years old. Nobody used laser levels or computer aided design. They cared about the way they built the ship. They built it to last,” said Banta.