U.S.S. Lexington, also known as The Blue Ghost, was launched on September 23, 1942 and decommissioned on November 26, 1991. It served in several campaigns in the Pacific during World War II. During the 1950′s The Blue Ghost served in the Pacific and then served as a training carrier on the east coast. The Lexington served longer and set more records than any carrier in U.S. Naval history. The U.S. S. Lexington is now a designated national historic landmark and rests in Corpus Christi Bay, Texas as a military museum.
Karen who is a wonderful wife allows me to drag her to places that would probably not be at the top of her vacation to do list. She is a bit claustrophobic and going through about 3 football fields of battleship kind of gave her the willies. Karen was a tough little trooper giving me time to go through and look at all the fascinating artifacts that are contained on the ship from the officer quarters to the communication room. We both ended up having a wonderful time and she only felt the need to get top side once when we were going up some of the narrow hallways and stairs.
We started off our tour of the Lexington by walking around the hangar deck and moved at our own pace to see some of the exhibits that were there including the ship’s bell, engines, and the aviation trainers. All tours on the Lexington begin and end on the hangar deck which is a good thing because just from the massive size of the ship I think it could be easy to get lost. The hangar deck also gives the tourist several opportunities for photo ops like putting someone in the brig (jail) and taking a few pictures.
Karen and I then went to the lower decks to get that area out of the way. There we saw the engine room, machine shop, and post office among other things. It is truly amazing just how big these carriers are. It is really like a floating city. First of all, it is amazing that these things even float, but the fact that four turbine engines can create enough horse power to move this gigantic ship at around 33 knots.
Karen’s favorite part of the carrier was the gallery deck. There we got to see the admiral’s quarters, combat information center, and the ready rooms. The gallery deck is where the brains of the ship are located. It was pretty neat to see all different tools and machines that were needed at that time to run information in ship like the Lexington.
My favorite part of the ship was the flight deck. The flight deck allowed visitors to get an up close look at many vintage aircraft, mount antiaircraft guns, and see the take-off and landing control stations. The flight deck is so large over 1,000 cars could be parked there. There were vintage fighter planes from WWII all the way up to the late 1980′s. There were many aircraft on exhibit like a AH-1S Cobra, A-6E Intruder, SBD 3 Dauntless, F-14 and a F-18.
The Blue Ghost was an excellent place to visit when we were down in Corpus Christi. We spent about three hours in the museum and probably could have spent a lot more time there. If you are in the area Karen and I both highly recommend going to see a piece of American history.
Located in Corpus Christi Bay across from the ship channel from downtown Corpus Christi
Hours of Operation- Open Daily- Summer time (Memorial to Labor Day) 9:00 to 6:00 Rest of the Year 9:00 to 5:00
Admission as of 2011- Adults (Over 12) $13.95 Seniors (Over 60) $11.95 Children (4 to 12) $8.95
For more information check out their website at http://www.usslexington.com/