Scenic USA - Texas

USS Lexington

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USS Lexington - Corpus Christi, Texas

Photos by Scott Dommin
Scott Dommin Photography

     Built in Massachusetts, the last USS Lexington was completed in time to join the World War II effort in the Pacific Theater. Carrying the name USS Cabot, the Fore River Shipyard cast the ship along the lines of an Essex-Class aircraft carrier.
     During some of the heaviest fighting in the Coral Sea, the USS Lexington (a battle cruiser converted into one of the first aircraft carriers and the fourth of five US Navy ships to carry the name Lexington) took a quick succession of hits from torpedoes below, and three dive bombers from above. A gallant effort righted the ship and extinguished the flames. But on a recovery route, a deadly explosion of gasoline fumes spelled her end. On May 8th, 1943, the captain ordered all to abandon ship. When news of the Lexington’s fate arrived in Massachusetts, a campaign to rename the USS Cabot immediately took root.
     The new carrier, renamed Lexington, was quick to join the fray in the Pacific and participated in nearly every major offensive. Spending 21 months Corpus Christi Harbor - Texas at sea during the height of World War II, the USS Lexington was reported sunk four separate times by Tokyo Rose. Remarkably, the USS Lexington returned to each new battle, earning the nickname of The Blue Ghost.
     With nearly 50 years of service in the U.S. Navy, the Lexington left her duties with the Seventh Fleet in 1991. Leaving San Diego, the ship headed to its permanent home in the fifth-largest port of the United States. Here in Corpus Christi, Texas, the oldest working aircraft carrier in the United States rests in retirement.

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