The Lexington is ballasted onto the bottom of Corpus Christi Bay, close to the Texas State Aquarium. The Lexington has been serving as a museum since 1992, after serving her country since her commissioning in 1943. One special treat waiting for me was one of the screws from USS Cabot, the last surviving light carrier, tragically scrapped in Brownsville, Texas in the spring of 2001.
In her varied career as an attack and then finally training carrier, the Lexington carried planes ranging from SBD dive bombers to the F-18 Hornet. Examples of many of these are found in her hangar and on deck. Unfortunately, the island was closed on my visit due to a fire the previous April, but the rest of the ship gave a glimpse into history dating back to her days as the Blue Ghost. Even with an angled flight deck and jets in sight, the Lexington carries you back to the days of Hellcats, Avengers, and the Greatest Generation.
Wander through the ship right down to the shafts, walk acres of flight deck, sit in a ready room waiting for the command to man planes. View 40mm guns and a hatchway leading to a Sidewinder magazine. See old wood still lying under the "modern" flight deck, and peer through the bullnose at the city skyline. The last Essex class carrier to retire, the Lexington spans six decades of U.S. carrier development and is an important part of America's naval history.
Taken with Nikon D80 by Mike Bonoan.