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Filed under: Family Weekend Trips, Historic Places & Landmarks, Kid-Friendly Trips, RV Home School

USS Lexington…

February 17, 2011 by · 6 Comments 

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If you happen to find yourself in southern Texas, one stop that is not to be missed is the USS Lexington!  Located in Corpus Christi Bay, this WWII aircraft carrier was designated a National Historic Landmark in 2003, and has been turned into a first-rate museum of all things WWII.  
 
picture of USS Lexington in Corpus Christi BayWhile seeing action in WWII, the Lexington served in several campaigns in the Pacific Theatre.  This Lexington (CV-16, Lexington #5) is nicknamed The Blue Ghost. Her nickname came from the fact that she was painted a solid, dark blue, instead of in a camouflaging pattern. This was demoralizing to the Japanese – since she was so heavily armored, she didn’t need to hide; they couldn’t sink her anyways. The Japanese said that they would sink her in the evening, and she would be right back in the morning, hence the name the Blue Ghost.

planes on USS LexingtonInside there are some commercialized areas like a food court and the gift shop. You could peek in on a F-18 Blue Angels restoration project, or take a turn at the Virtual Combat stations; glorified video games where you can take turns being a Corsair pilot, anti-aircraft gunner, or try to land your jet on an aircraft carrier (this was one of my boys’ favorite stops – probably because we don’t do much ‘video game’ stuff). And lots of WWII related exhibits!

 
model of the USS South DakotaOne of my guys favorites is the scaled down replica of the USS South Dakota…

Another favorite was the Pearl Harbor diorama (below); it was made up of a huge table that had the layout of the island and the locations of our ships when the Japanese attacked. Pearl Harbor displayIt was great for the boys to be able to see the entire layout, and how the morning played out, all on one display (much bigger than a tiny map in a textbook! – made it much easier for them to image the events of Pearl Harbor. (that is one trip that I would LOVE to take – a cruise to Hawaii and to visit Pearl Harbor!-as if I’m not spoiled enough already! ROFL!)   My guys also really enjoyed the movie theatre that is in the carrier – it is very similar to an iMax. The movie is called Red Flag, and is about a man’s dream of being an F-15 fighter pilot (like his grandfather) at a fighter training facility – Nellis AFB. The movie chronicles his experience at Nellis during the Red Flag training, and the missions they undertook, which includes airmen from other countries also.  
The Lexington has 5 self-guided tours at this time (they are continually working on opening up new areas of the ship). You can purchase a detailed self-guide book at the gift shop, or just use the brochure that they give you upon entering the museum (which is what my guys did).  The ship is a great destination for all ages, and a must-do when you visit southern Texas!

Comments

6 Responses to “USS Lexington…”
  1. Marilyn says:

    Yes, this is a great place to visit. Not difficult to locate either. we enjoyed our visit but there were a number of places I didn’t go into because I’m not so good at tight stairways. Even with the limitations, we really enjoyed the visit.

  2. butterbean carpenter says:

    THOSE AREN’T ‘STAIRWAYS’, THEY’RE COMPANIONWAYS!!!

  3. Cody Smith says:

    Thank you for the information! My mom homeschools my five younger siblings while we RV full-time, and she’s always looking for educational places to visit. We’re on our way to southern Texas right now, so this will be a great stop!

  4. Bob L says:

    WOW and all forget that the COAST GUARD CUTTER TANEY WHEC-37, was there also and is now in Baltimore at the Maritine Museum. She was the last ship that fought the attack to be retired from active duty. Her inport time was to protect the power plant in Honolulu. ( yes she was outside of the harbor but was still in the attack and DID HER JOB.
    Was proud to serve on HER for 4 years.

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