After more than a week of dry camping on Padre Island, we headed back to Colonia Del Rey RV Park for laundry. I had wanted to tour the USS Lexington (CV-16), an Essex-class aircraft carrier commissioned in 1943 during World War II and also seeing service during the Korean War and Vietnam before finally being decommissioned in 1991. We hadn’t been able to do that yet, so while we were still in Corpus Christi we spent an extra day to tour the carrier.
This was the fifth ship to be named USS Lexington and the second aircraft carrier. (The first aircraft carrier named USS Lexington (CV-2) was among the original US Navy aircraft carriers and was sunk at the Battle of the Coral Sea in 1942.) During World War II, she participated in a number of actions, including the Battle of the Philippine Sea and the Battle of Leyte Gulf. She was eventually refitted to support jet aircraft. In 1969, she became a training carrier stationed primarily in the Gulf of Mexico, and remained in that role until she was decommissioned in 1991.
There are essentially four separate self-guided tours through parts of the ship. Despite numerous ladders up and down, Oma made it through the entire ship with me. We did enjoy taking a break and watching the short movie after doing several of the tours. There is also a canteen on the hanger deck (which we didn’t try). Interesting, there are also quarters for live-abord staff (obviously not open for tour). All told, we spent about five hours on board and read perhaps half of the posted information posted along the tour routes (there’s quite a bit).
I enjoyed our tour, especially considering my interest in World War II history.