Sunday, March 18, 2007
The USS Lexington CV16 currently is serving as museum ship in Corpus Christi, Texas. She is educating a large number of people, including many children about how life at sea in war time was conducted. This is not so different than the last twenty plus years of her service life as a training carrier for young pilots.
Her life started in a much different way, as her launching in 1942 dictated, she was immediately sent off to war in the Pacific. She was the fifth Lexington and notably was replacing the fourth Lexington, CV2, who was sunk after a fierce battle with Japanese forces, where she received multiple torpedo and aerial bomb hits.
Lexington (CV16) was engaged in many decisive battles and also suffered severe damage, including a direct kamikaze hit that destroyed her bridge tower. She survived the war and after a brief period of being decommissioned continued in active service until 1991, a period well over 40 years.
The museum has done a good job of making many of the spaces available for viewing, so that you can really have an understanding of what a ship of this size is about. It gives you an idea of what it would have been like to live and work in this environment while at sea. Even those who may not have any idea of how life at sea might be, especially in a ship of war, can learn about the duties of the Captain, officers and the various positions right down to the junior seaman.