|RVer Jimmy Smith walks the beach by USS Lexington (Julianne G. Crane)|
The USS Lexington aircraft carrier rests majestically next to the North Beach of Corpus Christi Bay on the Gulf Coast of Texas. Beginning in World War II, the LEX played a significant role in the nation’s defense for nearly 50 years. She is a memorial worth preserving and thanks to the efforts of dedicated volunteers, she continues to serve today as a museum and educational facility.
|Shuttle up ramp. (Julianne G. Crane)|
There is a complimentary shuttle up the approach ramp to the 16-story “Blue Ghost” that displays military artifacts and more than a dozen aircraft.
The five self-guided tour routes cover 100,000 square feet and eleven decks. The flight deck alone is equal to more than two acres. You will need to be able to climb stairs and some spaces are a tight squeeze. (See details below about accessibility.)
This highly decorated ship has steamed more miles
and served longer than any other Essex Class aircraft carrier in the world.
|RV snowbirds Sherian and Lee Shriver (Julianne G. Crane)|
From the very first day as a naval aviation museum in October 1992, the LEX has “remained totally self-sufficient, never having received funds from local, state or federal government agencies,” according to museum officials. It is estimated that more than 5-1/2 million people have visited the USS Lexington since she opened as a museum.
A few facts about the Lexington:
– During World War II, the carrier participated in nearly every major
operation in the Pacific Theater and spent a total of 21 months in
combat. Her planes destroyed 372 enemy aircraft in the air, and 475 more
on the ground.
|Veterans Jimmy Smith and Lee Shriver (Julianne G. Crane)|
– She was the first foreign heavy fleet carrier to enter Tokyo Bay.
– The LEX was the first aircraft carrier in US Naval history to have women stationed aboard as crew members (18 Aug. 1980).
– During her heyday, the USS Lexington carried enough fuel to sail nonstop for 30,000 miles.
The Hangar Deck and Flight Deck are wheelchair accessible. The 3D MEGA
Theater, Mess Deck, Ship’s Store and restrooms are on the Hangar Deck.
The LEX lift elevator takes those unable to climb stairs, from the Hangar Deck to the Flight
|Sherian & Lee Shriver buy tickets to the LEX. (Julianne G. Crane)|
If you go:
USS Lexington Museum
2914 N. Shoreline Blvd.
Corpus Christi, Texas 78403
Phone: 1-800-LADY LEX, (361) 888-4873
Admission: General- $14.95; Seniors/Military $12.95; Children 4-12 $9.85 (check online for a $1 off coupon)
Admission includes a free movie in the 3D MEGA Theater. The giant-screen film features “the world’s largest and most comprehensive international maritime training exercise” from aboard “the USS Ronald Reagan alongside the 5,000 highly skilled sea and air personnel conducting flight operations in the midst of simulated war exercises.”
Open: Year-round, seven days a week except Christmas and Thanksgiving.
Convenient all-day parking is available across the street for $3.50