Thursday, March 19, 2015
the USS Lexington
Wow! Guess what I found "parked" (moored, of course) in the bay at Corpus Christi, Texas. Why it's the USS Lexington CV-16 also known affectionately as THE BLUE GHOST. It is a Navy aircraft carrier now retired from active military duty. One of my brothers trained as a pilot aboard this ship when it was docked in Pensacola, Florida many years ago. So, this was a must-see destination for my sister and me while we were visiting the area. There are five self guided tours aboard the ship. The FLIGHT DECK tour gave us opportunities to see actual aircraft, anti-aircraft guns, arresting gear, the navigation bridge and the plank. The second tour was called the FOC'SLE where we saw the officers and junior officers quarters, anchor machinery and a Pearl Harbor exhibit. The GALLERY DECK was the third tour. We were able to see the CVE/CVL exhibit, Captains cabin, combat information center, library and ready rooms. Tour four involved the LOWER DECKS. On the tour we saw the chapel, crew's galley, dental clinic, engine room, POW exhibit, scale model exhibit and sick bay. The last tour was on the HANGAR DECK. Here we saw WWII aircraft, a flight simulator, fantail, engines and the 3D mega theater. The 3D movie made us feel as though we were flying in the aircraft with the fighter pilots!! All in all, we had a great time AND we got plenty of exercise along the way. The deck was quite breezy...so hold on! The stairwells were steep and the steps were narrow so our quads and biceps got quite a workout. There is so much to see so plan your time accordingly. We were on board for about four hours and we kept moving the entire time. The ship tours are set up like a maze but arrows keep you moving in the right direction. Watch out for the uneven flooring especially in the doorways. Occasionally we would come upon an unlit stairwell that was cordoned off to the public. Never resisting an opportunity to scare myself, I, of course, had to look over the rail and into the deep, dark a bis and, yes, scary-scare myself. I can't imagine being trapped so far below deck in that severe darkness. We did, at the end of our tours, get to walk out into the sunlight with an appreciation for all who have served aboard this mighty ship. If you are in Corpus Christ, Texas, please stop by and see this magnificent vessel.