The Blue Ghost

Last weekend, the kids and I decided to head out and visit the USS Lexington, otherwise known as "The Blue Ghost", which is a floating museum located in Corpus Christi, Texas.  We've visited the Intrepid in NYC, but the kids were a bit too young and really didn't remember much, so this visit was quite exciting and memorable for them both. 

So the history of the USS Lexington is that it is an Essex class aircraft carrier (same as the Intrepid, actually) that was commissioned in 1943 and was decommissioned in 1991 (the longest of any of the Essex ships).  She fought in WWII, had a hand in the Cuban missile crisis, and trained most navy pilots from the 60's until the 90's on carrier take offs and landings.

The story of her nickname is interesting....apparently during WWII, she was painted dark blue, and was the only ship in the fleet to not have camo (because she was so heavily fortified and defended).  Anyway, the Japanese thought they had sunk her many times, only to find out later that she survived the attacks...hence the nickname "The Blue Ghost".

Unfortunately, a lot of the pictures have my kids in them (especially the really good ones of all of the restored heavy artillery), so those won't be posted here :(

What you see when you approach the museum.

The obligatory aircraft and propeller displays.

The main island as seen from the flight deck -- all said there are 5 levels that you can explore within the museum, including the flight deck, the airplane storage deck, the quarters, the engine room and the island.

The listing of battles and action.

A close up view of the island...apparently the Lexington was to be named the Cabot, but was renamed the Lexington (CV-16) after the prior Lexington (CV-2) was lost during the Battle of the Coral Sea in 1942.

"Dont Bother Running You'll Only Die Tired"...this was painted on the side of an Cobra attack helicopter displayed on the flight deck....I thought it clever and quite appropriate to the machine it was on!

This is the "view" out of the bridge of the ship...there were all kinds of cool stuff up here....again, lots of kids pics!

This was the admiral's quarters..it was funny because since it was still in use up to the early 90's, it was quite "modern" in look and feel.

This was the admirals and the captain's galley.

Captain's bathroom.

Captain's quarters.

One of the many air operations rooms, where all of the aircraft were monitored and tracked -- think of it as the air traffic controllers for the navy at sea.

Being on the sea for so long, you had to have everything on board, including a barber.

One of the many berthing rooms on the ship...the 4" thick mattress would lift up to expose their personal area for storage.  They were also given a single locker.  The Lexington was the first coed ship, so there were specific women's and men's rooms.

This was their quite impressive on-board machine shop.

Everything on-board, right?  Here's the dental department!

And the post office.

And the x-ray office.

And the emergency room (the medical facilities where quite nice and seemingly capable).

And the medical isolation room (which was quite scary, actually).
All in all, it's a nice museum, and the kids had a blast there.  In the forward aircraft elevator, they converted the space into basically in IMAX theater, where they show movies related to aircraft, or naval combat.


I feel like getting on to the both of you. You appear to want this blog to be about a FAMILY adventure. An occasional picture of your kids in unfocused settings will not endanger them. The dirty toilet in one of the above images was not appealing. Who do you want to know what you are up to, and what do want to share?

Funny...my wife will comment on the other stuff in a full post, but as far as the toilet is concerned, it was behind glass, like most of the other "rooms" -- that is just rusty water.

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