Corpus Christi is one of the most popular vacation spots in Texas, and if you have ever been there, you know why. Located on the Gulf of Mexico, it is a beautiful area with miles of wide open beaches, gorgeous scenery, lots of fascinating wildlife, and…a battleship!
That’s right, Corpus Christi is home to the USS Lexington, an Essex-class aircraft carrier built during World War II. The ship saw extensive action in the Pacific and made quite a name for herself; her crew was awarded 11 battle stars and the prestigious Presidential Unit Citation for heroism in action against the Japanese.
After her exemplary military service, the USS Lexington was mainly used as a training center. In 1992, after serving longer than any other Essex-class ship, she began a new life as a floating museum, The USS Lexington Museum on the Bay. And what a museum it is! There are 5 self-guided tours that take you all over the ship. If you need any help along the way, just ask one of the friendly and helpful yellow-shirted staff members. (Many of these volunteers actually served on the Lexington!)
Some of the things you’ll see include vintage fighter planes and choppers, torpedoes, old battle ship models, the engine room, the Admiral’s and the sailors’ quarters, personal effects used by our brave boys back in the day, plus many more fascinating artifacts and exhibits. There is a 3-D show every day, included in the price of admission. I would highly advise that you allow yourself a couple of hours at least because there really is a lot to see and take in. And if you work up an appetite, or are in need of a cold drink, no problem. They have a nice, air-conditioned café right on board.
Besides her admirable service as an aircraft carrier and now a museum, the USS Lexington (which was designated a National Historic Landmark in 2003) also served as a location for such films as “Midway”, and the 2001 film, “Pearl Harbor”. And in 2007, the TV show “Ghost Hunters” came aboard searching for evidence of ghosts. I don’t know if they found any, but I’m sure they saw a bunch of other things just as fascinating! And believe me, so will you!
You can find out much more (and print out a $1.00 off admission coupon) at the USS Lexington website. They also have a very active Facebook page.