Located in Corpus Christi’s North Beach, the USS Lexington, offers a glimpse into military history as a floating museum. She has many stories to tell, and so do some of her resident ghosts.
History of the USS Lexington
Built in a Massachusetts shipyard, the ship was originally named the USS Cabot. She was renamed the USS Lexington after another ship with the same name was sunk in the Coral Sea. After being commissioned in 1943, she underwent some training and then went to Pearl Harbor; joining the Central Pacific Fleet. Once she arrived there, she underwent 21 months of combat against Japanese forces from 1943-1945.
Dealing with all that combat, the ship saw her fair share of damage and casualties, but always came back strong! The radio voice for Japanese propaganda nicknamed her “the Blue Ghost” because while the Japanese forces claimed they sunk her – four separate times – she always came back, and with a vengeance!
The Lexington was decommissioned from 1947-1952. Then she became reactivated and went to San Diego, CA for the 7th Fleet Operations. From 1962-1990, the Blue Ghost was stationed in Pensacola, FL as a Naval Training aircraft carrier. Finally decommissioned in 1990, the USS Lexington was given a new home in Corpus Christi where she would spend the rest of her days as a museum/memorial.
With the longest career of any aircraft carrier, the USS Lexington finished her career with 11 battle stars and a commendation from President Roosevelt. Wow!
The USS Lexington has seen a lot of action, and in the process has seen a lot of death. When a person dies so suddenly their spirits might stick around because they were not ready to leave or have some unfinished business. All together about 370 people perished on board the Blue Ghost; some during battles, others from illness or accidents.
No matter how they died, some of them may still be there! Reliving the moments before their death. Others still around stewing in emotion geared at themselves for causing their own death. While others may be there due to a high energy event; in these instances the energy gets sucked into the ship and is consistently present until the energy is used up.
Manifestations of those who haunt the USS Lexington have been reported all over the ship. Sensitive people have reported feeling ill in certain areas in the ship, like the Switch Room. One day, some painters who were doing some work on the ship took a short break, and came back to find their job had been mysteriously completed. An acting deputy director of the museum reported hearing the sounds of people moving behind him, when he turns around to say hello there is no body there. There have been several reports of residual haunting’s too; people have reported hearing voices, screaming, and the cries of people in pain or distress. Others have reported hearing the sounds of distant gun fire like in battle, and others have reported seeing mists.
Visual Manifestations of the USS Lexington
Japanese Pilot and American Seaman
One of the Japanese pilots who attacked the ship has been seen onboard as well! Two staff members have said that they have seen the pilot and a seaman standing side by side in the hall!
One of the most frequently reported sightings is that of “Charlie.” He is described as a handsome and good-natured young man with blonde hair and blue eyes. Charlie was an engine room operator when he died from one of the Japanese attacks on the ship. He has been seen in the engine room staring intently at the engines like he is fixing them. Charlie gets a kick out of appearing to visitors as they are touring and offering them a guided tour; he especially likes to appear in front of pretty young women! He also likes to turn lights on and off and closing doors.
The Chief Petty Officer
One of the ghosts who is there due to emotion toward himself, has been seen countless times. He has been seen dressed in uniform, scowling at the living, angry because of an accident in which he died. The museum placed a manikin where he is normally seen and now he stands beside it.
This ghost has been seen on deck. When one of the staff finished mopping part of the weather deck he went to the other side to get coffee. When he returned he saw a pair of footprints in the middle of the freshly mopped deck and no footprints leading away.
Ryan’s Personal Story
Ryan has his own experience on the USS Lexington, we asked him to share:
When I was a kid one of the trips I took with my cub scout troop was to the USS Lexington. We stayed on the ship and one of the nights we were there, myself and a few others were walking back to our bunks and a door on our left opened. Someone came out of the door and someone in our group had asked him a question to which he responded. He then turned and walked into a dark room that was roped off and disappeared into the darkness. After our encounter, the person who had asked the question attempted to open the door he came through and realized it was sealed shut. Definitely, not an encounter easily forgotten…Ryan DiVincenzo