A Brief History: The USS Lexington, located at 2914 North Shoreline Boulevard, Corpus Christi, Texas, is an Essex class aircraft carrier that was used by the United States during World War II. It was also used briefly during the 1958 Taiwan Strait Crisis, and was on standby during the Cuban Missile Crisis, before being converted into a training vessel in 1969, then into a floating museum on November 26, 1991. The ship was built in the early 1940s during WWII and was commissioned on February 17, 1943. It was originally meant to be named the Cabot, but a ship named the USS Lexington was lost during the Battle of the Coral Sea on May 8, 1942. So the newly built ship was renamed in its honor, becoming the 5thship in US history to bear the name Lexington in memory of the Battle of Lexington during the Revolutionary War.

The Lexington’s nickname given to it by the Japanese in WWII is “The Blue Ghost” due to it repeatedly being reported as sunk by the Japanese after several kamikaze attacks, but remaining afloat. The ship saw extensive service throughout the war, including campaigns in Tarawa, Wake Island, Gilbert Islands, Marshalls, the Kwajalein raid, the Battle of the Philippine Sea, Okinawa, the Battle of Leyte Gulf, and served as the home carrier for planes barraging the Japanese Islands literally up until the final seconds of the war. (Bombing runs were called off mid-flight due to Japan’s surrender). She was then used during Operation Magic Carpet, which was a mission to ferry servicemen home.

One of the first casualties of the Lexington’s was the 1939 Heisman Trophy winner Nile Kinnick. Kinnick was the pilot of a plane during a training flight that went wrong when the plane sprung an oil leak that rendered unable to return to the ship. It crashed into the sea 4 miles from the ship and was never recovered. In December of 1943, the Lexington was hit with a torpedo on the starboard side that killed 9 men, two on the fantail, and 7 in the chief petty officers’ mess room. The ship survived and sailed to Pearl Harbor for repairs. Japanese radio stations reported that the Lexington was sunk, the first of many false claims. On November 5, 1944, the Lexington was struck by a Japanese kamikaze pilot. The crash caused a fire that killed 50 men below deck, and yet again, the Japanese reported it sunk. Over the course of the Lexington’s history, 370 deaths have been recorded on board its decks.

Haunted History: The USS Lexington is widely known as a paranormal attraction. The abundance of high energy and high stress situations and atmosphere is a recipe for residual hauntings. Claims of seeing sailors running down hallways and through sealed portholes are a common occurrence. Hearing footsteps throughout the below deck areas is also a usual theme among visitors and staff. One area that tends to get a lot of paranormal activity is actually the flight deck. Reports of seeing white figures walking the deck are very often verified by multiple people.