It’s time for Halloween when ghouls and goblins creep from their crypts, and, for Sailors on the high seas, Davy Jones comes in search of souls for his crew.
It is no secret that creepy superstitions are abundant this time of year,
Jump aboard the USS LEXINGTON and go back in time to discover history in real life.
Step onto this WWII Aircraft Carrier and become part of the story. Climbing the ladders and stepping through the hatch doors is like stepping right into a history book.
It takes the bravest of souls to go through over 80 compartments on two decks. You should be ready to handle steep ladders, dark corridors, creaky hatchways, unimaginable sights, screams, and sounds. You MIGHT want to think twice before enlisting
At the USS Lexington, history comes to life with real pictures and real stories of real people that served our great country
also called “The Blue Ghost,” is haunted according to some staff and visitors who say they’ve seen paranormal activity over the years.
Some things cannot be explained on the decommissioned World War II aircraft carrier, including ghostly touches and shadowy figures roaming the decks.
Michael Gillespe, head of Tour Guide, receives hundreds of Tales of “supernatural” activity each year. They’re too many accounts that there has to be something to it. He laughs at most of them off but not before he Relates them this his Director.
Most of the Sightings are when Guests get Lost, and a Sailor in a WW2 Uniform helps them find their way back up top to the deck. Some have seen another sailor also in uniform, giving a lecture in the Engine room then vanishes.
Michael says he has experienced several supernatural occurrences during his 26 years of working on the ship and has always been skeptical. Still, there are some things I’ve seen you just can’t explain. One of his best ghost stories is losing 6 pen caps over 5 weeks. He always uses a ballpoint pen, and over a few weeks, He lost about six pen caps off his desk; the day He lost the sixth pen cap, he turned over His office looking for them. His office was spotless by the time he was finished, and he never found them.
It wasn’t until He returned to his office the next morning that he found all six pen caps laying side by side right in front of his computer keyboard.
No one has ever been hurt by the ghosts on the ship. If anything, all of the occurrences have been playful, not menacing.
He has heard from security officers who hear running in the hangar bay around 3 a.m. The damage control officer said he didn’t see anything on the security cameras and went to see what the noise was coming from,” he said. “That was when he witnessed shadow figures running in chaos. The officer never came back.
Mr. Miller, the resident paranormal tour guide, is what the night crew is witnessing. At night are sailors running for cover after a torpedo attack hit the Ship in Hangar Bay Three,
They’re regularly doing the same thing over and over again, maintaining the Ship, This was their home, and they don’t want to go anywhere else. He also said that he suspects the ghosts roam the whole ship.
Many have said that there have been encounters with “Charlie.” very knowledgeable, handsome, blue-eyed tour guide, Always near the engine room
Apparently, Charlie’s Naval uniform and detailed ship tours make him one of the best tour guides on the ship!
The only catch is that members of the museum’s staff don’t wear Navy uniforms. There is no tour guide in uniform named Charlie ~ Whether you believe it or not, at least this ghost is friendly — nothing to fear here!
Another Tale is when you walk the flight deck, and you see the Japanese flag that makes the spot where a Japanese plane carrying a 50 lb bomb crashed into the carrier.
The crash took the lives of 50 Sailors. The crash injured 135 aboard the ship. As you reach that spot, there have been tales of screams, whispers, apparitions in several forms. There are reports of uneasiness and the sense of being ill in this area and the area that was hit hardest by the crash.
With such an active military history that resulted in the tragic deaths of an estimated 400 service members, it’s not surprising that the Blue Ghost is the perfect setting for a few good ghost stories. You’ll have to visit and decide for yourself if there is any truth to the tales.
History of the USS Lexington
The World War II aircraft carrier was one of the oldest working carriers in the United States when it was decommissioned in 1991. She was the fifth U.S. Navy ship to bear the name in honor of Lexington’s Revolutionary War Battle.
The ship was laid down as Cabot on 15 July 1941 by Fore River Shipyard in Quincy, Massachusetts.
In May 1942, USS Lexington (CV-2), which had been built in the same shipyard two decades earlier, was sunk at the Battle of the Coral Sea.
In June, workers at the shipyard submitted a request to Navy Secretary Frank Knox to change the name of a carrier currently under construction there to Lexington.
Knox agreed to the proposal, and Cabot was renamed as the fifth USS Lexington on 16 June 1942. She was launched on 23 September 1942, sponsored by Mrs. Theodore Douglas Robinson. Lexington was commissioned on 17 February 1943, with Captain Felix Stump USN in command.
USS Lexington set more records than any other Essex Class carrier in the history of naval aviation.
The new carrier’s name was changed to Lexington. After training maneuvers and a shakedown cruise, the carrier joined the Fifth Fleet at Pearl Harbor.
The fleet was established on 26 April 1944 and was the Central Pacific Force. During World War II, the carrier participated in nearly every major operation in the Pacific Theater and spent 21 months in combat.
Her planes destroyed 372 enemy aircraft in the air and 475 more on the ground.
She sank or destroyed 300,000 tons of enemy cargo and damaged an additional 600,000 tons.
The ship’s guns shot down 15 planes and assisted in downing five more
The Japanese reported the Lexington sunk no less than four times! Yet, each time she returned to fight again,
leading the propagandist Tokyo Rose to nickname her “The Blue Ghost,” and the paint helped too.
The name is a tribute to the ship and the crew and air groups that served aboard her.
Rumors existed during the war that the ship was so severely damaged, it had to be scuttled at one point, but a newly built aircraft carrier was immediately deployed with the same name to demoralize the Japanese
For much of her service, she acted as the flagship for Admiral Marc Mitscher led the Fast Carrier Task Force through their battles across the Pacific.
She was the recipient of 11 battle stars and the Presidential Unit Citation.
After the war, Lexington was briefly decommissioned at Bremerton, Washington, on 23 April 1947 and entered the National Defense Reserve Fleet. While in reserve, she was designated attack carrier CVA-16 on 1 October 1952.
In September 1953, Lexington entered the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard. She received the Essex-class SCB-27C and SCB-125 conversions in one refit, operating the most modern jet aircraft.
The most visible distinguishing features were an angled flight deck, steam catapults, a new island, and the hurricane bow.
Lexington was recommissioned on 15 August 1955; she operated primarily with the Seventh Fleet out of San Diego, California.
Operated off California until May 1956, sailing then for a six-month deployment with the 7th fleet.
The Lexington was based on Yokosuka for exercises, maneuvers, search and rescue missions off the coast of China, and called at major Far Eastern ports until returning San Diego on 20 December.
The next trained Air Group 12, deployed with her on the following 7th Fleet deployment. Arriving Yokosuka on 1 June 1957, Lexington embarked Rear Admiral H. D. Riley, Commander Carrier Division 1. It sailed as his flagship until returning San Diego on 17 October 1957.
Following overhaul at Bremerton, her refresher training was interrupted by the Second Taiwan Strait Crisis on 14 July 1958.
The Lexington was ordered to embark Air Group 21 at San Francisco and sail to reinforce the 7th Fleet off Taiwan.
Arriving on station on 7 August and returning San Diego on 19 December.
Now the first carrier whose planes were armed with AGM-12 Bullpup guided missiles, Lexington left San Francisco on 26 April 1959 for another tour of duty with the 7th fleet.
They were on standby alert offshore during the Laotian crisis of late August and September.
Following this, she exercised with British naval forces before returning to San Diego, arriving on 2 December. In early 1960, she underwent an overhaul at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard.
Lexington’s next Far Eastern tour began late in 1960 and was extended well into 1961,
Returning to west coast operations, she was ordered in January 1962 to prepare to relieve Antietam as an aviation training carrier in the Gulf of Mexico. She was redesignated CVS-16 on 1 October 1962.
However, during the Cuban Missile Crisis, she resumed duty as an attack carrier. She did not relieve Antietam until 29 December 1962 at Pensacola, Florida.
They began training operations, eventually being officially designated CVT-16, Navy Training Carrier.
Well into the late ’60s, Lexington operated out of her home port, Pensacola, as well as Corpus Christi, qualifying student aviators and maintaining the high state of training of both active-duty and reserve naval aviators.
Her work became of increasing significance as she prepared the men vital to the Navy and Marine Corps operations over Vietnam, where naval aviation played a significant role.
The Lexington marked her 200,000th arrested landing on 17 October 1967 and was redesignated CVT-16 on 1 January 1969.
She continued as a training carrier for the next 22 years until she was relieved by Forrestal,
On 18 August 1980, Lexington became the first aircraft carrier in the United States naval history to have women stationed aboard as crew members.
29 October 1989, a student naval aviator lost control of his T-2 training aircraft after an aborted attempt to land on Lexington’s flight deck.
The out of control aircraft inverted and hit the island with its left-wing, killing four crew members (including the pilot of the plane who had begun an ejection sequence) along with one civilian maintenance worker and also injured seventeen.
The island suffered no significant damage, and fires from the burning fuel were extinguished within 15 minutes.
Lexington was the last Essex-class carrier in commission after USS Oriskany had been decommissioned in 1976.
The Lexington was decommissioned and struck on 8 November 1991
On 26 November 1991, the U.S. Navy turned Lexington over to the City of Corpus Christi. On 15 June 1992, the ship was donated as a museum.
Corpus Christ, Texas, was privileged to be selected as the permanent home to this national treasure.
Lexington was designated a National Historic Landmark in 2003. The ship is carefully maintained, and areas of the vessel previously off-limits are becoming open to the public every few years. One of the most recent examples is the catapult room.
The Ship’s World War II-era gun battery is also partially restored using guns salvaged from scrapped ships. Most notable among these are 5″/38 D.P. gun turrets saved from the scrapping of the heavy cruiser Des Moines.
They have been mounted in the approximate locations where similar mounts once existed as part of the ship’s original World War II-era fit.
The National Naval Aviation Museum, at Naval Air Station Pensacola, has a small carrier deck mock-up, whose flight deck is constructed from deck boards salvaged from Lexington.
Story submitted by,
SCPO Claire Munsch
Edited by: CPO Asa Darkbyrd