Saturday, August 4, 2012

USS Lexington: The Blue Ghost

1943

The USS Lexington (CV-16) served the longest of any aircraft carrier during World War II. In fact the Lexington served the longest of any aircraft carrier in the world, she served for 48 years. She was commissioned in 1943 and named after a famous Revolutionary War battle. She was decommissioned in 1991. Unlike most US Navel ships, the Lexington was not painted camouflage grey but instead she was painted a dark blue. During WW II the Japanese claimed they sank her several times. But in reality she was too heavily defended for this to have happened.

The Japanese’s response to the American’s debunking their claims the ship had been sunk on four different occasions put their infamous radio propagandist Tokyo Rose on the air to state the Lexington must be a “ghost ship”.

"She sinks beneath the deep blue seas each evening, all hands aboard, only to re-appear each morning on the horizon."

The American sailors aboard the Lexington liked this nickname so much they dubbed their ship for the rest of the war “The Blue Ghost”.

After WW II she affectionately became known as “The ship that couldn’t be sunk”.

At sea 1960's
Ironically, in 1945 as the war ended the USS Lexington was the first foreign aircraft carrier to enter Tokyo Bay. The Lexington is known for several more “firsts”. In 1980, she was the first American aircraft carrier to have women stationed aboard as crew. She was the first aircraft carrier to be designated as a training ship, and starting in 1967 she was the first aircraft carrier to be used as a seagoing high school.

The nickname, The Blue Ghost, took on a whole new meaning once the USS Lexington was decommissioned and anchored near Corpus Christie, Texas. After the ship was turned into a living museum and was opened to the public it became apparent the ship is haunted.

Museum
Visitors are allowed to tour the ship independently. Over the years many of these visitors have thanked the ship’s tour directors for providing the very knowledgeable young sailor who guided them about the ship’s #2 Engine Room. The ship’s staff just smiles because they hear this complement on a regular basis. They have learned not to alarm their visitors by mentioning that there are no tour guides on the ship.

The 200 plus visitors who have encountered the engine room guide all describe him in similar terms.

His tour was great…

This very nice handsome young sailor with bright blue eyes not only took the time to describe carefully the inner workings of the engine to us but he also showed us around the rest of the room.

These reports are so common that the ship’s staff have dubbed this helpful ghost “Charlie”. Curious, the staff decided to do more research into the ship’s history. What they found confirmed what many visitors have seen.

They knew that in 1943 a Japanese torpedo struck the USS Lexington near the engine room. Nine sailors were killed. They discovered one of the dead was the engine room operator a young handsome sailor who had blonde hair and striking blue eyes. This sailor was known for never leaving his post. When a photograph of him was shown to several visitors they stated that it was the young man who had given them the tour.

Many visitors to the ship have also reported as they stand in the engine room they hear sounds of moaning and yelling as if they are right in the midst of a battle.

The following is a video about the USS Lexington Museum.

 

This next video is really fun, it has a great interview with a retired navel sailor who is a volunteer on board the Lexington. He has heard many reports of ghosts--including Charlie--over the years. This volunteer also has seen a ghost on the ship. This video also highlights an investigation on board the USS Lexington. I like the fact these investigators discuss being "respectful" and that they debunk things they hear--instead of jumping to conclusions. This video also highlights how EVP's should be done. Good job guys.

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