Allied Warships

USS Lexington (ii) (CV 16)

Aircraft Carrier of the Essex class

NavyThe US Navy
TypeAircraft Carrier
PennantCV 16 
Built byBethlehem Shipbuilding Corp. (Quincy, Massachusetts, U.S.A.) 
Ordered9 Sep 1940 
Laid down15 Jul 1941 
Launched23 Sep 1942 
Commissioned17 Feb 1943 
End service26 Nov 1991 

Originally named Cabot but renamed Lexington on 16 June 1942.
Decommissioned 23 April 1947.
Recommissioned 1 September 1955.
Decommissioned 26 November 1991.
Stricken 30 November 1991.
Preserved at Corpus Christi, Texas.

Lexington served as the flagship of Fast Carrier Task Force 58 under the command of Admiral Marc Mitscher. Mitscher is credited with making the aircraft carrier task force the predominant naval weapon system of the 20th century while aboard Lexington in the western Pacific. Lexington participated in every major naval campaign from Tarawa to Tokyo and was hit twice by the enemy. Lexington was nicknamed "The Blue Ghost" by the Japanese propagandist Tokyo Rose because she never wore the typical camouflage paint of all the other U.S. aircraft carriers. After World War II, Lexington was modernized and recommissioned in 1955 for Cold War service in the western Pacific. In 1962, she was assigned to serve as the Navy's training aircraft carrier, a duty which she performed until her decommissioning on November 26, 1991. With a half century of service, Lexington holds the record for the longest service, the most aircraft launched and recovered of any of the world's aircraft carriers, and was first Navy ship to embark female crewmembers. USS Lexington offers Science- Aboard-Ship education programs for students and conducts youth overnight encampments.

Former nameCabot

Commands listed for USS Lexington (ii) (CV 16)

Please note that we're still working on this section
and that we only list Commanding Officers for the duration of the Second World War.

1Capt. Felix Budwell Stump, USN17 Feb 194310 Apr 1944
2T/Rear-Admiral Ernest Wheeler Litch, USN10 Apr 194430 Jan 1945 (1)
3T/Capt. Thomas Hinckley Robbins, Jr., USN30 Jan 194518 Nov 1945 (1)
4T/Capt. Bradford Ellsworth Grow, USN18 Nov 194511 Oct 1946 (1)

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Notable events involving Lexington (ii) include:

17 Mar 1944
USS Iowa (Capt. J.L. McCrea, USN) departed Majoro Atoll as part of Task Group 50.10 which was to bombard Milli Island. The other ships of the task force were battleship USS New Jersey (Capt. C.F. Holden, USN) and destroyers USS Dewey (Lt.Cdr. R.G. Copeland, USN), USS Hull (Lt.Cdr. C.W. Consolvo, USN), USS MacDonough (Cdr. J.W. Ramey, USN) and USS Phelps (Lt.Cdr. D.L. Martineau, USN). Air cover was provided by fleet carrier USS Lexington (Capt. F.B. Stump, USN) escorted by destroyers USS Bancoft (Cdr. R.M. Pitts, USN), USS Meade (Cdr. J. Munholland, USN) and USS Edwards (Cdr. P.G. Osler, USN).

For the daily positions of USS Iowa during this operation see the map below.

Media links

Battle of Surigao Strait

Anthony P. Tully

Clash of the carriers

Barrett Tillman

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